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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL WINTER MEETINGS REPORT: BUILDING SUPER BULLPENS POPULAR STRATEGY

By Michael Wong

Lake Buena Vista, Fla.--Building the super bullpen has become the latest fad around the Major League Baseball given the massive success on that front he last two years when it came to the Cleveland Indians and New York Yankees.  That is why the reliever market has been the most robust so far at the Winter Meetings, with another round of signings and rumors floating about.  The latest was the Philadelphia Phillies reeling in former Tampa Bay Rays reliever Tommy Hunter to a two-year deal worth $18 million after pitching to a 2.61 ERA and striking out 64 batters in 58.2 innings last season.  Hunter gained velocity last season which helped in the vast uptick in strikeouts and he will join the also recently-signed Pat Neshek and closer Hector Neris to give the Phils a very strong back-end bullpen.

In addition, the market for Wade Davis is heating up as the Washington Nationals held court with his reps last night and the Colorado Rockies continue to pursue him heavily.  The Rockies were busy in their own right last night in handing former Indians reliever Bryan Shaw a three-year deal in the neighborhood of $9 million per.  Shaw has always been very durable and for his career possesses a terrific 3.13 ERA.  With Greg Holland departing and Davis not signed yet, Shaw could get a chance to close games as well.

-The Chicago Cubs kept busy in signing rehabbing pitcher Drew Smyly to a two-year deal worth $10 million.  The talented but extremely injury-prone Smyly is coming off Tommy John surgery and won't return until next August which means this is a buy low for 2019.

-The New York Yankees better not take their eye off of C.C. Sabathia as he talked with the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers last night.

-Nothing doing on the Christian Yelich front as Miami doesn't want to deal him but they will listen.  Meanwhile Marcell Ozuna is a goner and it is a matter of where he goes and not if he goes.

-Danny Duffy is getting a bunch of attention here as the Kansas City Royals are signaling a rebuild.  The Royals have resigned themselves to this which is why they have virtually done nothing with free agents Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, and Mike Moustakas.

-Speaking of Cain, he and Jay Bruce seems like classic late January fallback options when the other players at the position are off the board such as J.D. Martinez.


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