MLB Player News: All Positions

News: Souza appeared to suffer an injury to his left knee while running the bases in Monday's exhibition against the White Sox, Scott Merkin of MLB.com reports.
Impact: There was no play at the plate, but Souza stumbled and fell upon crossing home and was spotted holding his knee shortly after. He would need assistance just to get off the field. The 29-year-old has been plagued by injuries in the past (he played 72 games last season), although he appeared on track to begin the 2019 campaign healthy prior to this incident. This would be a devastating loss for the Diamondbacks if the injury is deemed significant.
News: Senzel exited a minor-league game Monday with an apparent ankle injury, C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The extent of Senzel's injury remains unknown at this time, although the Reds are running tests to determine the severity.
News: Ramirez (knee) fielded ground balls Monday, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Impact: According to Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal, manager Terry Francona said Ramirez is feeling better after fouling a ball off his knee during Sunday's game against the White Sox. The skipper also noted that the third baseman's presence on the field Monday bodes well for his status for Thursday's season-opener against the Twins, though he wouldn't commit to anything. Ramirez should be considered day-to-day.
News: Ramos (hand) is back in the lineup for Monday's exhibition game against the Orioles, Tim Healey of Newsday reports.
Impact: Ramos was hit in the hand while blocking a pitch in the dirt Sunday and left the game, but X-rays revealed no fracture and manager Mickey Callaway downplayed the issue. It appears that Callaway's optimism was accurate, as Ramos won't even miss a single game.
News: Upton left Sunday's game against the Dodgers with a sprained left big toe.
Impact: Upton crashed into the left field wall and left with what initially appeared to be a knee injury, an issue that would be particularly worrisome as he'd missed much of camp with a knee issue already. He seems to have escaped serious injury, however, and is considered day-to-day.
News: Upton left Sunday's game against the Dodgers after running into the left-field wall, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Upton had only recently returned from from right knee tendinitis and may have suffered an injury in the same area. The exact nature and severity of the issue are not yet clear.
News: Holland was officially named the Diamondbacks' closer Sunday.
Impact: Holland had a poor camp, showing diminished velocity while allowing five runs in 3.2 innings, so he's hardly guaranteed to keep the job all year. The Diamondbacks are choosing to look past that, as he's proven himself in the role in the past, recording 189 career saves with a 2.83 ERA. Archie Bradley could still threaten to take the job at some point, but Arizona can keep his arbitration salary down by not allowing him to record many saves.
News: Ramirez's X-ray on his knee revealed no signs of a fracture, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Ramirez fouled a ball off his knee Sunday against the White Sox and had to be carted off the field. He appears to have escaped serious injury, though his return timetable remains unclear. If he misses time to start the year, Max Moroff, Brad Miller and Eric Stamets would all be likely to start somewhere in the infield, with Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor each heading to the injured list with calf strains.
News: Ramirez was diagnosed with a left knee bruise after leaving Sunday's exhibition game and will undergo X-rays, Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal reports.
Impact: Ramirez was carted off the field Sunday after fouling a ball off his left knee and appeared to be in a significant amount of pain. The 26-year-old's status for the season opener Thursday is now in jeopardy while the severity of the injury is determined. The Indians' infield is already depleted as Francisco Lindor and Jason Kipnis are sidelined with calf strains.
News: Ramirez was removed from Sunday's spring game after fouling a ball off his knee, Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland Plain Dealer reports.
Impact: Ramirez looked to be in a good amount of pain and ultimately needed to be carted off the field. While the severity of the injury remains unclear -- he'll be further evaluated in the coming days -- this is certainly a worrisome development for the stud third baseman, especially with Opening Day less than a week away. The Indians are already without Francisco Lindor (calf) and Jason Kipnis (calf) for the first day of action.
News: Ramos had X-rays come back negative on his right hand after exiting Sunday's spring game, Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Ramos left the game after being hit on the right hand attempting to field a pitch in the dirt but thankfully appears to be dealing with a bruise. According to Tim Britton of The Athletic, manager Mickey Callaway said the 31-year-old is "totally fine" and would have played through the issue in the regular season, but his status is still worth keeping an eye on over the next few days with Opening Day less than a week away.
News: Ramos was removed from Sunday's spring game after getting hit on the right hand by a pitch in the dirt, Tim Britton of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Ramos was 1-for-1 before exiting Sunday. The backstop's status will updated after he's further evaluated; this will be a situation to monitor with Opening Day less than a week away. Should Ramos be forced to miss Thursday's season opener, Travis d'Arnaud or Tomas Nido would likely start behind the dish.
News: Verlander and the Astros agreed to terms Saturday on a two-year, $66 million contract extension, Mark Berman of Fox 26 News Houston reports.
Impact: Reports surfaced within the past few days that both player and team were eager to work out an extension prior to the season, and it didn't take long for a new deal to materialize. The extension now keeps Verlander in the fold through 2021, his age-38 season. After his career had been trending downward during his final years in Detroit, Verlander has re-emerged as a top-flight ace since joining Houston in August 2017. Verlander was instrumental in the Astros' run to their first World Series title that year and enjoyed arguably the best season of his career in 2018, churning out a 2.52 ERA, 0.90 WHIP and 290:37 K:BB in 214 innings. His advanced age aside, Verlander's underlying metrics suggest no major decline should be in the forecast for 2019.
News: Gennett was diagnosed Saturday with a strained right groin and is expected to miss 8-to-12 weeks.
Impact: The news is a devastating blow to the Reds with Opening Day less than a week away, as the team will now be without a key middle-of-the-order bat until at least late May. Gennett's injury likely paves the way for non-roster invitees Derek Dietrich and Jose Iglesias to both break camp with the big club, with the latter slated to draw regular starts alongside shortstop Jose Peraza in the middle infield, per Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer. Though top prospect Nick Senzel looms at Triple-A Louisville and logged 28 starts at second base for the affiliate in 2018, president of baseball operations Dick Williams said the youngster won't be a candidate to replace Gennett and will instead continue his transition to the outfield, according to C. Trent Rosecrans of The Athletic.
News: Olson's surgery Friday was to repair a broken hamate bone, Andrew Simon of MLB.com reports. While there's no official timetable for his return, typically those injuries require 6-to-8 weeks off before the player can resume normal activity.
Impact: Often hitters struggle to hit for power even after returning from these procedures, and in many other instances, there are setbacks in the recovery process. With such a long period of inactivity, Olson almost certainly is going to need a lengthy recovery period and subsequent rehab assignment.
News: Lindor (calf) will open the season on the injured list, Mandy Bell of MLB.com reports.
Impact: It turns out Lindor, who is working his way back from a right calf strain, won't have enough time to get in shape before the start of the season. It's unclear how long he will remain on the shelf at this point, but the move can be backdated to March 25, making the shortstop eligible to return April 4 should he prove ready. While Lindor is sidelined, Max Moroff and Eric Stamets are candidates to see time at shortstop.
News: Buxton was removed from Friday's spring game with an apparent injury, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Buxton collided with Xander Bogaerts during a rundown and was subsequently removed from the game after a lengthy conversation with manager Rocco Baldelli. Jake Cave replaced him in the outfield. Specifics regarding the injury remain unclear at the moment; it will be worth keeping an eye on Buxton's status with Opening Day right around the corner.
News: Olson underwent successful surgery on his right hand Friday, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports.
Impact: Olson injured his hand during the team's opening series against the Mariners. The A's have yet to provide a timetable for his return, though he figures to begin the season on the IL, with Mark Canha and Chad Pinder handling first-base duties while Olson is out.
News: Sale is in agreement on a five-year extension with the Red Sox, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Sale is set to make his third consecutive Opening Day start for Boston and was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after this season. According to Rosenthal, the deal is worth about $145 million and will put the left-hander under contract through 2024. Sale has a 2.56 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and 13.2 K/9 over 59 starts since being acquired by the Red Sox prior to the 2017 season.
News: Hill has a sprained MCL in his left knee and expected to start the season on the injured list, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Hill's issue was described as simply soreness earlier in the day, but it appears the injury is more serious than that. An MRI revealed no structural damage, but he's still expected to miss a couple weeks. Hyun-Jin Ryu will get the ball on Opening Day, with Ross Stripling starting the second game of the season.
News: Alonso will be on the Mets' Opening Day roster, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
Impact: The Mets have said they'll open the season with their best 25 players, and Alonso clearly fits in as part of that group. The old regime kept him in the minors late in the year for service-time reasons, but new general manager Brodie Van Wagenen apparently has other plans. Alonso has the potential to be a weapon this season after hitting a combined .285/.395/.579 with 36 homers in 132 games across the two highest levels of the minors last year.
News: Lindor (calf) met with the Indians' medical staff on Thursday, but his status for Opening Day remains uncertain, Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Manager Terry Francona chimed in about Lindor's health, saying, "We are not going to slow him down on purpose, but we do want him to be able to play the season without dragging a leg around." Lindor recently ran at full speed and has also participated in minor-league games. With Opening Day a week away, Lindor will need to receive full clearance soon to avoid any missed action.
News: Knebel (elbow) has a UCL issue, and while it's not a complete tear, he will get a second opinion, Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Impact: Manager Craig Counsell also elaborated that Knebel has pitched with some form of the injury for a while and that the issue isn't necessarily season-ending. However, Knebel will almost certainly not start the season on time. With Jeremy Jeffress (shoulder) also battling injury, Josh Hader may be in line for the bulk of save opportunities early on.
News: Knebel's elbow injury is a UCL issue, but not a complete tear. He's going for a second opinion, and it's not certain he'll need Tommy John surgery, Adam McCalvy of MLB.com reports.
Impact: When "not certain he needs Tommy John surgery" is the *positive* spin on this situation, it's not good. Knebel almost certainly will be out to start the season and not for a short time. It's no wonder that the Brewers are talking to Craig Kimbrel.
News: Goldschmidt and the Cardinals are expected to agree on a contract extension Thursday worth approximately $130 million over five years, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The Cardinals traded for Goldschmidt over the offseason with just one year remaining on his deal, presumably with the intention of convincing him to stick around long term. The deal closes off the possibility of the first baseman leaving for a more hitter-friendly home park in the offseason, but it will keep him in an organization that should be able to put a quality lineup around him for the next several years.
News: Snell and the Rays agreed to a five-year, $50 million contract extension Thursday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Snell gets rewarded for his Cy Young performance and the Rays get to lock up their young ace through his age-30 season. The deal buys out Snell's remaining years of team control as well as one additional season. It does not contain any options. Snell will remain in the Rays' pitcher-friendly home park for the foreseeable future, though he'll also be stuck in the same division as the Yankees and Red Sox for the majority of his prime.
News: Manager Craig Counsell says there's "reason for concern" with Knebel's elbow, Todd Rosiak of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.
Impact: Knebel has been dealing with an issue that was initially described as a "tired arm," and he didn't appear too worried. He'll visit a doctor Thursday, at which point the severity of the issue should become clearer. With Jeremy Jeffress battling a shoulder injury, Josh Hader could get the saves in Milwaukee early in the season.
News: Marte was removed from Thursday's lineup because of a tight lower back.
Impact: The Pirates are calling Marte's removal from the lineup precautionary. The outfielder, who is currently being treated by the team's medical staff, should be considered day-to-day. Given how close it is to the start of the season, Marte's status will be worth monitoring in the coming days.
News: Suzuki announced his retirement from baseball following Thursday's 5-4 victory over the Athletics in 12 innings.
Impact: Suzuki ended his career with a pair of starts in his home country of Japan and received a standing ovation when he checked out of Thursday's game in the bottom of the eighth inning. The 45-year-old went 0-for-5 with a walk in his two games in Tokyo, but he'll retire with 3,089 career hits over his 19-year MLB career, placing him 23rd in league history. Including his total from his nine-year career in Japan prior to joining the Mariners in 2001, Suzuki recorded 4,367 hits as a professional.
News: Olson left Thursday's 5-4 loss to the Mariners in the sixth inning with right hand pain, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports. He went 1-for-2 with a run scored before departing.
Impact: The Athletics aren't likely to provide an update on the severity of Olson's injury until he's re-evaluated in California when the team arrives back from Japan. According to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle, Olson experienced the pain in his hand after fouling off a pitch and had difficulty gripping the bat, which suggests his injury may be more than a day-to-day concern. If Olson is forced to miss time, Mark Canha or Chad Pinder could be in line for more action at first base.
News: Luzardo will be shut down for 4-to-6 weeks with a strained rotator cuff in his left (throwing) shoulder, Jane Lee of MLB.com reports.
Impact: This obviously sounds pretty bad. Luzardo, who was a candidate to open the year in the rotation, is now considered out indefinitely. If he resumes a throwing program in May, it would still take him several weeks to complete a rehab assignment. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2016.
News: Kershaw (shoulder) indicated Wednesday that he will need around 20 days to get fully up to speed, Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Kershaw felt good after a semi-live batting practice session Wednesday, but he's apparently still weeks away from being ready to rejoin the Dodgers' rotation. The southpaw is scheduled to throw two innings of live BP on Monday. Kershaw is expected to open the season on the IL; if he continues to progress without any setbacks, a return in 20 days would line him up to debut against the Cardinals on April 9.
News: Jimenez has agreed to a six-year extension with the White Sox that includes club options for a seventh and eighth year, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports. The deal should pay him between $40 million and $80 million, when factoring in incentives and the two club options, Hector Gomez of Z101 Digital reports.
Impact: This extension, which is pending a physical, means the White Sox have nothing to lose by having Jimenez on the Opening Day roster, which now seems like a forgone conclusion. We already expected Jimenez to be up in mid April, but now prospective fantasy managers can bank on an extra two weeks worth of at-bats. He should slot into the middle of the order from day one.
News: Manager Gabe Kapler said that Hoskins is dealing with mild shoulder soreness and will be held out of the Phillies' Grapefruit League lineups until at least Friday's game against the Yankees, Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Impact: It's not ideal that Hoskins is hurting with Opening Day just over a week away, but Kapler noted that the slugger is merely being rested for precautionary purposes. At this juncture, the Phillies aren't concerned about Hoskins' availability for the start of the season, though Maikel Franco would be next in line for reps at first base in the event the 26-year-old doesn't progress as quickly as anticipated.
News: Bregman agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract extension with the Astros on Tuesday, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Impact: The contract goes into effect for the 2020 season and buys out Bregman's three arbitration years as well as two years of free agency, locking him up through the 2024 season. The third baseman -- who turns 25 on March 30 -- finished fifth in American League MVP voting last season after slashing .286/.394/.532 with 31 home runs, 51 doubles and 103 RBI in 157 games.
News: Manager Dave Roberts confirmed Kershaw (shoulder) will open the season on the injured list, Pedro Moura of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Kershaw has already been ruled out for Opening Day, so this isn't all too surprising. The southpaw is scheduled to face live hitters Wednesday, after which a more concrete return date will hopefully come into focus. He isn't expected to pitch in the team's exhibition Freeway Series next week, as this would allow the Dodgers to backdate his IL move three days, making him eligible to return April 5 against the Rockies, if all goes as planned. It's still unclear who will start in place of Kershaw on Opening Day.
News: Darvish isn't worried about the blister that forced him to prematurely exit Tuesday's game against the Mariners, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune reports.
Impact: Darvish said he didn't feel the blister until his final pitch. The right-hander said the issue will be treated with laser therapy and cream, and he doesn't believe it will force him to miss a start. If all goes as planned, Darvish is hoping to play catch Wednesday before throwing a bullpen session Friday. It remains a situation to monitor with Opening Day rapidly approaching.
News: Darvish left his start Tuesday against the Royals after just 3.2 innings with a team trainer, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: The nature of the injury is unclear, but the trainers and manager Joe Maddon were looking at Darvish's fingers, suggesting a potential blister. The good news is Darvish didn't look too concerned as he left the field, but a clearer picture should emerge soon.
News: General manager Brian Cashman said Betances is dealing with a shoulder impingement and will begin the season on the injured list, James Wagner of The New York Times reports.
Impact: Betances recently told the Yankees he wasn't at full strength, which -- along with his display of diminished velocity -- prompted the team to send him for an MRI. It's unclear how long the issue will keep the right-hander sidelined at this point, but Cashman said he doesn't believe Betances' absence will be an extended one, according to Brendan Kuty of The Newark Star-Ledger. Betances will take anti-inflammatories and rest for 3-to-5 days before hopefully picking up a throwing program. In his absence, Zack Britton, Adam Ottavino and Chad Green will effectively split setup duties.
News: Fulmer is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery, Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Impact: Fulmer's velocity had been considerably down this spring, yet the news still comes as a surprise, as he'd been reportedly dealing with a mechanical issue and a potential knee injury. Elbow concerns hadn't been mentioned, but he's had two doctors recommend the surgery and will now seek a third opinion. Assuming he does indeed go through with the procedure, Fulmer would miss all of 2019 and at least a few months of 2020 as well.
News: Trout and the Angels are finalizing a 12-year extension worth more than $430 million, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: The deal will keep Trout in an Angels uniform for presumably the remainder of his career, as it contains no opt-outs, per Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times. He'll top the record for highest average annual value (currently held by Zack Greinke at $34.4 million) and smash Bryce Harper's $330 million contract as the largest in baseball history. The reported contract includes the two years left on Trout's current deal, so the new money he'll wind up making amounts to 10 years and $360 million, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports. The extension will close off the possibility for Trout to wind up in a more hitter-friendly park with a stronger lineup around him any time in the near future, though it's not as if his fantasy stock needs much of a boost.
News: Manager Dave Roberts confirmed Kershaw (shoulder) will not start for the Dodgers on Opening Day, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Impact: This comes as no surprise, as Kershaw has been behind other pitchers all spring while battling shoulder issues. Per Gurnick, the southpaw is slated to face live hitters Wednesday, though it's still unclear when he'll be cleared for game action, leaving his return date murky. The good news is Kershaw will be in Los Angeles during the team's season-opening series, suggesting he could be available to make an abbreviated start during the first week of the season, if all goes as planned. The Dodgers have yet to announce who will start in place of Kershaw on Opening Day.
News: Heaney (elbow) will open the season on the injured list, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: Heaney was shut down from throwing last week due to irritation in his left elbow, and while he's scheduled to resume throwing Sunday, there simply isn't enough time for the southpaw to get back up to speed before the start of the season. With Heaney slated to open the year on the shelf, Jaime Barria and Felix Pena will both likely break camp in the Angels' rotation.
News: Manager Dave Roberts said Sunday that Seager (elbow) will play Opening Day against the Diamondbacks, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Seager will also play in the three-game exhibition series against the Angels leading up to to the regular-season opener March 28. It's quite a statement from Roberts, as the 24-year-old has yet to make an appearance in a Cactus League game this spring. According to Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times, the young shortstop will play in minor-league games Sunday and Monday as he ramps up towards his Cactus League debut. Seager hasn't experienced any setbacks with his surgically repaired elbow this spring, but the Dodgers have understandably been cautious with his return.
News: Manager Gabe Kapler said Harper is considered day to day after being hit by a pitch on the ankle Friday and added that there are "no concerns" about the outfielder's availability for Opening Day, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Harper gave fantasy players and Phillies fans a jolt when limped off the field in Friday's contest, but the initial reports were positive, and there was even better news Saturday morning, as Kapler noted the swelling in Harper's ankle reduced overnight. Harper could get a day or two to rest and recover from his injury, but with Kapler optimistic about his status for Opening Day, there's reason for fantasy managers to be as well.
News: Harper's initial X-rays on his foot were negative, though he'll have more imaging done Saturday, Jim Bowden of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The Phillies' believed Harper avoided serious injury after getting hit in the foot by a pitch Friday against the Blue Jays, and his firsts tests seem to have confirmed that. How much time he'll need to miss, if any, will likely be determined following Saturday's reevaluation.
News: Harper has nothing worse than a foot contusion after being hit by a pitch Friday against the Blue Jays, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Harper will have an X-ray to verify that he's avoided a fracture, but as of right now, the team believes there's no cause for major concern. The outfielder's spring preparation was already going to be brief, as he didn't sign his contract until midway through camp, but even with another few days off to rest his foot he'll still likely be good to go for Opening Day.
News: Harper limped off the field after getting hit in the ankle by a fastball in Friday's game against the Blue Jays, Meghan Montemurro of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The severity of the issue isn't yet clear, but Harper looked to be in significant pain. More clarity should come after he's examined by team trainers.
News: Severino (shoulder) won't be ready to pitch in MLB games until May 1 at the earliest, Bryan Hoch of MLB.com reports.
Impact: The flame-throwing righty received a cortisone shot in his inflamed right rotator cuff last week and said he was no longer feeling pain when lifting his arm. However, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman told reporters Friday that Severino will be sidelined for at least the month of April, so it's confirmed the club will have to roll without its ace for the start of the season. Severino is in the midst of a two-week rest period before he'll start a throwing program as he works his way back into action.
News: Martinez (back) is in the lineup for Friday's spring game against the Yankees, Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Martinez did not play in Boston's last two official spring training games because of his sore back, but he was able to take some at-bats in a minor-league game Thursday, and will return to Grapefruit League action Friday. Martinez will hit third and is feeling good enough to avoid the DH spot and play right field.
News: Mondesi is dealing with a minor cut above his eye, but will be fine after exiting Thursday's spring game, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Mondesi suffered the injury after a head-first slide into third base on a stolen-base attempt, but the Royals can breathe a sigh of relief as manager Ned Yost stated that his starting shortstop is just fine. Mondesi's status for Opening Day shouldn't be impacted by this minor issue.
News: Mondesi exited Thursday's game against the Rangers after a hard head-first slide while stealing third base, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Flanagan notes that Mondesi looked a little shaken up but that it didn't appear to be a serious issue. There was no indication as to what part of Mondesi's body might have been affected during the slide.
News: Upton (knee tendinitis) will play in a minor-league game Thursday as the designated hitter, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
Impact: According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, Upton was able to run the bases and shag fly balls Wednesday, so his ability to play in a "B" game suggests he experienced no renewed discomfort in his right knee in those activities. Obviously his knee isn't 100 percent, given that he will be the Angels' DH, but this is a good development nonetheless. He should be considered questionable for Opening Day.
News: Martinez (back) got a couple at-bats in a minor-league game Thursday and he expects to return to big-league action Friday, Jen McCaffrey of The Athletic reports.
Impact: He said his back is feeling better and the fact that he got at-bats against minor leaguers supports that notion. Look for him to get back in the lineup Friday against the Yankees.
News: Heaney has been shut down from throwing due to irritation in his left elbow, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports.
Impact: The MRI didn't show significant damage, but manager Brad Ausmus admitted Heaney might not be ready for Opening Day. He started last season on the shelf with a similar issue and was still able to have a very effective season, but it is certainly troubling that the same elbow that gave him trouble earlier in camp this year is once again an issue.
News: Strop will take a break from throwing off a mound after an MRI on Monday revealed a mild right hamstring strain, Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Strop will continue throwing but is unlikely to do so off a mound through the rest of this week. The-33-year-old did miss a few weeks with a hamstring injury late last season, but the current injury affects the opposite leg. Manager Joe Maddon downplayed the injury, but also admitted the possibility that Strop may not be ready for Opening Day, according to Patrick Mooney of The Athletic. Carl Edwards and Steve Cishek would be candidates to take over the closer's role should his absence extend into the regular season, as Brandon Morrow (elbow) isn't expected to see game action until May.
News: Martinez (shoulder) could join the big-league rotation in May or June, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
Impact: This is fairly vague, but at least we know we can rule Martinez out for all of April. He is reportedly close to resuming a throwing program, and Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports the right-hander recently received a platelet-rich plasma injection to alleviate inflammation. In the meantime, John Gant and Dakota Hudson are the finalists for the fifth spot in the rotation.
News: Seager will undergo surgery on a tendon in his left hand Tuesday and will miss at least the first month of the season, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Seager suffered the injury while diving to make a catch Friday against the Cubs. An exact timeline has yet to be determined, but he'll be back no sooner than early May. In his absence, the Mariners could start Tim Beckham or move Ryon Healy to third base, opening up first base for Jay Bruce.
News: Kershaw (shoulder) threw a 20-pitch, all-fastball bullpen session Monday, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Impact: The session was Kershaw's first off a mound since February 20, the date on which his frustration with the state of his arm first appeared. He remains without any serious injury, and manager Dave Roberts believes he can be ready to go by Opening Day, but he'll have to stretch out quite a bit and work in his other pitches before that becomes a possibility. Kershaw was pleased with the session, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports, though he didn't give any clear indication about his readiness for the start of the regular season.
News: Early indications are that Seager (wrist) will open the year on the injured list, Greg Johns of MLB.com reports.
Impact: The team is still expected to give a thorough breakdown of the injury and timetable Monday, but Johns expects the injury to sideline Seager into the regular season, despite the initial X-rays being negative. Ryon Healy has been getting time at third base and could be the primary option there while Seager is on the shelf.
News: Foltynewicz (elbow) has been officially ruled out for Opening Day, 680 The Fan Atlanta reports.
Impact: The Braves have not announced who will start on Opening Day, but it is clear at this point that Foltynewicz won't be ready for that start. He has been limited to playing catch since his elbow soreness was first reported Feb. 28, but is getting close to throwing off a mound, Kevin McAlpin of 680 The Fan Atlanta reports. If he is able to throw off a mound soon, he may be able to build up in time to join the big-league rotation sometime in April.
News: Kershaw (shoulder) will play catch Sunday and is scheduled to throw a bullpen session Monday, Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports.
Impact: Kershaw hasn't thrown off a mound in a couple of weeks, so Monday's bullpen session could be a big step toward his potential return. Manager Dave Roberts continues to reiterate that he believes the veteran left-hander will be ready for Opening Day, and Monday's bullpen session will be the next hurdle if that is to remain a realistic possibility.
News: Guerrero will be out at least three weeks with a left oblique strain, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet.ca reports.
Impact: The good news is that Guerrero was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain rather than a more severe muscle injury. The Blue Jays' top prospect, who turns 20 on March 16, was struggling this spring with a .211/.250/.316 slash line. Guerrero likely would have been ticketed for Triple-A Buffalo regardless of his spring results, as the organization looks to delay the start of his service clock. A return in early April appears to be the current goal, but a clearer recovery timetable should come into focus as the young slugger advances into his rehab work.
News: Manager Brad Ausmus said Saturday that Ohtani (elbow) won't be activated from the Angels' injured list before May, Fabian Ardaya of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Ohtani, who began his throwing program this week while he works back from Tommy John surgery, isn't scheduled to pitch this season but remains on track to serve as a designated hitter for the club. Earlier in the offseason, there was some optimism that Ohtani might receive clearance to enter the lineup at some point during the first month of 2019, but Ausmus has dismissed that possibility in recognition of where the two-way phenom currently stands in his rehab. Ohtani is merely hitting soft toss at this point, so he'll need to advance to live batting practice before the Angels even clear him to get at-bats in simulated games or minor-league rehab games. It will likely take at least a few weeks for Ohtani to take enough swings against live pitching before the Angels consider activating him, a reality that may make it difficult to justify rostering him in leagues with limited bench spots.
News: Updating a previous report, Kershaw (shoulder) did not throw off a mound Thursday, J.P. Hoornstra of the Southern California News Group reports.
Impact: Wires were apparently crossed and Kershaw did not actually return to mound work. He played catch Thursday, extending out to 150 feet, before bringing it in and throwing 12-15 pitches to a catcher in the crouch on flat ground. It's a step forward regardless for the lefty, but his availability for the start of the year remains up in the air.
News: Altuve (side soreness) could have played Thursday if it were a regular-season game, according to manager AJ Hinch, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Impact: He was apparently a little sore after batting practice, so the Astros didn't hesitate to scratch him and plug in Tony Kemp. Friday was going to be Altuve's scheduled day off, but he may be able to play in that game. Otherwise the Astros expect him back at some point this weekend.
News: The Astros scratched Altuve from their lineup for Thursday's Grapefruit League game against the Marlins due to "general left side soreness," Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports.
Impact: It's only a minor concern for Altuve, who is being viewed as day-to-day. Nick Tanielu was added to Houston's lineup as the second baseman while Tony Kemp moved up to the two hole, the spot in the order Altuve is expected to occupy once the regular season arrives.
News: Leclerc and the Rangers agreed to terms Wednesday on a contract extension, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Impact: The details, years or money involved in Leclerc's new deal aren't yet known, but the transaction likely makes the closer part of the Rangers' long-term core rather than a candidate to be dealt ahead of the trade deadline. The added job security Leclerc gains through the extension could be enough to make him one of the safer closer options in fantasy drafts on the heels of a breakout 2018 campaign. Though control remains an issue for the hard-throwing righty (career 16 percent walk rate), he still managed a stellar 1.56 ERA (1.90 FIP) and 13.3 K/9 last season while collecting 12 saves.
News: Perez (elbow) will undergo Tommy John surgery Wednesday after a second opinion confirmed the damage to his UCL, Jeffrey Flanagan of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Perez headed to Dr. Neal ElAttrache for the second opinion and is now set to go under the knife after the diagnosis was confirmed. The injury was originally believed to be minor but will instead put an end to the 28-year-old's 2019 season prior to Opening Day. Cameron Gallagher is set to take over at catcher for the Royals with Meibrys Viloria next on the depth chart, assuming the team doesn't make any late roster additions.
News: Severino will be shut down for two weeks with rotator cuff inflammation, Lindsey Adler of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The diagnosis means Severino will almost certainly miss Opening Day. In the best-case scenario, he'll be back on a mound about a week before the first game of the season, but it will likely take longer than that for him to get up to speed. Barring setbacks, though, he'll have a chance to only miss a turn or two in the rotation, as manager Aaron Boone said Tuesday that Severino's MRI "looked pretty good" other than the inflammation.
News: Chief Baseball Officer Derek Falvey said Sano won't be ready for Opening Day after undergoing a debridement procedure to address the cut on his right heel Tuesday, Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.
Impact: This comes as a bit of a surprise, as Sano appeared to be trending towards a return following his last checkup. According to Miller, however, it was determined after further evaluation that the third baseman would require the procedure. Sano is expected to remain in a walking boot for the next two-to-three weeks and is hoping to resume baseball activities around mid-April, which would allow him to return sometime in May, if everything goes as planned. In the meantime, Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza are candidates to see starts at the hot corner until Sano is ready to return.
News: Severino was scratched from his start Tuesday against the Braves due to shoulder discomfort.
Impact: Severino will undergo an MRI later Tuesday to determine the extent of the issue. A minor setback wouldn't seriously threaten his start to the season, but if he's shut down from throwing for any significant period of time, a trip to the injured list would be likely, with just over three weeks remaining before Opening Day.
News: Rosario exited Monday's game against the Rays after being hit by a pitch in the left hand, Matt Ehalt of The Bergen Record reports.
Impact: Rosario looked to be in some pain before exiting the game with a trainer. Andres Gimenez came on to pinch run for the shortstop. Rosario's status will be updated after he's further evaluated.
News: Kershaw (shoulder) continues to improve, and the Dodgers hope he will be ready for Opening Day, but manager Dave Roberts said Monday that time may be running out, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports.
Impact: The Kershaw saga remains difficult to read, as he's been the subject of much speculation despite never being diagnosed with a significant injury and never even undergoing an MRI. His shoulder didn't feel right during a late-February throwing session, leading to him being briefly shut down on two separate occasions, though recent reports suggest that his throwing program is trending in the right direction. Still, for a player who has averaged less than 25 starts per season over the last three seasons, an abundance of caution wouldn't be unwise. The Dodgers have become well-known for their willingness to rest pitchers in recent years, so a trip to the injured list to start the year certainly wouldn't be out of the ordinary even if Kershaw is never diagnosed with a specific injury.
News: Bregman (elbow) is starting at third base and hitting third Saturday against the Mets, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Impact: He underwent arthroscopic surgery to remove loose bodies from his right elbow back on Jan. 11, and his recovery has gone as well as could have been expected.
News: Martinez will make his spring debut Saturday, according to Sean McAdam of BostonSportsJournal.com.
Impact: The Red Sox have taken it easy with Martinez thus far this spring, but he is ready to see his first action of 2019. Martinez will serve as Boston's designated hitter and hit cleanup Saturday.
News: Perez is expected to undergo Tommy John surgery sometime next week, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports.
Impact: Perez was scratched from Thursday's spring game with what was originally thought to be a minor elbow injury, though a subsequent MRI revealed damage to his UCL that is apparently serious enough to warrant surgery. The 28-year-old backstop was originally scheduled to visit Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles next week for a second opinion, but it sounds like the procedure has already been recommended for him. Assuming Perez goes under the knife next week, he'll miss the entire 2019 campaign, leaving Cameron Gallagher to step in as the team's starting backstop unless the Royals decide to acquire someone else.
News: Perez will head to Los Angeles next week to get a second opinion on his injured ulnar collateral ligament from Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Impact: Dr. ElAttrache's name typically pops up when Tommy John surgery is close, so the worst-case scenario is certainly not a good one for Perez and the Royals. Perez's injury initially appeared insignificant, as he was scratched from Thursday's game due to what was then called minor elbow soreness, but an MRI revealed damage to his UCL. If Tommy John surgery does end up being required, Perez would miss the entire season, leaving Cameron Gallagher in line for an expanded role.
News: Harper agreed to a contract with the Phillies on Thursday, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reports. Per Jeff Passan of ESPN.com, Harper's deal is worth $330 million over 13 years and doesn't include any opt-out clauses.
Impact: After a long offseason of waiting, Harper has finally found a new home. The superstar outfielder will stick in the NL East, joining the Phillies after spending the first seven years of his career with the Nationals. Harper should immediately slot in as the team's starting right fielder, likely pushing Nick Williams to a reserve role. His arrival should also have a positive impact on the run and RBI counts for the players that flank him in the lineup.
News: Lindor (calf) fielded some grounders standing up Wednesday, Zack Meisel of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Lindor had been taking grounders from his knees in recent days but is now able to field normally again. The shortstop's readiness for Opening Day is questionable due to a calf strain he suffered in early February, but Wednesday's news is certainly a step in the right direction.
News: Manager AJ Hinch announced Wednesday that James strained his right quadriceps and is "not part of the mix right now" for a spot in the Astros' Opening Day rotation, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Impact: An under-the-radar prospect heading into 2018, James turned heads while piling up 171 strikeouts over 114.1 innings between Double-A Corpus Christi and Triple-A Fresno to earn a promotion to the big leagues in September. He promptly shined in three spot starts with Houston down the stretch and looked to have a leg up on the fifth starter's role, but the injury will now prevent him from staking his claim to the gig in Grapefruit League action. Hinch said he's still hopeful that James will be ready in time for Opening Day to contribute meaningful innings out of the bullpen, but his removal from consideration for the rotation puts a significant cramp on his fantasy outlook. Brad Peacock, Framber Valdez, Brady Rodgers, Rogelio Armenteros and Cionel Pere are the remaining candidates for the final spot in the big-league rotation.
News: Arenado signed an eight-year contract with the Rockies worth $260 million Tuesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: The deal includes an opt-out after three years and will give the third baseman the highest per-year salary among all position players. It's great news for those who own Arenado in dynasty leagues, as he'll get to remain in Coors Field for at least three additional seasons and potentially for the bulk of the rest of his career. The contract overrides the one-year deal Arenado signed earlier in the offseason, so it will take him through the 2026 season, with the opt-out coming after 2021.
News: Martinez (shoulder) had a PRP injection and won't be re-evaluated until March 12, Mark Saxon of The Athletic reports.
Impact: Martinez had already been shut down for a two-week period due to concerns over his shoulder, and that period has now been extended by a week. An MRI taken in mid-February revealed no structural damage, but the injury and setback happening so early in the season is certainly discouraging. Even if he's fully cleared March 12, his chances of building up to a starting role by Opening Day would appear minimal. His recent injury problems, which led to three trips to the injured list last season, have already prompted speculation that he may spend a considerable portion of the season as a reliever, and this latest setback should only serve to increase those odds.
News: Manager Dave Roberts said he is not sure when Kershaw (shoulder) will throw again, Ken Gurnick of MLB.com reports. "It's not ideal," the manager said.
Impact: Kershaw apparently didn't feel great playing catch Monday, prompting the Dodgers to put his throwing program on hold for the time being. "Might be a day or two before he picks it up again," Roberts noted, per Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times. This certainly isn't ideal for the southpaw -- who has averaged just 24.7 starts over the last three seasons due to injuries -- though he still has time to build back up before Opening Day if he can get back on track relatively quickly. According to Castillo, Kershaw isn't scheduled for an MRI at the moment.
News: Hicks and the Yankees agreed Monday on a seven-year, $70 million contract extension, Jack Curry of YES Network reports.
Impact: The extension will replace the one-year, $6 million contract Hicks agreed to in January and will take the 29-year-old off the open market after he was set to become a free agent over the winter. Hicks endured a rocky start to his major-league career while coming up with the Twins, but has tapped into his potential since he was traded to the Yankees in November 2015 and is now locked in as the team's everyday center fielder for the foreseeable future. He has quietly been one of the more productive outfielders in the game the past two seasons, slashing .255/.368/.470 (127 wRC+) over that span.
News: Lowrie was diagnosed Saturday with a left knee capsule sprain and is without a clear timeline to resume baseball activities, Tim Healey of Newsday reports. "I want to be out there with the guys on Opening Day, but we need to make sure this is right and it doesn't linger," Lowrie said of his injury.
Impact: Per Deesha Thosar of the New York Daily News, Lowrie insisted than the MRI he required for the knee showed "no major damage," but the Mets nonetheless intend to take a cautious approach with a 34-year-old who hasn't exactly been a paragon of health during his career. Lowrie's comments suggest he'll likely miss most if not all of the Mets' Grapefruit League slate, paving the way for the likes of Todd Frazier, J.D. Davis and Pete Alonso to see extra work at the corner spots. If Lowrie's knee issue forces him to the injured list to begin the campaign, it's also possible utility man Jeff McNeil, who is working mostly as an outfielder this spring, could re-enter the mix at the hot corner.
News: Gonzalez signed with the Twins on Friday, Jon Heyman of FancredSports.com reports.
Impact: Gonzalez can play most positions on the diamond, and the Twins have a collection of roughly average regulars all over the field, so it remains to be seen where he'll most often be deployed. His respectable .247/.324/.409 line last season will make him a capable starter at most spots for a team which is trying to shake off a poor 2018 season and make a push for the playoffs. The 29-year-old will get $21 million over two years, per Jeff Passan of ESPN.com.
News: Gray (elbow) was scratched from Saturday's spring training opener as a precaution, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Impact: The team announced Friday morning Gray would not pitch as originally scheduled Saturday due to right elbow stiffness. The right-hander downplayed it as a non-serious injury, indicating he expects to begin throwing again within a day or two, Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports.
News: Gray was scratched from Saturday's spring training opener against the Indians due to right elbow stiffness, Bobby Nightengale of The Cincinnati Enquirer reports.
Impact: Gray was set to start and throw one inning during Saturday's spring training opener versus the Indians, but will now have to wait to make his spring debut. The severity of the injury remains unclear, but it is nonetheless concerning that the 29-year-old's spring is beginning with any kind of injury related to his throwing elbow. Tanner Roark will start instead for the Reds as Gray's status should receive some additional clarity in the coming days.
News: Machado signed with the Padres on Tuesday, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: The Padres land one of the offseason's biggest prizes, adding a star in his prime to their growing crowd of young talent. Machado will see a clear downgrade in a park after spending the bulk of his career in a very hitter-friendly environment in Baltimore, though his bat is strong enough to keep him an upper-tier fantasy asset. The contract is worth 10 years and $300 million, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, making it the largest free-agent deal in American professional sports history. Machado will be able to opt out after the fifth season of the deal.
News: Martinez (shoulder) will not be allowed to throw for two weeks, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports.
Impact: The Cardinals are concerned that Martinez's arm strength is not where it should be, though an MRI taken Monday revealed no structural damage, Langosch reports. That suggests he's unlikely to miss a large portion of time, but Martinez will need to build back up following the two-week period, leaving him less than a month to get ready for Opening Day. Martinez made three trips to the DL last season while battling shoulder, oblique and lat injuries. It's certainly disconcerting to see those issues resurface so early in the spring.
News: Moustakas agreed to a one-year, $10 million contract with the Brewers on Sunday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Impact: The deal will become official following a physical exam. Moustakas elected free agency after turning down his 2019 option with Milwaukee, but he'll return with the Brewers and should be their premier option at third base, especially against right-handed pitching. This means Travis Shaw will once again see time at second base as he did in the second half of the 2018 campaign. The keystone will become a bit more crowded with Moustakas back in the picture, as Cory Spangenberg, Hernan Perez and Tyler Saladino could all compete for backup work at second behind Shaw.
News: Severino signed a four-year, $40 million contract with the Yankees on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: The deal buys out Severino's remaining arbitration years and also includes a fifth-year club option for 2023. The right-hander -- who turns 25 on Feb. 20 -- made about $600,000 in 2018 and had a 3.18 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and 10.5 K/9 as a full-time starter for the Yankees over the past two seasons. Severino is once again expected to serve as New York's Opening Day starter in 2019.
News: Nola agreed to a four-year, $45 million contract extension with the Phillies on Wednesday that includes a club option, avoiding arbitration, Scott Lauber of The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Impact: Nola was spectacular for the Phillies last season, producing a 2.37 ERA, 0.97 WHIP and 224:58 K:BB in 212.1 innings pitched. The Phillies opted to lock their star pitcher up for the next four years rather than go through the arbitration processes. With his contract situation resolved, Nola can now turn his focus to leading the Phillies' rotation.
News: Manager Brad Ausmus said the Angels are hopeful Ohtani (elbow) will be able to return in May, Jeff Fletcher of The Orange County Register reports. "I'm not going to put a date on it, but we're thinking sometime in May," Ausmus said.
Impact: Ohtani has reportedly begun taking dry swings as he continues to work his way back from Tommy John surgery that he underwent in October of 2018. That said, he's still a ways away, and a concrete timetable for his return likely won't come into focus until he progresses further in his recovery.
News: Lindor sustained a right calf strain while preparing for spring training and is expected to be sidelined for 7-to-9 weeks.
Impact: His status for Opening Day on March 28 is now in doubt. The All-Star shortstop is on track to miss all of spring training, as a seven-week recovery would have him return at the end of March just as the regular season begins. Realistically, the Indians are likely to remain cautious and avoid rushing the 25-year-old back into action rather than risk prolonging the injury further into the regular season.
News: Realmuto was traded from the Marlins to the Phillies on Thursday in exchange for catcher Jorge Alfaro, pitchers Sixto Sanchez and Will Stewart as well as international slot money, Jeff Passan of ESPN.com reports.
Impact: Realmuto is one of the top catchers in the entire league, and after an offseason filled with trade rumors, he finally found a new home for at least the next two seasons. The 27-year-old is coming off his first 20-homer campaign while batting at least .275 for the third consecutive season. Now that he'll get to hit in hitter-friendly Citizens Bank Ballpark, there's a good chance he could repeat if not exceed those figures as he aims to garner his second All-Star selection.
News: Ohtani (elbow) has been cleared to begin "full strengthening" rehabilitation but hasn't started to swing a bat yet and won't be ready for Opening Day, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports.
Impact: While Ohtani's follow-up appointment with Dr. Neal ElAttache went well, the 24-year-old still has a long road ahead of him before being cleared to take the field. As expected, he certainly won't be ready to roll at the beginning of the 2019 campaign, and an exact timetable for his return likely won't become available until he's further along in the recovery process.
News: Arenado agreed to a one-year, $26 million contract with the Rockies on Thursday, Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports.
Impact: It appeared as though an arbitration hearing was imminent, but after Arenado previously requested $30 million and the Rockies offered up $24 million, the two sides managed to settle on $26 million as a fair price, which is a record for a player going through the arbitration process. The 27-year-old has proven that he's worth the hefty price, belting 38 homers while driving in 110 runs and finishing with a .297 batting average in 156 games a season ago. He'll look to inflict more damage on opposing teams during the 2019 season now that he has a contract in place for at least another year.