Blake Treinen has been named the Nationals' closer.
Nationals manager Dusty Baker made the announcement Thursday in camp. Koda Glover looked like the favorite at one point, with Shawn Kelley probably next in line, but Treinen has been terrific this spring and offers the Nats the best combination of reliability and durability leading into 2017. He also has one of the best power sinkers in the sport. Treinen obviously needs to be owned in all fantasy leagues with Opening Day approaching.
Rangers signed 2B Rougned Odor to a six-year, $49.5 million contract extension with a $13.5 million club option for 2023.
The deal was agreed to on Saturday and then finalized Thursday as the Rangers packed up camp in Surprise, Arizona. It will cover Odor's first three years of arbitration eligibility (2018-2020) and at least two years of free agency, at a fairly reasonable cost. The 23-year-old second baseman tallied 33 home runs, 88 RBI, 14 stolen bases, and 89 runs scored in 150 games last season.
Austin Pruitt has won a spot in the Rays' bullpen.
Pruitt is going to work in a multi-inning role, per Rays manager Kevin Cash. The 27-year-old right-hander posted a promising 3.76 ERA, 1.186 WHIP, and 149/27 K/BB ratio in 162 2/3 innings (28 starts) last season at Triple-A Durham. A ninth-round pick in 2013 out of the University of Houston, he'll be making his MLB debut.
According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, the Cardinals "have quietly showed interest" in White Sox starter Jose Quintana.
Heyman notes that the Astros and Pirates have been the perceived frontrunners for Quintana, but he calls their pursuits of the left-handed ace "passive" up to this point. In his report Heyman then labels the Cardinals a "sleeper team," with the "combination of young players and prospects to make it work." The asking price is undoubtedly sky-high for Quintana, who boasts a 3.35 ERA over the last four seasons and a team-friendly contract that runs through 2020. He is currently projected to serve as the Opening Day starter for the rebuilding White Sox.
Jeanmar Gomez will open the 2017 regular season as the Phillies' closer.
Phillies manager Pete Mackanin confirmed that news Thursday in camp. Gomez was sharp this spring, registering a 0.93 ERA over 9 2/3 innings in the Grapefruit League, but he's a lower-tier fantasy option at closer given his poor numbers last year and the talent behind him in the Philadelphia bullpen. Hector Neris and Joaquin Benoit will work in setup roles for now.
Michael Conforto will be on the Mets' Opening Day roster.
But just how much he is going to play remains unclear given that the Mets never found a trade partner for Jay Bruce. Conforto nailed down the roster spot by batting .300 with an .873 OPS and three home runs this spring in Grapefruit League play.
Zack Wheeler will start the Mets' fourth regular season game.
And he'll be followed in the Mets' sixth regular-season game by Robert Gsellman, after Opening Day starter Noah Syndergaard returns to handle the fifth game. Wheeler experienced some tenderness in his surgically-repaired left elbow at the start of spring training, but he went five shutout innings in his final Grapefruit League outing Monday against the Marlins. The former top prospect could make a for a decent streaming option in the early part of 2017, but he'll probably have some workload limitations.
An MRI came back negative on the left elbow of Mets starter Steven Matz.
That's obviously good news, but Matz will be shut down for the next three weeks and projects to miss all of April. He was given a platelet-rich plasma injection Wednesday. Zack Wheeler and Robert Gsellman will round out the Mets' season-opening starting rotation.