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Jonathan Arauz BOS SS
Red Sox's Jonathan Arauz: Expanded rosters help6h ago
The Red Sox may have the roster flexibility to carry Arauz, a Rule 5 draft pick, if MLB expands rosters from 26 to 29 players for the first month of an abbreviated season, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports.
As a Rule 5 pick, Arauz must remain on Boston's active roster all season (barring an IL stint) or be offered back to the Astros. Under normal circumstances, it's unclear that Arauz would claim one of the 26 spots to start the regular season. But a shortened season -- where teams can carry 29 players for the first month and expanded 28-man rosters for the final month -- makes it easier for the Red Sox to keep the 21-year-old Arauz. His glove is major-league ready, but Arauz still needs to develop as a hitter.
Jonathan Lucroy BOS C
Red Sox's Jonathan Lucroy: Team may keep three catchers6h ago
The Red Sox will have the flexibility to keep both Lucroy and Kevin Plawecki if MLB expands rosters from 26 to 29 players for the first month of an abbreviated season, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports.
The two catchers are locked in a roster-spot battle to back up starter Christian Vazquez, but each could be carried if the rosters are temporarily expanded as expected. The freedom to keep three catchers is something upon which interim manager Ron Roenicke went back-and-forth prior to the shutdown. With the expanded rosters, he'll have a free month of regular-season competition to evaluate which is the better fit. From a batting perspective, neither Lucroy (6-for-20, .300) nor Plawecki (9-for-19, .474) separated himself from the other during spring training.
Kevin Plawecki BOS C
Red Sox's Kevin Plawecki: Roster rule changes help chances6h ago
The Red Sox may keep both Plawecki and Jonathan Lucroy if MLB expands rosters from 26 to 29 players for the first month of an abbreviated season, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports.
Red Sox interim manager Ron Roenicke had wavered on the notion of keeping three catchers before the coronavirus pandemic forced MLB to halt baseball. He first said he couldn't envision a scenario where the Red Sox retained three catchers, then said he was open to the idea. If MLB adopts the roster expansion as expected, Boston will have the luxury of carrying two backup catchers over the first month of the season, giving Roenicke time to evaluate which is the best fit to back up Christian Vazquez.
Justin Verlander HOU SP
Astros' Justin Verlander: On schedule in recovery6h ago
Verlander (groin) is on schedule in his recovery from groin surgery, Brian McTaggart of MLB.com reports.
Reporters had a conference call Friday with Astros general manager James Click. who relayed Verlander's recovering well and is "ready to get back out there as soon as he possibly can." Verlander underwent right groin surgery March 17 and was given a six-week recovery estimate. Under that schedule, Verlander could be ready to pitch by the time MLB resumes normal operations following the coronavirus pandemic.
Brooks Kriske NYY RP
Yankees' Brooks Kriske: May get callup if rosters expand10h ago
Kriske could join the Yankees prior to Opening Day if MLB opts to expand rosters at the start of the season, Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media reports.
The Yankees optioned Kriske to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on March 9, seemingly closing the door on his chances to break camp with the big-league club. However, it is widely expected that Major League Baseball will expand rosters at the beginning of the campaign to compensate for a shortened spring training, thus opening the door a crack for Kriske to be promoted to the majors. While he remains a longshot to open the season with the Yankees, Kriske's odds are boosted by the fact that he is already on the 40-man roster.
Tyler Lyons NYY RP
Yankees' Tyler Lyons: Could make club if rosters expand11h ago
Lyons would be an option for the Yankees' bullpen if MLB expands rosters at the start of the season, Brendan Kuty of NJ Advance Media reports.
Lyons signed a minor-league deal with the Yankees in January and was not expected to break camp with the club. However, the southpaw pitched well this spring, hurling 4.1 scoreless innings and racking up seven strikeouts. That performance, along with Lyons' experience and left-handedness, could tilt the scales in his favor should MLB opt to expand rosters, as is widely expected.
Cole Beasley BUF WR
Bills' Cole Beasley: Still has top-three role38m ago
Beasley, Stefon Diggs and John Brown are expected to serve as the Bills' top three wide receivers in 2020.
The Diggs trade is great news for the Buffalo offense but far less promising for Beasley's target volume. The former Cowboy was mostly limited to slot work in three-wide formations early last season, eventually progressing to a role in two-WR sets as he played more than 80 percent of snaps in five of his final six regular-season games. Beasley once again figures to be limited to three-receiver alignments now that Diggs is in the picture, so a reprisal of last year's 106 targets will be tricky if his teammates stay healthy.
Emmanuel Ogbah KC DE
Dolphins' Emmanuel Ogbah: Cleared from injury20h ago
Ogbah (pectoral) said Thursday that he's been cleared to resume workouts, Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com reports.
Ogbah missed the final six games of the 2019 regular season with Kansas City due to a torn pectoral injury he suffered Week 10. The 26-year-old has been a consistent threat in the pass rush since coming into the league in 2016, earning 18 sacks over 50 career games. Now healthy, he's one of a few offseason additions for the Dolphins in a defensive overhaul heading into 2020.
Carson Wentz PHI QB
Eagles' Carson Wentz: Option picked up for 20201d ago
The Eagles officially exercised Wentz's (concussion) team option for 2020 on Friday, Jeff Kerr of CBS Sports reports.
The move was merely procedural, as Wentz's 2020 salary would have risen to $31.38 million while voiding the remaining years on his extension had Philadelphia declined to exercise the option. Wentz was forced out early in the Eagles' wild-card round loss to the Seahawks on Jan. 5 with a concussion, but he cleared all five phases of the NFL's concussion protocol three days later and would have been available had Philadelphia advanced to the divisional round, per Derrick Gunn of NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Ronald Darby PHI CB
Redskins' Ronald Darby: Staying in NFC East1d ago
Darby (hip) inked a one-year, $4 million deal with the Redskins on Sunday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports.
Darby battled injuries for the Eagles last season, suiting up in 11 games as a starter, racking up 37 tackles (34 solo), two interceptions and 11 pass breakups. The 26-year-old missed the final two games of 2019 with a hip strain, and his timetable to return remains unclear. New head coach Ron Rivera has long been a fan of Darby, so he likely will battle for the starting cornerback spot that was vacated when the team traded Quinton Dunbar (hamstring) to Seattle.
Geronimo Allison GB WR
Lions' Geronimo Allison: Signs with rival1d ago
Allison agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Lions on Sunday.
Allison arrives from Green Bay, where he was used primarily in two- and three-wide sets, sporting a receiving line of 34-287-2 for the 2019 season. The Lions already have proven options such as Kenny Golladay, Marvin Jones (ankle) and Danny Amendola on the roster, so it appears that Allison will be battling Marvin Hall (foot) for the No. 4 receiver spot in Detroit heading into the 2020 season.
Rolan Milligan IND DB
Colts' Rolan Milligan: Back with Colts1d ago
Milligan (foot) signed a one-year contract with Indianapolis on Saturday.
Milligan suited up in 11 games with the Colts in 2019 before he was placed on injured reserve following Week 15 with a foot injury. The 25-year-old played a depth role last season, logging 15 tackles (11 solo) on defense and special teams. He'll likely assume that same role for the team heading into the 2020 season.
Marcus Smart BOS PG
Celtics' Marcus Smart: Cleared of coronavirus16h ago
Smart has been cleared from the coronavirus since Friday, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Smart took to his personal Twitter account Sunday night to announce that he was cleared by the Massachusetts Department of Health on Friday. This is, of course, great news for Smart and the Celtics, but it remains very much unclear when we may see the defensive-minded guard on the court again.
Marcus Smart BOS PG
Celtics' Marcus Smart: Recovering well from coronavirus1d ago
Celtics coach Brad Stevens relayed Friday that Smart (illness) is doing well following his positive test for the coronavirus a week earlier, Tim Bontemps of ESPN.com reports. "Great. He's great. Great spirits. Joking as always," Stevens said.
Smart is one of five known NBA players to have tested positive for COVID-19, with the first three of those players whose identities were revealed (Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and Christian Wood) all having since received full clearance from doctors. Based on Stevens' comments, Smart could receive clearance of his own within the next few days, seemingly putting him on track to be ready to play whenever the NBA resumes its season.
Donovan Mitchell UTA SG
Jazz's Donovan Mitchell: Cleared of coronavirus3d ago
Mitchell has been cleared of coronavirus, as have the rest of the Jazz's players and personnel, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports.
The announcement comes 15 days after Mitchell initially tested positive March 12, one day after the postponement of Utah's game against the Thunder. This is a good step for Mitchell, the team and the league, but there are still plenty more hurdles to clear before the NBA resumes play.
Rudy Gobert UTA C
Jazz's Rudy Gobert: Clear of coronavirus3d ago
Gobert, teammate Donovan Mitchell, and all Jazz players and personnel were fully cleared of coronavirus by the Utah Department of Health on Friday, Chris Mannix of Sports Illustrated reports.
Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive for the respiratory virus March 11, with the news prompting the league to immediately suspend operations indefinitely. The status of the league itself has yet to change, but the 27-year-old is now fully recovered and poses no risk of infection to other individuals.
Christian Wood DET PF
Pistons' Christian Wood: Fully clear of coronavirus4d ago
Wood is fully recovered from coronavirus, as he tested negative late Wednesday night, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports.
Wood is the first known NBA player to fully recover from coronavirus, for which he tested positive nearly two weeks ago. This is a good step forward for Wood and the league, but there are still many more hurdles to clear before the season starts back up in some capacity.
Christian Wood DET PF
Pistons' Christian Wood: Nearing full clearance5d ago
Wood's (illness) agent, Adam Pensack, said Wednesday that his client is "feeling great and fully recovered" from the coronavirus, Dana Gauruder of the Detroit Free Press reports.
Wood was asymptomatic but tested positive for coronavirus shortly after the NBA suspended games March 12, as the Pistons played Rudy Gobert, Donovan Mitchell and the Jazz the previous weekend. Wood is expected to undergo additional testing Thursday, and if doctors agree with Pensack's assessment, the 24-year-old should be good to go when the NBA resumes its season.
Liam Foudy CLB C
Blue Jackets' Liam Foudy: On heater when season suspended2h ago
Foudy was on an 18-game point streak for London when the OHL season was suspended, Brian Hedger of The Columbus Dispatch reports.
The 18th overall pick in the 2018 draft was having the breakout campaign in junior the Jackets were hoping for, and Foudy had racked up 28 goals and 68 points through only 45 games when hockey was put on pause. After already getting a cup of coffee in the NHL on an emergency recall this season, expect the 20-year-old to push for a spot in Columbus next season.
Mark Giordano CGY D
Flames' Mark Giordano: Offensive production missing13h ago
Giordano has five goals and 31 points in 60 games this season.
After exploding for 74 points last season on his way to winning the Norris Trophy, Giordano's 2019-20 campaign has been a big letdown for fantasy owners. Even if the NHL does resume the regular season, it looks like the 36-year-old's six-year streak with double-digit goals will come to an end.
Jamie Benn DAL LW
Stars' Jamie Benn: Even-strength scoring dries up13h ago
Benn has 19 goals, 39 points and a minus-4 rating in 69 games this season.
Benn's 19 goals and 39 points will both be the lowest totals of his career (not counting the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season) if the NHL doesn't finish the 2019-20 campaign. He scored just 25 even-strength points after totaling 42 last season. The 30-year-old captain will likely be a popular fantasy bounce-back pick next season.
Jeff Petry MON D
Canadiens' Jeff Petry: Hits 40-point mark again1d ago
Petry has 11 goals, 29 assists and 12 power-play points over 71 games in 2019-20.
Petry increased his offensive production over the last three seasons, hitting the 40-point mark in each one. His contributions have been useful, particularly as injuries hit No. 1 defenseman Shea Weber over the previous two seasons and the team struggled to score goals. Petry has done this while maintaining defensive responsibility, leading Montreal with 177 hits this season. Including the partial season stats from 2019-20, Petry's averaged 178 hits and 113 blocked shots over the last three seasons. He has one year remaining on his deal before becoming an unrestricted free agent following the 2020-21 season.
Artturi Lehkonen MON LW
Canadiens' Artturi Lehkonen: Has multiple long goal droughts1d ago
Lehkonen has 13 goals and 14 assists with a 9.3 shooting percentage over 70 games in 2019-20.
Lehkonen once again had trouble scoring consistently, but there was modest improvement relative to the previous two years. He had goal droughts of 16, 11 and eight games, but his shooting percentage was a three-year best. The Canadiens' hope that Lehkonen would eventually develop a scorer's touch hasn't materialized, so they are content with him being a third-line forward who plays the entire rink and is a staple on the penalty-kill unit. Lehkonen has one year remaining on a deal before becoming a restricted free agent following the 2020-21 season.
Shea Weber MON D
Canadiens' Shea Weber: Bounce-back season1d ago
Weber has 15 goals and 21 assists over 65 games in 2019-20.
Weber's battled through injuries the previous two seasons, but was on a pace for 75 games played and another 40-point season. He appeared to avoid a significant foot injury, which was originally projected for him to miss four-to-six weeks. The 34-year-old blueliner has four years remaining and will return as a top-pair defenseman in 2020-21.