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Juan Rivera could capture a starting role in New York.
The hottest hitting prospect is baseball is certainly worth tabbing during spring training, but it's also highly unlikely that the Tampa Bay Rays award him the job before Opening Day.
The 22-year-old proved he is ready for the majors after hitting .314 with 37 home runs last year, but the Rays always treat their young talent with caution. They'd also like to delay his arbitration time as much as possible, perhaps even holding him in Triple-A until late June to shield him from becoming a Super Two player.
Several ninth-inning jobs hang in the balance before the closer carousel can even commence. After parting ways with Jose Valverde, the Detroit Tigers must insert a new closer to replace the veteran.
Early speculation slots rookie Bruce Rondon as the favorite. While the 23-year-old pitched just eight innings above Double-A ball and struggled with control woes in the minors, he hit 100 miles per hour on the radar gun in early spring training appearances.
Rondon is a risky proposition, but anybody with saves and high strikeout potential holds some value.
Juan Rivera/Matt Diaz
With Curtis Granderson now out until at least early May after breaking his arm, the Yankees have an opening to fill in the outfield.
The options are not pretty, and the now financially watchful club is not as likely to cash a lofty check for a pricey veteran like Alfonso Soriano. None of their choices are too appealing, but someone gets to play a bunch of games in Yankee Stadium in a batting order that, while one of the squad's worst since the early 1990s, is still decent by normal standards.
In an AL-only league or canyon-deep mixed league, Juan Rivera or Matt Diaz might be worth a late look.