Description: The Pirates inked righthander Edinson Volquez to a one-year deal on Wednesday. SOURCE: Ken Rosenthal, Fox Sports
Insight: He'll earn $5 million next season. Volquez hasn't been fantasy relevant since 2007 when he won 17 games for Cincinnati. In 33 appearances last season, Volquez went 9-12 with a 5.71 ERA. He figures to be a back of the rotation starter/long relief option for Pittsburgh in 2014.
Description: After being away from the game for almost four years, lefthanded starter Mark Mulder has decided to come out of retirement and resume his career. SOURCE: ESPN
Insight: Mulder is only 36 so it's not inconceivable that he could make a comeback. Scouts who have seen him pitch this offseason have clocked his fastball in the high 80s. Mulder hasn't pitched in the majors since 2008.
Mark Prior, SP
12/10/2013 8:59:00 PM
Description: Righthanded starter Mark Prior has announced his retirement. SOURCE: Mike Bernardino, St. Paul Pioneer Press
Insight: Prior pitched in Triple-A last season but never came close to cracking a big league roster. He'll finish his career with 42 wins, 29 losses and a 3.51 ERA in 106 starts.
Description: Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg, who had surgery to remove bone chips from his right elbow, is expected to be ready for Day 1 of Spring Training.
Insight: Strasburg didn't get much run support last season (3.47 RS was tenth-worst in the National League) but that shouldn't keep owners from taking him early in the 2014 fantasy draft as he posted a 3.00 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 191 Ks in 183 IP.
Description: Free agent righthander Roy Halladay will retire, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Insight: Always the perfectionist, Halladay struggled with shoulder problems and couldn't pitch at his usual high level last season. He'll finish his career with a 203-105 record, a 3.38 ERA, 1.178 WHIP and 2,117 stikeouts.
Description: Baltimore righthander Bud Norris could be asked to close next season. SOURCE: Eduardo A. Encina, Baltimore Sun
Insight: The O's traded closer Jim Johnson to Oakland earlier this week. Norris would have more fantasy value as a ninth inning man than he would as a starter but it's probably not going to happen. Tommy Hunter throws harder and has better stuff than Norris. Plus, the O's need Norris in the rotation now that Scott Feldman has signed with Houston.
Description: The Yankees have brought back starter Hiroki Kuroda on a one-year pact worth $16 million.
Insight: Kuroda had a 3.31 ERA and a 1.162 WHIP in 2013, nearly identical to the 3.32 ERA and 1.165 ERA he had in his first season with New York. However, his record fell to 11-13 from 16-11. He's had an ERA of 3.76 or lower and a WHIP of no higher than 1.216 in his six major league seasons.
Description: Now that the A's have signed lefthander Scott Kazmir, they're probably out of the running for Bartolo Colon. SOURCE: Susan Slusser, San Francisco Chronicle
Insight: In an unusual move, Billy Beane opened up his pocket book and forked over $22 million for Kazmir, who figures to be a four or five starter at best. Given the team's tight budget, Colon is probably out of the equation. The 40-year-old had a resurgent season in 2013 and shouldn't have any difficulty securing a new contract.
Description: Pitcher Phil Hughes has agreed to a three-year deal with Minnesota, according to a Minneapolis Star-Tribune report.
Insight: It's probably a good move for Hughes to get out of New York. He has talent, but hasn't shown it since around 2010. Out of the spotlight, he may yet develop into a fantasy-worthy starting pitcher.
Description: The Mets are making a play for free agent righthander Bronson Arroyo. SOURCE: Chris Cotillo, SB Nation
Insight: The Giants had been the frontrunner for Arroyo until they signed Tim Hudson and Ryan Vogelsong to fill out their starting rotation. Arroyo is 3-0 with a 2.32 ERA in four career starts at Citi Field.
Description: The Giants have re-signed starter Ryan Vogelsong to a one-year deal. SOURCE: Associated Press
Insight: The contract details haven't been released yet but it's likely he'll be getting less than the $5 million he made last season. Vogelsong (4-6, 5.73 ERA) will join Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum, Tim Hudson and Madison Bumgarner in the Giants' starting rotation.
Description: Righthander Ricky Nolasco has agreed to a four-year, $49 million deal with Minnesota. SOURCE: Jeff Passan, Yahoo Sports
Insight: Nolasco isn't an ace but with such little talent in this year's free agent pool, he still got a big pay day. He'll get his 200 innings in Minnesota and has posted double-digit wins in six consecutive seasons.