Red Sox, Bay shelve talks… again

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Boston’s contract talks with free-agent-to-be Jason Bay have ended, one week after the Red Sox made a new offer to their left fielder. The decision was termed mutual, and Bay still seems to want to settle in Boston:

“I’d still love to get something done here,” Bay told the Boston
Globe. “I like it here. But that being said, we just basically at this
point right now don’t want it to be an ongoing distraction, like I
said, for both of us coming to the field and answering contract
questions.

“So we’re kind of tabling it and there’s a big window at the end of
the year after the season. We can sit down and try to hammer something
out again. But the way things have gone so far, like I said, very
encouraged with that.”

The Red Sox have no one else they’re looking to break into left field,
so they’ll likely make a strong push to re-sign Bay or bring in Matt
Holliday after the season. The latter player might be turning into the
better investment, and while it shouldn’t play a huge role when such
major players are at stake, the Red Sox could potentially improve their
draft status by signing Holliday. They’d lose their first-round pick,
but they’d likely get a similar or better one when Bay signs elsewhere
and they’d pick up a supplemental selection.

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

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Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.