Rookie of the Year candidate Nolan Reimold was shut down by the Orioles on Friday, with the simultaneous announcement that he’d undergo surgery for an Achilles’ tendon injury next Wednesday. He’s expected to need 3-4 months to recover, giving him plenty of time to get ready for spring training.
Reimold was the most productive hitter in the AL rookie class after an Adam Jones injury brought him to the majors in mid-May. It originally figured to be a short-term assignment, but he took over as the everyday left fielder and hit .279/.365/.466 with 15 homers in 358 at-bats. He also swiped eight bases in 10 attempts.
Realistically, Reimold needed a big final three weeks if he had any shot of winning any hardware. Elvis Andrus has probably been at least as valuable as Reimold once defense is factored in. Jeff Niemann has a 12-6 record and a 3.80 ERA as the AL‘s top rookie starter. Also, Oakland‘s Andrew Bailey has been one of the circuit’s very best relievers and deserves strong consideration.
Reimold, though, accomplished exactly what he needed to this year. He entered spring training with no chance at all of making the Orioles, yet now he’ll enter 2010 guaranteed of being the team’s primary left fielder.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.