Cardinals void Mateo's $3.1 million deal

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Three months after signing the 16-year-old outfielder to a record $3.1 million pact, the Cardinals on Tuesday voided Wagner Mateo’s contract, saying he failed his physical based on “pre-existing injuries and physical defects.”
Mateo’s deal was the second-largest ever given to a Latin American teenager and the largest given to a position player. Dominican right-hander Michel Inoa received $4.25 million from the A’s last year.
It was reported by ESPN last week that Wagner had recently underwent several eye examinations to determine if he had a degenerative condition that could jeopardize his future. The results weren’t released, but the assumption is that the Cardinals tried to negotiate a lower bonus for Mateo, failed and then opted to void the deal.
The move could have quite an effect on the Cardinals’ efforts in Latin America for years to come. The Mateo signing was a huge step for an organization that had been quiet in the Dominican Republic and Venezuela of late. Voiding the deal three months after coming to terms will likely make prospects and, more importantly, their handlers wary in the future.

David Phelps to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.

Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.

As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.