Marlins looking to sign Johnson, trade Hermida

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Josh Johnson and Jeremy Hermida were born one day apart in January of 1984, they’re both arbitration eligible this offseason, and they’re both under team control through 2011, but Joe Frisaro of MLB.com reports that the Marlins are taking very different approaches with the two players.
According to Frisaro the Marlins are interested in signing Johnson to a long-term contract extension at some point this offseason, but are likely to make Hermida available in trades. Both approaches make sense, because Johnson has reemerged as one of the elite starting pitchers in baseball since returning from Tommy John elbow surgery while Hermida has largely disappointed after coming up through the minors as a top prospect.
Johnson is 22-6 with a 3.34 ERA and 268/85 K/BB ratio in 296 innings spread over 47 starts since making his way back following surgery, showing increased velocity after going under the knife. Frisaro writes that the Marlins will make a push to sign him “in the upcoming weeks” and have discussed offering him a contract covering “at least four seasons.” He speculates that the Marlins would have to top the four-year, $38 million deal Zack Greinke signed with the Royals last winter.
Hermida was a 2002 first-round pick and Baseball America ranked him as the No. 4 prospect in baseball for 2006, but he’s hit just .265/.344/.425 through 1,929 plate appearances while missing time with various injuries. He’s still just 25 years old, but he’s about to get fairly expensive via arbitration and the cost-cutting Marlins seemingly aren’t willing to show any more patience. Frisaro lists the Mariners, Rays, Mets, Blue Jays, and Cubs as possibly having interest in Hermida.

Kris Bryant exits game with sprained right ankle

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The Cubs had a scare on Wednesday night when third baseman Kris Bryant left with an apparent ankle injury. In the bottom of the fifth inning, Nationals catcher Matt Wieters hit a pop up that veered just into foul territory near the third base bag. Bryant caught it but his momentum took him back into fair territory. In doing so, he stepped awkwardly on the third base bag and appeared to twist his ankle. Bryant needed the assistance of manager Joe Maddon and the team trainer to get off the field.

Bryant was diagnosed with a mild ankle sprain, CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney reports.

Bryant was 2-for-3 on the night before departing and being replaced by Jeimer Candelario. He’s now hitting .264/.395/.520 with 16 home runs and 32 RBI in 329 plate appearances. Needless to say, the 39-39 Cubs would see their playoff odds hurt immensely if Bryant were to miss a significant amount of time.

Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby

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Hector Gomez reports Twins third baseman Miguel Sano will participate in the 2017 Home Run Derby, to be held in two weeks at Marlins Park in Miami. So far, Marlins outfielder Giancarlo Stanton is the only other confirmed participant.

Sano, 24, is having an outstanding season, batting .274/.375/.548 with 18 home runs and 53 RBI in 293 plate appearances. According to MLB’s Statcast, only Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge (96.7 MPH) has a higher average exit velocity than Sano (96.4 MPH).

Brian Dozier was the last member of the Twins to participate in the Home Run Derby. In 2014 at Target Field, Dozier failed to make it into the second round after hitting only two home runs. Justin Morneau is the only Twin to have ever won the Home Run Derby, as he beat Josh Hamilton 5-3 in the finals of the 2008 Derby at Yankee Stadium — although Hamilton out-homered him in total 35 to 22.