Report: Mets, Brewers discuss swap of Maine, Hart

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The New York Post’s Joel Sherman reports that the Mets and Brewers have discussed swapping right-hander John Maine and outfielder Corey Hart.
That’d be quite a course change for the Brewers, who wouldn’t put Hart on the table when engaged with more interesting proposals last year. As it turned out, though, 2008 wasn’t just an off season for Hart. He’s posted OPSs in the 750s the last two years after coming in at 892 in 2007.
Maine likewise has seen his stock drop sharply over the last year, though in his case it’s due to injury. Maine missed four months last season with a shoulder problem related to his offseason surgery in 2008. He did return in a bit role in September to finish 7-6 with a 4.43 ERA in 15 starts.
Both players are eligible for arbitation and have two years left for free agency, so money wouldn’t be a factor. The Brewers should be treading carefully, though. The Mets may come off as rather inept when it comes to medical issues, but they still know more about his arm than anyone else, and if they’re willing to trade Maine for Hart when they could just buy an outfielder in free agency, it’s a strong indication that they don’t think his shoulder will hold up going forward.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.

David Price’s season debut could be pushed back to May

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David Price showed “strength improvements” in his elbow on Saturday, but Red Sox’ manager John Farrell still doesn’t think the left-hander will be ready to throw by the start of the season — or for a few weeks afterward. According to ESPN’s Scott Lauber, the 31-year-old might not be ready to debut until May at the earliest.

Price hasn’t thrown off of a mound this spring after experiencing soreness in his left elbow on March 1. Surgery doesn’t appear to be necessary, but the Red Sox are playing it extra safe with their No. 3 starter in hopes that rest and rehabilitation will return him to full health sometime during the 2017 season. For now, Price has been restricted to short games of catch until he’s cleared to resume a more rigorous throwing program. Via MLB.com’s Ian Browne:

[There were] strength improvements to the point of putting the ball back in his hand a little more consistently,” said manager John Farrell. “Today’s the first step for that. A short game of catch. That’s what he’s going through. Not off a mound but just to get the arm moving with a ball in flight, and he will continue in this phase for a period of time. There’s no set distance and volume yet to the throws.

The lefty is coming off of a lackluster 2016 season, during which he delivered a 3.99 ERA, 2.0 BB/9 and 8.9 SO/9 over 230 innings for the Red Sox.