9:36pm: Christensen passes along word that Nathan has opted to undergo Tommy John reconstructive elbow surgery and will miss all of the 2010 season. The throwing session apparently ran less than smoothly:
“It didn’t go like we hoped,” Nathan said. “We knew it was a long shot,
but this will help clear my head.”
8:48am: Joe Nathan finally got around to playing catch Sunday morning, a final test before he decides whether to undergo season-ending elbow surgery. Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune is awaiting word from the Twins, as are we.
Nathan was diagnosed with a torn ulnar collateral ligament last week and will miss a large chunk of the 2010 season no matter what course he takes. After all, rehab for such an injury would almost certainly last several months.
The 35-year-old closer collected 47 saves last season while posting a 2.10 ERA, 0.93 WHIP and 89/22 K/BB ratio in 68 2/3 innings of work. The Twins haven’t announced who will fill in for him this season, though it’s safe to guess that Jon Rauch and Matt Guerrier are the front-runners for the substitute gig. Rauch has closing experience and Guerrier is one of the finest setup men in the game.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.