UPDATE: Wood told the Associated Press that he expects to return to action sooner than the six-to-eight week timetable given to him by team trainers.
SATURDAY, 3:13pm: Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer reports that Kerry Wood has been diagnosed with a strained right latissimus dorsi muscle and has been given a six-to-eight week recovery timetable.
The strain was revealed underneath Wood’s right shoulder when he had an MRI on Thursday.
Chris Perez, who was picked up last year from the Cardinals in a deal for Mark DeRosa, will serve as the Indians’ closer for at least the month of April. If he pitches well enough, perhaps he’ll even be allowed to retain the role. The 24-year-old Perez had a 1.19 WHIP and a 68/27 K/BB ratio in 57 innings last season between Cleveland and St. Louis. Wood, meanwhile, posted a 4.25 ERA and a 63/28 K/BB ratio in 55 frames for the Tribe.
Former Tigers infielder Casey McGehee has reportedly signed a one-year deal with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal.
It’s the fourth move the corner infielder has made in the last two seasons after seeing short-term stints with the Marlins, Giants and Tigers. He signed a minor league deal with the Tigers prior to the 2016 season, providing the club with some infield depth behind 24-year-old Nick Castellanos. When Castellanos hit the disabled list in August with a broken hand, McGehee was recalled from Triple-A Toledo for a 30-game stint and slashed .228/.260/.239 with one extra-base hit in 96 PA. His career batting line (.258/.317/.384 over eight seasons) isn’t too shabby, but his age and a long history of knee injuries puts a damper on his potential.
McGehee last appeared in the NPB circuit in 2013, when he signed a one-year, $1.5 million deal with the Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. He spent the bulk of his season at the hot corner, batting an impressive .292/.396/.515 with 28 homers in 590 PA and appearing in the Eagles’ first and only championship run to date.
The deal comes with a club option for 2018, Rosenthal reports, though no figure has been specified.
Free agent left-hander Rich Hill is rumored to be entertaining a three-year, $40+ million offer from the Dodgers, reports Peter Gammons. The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo corroborated the report, adding that Hill could receive somewhere between $46 and $48 million from his former team.
Hill, 36, pitched to a 2.12 ERA and 3.91 FIP in back-to-back stints with the Athletics and Dodgers in 2016. While a chronic case of blisters on his pitching hand limited the frequency of his starts, he still figures to be one of the most productive and noteworthy starting pitchers on the market this winter.
The Orioles, Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers and Astros have all been mentioned as potential suitors for the left-hander’s services, though Orioles’ GM Dan Duquette said the club has yet to make a play for Hill and ESPN’s Jim Bowden pointed out that the Red Sox are less involved in trade talks than other interested parties.