The Rays cut ties with 33-year-old designated hitter (and former outfielder) Pat Burrell last weekend and now he is free to sign with any club. Here’s a short round-up of the interested and uninterested teams:
- Mychael Urban of CSNBayArea.com writes that Burrell will “NOT” be joining the Giants.
- The Red Sox don’t have room for another “one-dimensional” player like Burrell, or so says Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
- Ruben Armaro Jr., GM of the Phillies, told MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki that his club is not interested in bringing back Burrell either.
- FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal hears that the Padres have “sniffed around” on Burrell, and it seems they are the only team with any amount of real interest.
And that’s it. That’s all. Burrell, still a .253/.362/.473 career hitter, has taken a sharp dive from grace since inking a two-year, $16 million deal with the Rays in January of 2009. He was batting just batting 202/.292/.333 with two homers and 13 RBI over 84 at-bats when the Rays cut ties with him last Saturday.
Aaron Judge may be the talk of the town right now, but let’s not forget some of Major League Baseball’s more established sluggers. Take the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, for instance, who jumped on a full count during the first inning of Saturday’s game and postmarked the ball to the center field concourse in Chase Field.
Harper’s mammoth hit was the first career home run allowed by Diamondbacks’ rookie Anthony Banda. Banda quickly recovered with an inning-ending strikeout to Ryan Zimmerman, but was booted from his big league debut after Harper, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon combined for a three-run spread in the sixth.
The first-inning homer also served another purpose: it extended Harper’s hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in MLB this season. He’ll need four more games to tie the 19-game streak Royals’ infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield established back in June.
The Nationals currently lead the Diamondbacks 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.
Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez is slated for Tommy John surgery, according to a report by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list back in early April with a partial UCL tear and was working towards a throwing program before getting sidelined with more elbow pain. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the 2018 season while recovering from the surgery.
This is the second straight season that has been derailed for Gonzalez due to injury. The 25-year-old starter pitched just 10 1/3 innings in 2016 after recovering from a torn UCL, and was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to finish out the year after compiling an 8.71 ERA, 7.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in three starts with the club. He showed more promise in Triple-A with a 4.70 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.9 SO/9 through 24 starts and 138 innings.
It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, who have seen Gonzalez healthy in just one major league season to date. General manager Jon Daniels told reporters that a recent MRI showed signs of weakening in the ligament, which disrupted the team’s plans to have the right-hander stick to a six- to eight-week recovery timetable after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection (via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). The surgery is expected to take place next week and will put Gonzalez’s earliest return date sometime in September 2018.