Report: the Rangers are inquiring about Prince Fielder

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Jon Heyman tweets* that the Rangers have joined the White Sox and Angels as teams who have made inquiries about Prince Fielder.

How on Earth the Rangers could possibly justify taking on Prince Fielder’s salary obligations is beyond me.  There was enough beefing about Cliff Lee and he makes pennies compared to Fielder, who is owed nearly $4 million for the remainder of this year and is arbitration-eligible for 2011 and will get way into eight figures.  Rival executives — who are indirectly picking up the Rangers’ tab — fumed when Lee was traded. They’d probably storm Bud Selig’s office if Fielder went to Texas.

The Angels part of that doesn’t make a ton of sense either. For starters, the Angels don’t have the prospects to give up for him. Moreover, they’d run into roster problems next season as Kendry Morales is coming back and, in all likelihood, Bobby Abreu will be the everyday DH. And Fielder doesn’t want to DH in 2011 anyway. Other than that, totally spiffy.

*I’m only aware Heyman tweeted that second hand — and I can’t even read the link — because for some reason Heyman has decided to block me from following him on Twitter. 36,000 followers, but I’m not allowed. I emailed to ask him why he did it, but it’s been over 48 hours now and he hasn’t responded.

Perhaps he did it because he’s tired of me noting that he has a habit of talking up strange trade and signing rumors of Scott Boras clients to bidding/division rivals like, say, the Rangers and the Angels.  But that’s just me having fun with him. I mean, he’d never, ever really do that, right?

Shelby Miller will undergo Tommy John surgery

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Last we heard from Shelby Miller, the Diamondbacks’ right-hander was contemplating Tommy John surgery for a partial UCL tear in his right elbow. Now, he appears to have decided to go through with the procedure.

Miller decided to skip Tommy John alternatives like plasma-rich platelet injections or stem cell treatment, which have been used to varying degrees of success by other major league pitchers with similar injuries. The surgery will set him back an estimated 12-18 months, FanRag Sports’ Tommy Stokke reports, which puts Miller’s estimated return date somewhere in 2018 if all goes well.

The 26-year-old starter was off to a rocky start this season, posting a 2-2 record and 4.09 ERA through 22 innings and striking out just 20 of 99 batters faced. This was his sophomore campaign in Arizona after muddling through the 2016 season with a 3-12 record, 6.15 ERA and 0.5 fWAR over 101 innings with the club.

Steven Souza Jr. exits game after injuring his hand on a hit by pitch

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Rays’ right fielder Steven Souza Jr. left Saturday’s game after getting hit on the left hand by a pitch from Blue Jays’ right-hander Joe Biagini in the seventh inning. The pitch appeared to hit the top of Souza Jr.’s hand, causing the outfielder to crumple at the plate and requiring assistance from assistant athletic trainer Paul Harker as he exited the field. Postgame reports from the Tampa Bay Times’ Marc Topkin revealed that Souza Jr. sustained a left hand contusion and is scheduled to undergo further evaluation on Sunday.

While the diagnosis isn’t as bad as it could be, it’s still a tough break for the right fielder, who missed 40 days of the 2015 season after sustaining a fracture in his left hand on another hit by pitch. The team has yet to announce any concrete timetable for Souza Jr.’s return, though manager Kevin Cash indicated that they’ll be taking things day to day for the time being.

Souza Jr. is batting .326/.398/.543 with four home runs and 17 RBI through 104 PA in 2017. He went 1-for-2 with a base hit and a walk prior to his departure during Saturday’s 4-1 loss.