UPDATE: Niemann and Davis placed on DL with shoulder strains

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UPDATE: After Monday’s game, Wade Davis joined Niemann on the disabled list with a shoulder strain, according to the Tampa Tribune. Jeremy Hellickson was recalled and will start Tuesday’s game.
6:50 PM Niemann was officially placed on the DL prior to Monday’s game, with reliever Mike Eckstrom being called up to take his spot.
6:30 PM: Rays starters Jeff Niemann and Wade Davis were both diagnosed with strains after having their shoulders examined, manager Joe Maddon said after arriving at the ballpark Monday.
Maddon said the team was encouraged by the MRI results of both, and that while DL stints are a possbility, it’s doubtful either would be sidelined for a lengthy period.
Fortunately, the Rays’ impressive starting pitching depth, while unneeded in the first half, should be able to help keep the team in the race. The Rays had Andy Sonnanstine fill in for Niemann on Sunday, and Jeremy Hellickson is expected to be recalled to pitch in place of Davis on Tuesday.
Hellickson, one of the game’s best pitching prospects, beat the Twins in his major league debut by allowing two runs over seven innings last Monday.
The Rays enter Monday night’s game two games back of the Yankees in the AL East. They’re four games up on the Red Sox for the wild card.

Doesn’t anyone want to sign Edwin Encarnacion?

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 19:  Edwin Encarnacion #10 of the Toronto Blue Jays reacts in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians during game five of the American League Championship Series at Rogers Centre on October 19, 2016 in Toronto, Canada.  (Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images)
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OXON HILL, MD — Edwin Encarnacion began the offseason as, arguably, the second most desirable free agent on the market. As the Winter Meetings approach their end, however, he is a man without a team. And may not have a team any time soon.

Many teams have been rumored to be checking in on Encarnacion, but the defining trait of his free agency thus far has been clubs taking a pass. The most recent one being the Rangers, who are reported to simply not have the money to sign him, despite him filling a clear offensive need in Texas. Maybe the Rangers would be more competitive on the free agent market if they had a new stadium. Who knows?

The Blue Jays, for whom he most recently played, offered him a four-year, $80 million deal that most figured was a lowball, and when he rejected it, they moved on to Kendrys Morales. The Red Sox acquired Mitch Moreland. The Yankees are reported to be passing. The most recent team linked to Encarnacion is the Indians, who are reported to have an offer out to him, but at this point it’s likely far lower than what most free agent watchers thought he might get a few weeks ago. A four-year, $90 million deal did not seem crazy for him in October. In December, there is speculation that he could be had for $60 million over that same term which, frankly, would be a bargain. That’s less than Mark Melancon, the third best closer on the market, got from the Giants.

There have been a lot of remarkable things that have happened in the past few weeks, but one of the most unexpected things would be one of the top bats in the game getting second-tier closer money.

Late Athletics broadcaster Bill King wins the Ford C. Frick Award

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CSN Bay Area
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OXON HILL, MD — Bill King has been selected as the 2017 recipient of the Ford C. Frick Award, presented annually for excellence in broadcasting by the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum.

King, one of the iconic voices of Bay Area sports, was known for his handlebar mustache and his signature “Holy Toledo!” exclamation. King broadcast A’s games for 25 seasons, from 1981 through 2005. He likewise broadcast Oakland Raiders and Golden State Warriors games and got his start as an announcer for the Giants in the late 1950s after they moved to San Francisco.

King passed away in October 2005. With the Frick Award, however, he has now been immortalized among baseball broadcasters.