Nothing particularly earth-shattering here, but according to Jon Heyman of SI.com, the Nationals are expected to shut down Stephen Strasburg for the rest of the season.
Strasburg was diagnosed with a strained flexor tendon in his right forearm after leaving Saturday’s start against the Phillies in the fifth inning. An MRI on Sunday confirmed the initial diagnosis, but an MRI arthogram scheduled for later today should provide some additional clarity. According to Heyman, Strasburg will be shut down regardless of the results.
It sounds like the appropriate strategy. The Nationals aren’t a very good baseball team right now and they need Strasburg if they have any hope of changing that. Anything that can protect his arm for future seasons should be the No. 1 priority of the franchise.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.