Damaso Marte has shoulder surgery, out until at least All-Star break next season

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Damaso Marte underwent surgery Friday to repair the labrum in his left shoulder, according to Chad Jennings of the Journal News. Marte was concerned that the surgery could spell the end of his career, but told reporters on Sunday that doctors expect him to begin throwing after the All-Star break in 2011.

“I have to make (the shoulder) better because it’s a lot of pain,” Marte said. “Right now I feel comfortable because the doctor, he gave me a good idea for my arm. He told me, you’re getting better. Next year, I think I can pitch.”

Marte, who originally came over from the Pirates in Xavier Nady trade in 2008, signed a three-year, $12 million deal with the Yankees prior to the 2009 season. He played a significant role in the team’s World Series run last season, but injuries have limited him to just 31 regular season innings and a 6.39 ERA since signing the contract. The Yankees still owe him $4 million in 2011 and either a $250,000 buyout or $4 million option in 2012.

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.