Placido Polanco underwent successful surgery on his left elbow Friday, according to Todd Zolecki of MLB.com. Bothered by a bone spur and tendinitis in his elbow for most of the season, the 35-year-old required four cortisone injections in order to play 132 regular season games and eight playoff games.
“It went very well and we are fully expecting Placido to be 100 percent by Spring Training,” Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said in a statement. “We hope to have him swinging the bat again within 10 weeks, around early January.”
Despite the injury, Polanco still managed to hit .298/.339/.386 with six home runs and 52 RBI in 554 at-bats this season, nearly identical to his offensive production from 2009 with the Tigers. He also didn’t skip a beat in his transition from second base back to the hot corner, ranking as one of the top defensive third basemen in the majors, according to UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) on Fangraphs.
Signed to a three-year, $18 million contract last December, Polanco is owed $5.25 million in 2011, $6.25 million in 2012 and either a $5.5 mutual option or $1 million buyout in 2013.
The Astros remain in contact with the Athletics on starting pitcher Sonny Gray, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports. The Astros have added Charlie Morton this offseason, but the club has been trying to add a big-name starting pitcher to put at the top of the rotation behind Dallas Keuchel.
Gray, 27, was limited to 22 starts in the 2016 season due to a forearm issue. His stats left a lot to be desired, as he finished with a 5-11 record, a 5.69 ERA, and a 94/42 K/BB ratio over 117 innings. Considering how Gray pitched in the previous three years, he’s a good bet to bounce back.
Gray is under team control through 2019, which is a big draw for the Astros. Needless to say, the Athletics would want a haul in terms of prospects. Gray will earn $3.575 million in 2017, having avoided arbitration in his first year of eligibility.
As we noted last week, The Chicago Cubs took the unusual step of not waiting until the summer after winning the World Series to make their customary White House visit to meet the president. They did it today, seeing President Obama a few short days before he leaves office.
Despite the fact that Obama is a White Sox fan, he met the Cubs with diplomacy and grace. It’s almost as if he’s been in that business for the past eight years. In return, he was given some gifts by the Cubs: Theo Epstein presented Obama with a No. 44 Cubs jersey, a tile from the center field scoreboard at Wrigley Field, and a lifetime pass to Wrigley as well.
Obama is staying in D.C. after he leaves office this week, hanging around so his daughter can finish high school in the same place she started. Even so, he’s likely going to be back to Chicago a good bit over the rest of his life, so he’ll likely be able to put the free pass to work. Assuming it comes with, like, six companion passes for his Secret Service detail.