No official move has been made yet, but Anthony DiComo of MLB.com reports that Jason Bay “will almost certainly” begin the season on the disabled list with an intercostal strain in his left rib cage.
Bay flew back to New York to have the injury examined by doctors today and would be eligible to come off the disabled list as soon as April 9 thanks to the stint being backdated.
In the meantime Lucas Duda is expected to replace Bay on the roster and could split time with Scott Hairston in left field.
Duda entered last season as largely an unknown prospect, but the former seventh-round pick hit .304 with 23 homers, 40 doubles, and a .967 OPS in 115 games between Double-A and Triple-A before making his big-league debut in September. He bats left-handed while Hairston swings right-handed, so they could form a natural platoon.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”