David Aardsma to begin rehab assignment tonight at Triple-A

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David Aardsma’s comeback from January hip surgery will take a big step tonight when he begins a minor-league rehab assignment at Triple-A.

Mariners manager Eric Wedge told Greg Johns of MLB.com that Aardsma will likely be asked to make three or four rehab appearances before a return from the disabled list is considered, which means the closer could be back by the end of the month.

Seattle looks headed for another last-place season, so assuming Aardsma pitches reasonably well upon returning and can stay healthy the Mariners will almost surely renew their efforts to trade him. Fill-in closer Brandon League has converted all three of his save chances in Aardsma’s absence.

Daniel Murphy had microfracture surgery on his right knee

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The Nationals announced today that second baseman Daniel Murphy had surgery on his right knee. The surgery: a debridement and microfracture procedure, which is pretty major.

The team’s comment about Murphy’s prognosis makes it sound major too: “rehab will begin immediately and will progress throughout the offseason.” No timetable. Just that it “will progress.” Well, I’d hope so. Let’s see if he’s ready for spring training.

Murphy hit .322/.384/.543, hit 23 homers and knocked in 93 RBI. Assuming he’s ready for the 2018 season, he’ll ply his trade for a new manager.