Padres reliever Joe Thatcher to undergo shoulder surgery

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Joe Thatcher was a key part of the Padres’ excellent bullpen last season, making 65 appearances as a left-handed specialist while logging 35 innings with a 1.29 ERA and 45/7 K/BB ratio.

He began this season on the disabled list with a strained shoulder and the Padres announced yesterday that the 28-year-old left-hander will need arthroscopic surgery.

Thatcher told Don Norcross of the San Diego Union Tribune that he’s hoping the labrum damage is minimal, in which case he might be able to return late in the season, but if labrum reconstruction is required he’s looking at a return timetable of 9-12 months and a potentially career-altering recovery.

Norcross notes that Thatcher allowed just one run in his final 40 appearances last season, but he’s been sidelined since the middle of spring training and took three cortisone shots in an effort to heal the injury through rest and rehab.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.