UPDATE: Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com reports that Zimmerman will undergo surgery Tuesday to repair a torn rectus muscle in his abdomen. He will be sidelined for about six weeks, which places his return somewhere around mid-June.
2:40 PM: It gets worse. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Ryan Zimmerman needs surgery for what is believed to be a sports hernia.
Two sources tell Rosenthal that Zimmerman will out until the All-Star break while another has a more optimistic timetable. Either way, the Nationals will have to get by without their best player for an extended period of time.
1:55 PM: Bad news for the Nationals.
Ryan Zimmerman resumed some baseball activities earlier this week with an eye on a minor league rehab assignment, but it’s safe to say we won’t see him with the Nationals for a while.
Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington reports that Zimmerman saw another doctor today after his abdominal strain didn’t feel better during recent throwing sessions. Nationals manager Jim Riggleman told Amanda Comack of the Washington Times that “it’s concerning” he hasn’t made progress.
Zimmerman has been sidelined with the abdominal injury since April 9. He batted .357/.486/.536 with one home run and four RBI over his first 37 plate appearances before being placed on the disabled list.
The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.
Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.
As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.