Tim Wakefield would consider playing for another team

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When Tim Wakefield took what was, essentially a year-to-year contract with the Red Sox, and even since that deal expired, it seemed pretty clear that his preference was either to play in Boston or not play at all.  But as Rob Bradford of WEEI reports, that’s not necessarily the case:

Tim Wakefield, who will become the oldest player in Red Sox history to participate in a game with the next pitch he throws, talked Tuesday night about the chance he might play for another organization. “It depends on the situation. I wouldn’t rule it out,” he said prior to the Sox’ game against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre. “I want to retire a Red Sox, but I’m going to rule that out.”

He said he wasn’t going to go crazy, specifically saying that he wouldn’t move his family — which is based in Florida — way the heck out to Seattle or something. But he did say, when prompted, that sure, Florida or Tampa Bay could be a good fit.

Of course this all seems more theoretical than anything else.  Wakefield turns 45 this summer. He has given up 17 runs on 22 hits in 21 innings so far this year and was no great shakes last year either.  Knuckleballers never really die, but they do fade away and Wakefield seems to be fading.

But I bet he’d rock the Old Timers Game for a couple of decades after he retires. Assuming the Sox have one, which now that I think about it, I don’t believe they do.  Somebody get on that, OK?

Video: Bryce Harper crushes a home run to the Chase Field concourse

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Aaron Judge may be the talk of the town right now, but let’s not forget some of Major League Baseball’s more established sluggers. Take the Nationals’ Bryce Harper, for instance, who jumped on a full count during the first inning of Saturday’s game and postmarked the ball to the center field concourse in Chase Field.

Harper’s mammoth hit was the first career home run allowed by Diamondbacks’ rookie Anthony Banda. Banda quickly recovered with an inning-ending strikeout to Ryan Zimmerman, but was booted from his big league debut after Harper, Zimmerman and Anthony Rendon combined for a three-run spread in the sixth.

The first-inning homer also served another purpose: it extended Harper’s hitting streak to 15 games, the longest current streak in MLB this season. He’ll need four more games to tie the 19-game streak Royals’ infielder/outfielder Whit Merrifield established back in June.

The Nationals currently lead the Diamondbacks 4-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning.

Chi Chi Gonzalez to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Rangers’ right-hander Chi Chi Gonzalez is slated for Tommy John surgery, according to a report by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Gonzalez was placed on the 60-day disabled list back in early April with a partial UCL tear and was working towards a throwing program before getting sidelined with more elbow pain. He’s expected to miss the entirety of the 2018 season while recovering from the surgery.

This is the second straight season that has been derailed for Gonzalez due to injury. The 25-year-old starter pitched just 10 1/3 innings in 2016 after recovering from a torn UCL, and was optioned to Triple-A Round Rock to finish out the year after compiling an 8.71 ERA, 7.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 in three starts with the club. He showed more promise in Triple-A with a 4.70 ERA, 2.9 BB/9 and 5.9 SO/9 through 24 starts and 138 innings.

It’s a tough blow for the Rangers, who have seen Gonzalez healthy in just one major league season to date. General manager Jon Daniels told reporters that a recent MRI showed signs of weakening in the ligament, which disrupted the team’s plans to have the right-hander stick to a six- to eight-week recovery timetable after getting a platelet-rich plasma injection (via Stefan Stevenson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). The surgery is expected to take place next week and will put Gonzalez’s earliest return date sometime in September 2018.