Dodgers manager Don Mattingly told reporters earlier this week that shortstop Rafael Furcal was “just not ready” to begin a minor league rehab assignment because he was unable to swing comfortably from the right side of the plate.
That tune has changed a bit.
According to the Dodgers’ Twitter feed, Furcal is likely to begin a rehab assignment Saturday with Triple-A Albuquerque despite the discomfort. He will only bat left-handed initially to allow his fractured left thumb a few more days to heal.
Furcal has been on the disabled list since early April and is likely to spend at least a week taking at-bats in the minor leagues before the Dodgers consider activating him.
The 33-year-old was batting .192/.250/.231 with one stolen base and two RBI in his first seven games.
The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.
Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.
Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.
This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.