I’m not sure they’re all worthy of separate entries, but there’s plenty of Cardinals news today:
– Albert Pujols is making his fourth start and fifth appearance at third base in Wednesday’s game against the Nationals. It may not mean a whole lot to some, but that fifth appearance gives him third-base eligibility in a lot of fantasy leagues, making the game’s No. 1 property even more valuable.
– Allen Craig, who had been doing excellent work before going on the DL on Sunday with a left knee contusion, was found to have a small fracture in his kneecap, likely putting him out through the All-Star break. Craig has hit .336/.405/.523 with 23 RBI in 107 at-bats this year, so it’s a substantial loss. Still, he wasn’t going to play quite so much anymore because…
– The Cardinals confirmed Wednesday that Matt Holliday would come off the disabled list on Thursday. He’s been out since June 1 with a left quad strain.
– The team also revealed that rookie setup man Eduardo Sanchez was sent home Wednesday for a shoulder examination. The hope is that he merely has some inflammation, leaving him day-to-day. Still, the Cards will want to be careful with the 22-year-old. Sanchez, who was briefly the team’s closer last month, has a 1.88 ERA in 28 2/3 innings.
– Finally, the team sent down third baseman Matt Carpenter today to make room for Kyle McClellan, who is coming off the DL to start against the Nationals. Carpenter was 1-for-15 during his brief stay.
Per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers, Jake Arrieta‘s agent Scott Boras says they’ll discuss a potential contract extension with the Cubs when they meet in January to hammer out arbitration figures.
Arrieta, 30, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility after earning $10.7 million in 2016. The right-hander followed up his Cy Young Award-winning 2015 campaign by going 18-8 with a 3.10 ERA and a 190/76 K/BB ratio in 197 1/3 innings during the regular season. Arrieta pitched well in the postseason, helping the Cubs win their first World Series since 1908.
While Boras clients tend to go to free agency, it’s not always the case. Stephen Strasburg inked a seven-year, $175 million extension with the Nationals earlier this year.
Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports, citing a source as well as Nikkan Sports, that reliever Koji Uehara is close to signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal with the Cubs.
Uehara, 41, finished the 2016 season with a 3.45 ERA and a 63/11 K/BB ratio over 47 innings. He missed some time in the second half with a strained right pectoral muscle. When Uehara returned from the disabled list on September 7, he tossed 11 scoreless innings with 12 strikeouts and two walks through the end of the regular season. So there’s at least some evidence, albeit in a very small sample size, that Uehara has stuff left in the tank.
The Cubs recently acquired closer Wade Davis from the Royals. Uehara would join Hector Rondon, Pedro Strop, Carl Edwards, Jr., Justin Grimm, and Mike Montgomery in what is once again a very deep bullpen.