Casey Blake, who spoke recently about possibly retiring if his neck injury doesn’t improve, will undergo season-ending surgery next week.
Blake had been playing regularly since returning from his third disabled list stint of the season on July 30, hitting .274 with four doubles in 19 games, but called the pinched nerve in his neck “pretty serious” and has apparently continued to have discomfort.
Blake is in the final season of a three-year, $17.5 million contract and the Dodgers will choose a $1.25 million buyout rather than their $6 million option for 2012, making him a free agent. The only question now is whether he’ll call it quits or attempt a comeback at age 38 on a one-year deal.
Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.
This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to MLB.com’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.