From Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald comes word that the Marlins are hoping to strike a multi-year deal this winter with impending free agent Omar Infante.
The Marlins acquired Infante in an offseason trade that sent Dan Uggla to the Braves and have been pleased with the upgrade that the 29-year-old has provided on defense. Uggla is up to 33 homers and boasts an improving .763 OPS this season for Wild Card-leading Atlanta, but he’s also owed $13 million annually through 2015. Infante, batting .277 this year with a .691 OPS, will come far, far cheaper.
Infante is earning $2.5 million this season via a club option. He’ll draw plenty of interest this winter on what looks to be a top-heavy free agent market, but the Fish should be able to make a competitive bid.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.