Rangers deny report of plan to pursue CC Sabathia

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Remember that talk about the Rangers throwing a “boatload of money” at left-hander CC Sabathia if (or when, really) he opts out of his contract with the Yankees? It apparently has no legs.

Sources within the Texas organization told CBS Sports’ Danny Knobler that there’s “no way” a substantial offer will be made this winter.

The Rangers are known to be interested in Japanese ace Yu Darvish, and if they don’t go that route Neftali Feliz could always make his transition — finally — to the starting rotation. Texas doesn’t need to spend wildly on a No. 1, even if C.J. Wilson heads elsewhere.

The American League West champions have a number of promising arms in the upper tiers of their minor league system, including 20-year-old left-hander Martin Perez, who made the jump (however shaky) to the Triple-A level this year. Investing major money into a 31-year-old free agent pitcher with five straight seasons of 230 or more innings is not a move that fits into the Rangers’ blueprint for long-term success. Those kind of deals can sink well-balanced clubs. Remember those years with A-Rod?

Given that the pieces never quite fit, and that the denial came straight from the Rangers, you have to wonder if that ESPN New York report professing Texas’ interest was planted by someone in Sabathia’s camp. The Yankees won’t want to bid against themselves this winter. CC might need another suitor to get his raise.

Adam Eaton sustains leg injury after tripping over first base

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Nationals’ outfielder Adam Eaton was carried off the field after stumbling over first base on Friday night. In the ninth inning of the Nationals’ 7-5 loss to the Mets, Eaton appeared to catch his ankle on the bag as he ran out an infield single, suffering a leg injury on the fall. He was unable to put pressure on his left leg after the play and required assistance by two of the Nationals’ athletic trainers as he exited the field.

Eaton is scheduled to undergo an MRI on Saturday, but Nationals’ manager Dusty Baker told reporters that it “doesn’t look too good.” It’s the first significant leg injury the outfielder has sustained since 2014, when he went on the 15-day disabled list with a hamstring strain. He’ll likely be replaced by Michael Taylor in center field for the next couple of games, though that could be a temporary fix as the Nationals seek a better solution during Eaton’s recovery process.

Madison Bumgarner likely sidelined through the All-Star break

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It’s been just over a week since Giants’ left-hander Madison Bumgarner got a serious scare after a nasty dirt bike accident. He escaped with bruised ribs and a Grade 2 strain of his left shoulder AC joint, but there was some speculation that the injuries would cause a significant, if not permanent, setback in the southpaw’s career. Thankfully, things aren’t looking quite so bleak today. Not only will Bumgarner not require surgery, but he could return as soon as the week following the All-Star break, the Giants said Friday.

Of course, that timeline is wholly dependent on how smoothly the recovery process goes, so nothing is set in stone yet. NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovic estimates 2-3 months of rest and rehab, including “two months before he can get back on the mound and then another three to four weeks of throwing and rehab starts before he’s big league-ready.” It’s a long and laborious schedule, but still looks much better than any surgical alternative.

Prior to the accident, Bumgarner was working on a solid start to the 2017 season. He maintained a 3.00 ERA, 1.3 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 through 27 innings with the club, though his average 1.75 runs of support per start fed into an 0-3 record.