National League first baseman Fielder of the Brewers watches three-run home run in fourth inning during Major League Baseball's All-Star Game in Phoenix

It’s cute watching Mike Rizzo pretend to play tough with Scott Boras over Prince Fielder

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Fact: Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals have been Scott Boras’ huckleberry for a few years now. Nothing wrong with that. They’ve signed some great guys by being willing to play ball with Boras in ways that some teams have chosen not to. But it is pretty obvious that if Boras has a big name, Rizzo is going to be interested.

Fact: Mike Rizzo and the Washington Nationals are rumored to be the front runners for Scott Boras client Prince Fielder.

Fact: Mike Rizzo is obligated to at least attempt to drive a hard bargain about it all, so he says stuff like this:

“We feel we have a good first baseman in Adam LaRoche. We feel he’s 100 percent healthy and when he’s 100 percent we’re going to get the 25 home runs, 85-100 RBI and great defense at first base. We’re committed to him. We also have a backup plan at first base with Mike Morse. We feel that we’re settled at that position.”

That’s well and good. What else can he say?  “Man, oh, man! Can’t wait to sign Prince! Hope Scotty lets us!!”  But it doesn’t really convince me. Does it convince you?

Mets’ Neil Walker expected to undergo season-ending back surgery

SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 21: Neil Walker #20 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout before the game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 21, 2016 in San Francisco, California.  The New York Mets defeated the San Francisco Giants 2-0. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
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Jared Diamond of The Wall Street Journal reports that Mets second baseman Neil Walker is expected to undergo season-ending surgery to fix a herniated disk in his lower back. Walker has avoided the disabled list but hasn’t played since last Saturday and has only two starts since August 22.

If Walker does indeed go under the knife, he’ll end his first season with the Mets with a terrific .282/.347/.476 triple-slash line with 23 home runs and 55 RBI in 458 plate appearances. While the Mets couldn’t have foreseen Daniel Murphy having such a terrific season, Walker was more than adequate in Murphy’s shoes at second base.

Kelly Johnson and Wilmer Flores have handled second base in Walker’s absence and will continue to do so through the remainder of the season.

Video: Stephen Cardullo celebrates his birthday by hitting a grand slam

DENVER, CO - AUGUST 31:  Stephen Cardullo #65 of the Colorado Rockies watches his first career Major League home run during the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Coors Field on August 31, 2016 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
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Rockies 1B/OF Stephen Cardullo celebrated his 29th birthday on Wednesday, so the rookie decided to celebrate by homering in both games of his team’s doubleheader at home against the Dodgers.

In the first game, Cardullo pinch-hit for Chris Rusin in the seventh inning and drilled a solo home run off of Casey Fien. In the second game, Cardullo smacked a grand slam to left-center field off of Bud Norris in the first inning.

Cardullo made his major league debut this past Friday. He was hitless in his first five at-bats before singling as a pinch-hitter on Monday.