Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post has the details on Gio Gonzalez’s new five-year deal with the Nationals, reporting that the contract guarantees the 26-year-old left-hander at least $42 million and could be worth as much as $65 million.
For that $65 million figure to come into play the Nationals would have to exercise their 2017 and 2018 options on Gonzalez, who would have been eligible for free agency following the 2015 season.
Kilgore also speculates that the Nationals could turn their attention to Jordan Zimmermann and try to sign the 25-year-old right-hander to a similar long-term deal. As it stands now Zimmermann, like Gonzalez before inking his deal, is eligible for free agency following the 2015 season.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.