Michael Wuertz is one of the few intriguing pitchers still left unsigned and his lengthy injury history has no doubt scared teams off, but Darren Wolfson of 1500ESPN.com reports that the reliever will hold a tryout next week.
According to Wolfson the Twins are among the teams expected to attend, which makes sense because they could certainly use some bullpen help following Joel Zumaya’s latest season-ending injury and Wuertz is a Minnesota native.
Wuertz was injured and ineffective last season, convincing the A’s to decline their $3.25 million option. However, when healthy he was an extremely effective setup man from 2004-2010, throwing 381 innings with a 3.45 ERA and 9.7 strikeouts per nine frames.
The Cleveland Indians just announced that outfielder Michael Brantley underwent arthroscopic ankle surgery yesterday, aimed at stabilizing ligaments. He’s expected to be able to resume baseball activities in 4-5 months, which is likely to delay the beginning of his 2018 season.
Brantley only played in 90 games for the Indians in 2017, sitting out most of August and all of September, but returning for the postseason. He injured the ankle in a game against the Rockies on August 8 and it never did get quite right, as his 1-for-11 line in the ALDS suggested. On the season as a whole Brantley hit .299/.357/.444 with nine homers and 52 driven in.
Brantley’s contract expires with the 2017 season, but there is a 2018 team option at a relatively reasonable $11 million. While he has only played 101 games in the past two seasons combined due to injuries, his strong performance from 2012-2015, and his status as a team leader, will likely lead the Indians to exercise that option.