FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi reports that the Indians are close to agreeing to a two-year, $16.5 million extension with shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
The deal will run through 2014, covering Cabrera’s final year of arbitration eligibility and his first year of free agency. The 26-year-old All-Star is set to earn $4.55 million in 2012, his second year of arbitration.
Cabrera hit .273/.332/.460 with 25 homers, 92 RBI and 17 stolen bases in 151 games last season. Cleveland was probably hoping to lock him up longer, but they’ll settle for what looks to be a team-friendly two-year deal and revisit long-term talks down the road.
Cabrera stands to cash in big — either on the free agent market or with the Tribe — if he continues to register flashy offensive numbers. It’s not often that productive, under-30 shortstops become available.
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo said on Tuesday that starter Stephen Strasburg is unlikely to pitch in the NLDS against the Dodgers, Chase Hughes of CSN Mid-Atlantic reports. Strasburg hasn’t pitched since September 7 due to a strained flexor mass.
Strasburg was pitching well before a few poor starts prior to being shut down in August. He currently holds a 3.60 ERA with a 183/44 K/BB ratio in 147 2/3 innings.
The Nationals signed Strasburg to a seven-year, $175 million contract extension in May. This was obviously not how they invisioned his 2016 campaign going.
Nationals starter A.J. Cole has been fined an undisclosed amount and suspended five games by Major League Baseball for intentionally throwing at Pirates third baseman Jung Ho Kang on Sunday, Chelsea Janes of The Washington Post reports. Cole is appealing his suspension.
Kang faked a tag on Bryce Harper, who was coming into third base on a triple. The fake-out caused Harper to slide awkwardly, injuring his left thumb. The Nationals took exception to this and Cole threw a fastball that ended sailing behind Kang’s back during his next at-bat. Cole was ejected and both benches emptied. There was some yelling and some light pushing and shoving, but nothing beyond that.
Cole will remain active until his appeal is heard, which may allow him to make one more start before the end of the regular season. He’s carrying a 5.09 ERA with a 37/14 K/BB ratio in 35 1/3 innings over seven starts this season.