After a good rehab start at Double-A on Saturday, Bobby Valentine said that Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his next injury rehabilitation start for Triple A Pawtucket, and that it will be the third in what the Red Sox expect will be five minor league starts.
If that schedule holds, and if he sticks to a normal four days rests between starts, he would be available to pitch in the bigs as early as May 18.
He had been shooting for a June return. And given that he had his Tommy John surgery in early June last year, anything earlier than June would represent a pretty speedy recovery as far as these things go.
Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that the Giants are engaged in “serious discussions” with the Reds to acquire center fielder Billy Hamilton. Talks are apparently advanced enough that a deal could be completed before the end of the Winter Meetings on Thursday.
It’s no secret that the Giants would like to make an upgrade in the outfield this offseason, as the club has also been linked to Red Sox center fielder Jackie Bradley, Jr. Currently, the Giants’ outfield consists of Denard Span, Hunter Pence, and Jarrett Parker.
Hamilton, 27, owns a meager .248/.298/.334 batting line across parts of five seasons in the majors with the Reds. However, he has plenty of speed, having stolen at least 56 bases in each of the last four seasons. Hamilton is also well-regarded for his defense, which would be a boon at spacious AT&T Park.
Hamilton is in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. He’s projected to earn $5 million for this coming season. Buchanan notes that the Rangers are also interested in potentially acquiring Hamilton.