Out since May 11 with a sprained left knee, Desmond Jennings began a minor-league rehab assignment yesterday at Single-A by going 1-for-3 with a double.
He also tested his knee by playing left field and is expected to move his rehab stint to Triple-A, with Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reporting that Jennings could come off the disabled list as soon as Tuesday.
In his absence the Rays have used four different players in left field, with Matt Joyce getting the bulk of the starts and Ben Zobrist playing right field rather than second base.
Update (8:40 PM ET): Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that Hunter’s contract with the Phillies is for two years.
There’s been a bit of confusion at the Winter Meetings. First, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the Phillies were close to signing free agent reliever Addison Reed. That report was then disputed by Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer then reported that not only do the Phillies not have a deal with Reed, they’re actually moving in on a deal with free agent pitcher Tommy Hunter. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic backed up Gelb’s report, as did Todd Zolecki of MLB.com.
Hunter, 31, spent the past season with the Rays, posting a 2.61 ERA with a 64/14 K/BB ratio across 58 2/3 innings. The right-hander, a veteran of 10 seasons in the majors, should be a good addition to the Phillies’ bullpen, which also recently added Pat Neshek. Neshek and Hunter will likely work the innings just ahead of closer Hector Neris.
As for Reed, well, who knows.