Kyle McClellan undergoes season-ending shoulder surgery

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Kyle McClellan has been on the disabled list since mid-May with a strained elbow, but Rick Hummel of the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports that the Cardinals right-hander recently underwent season-ending surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder.

As recently as six weeks ago doctors told McClellan that he could avoid elbow surgery and rest the injury instead, but according to Hummel doctors now believe the elbow pain actually stemmed from “the arm compensating for the tear and irritation in the shoulder.”

So it’s not quite as if he suffered the shoulder injury while trying to come back from the elbow injury, but … well, that probably doesn’t make McClellan or the Cardinals feel any better about the whole situation. McClellan had been hoping to return next month, but instead he’ll miss the rest of this season and likely the first half of next season.

Prior to struggling this season McClellan threw 359 innings with a 3.61 ERA for the Cardinals, primarily working out of the bullpen.

Mike Napoli and Rays have “mutual interest” in a deal

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Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times unloaded a lot of interesting news items about the Rays last night, including a report that the Rays might have “mutual interest” in a deal with free agent first baseman/DH Mike Napoli. The Rangers declined Napoli’s $11 million option earlier this month and owe the veteran infielder a $2.5 million buyout.

Napoli, 36, had a strange year in Texas. He turned in 29 home runs, good for 11th-most among AL hitters, but finished the year batting just .193/.285/.428 over 485 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, his -0.5 fWAR was the worst mark of his career to date, but on the bright side, he should come cheap for a team looking to swap out their veterans come spring.

Of course, the specifics of the Rays’ offseason plan have yet to be divulged — or, by all accounts from Topkin, even decided on. The club could go the refurbishment route, changing out some of their higher-paid veterans for a mix of prospects and cheaper aging players; or they could opt for a full rebuild, which Topkin cautions against as it could have a negative effect on the financing of a new ballpark. Either way, the Rays figure to offload some of their bigger contracts this winter, and will need to decide if they want to retain Alex Colome, Chris Archer, Wilson Ramos, Evan Longoria and others before pursuing any other major free agents.