Denard Span out for 10th straight day, too claustrophobic for MRI exam

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For the 10th straight day Denard Span is out of the Twins’ lineup because of a shoulder injury but still on the active roster instead of being placed on the disabled list.

That’s become an odd trend for the Twins since last season, although 10 days of playing with a 24-man roster is extreme even for them.

To make matters worse, after a week on the sidelines the Twins finally decided to give Span a pair of MRI exams … and he couldn’t complete the second one because he’s claustrophobic:

I don’t know what else to say. It’s embarrassing that I couldn’t get it done today, but bottom line, I stayed there for an hour trying to get it done. Just couldn’t do it, man. I tried my best. When they strapped me in there and told me I couldn’t move for 35 minutes, I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t have enough Valium.

Span was able to take batting practice yesterday, but he’s absent from Minnesota’s lineup this afternoon and the Twins still haven’t made a roster move.

It’s been an especially tough week (and/or year) for the Twins’ medical staff.

Josh Harrison wants out of Pittsburgh

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In the wake of the Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole trades, Pirates infielder Josh Harrison released a statement to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic today in which he said he’d like to be traded if the Pirates are going to rebuild over the next couple of years.

Harrison said “If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded,” He couched it all in is love of Pittsburgh and his desire to win in Pittsburgh, adding “I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer,” but he said “I just lost two of my closest friends in the game. Cole and Cutch were not just friends, they were the best pitcher and best position player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, I am the most tenured member of the Pirates, I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond.”

Harrison is under team control on a very team-friendly contract that has him locked up through 2018 with the Pirates holding pretty cheap team options for 2019 and 2020. He’ll make $10 million this year and if the Pirates want to keep him they’ll owe him $10.5 million in 2019 and $11.5 million in 2020, with $1 million and $500,000 buyouts, respectively. Harrison played second, third and in the outfield in 2017 and hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 homers and 12 stolen bases.

Part of Harrison’s statement included the phrase “baseball is a business.” That is correct, and when Harrison signed his deal he had to know that the Pirates could blow things up, trade him or anything else during its term. That’s simply a risk one runs when one agrees to a deal that buys out free agency years. At the same time, it can’t be at all fun to be part of a tear-down process the likes of which is now getting underway in Pittsburgh, and it’d be hard to say any of us would feel differently than Harrison does if we were in his shoes.

All of that said, Harrison may very well get his wish. Rosenthal writes that the Mets, Yankees, and Brewers are among the teams with reported interest in Harrison. There are probably way more who would make a good offer for him given his versatility and given how often recent World Series winners have featured a player with exactly that kind of versatility (think Ben Zobrist and Marwin Gonzalez).

My guess is that he’s either going to be dealt now or at the deadline this coming season.