It wasn’t all good news for the Cardinals yesterday.
According to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, three different surgeons have independently offered a “unanimous recommendation” that Jaime Garcia undergo a debridement of his left shoulder.
After leaving his start in Game 2 of the NLDS against the Nationals on Monday, Garcia sought advice from Dr. Robert Altchek, Dr. Lewis Yocum and Cardinals medical supervisor Dr. George Paletta. The southpaw may get a fourth opinion from Dr. James Andrews, but he is expected to make a decision soon because of the extended rehab time involved.
If Garcia goes ahead with the procedure, he will likely be shutdown for three months before beginning rehab, which puts him at risk for missing the early part of the 2013 season. If he ends up needing more extensive repair of his labrum or shoulder joint, it’s possible he could miss most or all of the 2013 season.
Garcia posted a 3.92 ERA over 20 starts this season and missed two months with a shoulder strain. The 26-year-old signed a long-term extension with the Cardinals last year and is owed $5.75 million next season, $7.75 million in 2014 and $9.25 million in 2015. His contract also includes club options for 2016 and 2017.
With the Braves on the cusp of formalizing their one-year deal with Kurt Suzuki, the market for free agent catcher Matt Wieters is dwindling. ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick references an inside source that lists the Angels, Rockies and Reds as potential suitors for the 30-year-old’s services.
Wieters is coming off of an eight-year career with the Orioles. In 2016, he played through his first full year after undergoing Tommy John surgery in 2014 and batted .243/.302/.409 with 17 home runs and a .711 OPS in 464 PA. A return to Baltimore in 2017 isn’t out of the question, Crasnick writes, citing some within the team that would be open to Wieters stepping into a DH role and catching platoon with Wellington Castillo. However, he also points out that the front office appears divided on the veteran catcher, and sees the Orioles as a long shot for the foreseeable future.
The Angels have already been tied to Wieters this offseason, while the Rockies and Reds don’t appear to have made any formal inquiries so far. Both could use a veteran presence behind the dish, as the Rockies are planning to platoon rookie catcher Tom Murphy with 24-year-old Tony Wolters in the spring. The Reds, meanwhile, are banking on a quick recovery for 28-year-old Devin Mesoraco, who missed most of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder and hip surgery and forced the club to rely almost exclusively on back-up backstop Tucker Barnhart.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.