Mariners prospect left-hander Danny Hultzen was scratched from Thursday’s scheduled start with Triple-A Tacoma after he had trouble getting loose. And now we know why.
The Mariners announced last night that Hultzen was diagnosed with a left rotator cuff strain and inflammation. He’s expected to rest and rehab his shoulder for the next two weeks before being reevaluated.
Hultzen received a five-year, $8.5 million major league contract from the Mariners after he was selected No. 2 overall pick in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. The 23-year-old battled some control problems in Triple-A last year, but he owns a 3.01 ERA over his first 29 pro starts. He was likely in line for a promotion to the majors if he got off to a hot start this year, but any such talk is officially on hold.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today says that the San Francisco Giants “have keen interest” in Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.
Longoria is coming off his worst season as a major leaguer, having hit .261/.313/.424 with 20 homers in 2017. He’s also still owed $86 million through 2022. Which, back when the deal was signed seemed like quite a bargain for the Rays — and likely has been over the duration of the contract — but now seems somewhat steep for the 32 year-old third baseman. That said, the Giants currently have Pablo Sandoval penciled in at third base on their depth chart, so Longoria would definitely be an upgrade, even if 2017’s dip wasn’t just a blip.
Nightengale says that for the Giants to take on Longoria, the Rays would have to take on a high salary veteran such as Denard Span or Hunter Pence. Span is owed $9 million in 2018, with a $4 million buyout on a $12 million option for 2019. Pence is owed $18.5 million in 2018 in the final year of his contract and has a full no-trade clause.
If he stays with the Rays, Longoria will achieve 10-5 rights — full no-trade protection due to being a ten-year veteran with five years of service on the same club — so if the Rays are going to move him, it’ll be much easier this offseason, not once the 2018 season begins.