strasburg getty

Stephen Strasburg (lat) aiming to pitch Saturday vs. Twins

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Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg was lifted from his start last Friday against the Braves because of a Grade 1 lat strain. But the hope is that he won’t even miss a full turn in the Nats’ starting rotation.

According to CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman, Strasburg is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Wednesday and could be cleared to start Saturday against the Twins if the workout is issue-free. If it does not go according to plan, it’s possible that he will have to be placed on the 15-day disabled list

Strasburg has posted a 2.54 ERA and 1.06 WHIP in 12 starts this season, fanning 73 batters and issuing 21 walks in 74 1/3 innings. He had a 3.16 ERA, 1.16 WHIP and 197/48 K/BB ratio in 159 1/3 frames last year.

The Nats will start Gio Gonzalez on Thursday against the Mets and Nate Karns on Friday vs. the Twins.

Rockies sign Ian Desmond for five years, $70 million

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 07:  Ian Desmond #20 of the Texas Rangers reacts after hitting a double against the Toronto Blue Jays in the seventh inning of game two of the American League Divison Series at Globe Life Park in Arlington on October 7, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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The Rockies have signed free agent outfielder/infielder Ian Desmond for five years and $70 million.

Desmond, 31, played his first season as a full-time outfielder with the Rangers in 2016. Before that he was the Nationals shortstop. He’ll almost certainly be an outfielder in Colorado, as the Rockies have Trevor Story at short. Desmond hit .285/.335/.446 with 22 home runs, 86 RBI, 107 runs scored, and 21 stolen bases in 677 plate appearances, though he was much, much better in the first half than the second half.

The Rangers had placed a qualifying offer on him which he rejected, so the Rockies will have to give up their first round pick in the 2017 draft, which is 11th overall. That’s the highest pick a team can surrender under the qualifying offer system, as the first ten picks in the draft are protected.

Jeff Locke signed by the Marlins

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 13: Relief pitcher Jeff Locke #49 of the Pittsburgh Pirates throws against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the eighth inning of the baseball game at Dodger Stadium Stadium August 13, 2016, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Marlins have signed lefty Jeff Locke. Terms have yet to be disclosed.

Locke was non-tendered by the Pirates last week after putting up a 5.44 ERA over 127.3 innings in 2016. He’s just 29 and, even if he’s never been super great or anything, he has pitched better in the past, posting a career 4.16 ERA before last season.