David Price felt “great” after a bullpen session on Tuesday and has now been cleared to take a major step in his recovery from a strained left triceps.
According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, the ace left-hander is scheduled to begin a minor league rehab assignment on Friday with the High-A Charlotte Stone Crabs. The Rays aren’t mapping out an exact timetable for their ace, but he shouldn’t have to make more than three total appearances on the farm as long as he is feeling good physically.
Price has been on the disabled list since May 15. He won the American League Cy Young Award in 2012 after posting an outstanding 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 205/59 K/BB ratio in 211 innings (31 starts).
The 27-year-old had a 5.24 ERA and 1.44 WHIP in 55 innings this year before hitting the shelf.
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.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.