Colby Lewis was on the verge of rejoining the Rangers after a year-long recovery from elbow surgery, but now he needs hip surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.
General manager Jon Daniels announced that Lewis will have surgery to remove bone spurs from his right hip and won’t be able to resume throwing for at least two months. According to Daniels the Rangers “felt he was putting his arm at risk if he pushed any further.”
By picking up Matt Garza from the Cubs and also welcoming back Alexi Ogando from the disabled list the Rangers aren’t lacking in rotation options even after losing Lewis, who re-signed on a one-year, $2 million deal with incentives. He’ll likely be looking for another incentive-heavy contract this offseason.
Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.
Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.
Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.