David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was removed in the first inning of Tuesday’s game against the Nationals with a strained muscle in his neck.
Heyward appeared to tweak something on a swing during his at-bat in the top of the first inning and was replaced in the outfield in the bottom of that frame by Evan Gattis. The Braves are calling Heyward day-to-day for now and will reexamine him on Wednesday.
The 23-year-old right fielder spent time on the disabled list in April and May after undergoing an appendectomy. He also missed some games just before the All-Star break with a hamstring strain.
Heyward is hitting .234/.339/.386 with 10 home runs and 31 RBI in 83 games this season for the Braves, who grew their lead in the National League East standings to 14 1/2 games with Tuesday’s win over Washington.
It was the 12th victory in a row for this 69-45 Atlanta team.
Update (5:04 PM EST): The White Sox will receive pitchers Lucas Giolito, Reynaldo Lopez, and Dane Dunning from the Nationals, per Dan Hayes of CSN Chicago. MLB Pipeline rated them No. 1, 3, and 6 in the Nationals’ minor league system.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Nationals are close to acquiring outfielder Adam Eaton from the White Sox. He notes that outfielder Victor Robles, the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect according to MLB Pipeline, is not included in the deal.
Eaton, 28, is signed to a very team-friendly contract. He’ll earn $4 million in 2017, $6 million in ’18, and $8.4 million in ’19. His controlling team then has a club option worth $9.5 million in 2020 with a $1.5 million buyout and a $10.5 million club option in ’21 with a $1.5 million buyout.
This past season, Eaton was worth 3.9 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference after playing significantly above-average defense while batting .284/.362/.428 with 14 home runs, 59 RBI, 91 runs scored, and 14 stolen bases in 706 plate appearances.
If the deal goes through, the Nationals would move Trea Turner from center field to shortstop. Meanwhile, the White Sox continue their teardown after trading Chris Sale to the Red Sox on Tuesday.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Marlins have signed veteran catcher A.J. Ellis to a one-year, $2.5 million deal.
Ellis, 35, began the 2016 season with the Dodgers but went to the Phillies in the Carlos Ruiz trade near the end of August. Overall, he hit .216/.301/.298 in 196 plate appearances.
Ellis will back up J.T. Realmuto behind the dish.