Matt Harrison won’t return from back surgery this season

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Matt Harrison hasn’t pitched since April 6 because of back problems that required two surgeries and the Rangers announced that he’s been shut down for the remainder of the season.

Harrison was a huge part of Texas’ success during the past two seasons, throwing 400 innings with a 3.34 ERA to emerge as one of the league’s best left-handed starters, and this is the first season of a five-year, $55 million contract extension that was signed in January.

Harrison was cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment in late July and had been hoping to rejoin the Rangers after 4-5 starts, but he struggled in a start last week at Triple-A and the team decided he’s simply not making enough progress. Colby Lewis is also out for the entire season following hip surgery, so the Rangers’ decision to pony up for Matt Garza has saved them from scrambling for rotation depth.

Rays acquire C.J. Cron from Angels

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The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.

Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.

Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.