UPDATE, 7:29 p.m. ET: The Mets confirmed Tuesday night that Harvey will try a two-month throwing program and see how his elbow responds. This according to ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin.
2:46 p.m. ET: Mets right-hander Matt Harvey met with Dr. James Andrews yesterday to determine which course of action to take with his partially torn elbow ligament and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that “the diagnosis apparently was positive enough that Harvey is expected to try rehab for now, then begin a throwing program in 1-2 months.”
Taking the “rest and rehab” approach to a torn ulnar collateral ligament has a remarkably low success rate, so odds are Harvey will eventually wind up having Tommy John surgery either way. However, because undergoing surgery now would almost surely mean missing the entire 2014 season anyway delaying the decision for another 1-2 months wouldn’t have a huge impact on his timetable.
No official announcement has been made yet by the Mets, but that’s expected soon.
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.