Padres catcher Yasmani Grandal suffered a torn ACL on July 6 when Nationals second baseman Anthony Rendon slid into him on a play at home plate. The initial timetable for his return was set between 9-12 months and that appears to still be the case, according to Bill Center of the Union-Times. Grandal underwent surgery in early August, so nine months would mark early may as the earliest he could return.
Without Grandal, the Padres’ catching corps will include starter Nick Hundley and back-up Rene Rivera.
Grandal broke out in 2012, joining the Padres for the second half of the regular season. In 226 trips to the plate, he posted an impressive .863 OPS, including a .394 on-base percentage thanks to walking nearly as often as he struck out (31 to 39). He regressed a bit in 2013 prior to his injury, posting a .693 OPS, but still appeared quite capable of handling the day-to-day challenges of the Majors.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.