According to Scott Merkin of MLB.com, the White Sox announced this afternoon that second baseman Gordon Beckham has suffered a strained left oblique and will be shut down from baseball activities for seven days.
We’re about two weeks away from the start of the regular season, so Beckham will have to make quick progress to avoid a stint on the disabled list. And oblique injuries are known to linger. If he is forced to miss the start of the season, it could open the door for prospect Marcus Semien to play second base. One possible alternative, Jeff Keppinger, is already expected to begin the year on the disabled list due to soreness in his surgically-repaired shoulder.
Beckham, 27, hit .267/.322/.372 with five home runs, 24 RBI, and five stolen bases in 102 games last season.
Free agent left-hander Wade Miley is among several offseason targets for the Twins, according to a report from Darren Wolfson of KSTP. Miley’s $12 million option was declined by the Orioles back in November, and while he’s expected to attract another major league deal in 2018, he hasn’t exactly been highly sought after this offseason.
The 31-year-old lefty finished his second campaign with the Orioles in 2017, producing an 8-15 record in 32 starts and ranking second-to-last among all AL starters with a 5.61 ERA, 5.3 BB/9 and 8.1 SO/9 in 157 1/3 innings. Even taking Miley’s undeniable durability into account — he remained healthy for the bulk of the season and completed his sixth straight year with 30+ starts — his declining value and career-worst numbers may lower his price tag as the 2018 season approaches.
Wolfson notes that the Twins have engaged in “regular dialogue” with Miley’s agent this winter, but he’s far from the only starting pitcher they have their eye on. Right-handers Yu Darvish, Lance Lynn, Alex Cobb and Chris Tillman are still on their radar, among several others, and club owner Jim Pohlad said Saturday that he was “totally on board” with the idea of signing a big-name free agent like Darvish or another available starter. “There are some interesting names and some interesting opportunities there,” Pohlad told a crowd at TwinsFest. “I’m as intrigued by it as anybody and attracted to it as anybody.”