A’s “dodged a bullet” with Ryan Cook’s injury

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Ryan Cook is on the disabled list for the second time this season, but the A’s reliever is making progress in his recovery from a strained forearm and could be close to rejoining the bullpen.

Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Cook threw a 22-pitch bullpen session Tuesday and “utilized all of his pitches.” He’ll throw again Thursday, at which point the A’s will either send him out on a minor-league rehab assignment or decide that he’s ready to come off the disabled list without any rehab work.

Here’s the review of his bullpen session from manager Bob Melvin:

He looked like he had never missed a beat. We feel like we dodged a bullet as far as what the injury looked like originally. He was going after every one of his pitches, throwing his slider as hard as he could throw it.

Cook has been one of the best relievers in the league since debuting for the A’s in 2012, throwing 153 innings with a 2.35 ERA and 162 strikeouts. He’s been limited to just 12 innings this season, but does have a sub-3.00 ERA for the third straight year.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.