Nationals prospect Matt Purke needs Tommy John surgery

8 Comments

Matt Purke, who turned down signing with the Rangers as a first-round draft pick in 2009 and then got a $4 million big-league contract to sign with the Nationals as a third-round draft pick in 2011, needs Tommy John elbow surgery and will miss the remainder of the season.

Purke was initially drafted 14th overall after a standout college career at TCU, but he’s been limited to just 136 career innings due to injuries. Before being shut down this year he had an 8.04 ERA and 22/18 K/BB ratio in 31 innings at Double-A as a 23-year-old, and because of the MLB contract he received Purke will be out of minor-league options by the time he returns from surgery.

Royals sign Michael Saunders to a minor-league deal

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Free agent outfielder Michael Saunders has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Royals, the team announced Friday. While the move comes just two days after Saunders agreed to terms with the Pirates, he allegedly asked for his release after the club acquired outfielder Corey Dickerson in a multi-player swap with the Rays on Thursday.

After earning his first spot on an All-Star team in 2016, Saunders followed up a solid campaign with a career-worst performance in 2017. The 31-year-old split the season between the Phillies and Blue Jays’ camps, batting a combined .202/.256/.344 with six home runs and -0.7 fWAR in 234 plate appearances. Although he remained healthy throughout the year, with no sign of the lingering hamstring strain that has plagued him on and off since 2013, he wasn’t productive enough to merit a full-time role on either roster.

With Dickerson slated for a starting role in Pittsburgh, it was unlikely that Saunders would have commanded anything other than a backup role in 2018. Now, however, he’ll compete for playing time amid a slew of outfield options, including Alex Gordon, Cody Asche, Jorge Bonifacio, Tyler Collins and Paulo Orlando.