Brady Aiken MLB Network

Astros number one pick Brady Aiken has “an elbow ligament issue”

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Remember that story in Sports Illustrated a couple of weeks ago about the Astros’ being the “2017 World Series Champs?” Well, that was an on-paper thing. Baseball has this habit, however, of not playing out on paper. And the biggest off-paper thing are pitcher injuries. Like this:

That’s some seriously bad news for both Aiken and the Astros.

Bad news for Aiken in that he had agreed to a $6.5 million bonus with Houston, and now that looks to be in jeopardy.

Bad news for the Astros in that he’s the third straight number one overall pick for the Astros and the third straight to experience a bump in the road. They selected shortstop Carlos Correa first overall in 2012 and pitcher Mark Appel last year. Correa fractured his leg last month and is out for the season. Appel has struggled in the low level minors and has recently had a bout with thumb problems.

You can draft perfectly and develop perfectly, but sometimes the fates don’t want to comply.

Diamondbacks sign Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million deal

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 14:  Jeff Mathis #6 of the Miami Marlins hits a grand slam during the first inning of a baseball game against the San Diego Padres at PETCO Park on June 14, 2016 in San Diego, California.   (Photo by Denis Poroy/Getty Images)
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The Diamondbacks announced on Monday that the club signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year, $4 million contract.

Mathis, 33, isn’t much with the stick as he owns a career .197/.254/.308 triple-slash line over parts of 12 seasons in the majors. The veteran, though, is well-regarded for his ability to play defense, call games, handle a pitching staff, and get along with his teammates in the clubhouse. As Craig mentioned last year, Mathis is often talked about as a future manager.

As the D-Backs non-tendered Welington Castillo on Friday, Chris Herrmann and Mathis are the team’s two catchers as presently constructed.

Jimmy Rollins wants to play in 2017

ARLINGTON, TX - MAY 10:  Jimmy Rollins #7 of the Chicago White Sox at Globe Life Park in Arlington on May 10, 2016 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
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ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that free agent shortstop Jimmy Rollins wants to continue playing in 2017.

Rollins, 38, signed a minor league deal with the White Sox for the 2016 season but hit a disappointing .221/.295/.329 over 166 plate appearances. The club released Rollins in the middle of June and he did not sign with a new team. He did join TBS as part of their playoff coverage.

Rollins is almost certainly looking at another minor league contract and will have to earn his way onto a major league roster by performing well in spring training.