Vic Black has emerged as an effective late-inning bridge for the Mets this season, but now he’s headed to the 15-day disabled list with a herniated disk in his neck.
According to Matt Ehalt of the Bergen Record, Black is also dealing with bone spurs on his vertabrae. After receiving a cortisone shot today, the Mets ultimately decided to place him on the disabled list rather than go short-handed in their bullpen until rosters expand on September 1. As of now, there is no consideration to shutting him down for the season. They’ll have to hope that he avoids a better fate than Bobby Parnell, who was diagnosed with a herniated disk last year and eventually required surgery.
Black, who was acquired from the Pirates last August in the Marlon Byrd deal, owns a 2.20 ERA and 31/18 K/BB ratio over 32 2/3 innings this season. While his control is a work in progress, he has made a knack out of stranding inherited runners.
With Black sidelined, the Mets have activated right-hander Daisuke Matsuzaka from the disabled list. The 33-year-old had a 3.87 ERA and 71/44 K/BB ratio over 74 1/3 innings this season prior to going down last month with elbow inflammation.
The Red Sox are expecting to go to an arbitration hearing with left-handed reliever Fernando Abad, per Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe. Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski said there was a “decent chance” a hearing would be necessary after countering Abad’s $2.7 million request with $2 million.
Abad, 31, pitched just 12 2/3 innings for Boston after the club acquired him from Minnesota at the trade deadline last season. The lefty earned a cumulative 3.66 ERA, 4.2 BB/9 and 7.9 SO/9 for the two teams in 2016. He received $1.25 million in 2016 and will remain under club control (through arbitration) in 2017. A $2.7 million salary would be a hefty increase for the veteran reliever, who has seen a significant decline since he put up a 1.57 ERA for the Athletics in 2014 and who has not amassed more than 0.6 fWAR in any single season to date.
While the Red Sox aren’t close to settling with Abad, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald reports that they may be closing in on a settlement with left-handed starter Drew Pomeranz. Pomeranz filed at $5.7 million, while the Sox felt more comfortable at $3.6 million. The two are expected to meet somewhere in the middle to avoid an arbitration hearing later this winter.
The Braves reportedly have a deal in place with free agent catcher Kurt Suzuki, per Chris Cotillo of SB Nation. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal adds that the contract is for one year, $1.5 million with up to $2.5 million in additional incentives.
Suzuki, 33, completed a three-year track with the Twins in 2016, slashing .258/.301/.403 with eight home runs in 373 PA. The veteran backstop likely won’t provide an offensive or defensive upgrade over current starter Tyler Flowers, but should give the Braves some depth at a position they’ve been looking to strengthen since the start of the offseason.
The team has yet to confirm the deal.