Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez could be ready to return to the mound in May, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The 26-year-old hurler signed a one-year contract with the Athletics prior to the 2016 season, but never suited up for the big league team due to an ongoing recovery from arthroscopic shoulder surgery in mid-2015. He was outrighted from the club in October after undergoing a bicep tenodesis procedure and excision of a boney exotosis in his right shoulder (via the San Francisco Chronicle’s Susan Slusser).
Now, Heyman reports, multiple teams have requested medicals on the righty, who is expected to be game-ready in 2017. During his last healthy season in 2014, Alvarez posted a 2.65 ERA, 1.6 BB/9 and 5.3 SO/9 in 187 innings for the Marlins, earning his first career All-Star nomination and placing 12th among NL Cy Young candidates. Over five seasons in the majors, he carries a 3.80 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 4.7 SO/9 in multi-year stints with the Blue Jays and Marlins.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.