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Matt Wieters is drawing interest from the Rays

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The Rays are rumored to be one of the “new teams” in on veteran catcher Matt Wieters, according to FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman. It’s no secret that Wieters’ market is shrinking as the offseason wears on, which has most often been attributed to his declining offense over the past two years, lingering elbow injuries and a high price tag.

Earlier this month, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal spoke to Wieters’ agent, Scott Boras, who revealed that the veteran backstop lacerated his left forearm with a glass water bottle in November. Boras added that there was no nerve damage to Wieters’ arm, but the injury could give teams some pause as they consider making a contract offer in 2017.

Heyman also speculates that the Rays will be something of a long shot for Wieters, especially after they committed a two-year, $12.5 million contract to fellow veteran catcher Wilson Ramos last December. Ramos is expected to miss the first month of the season as he recovers from knee surgery and could ease back into catching duties after spending some time at DH in May. While that appears to leave an open door for Wieters, the club has a platoon option available in 28-year-old Curt Casali and 26-year-old Luke Maile.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO — Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.