David Price‘s second year with the Red Sox isn’t starting off so well. ESPN’s Jim Bowden reports that the lefty will undergo an MRI on his elbow and won’t make his scheduled Grapefruit League start on Saturday. Tim Britton of the Providence Journal adds that the Red Sox plan to have Price seek a second opinion from Dr. James Andres or Dr. Neal ElAttrache.
Per Britton, Manager John Farrell said of Price’s elbow, “We’re concerned.” Price has had elbow soreness in past springs, but not to this degree.
Price inked a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Red Sox in December 2015. In his first season with his new team last year, he went 17-9 with a 3.99 ERA and a 228/50 K/BB ratio in 230 innings.
The Red Sox acquired another ace in Chris Sale during the offseason, but losing Price for any amount of time would still be a big blow to the team’s chances of contending in 2017. Eduardo Rodriguez or Henry Owens would move back into the rotation if Price isn’t ready for the regular season. After that… Kyle Kendrick?
Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.
The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.
When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.
Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.
Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.