Rays center fielder Kevin Kiermaier is set to begin a rehab assignment in A-ball on Saturday.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, will DH twice this weekend and then play the field on Tuesday. If all goes well, he could rejoin the Rays in time for next weekend’s series against the Mariners. The same Mariners, it should be noted, with whom the Rays are currently tied for the second Wild Card.
Kiermaier was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.
The Rangers have informed 1B/DH Mike Napoli the club will not exercise his 2018 option, worth $11 million, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News reports. Instead, the Rangers will pay Napoli $2.5 million to buy him out of his contract, making him a free agent.
Napoli, 35, hit a disappointing .193/.285/.428 with 29 home runs and 66 RBI in 485 plate appearances this past season. Given his age and declining production, it’s not shocking that the Rangers want to look elsewhere.
Napoli turns 36 at the end of the month. Given his age and worsening peripheral stats, he will likely have to settle for a one-year deal this offseason.