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Brewers acquire Neil Walker from Mets


Sunday, 12:30 ET: The deal was officially confirmed by both teams on Saturday night. The Brewers will send a player to be named later to the Mets for Walker and cash considerations, which will offset some of the infielder’s remaining $4.7 million salary in 2017. Walker was pulled during batting practice prior to the Mets’ game against the Phillies and was replaced in the lineup by second baseman Jose Reyes.

FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Brewers are acquiring second baseman Neil Walker from the Braves. Walker cleared revocable waivers last week and was eligible to be traded to any team in the league, though neither team has officially confirmed the deal yet.

The 31-year-old infielder missed a significant chunk of the season after rehabbing a partial tear in his left hamstring and was activated from the 10-day disabled list just three days before the trade deadline. While a deadline deal with the Yankees was in the works, it fell through at the last minute due to concerns about his medical records. Walker was quick to reassure reporters that he had made a full return to health prior to any trade discussions, however, and called the Yankees’ concerns “a non-story.” Whether his medicals revealed an underlying issue or just gave the Yankees a plausible out after trading for the Athletics’ Sonny Gray is unknown, but the Brewers don’t appear to have the same hang-ups this time around.

Walker is in his second season with the Mets and slashed .264/.339/.442 with 10 home runs and a .780 OPS over 299 PA in 2017. He’s seen a sizable dip in both his playing time and production value this year, but could give Milwaukee some much-needed infield depth as they try to leapfrog the Cardinals and Cubs for the division lead.

Madison Bumgarner diagnosed with fractured left hand

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Giants ace left-hander Madison Bumgarner has been diagnosed with a fractured left hand, per a report from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle. He’ll undergo surgery on Saturday to insert pins in his pinky knuckle, adds The Athletic’s Andrew Baggarly, and is expected miss anywhere from 4-6 weeks in recovery before he’s cleared to throw again. In a best-case scenario, the lefty will be ready to pitch again before the All-Star break, but nothing is set in stone just yet.

Bumgarner suffered the fracture during the third inning of Friday’s Cactus League game against the Royals. Whit Merrifield returned a line drive up the middle and the ball deflected off the top of Bumgarner’s pitching hand before bouncing into the infield. He chased after the ball but was unable to pick it up, and was immediately visited by manager Bruce Bochy and a team trainer before exiting the game.

The 28-year-old southpaw was gearing up for a massive comeback after losing significant playing time with an injury in 2017. During his tumultuous run with the Giants last year, he missed nearly three months on the disabled list after spraining his shoulder and bruising his ribs in a dirt bike accident. He finished the season with a 4-9 record in 17 starts and a 3.32 ERA (his first 3.00+ ERA since 2012), 1.6 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 111 innings. The Giants suffered as well; by season’s end, their pitching staff ranked seventh-worst in the National League with a cumulative 4.58 ERA and 10.1 fWAR.

This is the second massive injury the Giants’ rotation has sustained this week after right-hander Jeff Samardzija was diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle on Thursday. “Horrible news for us,” Bochy told reporters after Friday’s game. “That’s all you can say about it. There’s nothing you can do but push on.”