Tigers’ designated hitter Victor Martinez is done for the season, the team confirmed Saturday. He’ll undergo chronic ablation surgery to repair the tissue in his heart that is causing an irregular heartbeat. Martinez was placed on the 10-day disabled list last Sunday following an episode that required hospitalization. It was his second stint on the DL due to heart issues.
The good news? While heart surgery can’t exactly be classified as a minor procedure, the recovery timetable for this treatment is expected to be relatively short. Comments from team manager Brad Ausmus suggested that Martinez won’t suffer long-term effects from the surgery and doesn’t appear to be contemplating retirement in the near future. He should be eligible to return to the team again in the spring, barring any unforeseen complications.
Martinez, 38, finished his 2017 run with a .255/.324/.372 batting line, 10 home runs and 47 RBI through 435 plate appearances. This is the first major medical issue the veteran slugger has dealt with since undergoing hernia surgery during the 2016 offseason. Per MLB.com’s Jason Beck, the Tigers will place Martinez on the 60-day disabled list on Sunday to clear roster space for right-handed prospect Artie Lewicki.
Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.
Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.
The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.