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Angels’ Nate Smith to miss 2018 season

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Angels’ left-hander Nate Smith will miss the entire 2018 season following anterior capsule surgery, Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register reported Saturday. Smith underwent the surgery in September, but will still need an estimated 12-14 months to make a full recovery.

Surgery was a predictable end to a frustrating season for the 26-year-old lefty, who logged just 15 innings between rookie ball and Triple-A Salt Lake City in 2017. He made one start for Salt Lake in May, tossing 5 2/3 innings of one-hit, four-strikeout ball before getting demoted to the Arizona League in June. The Angels’ southpaw hasn’t seen a full season of work since 2016, which was also cut short when he suffered a bout of left elbow tendinitis in September.

Smith is the fifth-best pitching prospect in the Angels’ farm system, per MLB.com, and ninth overall. His anticipated return date is set for sometime in 2019 — though his agent, Jonathan Maurer, hasn’t ruled out a possible 2018 assignment — which should bump 19-year-old southpaw Cole Duensing up several spots as the Angels’ highest-rated left-handed pitching prospect.

Al Avila on trading Ian Kinsler: “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged.”

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Tigers GM Al Avila said on Tuesday, via MLB.com’s Jason Beck, that there’s been significant headway made in the quest to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler. He said, “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged. We just can’t agree.”

Kinsler, 35, is in the last year of his contract with the Tigers, earning $10 million for this coming season. In 2017, the veteran batted .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, and 90 runs scored in 613 plate appearances.

It’s not known yet which team (or teams) have gotten far in discussions with the Tigers, but the Angels have been suggested as a good fit given their need for a second baseman.