Seth Maness

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13:  Seth Maness #43 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Chicago Cubs
at Wrigley Field on August 13, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs 8-4.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Seth Maness had a showcase for 16 teams

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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that scouts from 16 teams including the Cubs, Nationals and Royals attended Seth Maness‘ showcase Monday in St. Louis.

This is not exactly gigantic news in and of itself, but Maness’ progress is worth following. As Goold reported last month, Maness is the first recipient of an alternative to Tommy John surgery known as “primary repair.” Rather than reconstructing the entire ligament, as in TJ surgery, primary repair reinforces it at the bone. If the recovery goes as doctors plan, it is supposed cut at least five months off of the typical Tommy John recovery time. Maness had the surgery on August 18 and is throwing for scouts in February.

Signing him may not make a bad team good or a borderline team a contender, but it will certainly mean something for the progress of pitchers overall.

There are still a lot of free agents available

MILWAUKEE, WI - SEPTEMBER 5:  Chris Carter #33 of the Milwaukee Brewers rounds the bases after hitting a home run in the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Miller Park on September 5, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
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As we noted earlier this morning, there are only eight days until pitchers and catchers start reporting. There are still a ton of free agents left on the market, however.

Most of them are journeymen, but there are still a couple of front line starting types left available, such as Matt Wieters and Mike Napoli. Chris Carter, the 2016 NL Home Run Champ is still looking for a job.

There are a ton of big names whose games have faded or whose careers are in their twilight, such as former Cy Young winners Tim Lincecum and Jake Peavy and former MVPs Ryan Howard and Justin Morneau. Chase Utley is banging around too. Some arms that, not long ago, were fixtures in big league rotations can still be had, including Colby Lewis, Jorge De La Rosa, Mat Latos and Alfredo Simon. Then there are guys like Coco Crisp, Angel Pagan, Michael Bourn and Franklin Gutierrez. Indeed, there’s an army of guys who once played some decent center field out there but who now are holding virtual “will shag flies for food” signs.

Jeff Francoeur and Kelly Johnson are on the list too, but you damn well know the Braves are going to sign them so I almost didn’t include them here. They’re anciently beholden to Atlanta, sort of like Chay-Ara is beholden to Prince Khufu. I’m just gonna start calling those two the Hawkmen.

Anyway, this is the entire list of free agents per MLB Trade Rumors’ Free Agent Tracker. Bargain hunting is well underway, so shop fast:

Henderson Alvarez
Pedro Alvarez
Erick Aybar
Aaron Barrett
Gordon Beckham
Joe Blanton
Michael Bourn
Billy Butler
Marlon Byrd
Chris Capuano
Chris Carter
Steve Clevenger
Hank Conger
Coco Crisp
Jorge De La Rosa
Daniel Descalso
Nate Eovaldi
Jeff Francoeur
Sam Fuld
Charlie Furbush
Craig Gentry
Cole Gillespie
Jonny Gomes
Franklin Gutierrez
Matt Harrison
David Hernandez
Aaron Hill
Luke Hochevar
Ryan Howard
Tommy Hunter
Edwin Jackson
Kevin Jepsen
Kelly Johnson
Chris Johnson
Tyler Ladendorf
Mat Latos
Colby Lewis
Tim Lincecum
Adam Lind
Javier Lopez
David Lough
Seth Maness
Justin Morneau
Peter Moylan
Mike Napoli
Dioner Navarro
Jonathan Niese
Angel Pagan
Jonathan Papelbon
Jarrod Parker
Jake Peavy
Brayan Pena
Yusmeiro Petit
A.J. Pierzynski
Ryan Raburn
Alexi Ramirez
Nolan Reimold
Jerry Sands
Alfredo Simon
Drew Stubbs
Chase Utley
Carlos Villanueva
Chien-Ming Wang
Jered Weaver
Matt Wieters
Tom Wilhelmson
Jerome Williams
C.J. Wilson
Travis Wood

Seth Maness: the test case in short-circuiting Tommy John surgery

CHICAGO, IL - AUGUST 13:  Seth Maness #43 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches against the Chicago Cubs
at Wrigley Field on August 13, 2016 in Chicago, Illinois. The Cardinals defeated the Cubs 8-4.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
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Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Disptach has a must-read today about the comeback of former Cardinals pitcher Seth Maness.

Maness injured his UCL last year and went under the knife. But rather than Tommy John surgery, he underwent a potential replacement for that familiar procedure called “primary repair.” Rather than reconstructing the entire ligament it reinforces it at the bone. The key: if it works, it can cut at least five months off of the typical Tommy John recovery time. His surgery was August 18. Goold said he’s poised to pitch from a mound as early as next week.

Maness is the first big league pitcher to try it, so he’s worth watching. That is, if he gets the chance. The Cards non-tendered him last fall, so he’s a free agent. But he’s rehabbing. He may or may not pitch in a big league game in 2017, but if he does, he may blaze a new trail.