Twins prospect Miguel Sano is fully recovered from the Tommy John elbow surgery that caused him to miss all of last season.
Director of minor league operations Brad Steil told Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press that Sano “is doing pretty much everything” and “is able to do everything in the workouts.”
Now the big question is whether he’ll be able to re-establish himself as a third baseman long term, because even before the elbow injury there were questions about Sano’s massive size possibly forcing him to an outfield corner or first base.
Last year, before the injury, Sano ranked as a top-10 prospect according to both Baseball America and MLB.com. Even after missing an entire season he remains a consensus top-20 prospect and if everything goes according to plan he could be hitting in the middle of the Twins’ lineup at some point this year.
All the talk of John Lackey possibly balking at playing out the final year of his unique, Red Sox-negotiated contract for just $500,000 after being traded to the Cardinals proved to be nothing.
He’s set to earn the minimum salary for 2015 and Lackey is also interested in signing an extension to remain with the Cardinals beyond this season, telling Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
If it’s something that works for both sides. I would like it. This group of guys … this organization … it’s a great place to be and it’s something I would entertain for sure.
Lackey also added that “nothing is close,” so for now it’s just an idea. Lackey made $15.25 million in 2013 and that would be a lot closer to his likely per-season asking price for a potential contract extension, although at age 36 the Cardinals would no doubt want to limit the number of years.
Lackey has a 3.67 ERA in 60 starts since returning from the Tommy John elbow surgery that cost him all of 2012, including a 4.30 ERA and 48/15 K/BB ratio in 10 starts for the Cardinals down the stretch last year.
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com the Dodgers are “showing interest in” free agent reliever Joba Chamberlain, which makes some sense following the news that Los Angeles closer Kenley Jansen needs foot surgery.
Chamberlain hasn’t been linked to many teams via free agency and it’s hard to imagine the Dodgers trusting him as a fill-in closer, but for a middle relief gig he’d be a solid pickup after throwing 63 innings with a 3.57 ERA and 59/24 K/BB ratio for the Tigers last season.
Wednesday there was some speculation that the Dodgers would try to sign Francisco Rodriguez, but given his reported price tag of $10 million and the fact that Jansen may only miss a month or so of the regular season a cheaper option might be a better fit.