A's lose Ryan Sweeney to season-ending knee surgery

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Ryan Sweeney tried to play through a knee injury, receiving a cortisone shot and platelet-rich injections within the past two weeks, but ultimately decided to undergo season-ending surgery.

A couple different doctors looked at the knee and it wasn’t a matter of if I needed the surgery. It was a matter of when I was going to get it. So we just had to make that decision. I just felt like I’m a young player and to try to finish the year and play in pain, then get it done after the season and miss parts of next year, that’s not what I want to do. I don’t want to miss any of next year. It’s just one of those things I knew I needed to get done now.

He’s expected to need 4-6 months of rehab and Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Sweeney may yet opt for surgery on his other knee as long as he’s sidelined anyway.
Sweeney leads the A’s with a .294 batting average, but has just one homer in 331 plate appearances and has managed a measly .386 slugging percentage through 1,382 career trips to the plate. Despite the lack of power he’s been valuable thanks to getting on base at a solid clip and playing very good defense, so how his range recovers from going under the knife will be key for the 25-year-old’s long-term outlook.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.