A sign-and-trade in baseball?

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Neat column from Dustin Parkes today, wondering if — given the obstacle Rafael Soriano’s type-A status presents for him signing with a good team — he could be signed by a bad one that doesn’t have to surrender a pick, and could then, in turn, be traded to a contender.  Dustin goes back a couple years and quotes Rob Manfred who says that, yeah, that could probably happen.

Neat. At least for now. If it happened, however, it would probably make a lot of people nervous (i.e. the union, agents, teams letting free agents walk). As if they weren’t already nervous about free agent compensation anyway.

And if it did happen with Soriano, it would be the second time in as many years that he’d take his new contract with him to a new team, as you’ll recall that he unexpectedly accepted arbitration from the Braves last year, necessitating a trade to Tampa Bay.  Not quite the same as a sign-and-trade, but it kinda rhymes.

Nathan Eovaldi to make 2018 debut for Rays soon

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Rays manager Kevin Cash said that pitcher Nathan Eovaldi will join the starting rotation on Monday or Tuesday to face the Athletics, Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports. Eovaldi’s rehab outing with Triple-A Durham went well, even though he gave up eight runs in four innings.

Eovaldi, 28, hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2016 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. He had arthroscopic surgery in March to remove loose bodies in his elbow. It’s been a long road back. Knowing Eovaldi needed to recover from surgery, the Rays signed him to a one-year, $2 million contract in 2017 that included a $2 million club option for 2018 that they exercised last November.

When Eovaldi last pitched, he ranked among baseball’s hardest throwers, particularly among starters. He averaged 97.1 MPH on his fastball in 2016. Among starters who racked up at least 100 innings that season, only the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard had a higher average velocity (97.9 MPH). It remains to be seen if he still has that velocity after undergoing two procedures on his elbow.

The Rays will be glad to have Eovaldi back. The club has sustained injuries to Jake Faria, Yonny Chirinos, and Jose De Leon.