Initially given a 4-8 week recovery timetable after breaking his left foot on March 2, backup catcher Francisco Cervelli could be close to returning to the Yankees after catching six innings in an extended spring training game.
Joe Girardi said yesterday that “everything is going according to plan” with Cervelli’s rehab and Wallace Matthews of ESPNNewYork.com reports that he “could return to the Yankees in as little as 10 days.”
Cervelli got just a handful of spring training at-bats before the injury, so he’ll need to go out on a minor-league rehab assignment before coming off the disabled list. Russell Martin is playing well enough that he doesn’t have to worry about losing significant playing time to Cervelli, who would instead resume backup duties while pushing Gustavo Molina off the roster.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that the Phillies have placed first baseman Justin Bour on waivers. The Phillies are creating space on the 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 protection deadline on Tuesday.
Bour, 30, opened the season with the Marlins but was traded to the Phillies in August in exchange for minor league pitcher McKenzie Mills. Overall, Bour hit .227/.341/.404 with 20 home runs and 59 RBI in 501 plate appearances.
Bour doesn’t really have a spot on the Phillies’ roster considering he is strictly a first baseman and the Phillies already have Carlos Santana. The Phillies may try to trade Santana to move Rhys Hoskins back to first base from left field.
If Bour clears waivers, he can reject an outright assignment to the minor leagues and become a free agent. However, considering how slow-moving the market for bat-only 1B/DH types has been in recent years, Bour may have trouble latching on with a new team on a guaranteed major league contract. If Bour is claimed, the claiming team will be responsible for paying him as he enters his second of three years of arbitration eligibility. MLB Trade Rumors projects Bour to earn a salary of $5.2 million in 2019.