Jason Heyward exits game, to have MRI on shoulder

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After leaving Tuesday’s game prior to the eighth inning, Jason Heyward admitted that he’s been dealing with soreness in his right shoulder since the spring.  He’s set to have an MRI.

Heyward, who went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts tonight, said the soreness has worsened in recent days and that he’s recently experienced numbness in his forearm.

Heyward is just 2-for-28 during May, and he’s yet to homer after hitting seven during the first month of the season.  His average is down to .220.

If Heyward lands on the DL, the Braves will go to Eric Hinske as their primary right fielder.  Such a switch would particularly hurt them defensively and deprive them of their top left-handed pinch-hitter.   Hinske, who had an RBI double off the bench tonight, is batting .359 in 39 at-bats.

With Jordan Schafer and Wilkin Ramirez both struggling at Triple-A Gwinnett, the Braves may well call up veteran Jose Constanza take Heyward’s spot on the roster.  Their lack of outfield depth is a real issue and something that might be addressed in a trade later on.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.