Brandon League’s three straight losses may have the Mariners thinking about making a change at closer, but they won’t be turning back to David Aardsma in the ninth inning any time soon.
Diagnosed with a sprained ulnar collateral elbow ligament earlier this week, Aardsma will be shut down for a month in an attempt to avoid undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Not immediately requiring surgery qualifies as good news, but as Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times writes “it’s going to be a long time before he’s ready to pitch again” and any setbacks would mean going under the knife still lingers as a down-the-road possibility.
The Rangers have signed catcher Jeff Mathis to a two-year contract, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. The deal is pending a physical.
Mathis turns 36 years old at the end of March and has a career .564 OPS across 14 seasons, but he is well-regarded for his defense and ability to handle a pitching staff.
The arrival of Mathis could mean the Rangers are moving on from Robinson Chirinos behind the plate, as he is now a free agent. The Rangers could go after another catcher to complement Mathis or just have Isiah Kiner-Falefa back up Mathis. Though Kiner-Falefa mostly played elsewhere, including three spots across the infield, he did rack up over 300 defensive innings behind the plate in 2018.