Adam LaRoche goes on DL, avoids surgery after second opinion

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Adam LaRoche got his second opinion Tuesday.  And it’s not that he’s ugly, too.

LaRoche, who was diagnosed with a partially torn labrum back in spring training, rest his throwing shoulder for at least a couple of weeks, CSN Washington’s Mark Zuckerman reports.  Surgery was not recommended, but he was placed on the disabled list prior to Monday’s game.

Expectations are that the Nationals will activate Rick Ankiel in his place on Tuesday.

LaRoche has a .172 average that ranks second worst in the majors among qualified batters.  Only Jonny Gomes, at .171, is worse.   His .258 slugging percentage ranks dead last.

The Nationals don’t have any great options for replacing him at first base, but it’s not like their production from the position could get any worse.   Michael Morse figures to pick up most of the starts, with Matt Stairs playing occasionally against right-handers.

Ankiel, who has been supplanted by Roger Bernadina in center field, can get some of the at-bats in left that had been going to Morse.

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.