Alex Cora plans to play next season at age 36

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Alex Cora has hit just .219 with zero homers and a .540 OPS in 171 plate appearances for the Nationals, but the 36-year-old utility man said yesterday that he has no plans to retire.

“I’ll be playing” next year,” Cora told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. “I’m only 36. Whenever people talk about the future, you better hold it, because I’m going to be playing until I don’t feel I can play well. I feel like I can contribute and help teams out. In my mind, there’s no doubt about that.”

Teams may feel a bit differently, because Cora also hit just .210 with zero homers and a .544 OPS last season and hasn’t cracked a .650 OPS since 2009. He’ll likely have to settle for a minor-league contract and fight for a bench job during spring training.

Zack Wheeler headed to IL due to shoulder fatigue

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Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler will be placed on the 10-day injured list due to fatigue in his right shoulder, Newsday’s Tim Healey reports. The roster move is retroactive to July 12. Steven Matz will open up a two-game series in Minnesota, starting in Wheeler’s place on Tuesday.

As Healey notes, the soonest Wheeler can return is July 23, which would give him at most two starts ahead of the July 31 trade deadline. Wheeler has frequently been brought up in trade conversations as he can become a free agent after the season and the 42-51 Mets have been freefalling.

Wheeler, 29, owns a 4.69 ERA with 130 strikeouts and 34 walks across 119 innings of work this season.