Giants setup man Jeremy Affeldt was shut down in early September after slicing open his right (non-throwing) hand while trying to separate frozen hamburger patties in his home kitchen.
The cut was deep — coming within a millimeter of a major artery — so the left-hander has been treated with care over the last month-plus. And he’s now beginning to show signs of real progress.
According to the Associated Press, via FOX Sports, Affeldt is expected to have the protective brace removed from his right hand within the next couple of days, after an examination by a specialist in the Bay Area. He’s fully expected to be ready by the start of spring training next February.
Affeldt posted a 2.63 ERA and 1.15 WHIP in 61 2/3 innings this season for the Giants, striking out 54 batters while issuing 24 walks. The 32-year-old southpaw carries a $5 million club option for 2012.
Yesterday free agent shortstop Troy Tulowitzki held a workout in California and representatives from at least eleven teams were on hand, reports Tim Brown of Yahoo. Among the clubs present: the Giants — who were said to have a “heavy presence,” including team president Farhan Zaidi and manager Bruce Bochy — the Angels, Red Sox, Cubs, Padres, White Sox, Orioles, Yankees, Phillies, Tigers and Pirates.
Your first reaction to that may be “Um, really? For Tulowitzki?” But a moment’s reflection makes it seem more sensible. We’re so tied up in thinking of a player through the filter of their contract and, when we’ve done that with Tulowitzki over the past several years, it has made him seem like an albatross given the $20 million+ a year he was earning to either not play or play rather poorly due to injuries.
It was just the contract that was the albatross, though, right? An almost free Tulowitzki — which he will be given that the Blue Jays are paying him $38 million over the next two seasons — is a different matter. If you sign him it’ll be for almost no real money and he stands a chance to be an average or maybe better-than-average shortstop, which is pretty darn valuable. You might even get one quirky late career return-to-near-glory season from him, in which case you’ve hit the lottery. If, however, as seems more likely, he just can’t get it done at all, you’re not out anything and you can cut him with little or no pain.
Eleven teams think he’s at least a look-see. I bet one of them will offer him a major league deal. Maybe more than one. He’ll probably have his pick of non-roster invites to spring training. I can’t see the downside to at least doing that much.