The Rockies have talked to Brad Lidge

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Troy Renck of the Denver Post reports that the Rockies have talked to the agent for veteran reliever Brad Lidge. We first learned of the club’s interest during last week’s Winter Meetings.

Lidge, who turns 35 next week, didn’t make his first appearance this year until late-July due to arm problems, but ended up posting a 1.40 ERA and 23/13 K/BB ratio over 19 1/3 innings. While his velocity was at a career-low this past season, his slider still proved to be a very effective weapon.

Renck notes that Lidge grew up in the Denver area and still has a home there, so the belief is that he would seriously consider joining the Rockies. Rafael Betancourt is expected to close next season following the recent trade of Huston Street, so Lidge would pitch in a set-up role.

Matt Chapman to be sidelined for six weeks following shoulder surgery

Matt Chapman
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Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman has undergone his second surgery of the offseason. After feeling continued discomfort in his left shoulder, he had a distal clavicle resection on Friday, for which he’ll be sidelined at least six weeks before getting cleared to resume his preseason workout regimen.

The 25-year-old corner infielder closed out his sophomore season in the majors in 2018. He batted a terrific .278/.356/.508 with 24 home runs, an .864 OPS and 6.5 fWAR across 616 plate appearances, received his first career Gold Glove distinction and was a finalist for the American League MVP award as well. Despite recent complications, Chapman’s regular season performance wasn’t marred by injury — he sustained a right thumb contusion in June, but bounced back within three weeks and enjoyed a strong second half — and the A’s will undoubtedly look to him as one of their strongest performers in 2019.

Friday’s procedure was his second of the year, as he also underwent an ulnar sided sesamoid bone excision in his thumb back in October. Per Lee and MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa, Chapman is expected to make a complete recovery within a two-month window, after which point he’ll likely be in fine shape to contribute during spring training.