Jed Lowrie’s thumb injury may land him on the disabled list

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X-rays and an MRI both came back negative after Jed Lowrie sprained his right thumb diving back into second base on a pickoff throw on Wednesday, but the Astros are still concerned that he might miss the start of the season.

Lowrie took some ground balls and played catch yesterday, but Astros manager Brad Mills told Brian McTaggart of MLB.com that his thumb was still “pretty tender” and that “he wasn’t able to grip the ball as well as we’d like.” He also expressed doubt about whether he would be able to play in any exhibition games next week.

Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said that it wouldn’t be “the end of the world” if Lowrie starts the season on the disabled list, so it’s clear they won’t rush him if he’s not ready. Assuming he is held out of Grapefruit League action, the Astros could backdate a potential DL-stint to Wednesday, so he may only end up missing the first few games of the season.

Rule 5 pick Marwin Gonzalez and last year’s Opening Day shortstop Angel Sanchez are among the potential alternatives if Lowrie needs more time to recover.

Report: Mets and Rick Porcello agree on one-year, $10 million pact

Rick Porcello
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Ken Rosenthal and Eno Sarris of The Athletic report that the Mets and free agent starter Rick Porcello have agreed on a one-year contract. Per Jon Heyman, the deal is for $10 million.

Porcello, 30, is coming off of the worst season of his career. Though he went 14-12, he compiled an ugly 5.52 ERA with 143 strikeouts and 45 walks over 174 1/3 innings. It has been a rough three years for Porcello, who has an aggregate 4.79 ERA since 2017.

The benefit of this one-year deal for Porcello is that, if he has a bounce-back season, he can potentially leverage that into a multi-year contract next offseason.

The Mets also signed Michael Wacha to a one-year, $3 million deal on Wednesday. The rotation already features Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Marcus Stroman, and Steven Matz. Unless the Mets trade one of those four, they will seemingly have to use one of Porcello and Wacha out of the bullpen to start the 2020 season with the odd man out serving as rotation insurance.

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