As first reported by Bill Ladson of MLB.com, Nationals closer Drew Storen underwent minor surgery Wednesday on his throwing elbow.
The procedure, performed in D.C., was designed to remove bone fragments and was deemed a success.
The Nationals aren’t saying for certain how long Storen will be out, but sources told Ladson on Wednesday evening that the team is confident he’ll be back in the major leagues sometime before the All-Star break. Henry Rodriguez and Brad Lidge are expected to continue handling ninth-inning duties for the time being.
Storen, 24, registered a sparkling 2.75 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 73 appearances last season, saving 43 games in 48 opportunities while fanning 74 batters across 75 1/3 innings. He’ll certainly be missed.
Extension season continues. The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the Cardinals and first baseman Paul Goldschmidt are close to an agreement on a five-year extension. The value is believed to be around $130 million, according to Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Goldschmidt was set to become a free agent after the season.
The Cardinals acquired Goldschmidt, 31, from the Diamondbacks in December in exchange for Luke Weaver, Carson Kelly, Andy Young, and a 2019 competitive balance round B pick. The slugger is a six-time All-Star, a three-time Gold Glove Award winner, and a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner. Goldschmidt owns a career .297/.398/.532 triple-slash line along with 209 home runs, 710 RBI, 709 runs scored, and 124 stolen bases. He is also well-regarded for his defense at first base. As a result, he has accumulated 40.3 Wins Above Replacement over eight seasons, according to Baseball Reference.
With Goldschmidt in place, the Cardinals are set at first base for the foreseeable future. Though Goldschmidt got off to a slow start last season, carrying an OPS barely above .700 into June, he recovered and finished with a .922 OPS. That two-month blip aside, there’s no reason to think Goldschmidt’s production is about to fall off anytime soon.