The Atlantic League is losing its star power.
One day after Felix Pie left to join the Braves’ Triple-A club, Ryan Garko signed a minor league deal with the Rays on Monday.
The 31-year-old Garko was leading the Atlantic League with a 1.219 OPS this season, hitting .450/.535/.683 with four homers and 16 RBI.
Garko was last seen in the majors briefly in 2010, going 3-for-33 with the Rangers. He spent last year in Korea. He had his best season with the Indians in 2007, hitting .289/.359/.483 with 21 homers in 484 at-bats.
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.