Evan Longoria almost ready for rehab games

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Greg Luca of MLB.com provides the following update:

Evan Longoria took what manager Joe Maddon called a positive step forward during a pregame workout on Tuesday in Baltimore, giving hope that the third baseman could begin a rehab assignment during the team’s current nine-game road trip.

“He was pleased, and I was pleased watching him. Nice progress,” Maddon said. “He may be a little bit closer than you think to being out and doing something and coming back to us.”

Longoria has been on the disabled list since early May with a partially torn left hamstring. He was only supposed to miss 4-6 weeks, but he felt renewed discomfort in mid-June and has been delayed ever since.

The 26-year-old third baseman was batting .329/.433/.561 in 23 games before suffering the initial injury.

Tampa Bay entered play Tuesday with a 49-47 record, ranking third in the American League East standings.

Astros talking to Justin Verlander, Gerrit Cole about extensions

Justin Verlander
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It’s extension season and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros — who already agreed to an extension with Alex Bregman — are discussing contract extensions with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole.

Funny thing about Verlander, by the way: when he got his current $180 million deal, most people fell into the “oh, there’s an overpay!” column. What’s more, this past winter, when everyone was talking about how bad it is to give guys big long term deals, Verlander’s name was notably absent in the conversation despite the fact that his deal has turned out to be quite good. I suppose that says something about how good the anti-long-term deal folks are at cherrypicking.

That being said, Rosenthal says “it would be an upset” if either Verlander or Cole signed extensions. I can see that. Verlander is locked up this year and has a vesting option for 2020, and a lot can happen in a year or two. Cole is a Scott Boras client and Boras clients tend to hit the market rather than sign extensions. Perhaps their former teammate, Dallas Keuchel‘s, terrible experience on the free agent market this winter will alter that calculus. Hard to say.