Ted Lilly joins Venezuelan Winter League team

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Ignacio Serrano of El Emergente, El Nacional and ESPN Deportes reports that veteran left-hander Ted Lilly has signed on with Navegantes del Magallanes of the Venezuelan Winter League, arriving in the South American country Saturday with the hope of establishing some MLB free agent value.

Lilly has made just 13 total starts over the last two seasons due to neck and shoulder injuries and posted a 5.09 ERA (71 ERA+) in 23 innings this summer for the Dodgers before being released.

The 37-year-old was said to be nearing a minor league deal with the Giants in August, but that fell through when the two sides couldn’t agree to a defined callup date.

Lilly will want to prove he’s healthy in the VWL before jumping back into MLB’s free agent pool.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

Justin Verlander
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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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