Taijuan Walker to resume throwing Thursday

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Taijuan Walker was shut down last week after he was diagnosed with inflammation in the bursa of his right shoulder, but Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that he’s scheduled to resume throwing Thursday.

Walker has been limited for most of the spring, so even if all goes well Thursday, it’s expected that he’ll need three weeks to get ready for game action. While the start of the season is out the window at this point, the 21-year-old could join the Mariners’ rotation in mid-April if he can avoid setbacks.

With Walker and Hisashi Iwakuma both sidelined, the Mariners could very well begin the season with a rotation of Felix Hernandez, Scott Baker, Erasmo Ramirez, James Paxton, and Brandon Maurer.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.