The Royals announced this evening that outfielder Lorenzo Cain has been placed on the 15-day disabled list with a left groin strain. The club has called up left-hander Justin Marks from Triple-A Omaha to replace him on the active roster, which means that Kansas City is now carrying 13 pitchers.
Cain suffered the injury during last night’s win over the Astros. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star reports that he was diagnosed with a Grade 1 strain, which is the least severe, and that he hopes to return when he’s eligible in two weeks.
Injuries have been an ongoing storyline with Cain during his career. Acquired from the Brewers in the Zack Greinke deal, the 28-year-old plays excellent defense in center field and has shown some ability on offense, but he has has yet to play more than 115 games in a season. The speedy Jarrod Dyson is making the start in center field tonight and should see increased playing time during his absence.
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.