Jason Motte’s comeback from Tommy John surgery is nearly complete, as the one-time Cardinals closer is finished with his minor-league rehab assignment and scheduled to rejoin the active roster Tuesday.
Motte won’t have his old closer gig waiting for him when he returns because Trevor Rosenthal isn’t giving that back anytime soon, but if healthy he could make a huge impact in a setup role. He missed the entire 2013 season, but Motte led the league with 42 saves in 2012 and combined from 2010-2012 he threw 192 innings with a 2.43 ERA and 203 strikeouts.
Expecting him to pick up right where he left off would be wishful thinking, but Motte tossed 6.2 scoreless innings on his rehab assignment and reports of his velocity have been fairly positive.
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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Rockies and shortstop Trevor Story have come to terms on a two-year, $27.5 million deal, buying out his two remaining years of arbitration eligibility.
Story, 27, and the Rockies did not agree on a salary before the deadline earlier this month. Story filed for $11.5 million while the team countered at $10.75 million. The average annual value of this deal — $13.75 million — puts him a little bit ahead this year and likely a little bit behind next year.
This past season in Colorado, Story hit .294/.363/.554 with 35 home runs, 85 RBI, 111 runs scored, and 23 stolen bases over 656 trips to the plate. He also continued to rank among the game’s best defensive shortstops. Per FanGraphs, Story’s 10.9 Wins Above Replacement over the last two seasons is fifth-best among shortstops (min. 1,000 PA) behind Alex Bregman, Francisco Lindor, Xander Bogaerts, and Marcus Semien.
With third baseman Nolan Arenado likely on his way out via trade, one wonders if the same fate awaits Story at some point over the next two seasons.