James Paxton appeared to be on the verge of coming off the disabled list and rejoining the Mariners’ rotation after missing the past six weeks with a shoulder injury, but now the rookie left-hander has been shut down again.
Paxton threw 62 pitches in a minor-league rehab start Saturday at Triple-A for his first game action since April 8, but then complained of soreness and underwent an MRI exam that revealed shoulder inflammation. Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports that he’ll be completely shut down for at least one week, so returning to the majors before July now seems unlikely.
Paxton was very impressive in his first two starts before the injury and, combined with his strong MLB debut for the Mariners last September, he has a 5-0 record and 1.75 ERA through six career starts. He also ranked as a consensus top-100 prospect coming into the season.
Jon Heyman has been hot on the free agent trail today, reporting that the Padres have made offers both Manny Machado and Bryce Harper. The offer to Machado is believed to be for eight years and about $250 million, while the offer to Harper is believed to be for more than that.
Heyman was reporting on Harper earlier, tweeting that the Phillies are the favorite to sign him. He added this evening that Harper has multiple long-term offers at more than $30 million annually. Regarding Machado, Heyman noted that while Machado was believed to have had a preference for the East coast, he will go for the best deal now, which puts the Padres firmly in the picture.
The Padres reportedly met with Machado last week. A late entrant into the sweepstakes, the club has shown the willingness to spend, signing Eric Hosmer to an eight-year, $144 million contract last year. If he goes to San Diego, Machado would be the full-time third baseman with Luis Urias handling shortstop.
Nothing appears close, but we’ll take anything resembling a spark to light the hot stove.