Via Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com …
The Nationals don’t believe Jordan Zimmermann will need to spend any time on the disabled list after an MRI of his right arm taken Saturday revealed only a biceps strain, no structural damage.
“I didn’t think it was bad, anything serious,” the right-hander told reporters Saturday night. “The MRI came back and looked pretty good. A little inflammation. Give it rest for a few days and go home and come back and start throwing on Thursday again.”
Zimmermann left his start Friday evening against the Phillies with was originally called a biceps cramp. He’ll return to his home in Auburndale, Wisconsin rather than attend the 2014 All-Star Game in Minneapolis, with Marlins starter Henderson Alvarez filling the vacancy on the National League pitching staff.
Zimmermann finished the first half with a 3.03 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, and 101/20 K/BB ratio in 113 innings.
Around this time last year, the ink was drying on Manny Machado‘s 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres and Bryce Harper was about to put the finishing touches on his 13-year, $330 million deal with the Phillies. We had gotten used to premier free agents hanging out in limbo until late February and even into March. This past offseason, however, was a return to normal. The top three free agents — Gerrit Cole, Anthony Rendon, and Stephen Strasburg — all signed in December. Once the big names are off the board, the lesser free agents subsequently tend to find homes. There were a handful of noteworthy signings in January, but pretty much everyone was off the board when February began.
There are a handful of free agents remaining as I write this, with one name really sticking out: Yasiel Puig. Last season, between the Reds and Indians, Puig hit .267/.327/.458 with 24 home runs, 84 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 19 stolen bases in 611 plate appearances. He was one of only seven players in the league last year to hit at least 24 home runs and swipe at least 19 bases. While Puig has had some problems over the years, he still possesses a rare blend of power and speed that would seem useful.
The Marlins, White Sox, and Rockies have been linked to Puig this offseason. His market has been otherwise quiet since he became a free agent. The Athletic’s Jim Bowden suggests Puig will have to settle for a “pillow contract” — a one-year deal with which Puig reestablishes his market value, aiming to pursue a multi-year deal the following offseason. Along with the aforementioned three teams, Bowden suggests the Mariners, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Red Sox, and Cardinals as other teams that could potentially fit with Puig, which is not to be confused with teams having expressed interest in his services.