It appears the Marlins are going to lose out on James Shields despite making a strong effort to sign the free agent starter. Now the club’s focus looks to be shifting to a different type of late-offseason addition.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Fish “have touched base” with Scott Boras, the agent for veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod remains available here in February despite posting a cool 3.04 ERA, 0.985 WHIP, and 73/18 K/BB ratio in 68 innings last season as the Brewers’ closer. He tallied 44 saves in 49 opportunities and led the majors in games finished with 66.
Milwaukee has maintained interest in re-signing Rodriguez, but the two sides haven’t been able to work out a deal yet. He’d probably close again if he does wind up returning to the Brewers.
In Miami, he’d presumably work as a setup man in front of Steve Cishek.
Cubs first baseman Anthony Rizzo suffered what appeared to be an awful injury during Sunday’s game against the Pirates, twisting his ankle while attempting to field a bunt. An MRI revealed that he has a lateral sprain of his right ankle, Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Rizzo will wear a walking boot for five to seven days before being reevaluated.
Given that there are only two weeks left in the regular season, it seems doubtful Rizzo would be able to return to aid the Cubs’ NL Wild Card chase. The club entered Monday leading the second Wild Card by a game over the Brewers.
Rizzo, 30, is batting .289/.404/.516 with 26 home runs, 93 RBI, and 88 runs scored in 592 plate appearances on the year. Victor Caratini started at first base for Monday’s game against the Reds. The Cubs may also use Ian Happ, Willson Contreras, and Jonathan Lucroy at first base while Rizzo is out.