Nationals center fielder Denard Span, who underwent offseason surgery to repair a sports hernia, went under the knife again Monday to fix a “right core muscle injury.”
Span made his spring training debut Thursday, going 0-for-2 against the Mets, and there was no indication something was wrong then. Mark Zuckerman of CSNWashington.com notes that several prominent players, including Miguel Cabrera, had core muscle surgery in recent years and the typical recovery timetable was at least 4-6 weeks.
That means Span is definitely out for Opening Day and may miss the entire first month of the season. In the meantime 24-year-old prospect Michael Taylor could get a chance to step in for Span as the Nationals’ starting center fielder after hitting .304 with 23 homers and a .915 OPS in 110 games between Double-A and Triple-A last season.
Washington is already without left fielder Jayson Werth and backup outfielder Nate McLouth due to injuries, so the Nationals are running thin at a spot where they previously appeared to have plenty of depth.
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.