Sean Doolittle’s recovery from a partially torn rotator cuff in his shoulder progressed to the point that the A’s closer has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Thursday at Single-A.
Doolittle has spent the entire season on the disabled list and there’s no word yet on how long the A’s expect him to spend rehabbing in the minors, but so far he’s avoided any setbacks leading up to this point.
Tyler Clippard has filled in for Doolittle as the A’s closer, although Oakland hasn’t had many save opportunities to go around while starting the season 13-22. Clippard has three saves, Jesse Chavez has one, and that’s it.
Last season Doolittle took over as the A’s closer in mid-May and saved 22 games with a 2.73 ERA and 89/8 K/BB ratio in 63 innings, allowing zero runs in 53 of 61 appearances. If healthy the 28-year-old converted first baseman has proven to be one of the elite relievers in the league and along with Clippard would form a fantastic late-inning duo in Oakland.
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.