Nationals left fielder Jayson Werth, who’s been out with a fractured wrist since being hit by pitch on May 15, was cleared to swing a fungo bat over the weekend.
That’s a very small step in the road back to Washington, but Nationals manager Matt Williams told Jacob Feldman of the Washington Post that Werth “is well on the road to recovery” and should be able to swing a regular bat very soon.
Feldman reports that Werth remains on track to return at some point in August, although there are still plenty of hurdles to clear before that happens.
Michael Taylor has taken over as the Nationals’ primary left fielder in Werth’s absence, but the 24-year-old rookie is hitting just .248 with six homers and a .684 OPS in 67 games.
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.