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Joakim Soria, Eric O’Flaherty clear waivers

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Royals reliever Joakim Soria and Braves reliever Eric O'Flaherty have both cleared waivers, Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball reports. That means that the players’ respective teams can try to work out a deal with any interested team.

Soria, 32, hasn’t had a particularly great season, compiling a 4.03 ERA with a 52/21 K/BB ratio in 51 1/3 innings. He has currently matched a career-worst in ERA, as he also put up a 4.03 ERA in 2011. Soria is under contract through 2018, owed a total of $18 million. He and his controlling team have a mutual option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $1 million buyout. If it seems odd that Soria was put on and cleared waivers, that contract is why.

O’Flaherty, 31, has had a miserable campaign with the Braves, posting a 6.91 ERA and a 22/11 K/BB ratio in 28 2/3 innings. He’ll be eligible for free agency after the season. Heyman quotes a rival executive who said, “Any lefty who clears waivers can’t be very good.” Seems accurate.

Astros’ Verlander to have elbow surgery, miss rest of season

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.

The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.

“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.

He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.

“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”

Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.

“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.

“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”

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