Chase Anderson to miss 4-6 weeks with left oblique strain

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Brewers’ right-hander Chase Anderson is slated for a four- to six-week absence, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reported on Saturday. Anderson was diagnosed with a left oblique strain on Wednesday after striking out swinging against the Reds’ Luis Castillo. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list on Thursday, but is facing a longer recovery process after consulting with the club’s medical staff and undergoing an MRI on Friday.

Anderson, 29, was working on a career-best pitching line prior to the injury. He crafted a 2.89 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 and 8.5 SO/9 through 90 1/3 innings and held a 6-2 record in 16 starts for the Brewers. It was a welcome break from the 4.00+ ERAs of his previous three seasons, and one which might not have been possible without the newly-developed curveball and cutter in his pitch repertoire. This will be his first significant stay on the disabled list since 2015, when he missed 19 days with right triceps inflammation.

With Anderson out, the Brewers recalled right-handed reliever Jorge López from Double-A Biloxi, who will help keep the bullpen fresh while they seek a temporary fix for the rotation. Further reports from McCalvy suggest that manager Craig Counsell might switch up replacement pitchers from start to start until Anderson’s return, and he already appears to have several viable options in relievers Paolo Espiño and Josh Hader. It’s shaping up to be an interesting month for the club, which entered Saturday just two games ahead of the second-place Cubs and will need to stay sharp in order to keep their No. 1 status in the NL Central.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.