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Report: Astros are looking at Jeff Samardzija as a trade candidate

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MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports that the Astros are doing preliminary background work on Giants’ right-hander Jeff Samardzija. Nothing has been substantiated by either team yet, but the veteran righty would be an interesting get for the Astros, whose pool of right-handed starters currently features Lance McCullers Jr., Charlie Morton, Mike Fiers, Brad Peacock, Francis Martes, Joe Musgrove and Collin McHugh (10-day DL, elbow impingement).

Samardzija hasn’t been hanging around the top of the leaderboard this year, at least not when it comes to run prevention, but his peripheral stats show that he’s putting together a more solid run than his 4-10 record and 4.58 ERA suggest. He’s maintained a 1.1 BB/9 and career-best 9.7 SO/9 through the first 118 innings of the season and has pitched into the sixth inning in all but three of his starts.

Consistency is at a premium these days, especially for a club that’s well-positioned to contend this fall, and that may be reason enough for the Astros to take a flyer on the 32-year-old. He’s no Jose Quintana, to be sure, but has tossed over 200 innings in each of his last four seasons and has stayed remarkably healthy over the entirety of his 10-year career. While Samardzija is set to remain under team control through the 2020 season, he’s still owed $60+ million on his five-year contract, which could be enough to put off any suitors looking for a bargain arm to stabilize their rotation.

Luis Urías to miss six to eight weeks with fractured hamate bone

Luis Urías
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Robert Murray reports that Brewers infielder Luis Urías underwent surgery to repair a fractured left hamate bone, suffered during a game in the Mexican Pacific Winter League. The club expects him to miss six to eight weeks, which likely means he will not start the regular season on time.

The Brewers acquired Urías from the Padres along with pitcher Eric Lauer in late November in exchange for pitcher Zach Davies and outfielder Trent Grisham.

Last season with the Padres, Urías hit .223/.329/.326 across 249 plate appearances. While his offense isn’t anything to write home about, he does play above-average defense with the ability to play several positions.

Urías was slated to be the regular shortstop, so his late start likely means Orlando Arcia will get another chance to prove himself. Arcia has failed to live up to expectations across four seasons in the big leagues thus far.