Free agent infielder Ryan Flaherty is close to signing a deal with the Braves, according to a report from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. Flaherty exercised the opt-out clause in his minor league contract with the Phillies last week after it became clear that he wouldn’t break camp with the club. Any potential deal with the Braves has yet to be confirmed.
Flaherty, 31, finished off a six-year run with the Orioles in 2017. Thanks to a bout of right shoulder tendonitis, he was limited to just 23 games and delivered a .211/.302/.237 batting line and one extra-base hit across 43 plate appearances. While he’s never looked particularly fearsome at the plate during regular season play, he raked during spring training, slashing .351/.390/.514 with a single home run and a .904 OPS in his first 18 games.
Of course, the Braves didn’t pursue Flaherty for his bat. The veteran infielder grades well on defense and has proven his versatility around the horn, making it likely that he’d net a part-time role behind second baseman Ozzie Albies, third baseman Rio Ruiz (filling in for an injured John Camargo) and shortstop Dansby Swanson.
Bad news for the Cubs’ Yu Darvish: The right-hander is headed back to the disabled list with right triceps tendinitis, the team announced Saturday. It’s the second such assignment for Darvish this season, but the first time he’s been sidelined with arm issues. Neither the severity of his injury nor a concrete timeframe for his recovery has been revealed yet, but the move is retroactive to May 23 and will allow him to come off the DL by June 2, assuming all goes well.
Prior to the injury, Darvish went 1-3 in eight starts with a 4.95 ERA, 4.7 BB/9 and 11.0 SO/9 through 40 innings. Needless to say, these aren’t the kind of results the Cubs were hoping to see after inking the righty to a six-year, $126 million contract back in February, though the circumstances affecting his performances appear to have largely been out of his control. He missed a start in early May after coming down with the flu and has struggled to pitch beyond the fifth inning in five of his eight starts to date.
The Cubs recalled left-hander Randy Rosario from Triple-A Iowa in a corresponding move. Rosario has yet to amass more than five career innings in the majors, but has impressed at Triple-A so far this year: he maintained an 0.97 ERA, 2.8 BB/9 and 6.1 SO/9 through 19 1/3 innings in 2018. As for Darvish’s next scheduled turn in the rotation, Tyler Chatwood is lined up to take the mound when the Cubs face off against the Giants in the series finale on Sunday. A starter for Monday night’s game has yet to be determined.