Mallex Smith
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Mallex Smith hospitalized with viral infection

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Rays outfielder Mallex Smith has been hospitalized with a viral infection, the team announced Friday night. While the precise nature of the infection has not been reported, manager Kevin Cash told reporters that he doesn’t believe it’s indicative of anything serious — that is, anything severe enough to be deemed life-threatening or season-ending.

Still, the fact that Smith landed in the hospital at all is cause for some alarm, and the Rays swiftly reassigned him to the 10-day disabled list for a still-to-be-determined recovery period. The 25-year-old outfielder is in the middle of his best season to date after slashing .307/.377/.433 at the plate with 27 stolen bases and 3.1 fWAR through 426 plate appearances. This figures to be his first stint on the DL all year.

A corresponding move won’t be announced until Saturday, though Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times speculates that either right-handed reliever Andrew Kittredge or outfield prospect Austin Meadows could get the nod in Smith’s place. Kittredge, 28, posted an impressive 2.74 ERA, 1.5 BB/9 and 11.2 SO/9 through 46 innings in Triple-A Durham this season. Meadows, meanwhile, is chugging along with a .316/.369/.671 batting line and six home runs since he came over from the Pirates at the trade deadline.

Rockies, Trevor Story agree on two-year, $27.5 million contract

Trevor Story
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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.