Add Astros reliever Brad Peacock to the list of players to contract hand, foot, and mouth disease. Jake Kaplan of The Athletic reports that the right-hander will miss an as-yet undetermined amount of time due to the illness.
Peacock joins the Mets’ Noah Syndergaard (link) and the Yankees’ J.A. Happ (link) as players to have contracted HF&M, which sounds more like a clothing store you’d find in a mall when you put it that way. Both pitchers missed one start.
Hand, foot, and mouth disease is more common in children than adults and is caused by Coxsackievirus A16 or Enterovirus 71. It isn’t known how Happ contracted it, but Syndergaard said he likely became ill after attending a youth camp during the All-Star break.
Peacock, 30, owns a 2.98 ERA with a 90/19 K/BB ratio in 60 1/3 innings for the Astros this season. Based on the other two pitchers’ timelines, Peacock shouldn’t miss many games, so he should have time to return and get primed for a playoff run. The Astros currently hold a three-game lead over the Athletics for first place in the AL West.
The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.
The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.
Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.