Kendall Graveman
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Report: Cubs to sign Kendall Graveman

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The Cubs are closing in on a deal with free agent right-hander Kendall Graveman, per ESPN’s Jesse Rogers. The deal is still pending official confirmation, and exact terms of the contract have yet to be publicly disclosed.

Things weren’t looking good for the 28-year-old righty when he was non-tendered by the Athletics in November. Graveman pitched to his worst career numbers during the first half of the season, turning in a 1-5 record in seven starts with a 7.60 ERA, 3.4 BB/9, 7.1 SO/9 and -0.4 fWAR through 34 1/3 innings. In July, a lingering forearm strain led to Tommy John surgery, which effectively decommissioned the starter until the start of the 2020 season.

The hope, of course, is that Graveman will return to the 4.00-ERA, 1.0+ fWAR levels of seasons past, though it doesn’t look like the Cubs are holding their breath on that front. Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times points out that the righty isn’t expected to see much, if any playing time during the club’s 2019 campaign and will likely stand in as pitching depth once he makes his eventual return to the mound.

Rays place Austin Meadows on 10-day injured list with thumb sprain

Austin Meadows
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Rays outfielder Austin Meadows has been placed on the 10-day injured list with a right thumb sprain, per a team announcement Sunday. No concrete timetable has been given for his return to the lineup just yet, but he’s scheduled to meet with a hand specialist on Sunday as the Rays try to determine the extent of his injury.

Meadows, 23, suffered the sprain in the seventh inning of Saturday’s 6-5 loss to the Red Sox. He lined a two-run triple into the right-center field gap — one of a franchise-record four triples that the Rays recorded in the game — but slid awkwardly into third base and jammed his right thumb in the process. He didn’t appear to be in obvious pain following the hit, however, nor was he removed from the game at the time.

Prior to the setback, Meadows carried a hefty .351/.422/.676 batting line with six homers, 19 RBI, and a 1.097 OPS through his first 83 plate appearances of 2019. He was replaced by Guillermo Heredia in right field for Sunday’s series finale and will likely lose a few starts to Avisaíl García as well.

In a series of corresponding moves, right-handed reliever Jake Faria was optioned to Triple-A Durham, infielder/outfielder Andrew Velazquez and righty reliever Emilio Pagán were recalled from Triple-A, and reliever Hunter Wood was placed on the paternity list. Second baseman Joey Wendle was also reinstated from the 10-day injured list after rehabbing a left hamstring strain and is scheduled take over the keystone during the Rays’ matinee against the Red Sox on Sunday.