The Reds are closing in on a deal with lefty reliever Zach Duke, per Jon Heyman of Fancred. Rumors of the deal first sprouted on Thursday evening, but as of Friday, the team has yet to reveal any contract terms or make a formal announcement.
Duke, 35, split his 2018 campaign between the Twins and Mariners following a midseason trade to Seattle for right-hander Chase De Jong and corner infielder Ryan Costello. He pitched to a combined 4.15 ERA, 3.6 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 through 52 innings of relief. While his results weren’t anything to write home about, they represented an important step forward for the veteran left-hander in his first full season since undergoing Tommy John surgery during the 2016 offseason and UCL and forearm surgery in the middle of the Cardinals’ 2017 run.
In Cincinnati, Duke will provide additional depth in a bullpen that already includes right-handers Michael Lorenzen, Jared Hughes, and David Hernandez, lefties Wandy Peralta, Amir Garrett, Cody Reed, and Brandon Finnegan, and closer Raisel Iglesias. The Reds may still seek further reinforcements as the 2019 season draws nearer, but already missed out on one of their targets when free agent reliever Shawn Kelley inked a deal with the Rangers earlier this week.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.