Tigers place Jordan Zimmerman on 10-day injured list with UCL sprain

Jordan Zimmerman
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The Tigers have placed right-hander Jordan Zimmerman on the 10-day injured list with a ulnar collateral ligament sprain in his right elbow, per an announcement on Friday. In a corresponding move, right-handed reliever Zac Reininger was recalled from Triple-A Toledo and will be made available to pitch during Friday’s series opener against the White Sox. MLB.com’s Jason Beck reports that Zimmerman is expected to rest for 5-7 days before entering a rehab program and will likely miss a total of three or four weeks.

Zimmerman, 32, was pulled after tossing just three innings against the Red Sox on Thursday. He allowed five runs on five hits and three walks and struck out two of 16 batters before he was forced to leave with soreness in his elbow. According to comments from manager Ron Gardenhire, the elbow discomfort was a new sensation for Zimmerman, who had not reported any similar feeling prior to the assignment and did not appear to be in visible pain while pitching.

This is the first time Zimmerman has dealt with elbow issues in nearly a decade. He underwent Tommy John surgery back in the summer of 2009, but has not suffered similar injuries in the nine major-league seasons that followed. So far in 2019, he carried an 0-4 record with a 5.93 ERA, 3.3 BB/9, 6.2 SO/9, and 0.2 fWAR through 30 1/3 innings. A rotation replacement has yet to be announced.

Reininger, 26, logged just one appearance in the big leagues this spring. He’s collected several cups of coffee in each of his past two seasons with the Tigers, but has yet to replicate his pristine Triple-A numbers on the major-league level. He currently holds a 0.90 ERA in Triple-A after opening the season with 10 innings of one-run, five-walk, nine-strikeout ball.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.