Pablo Sandoval to have Tommy John surgery

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The San Francisco Giants announced yesterday that  third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who has been out of action for the past two weeks with a barking elbow, will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his season.

Tough break for Sandoval, who has enjoyed a nice, quiet comeback in San Francisco over the past couple of years. He absolutely cratered in Boston after signing a big free agent deal there following the 2014 season, but he returned to the Giants in 2017. Last year he hit .248/.310/.417 (101 OPS+) with nine homers in 92 games. This year he was hitting .269/.314/.509 (114 OPS+) with 14 homers.

Those are far from the kinds of numbers he put up back in his heyday, but (a) he’s basically been free to the Giants given that the Red Sox are the ones who have been on the hook for the final couple of years of that $95 million deal they gave him; and (b) he has been something of a utility guy/security blanket for manager Bruce Bochy, who has played him at first, third, DH and has even used him as a mop-up reliever on a few occasions.

Yesterday Bochy spoke of how important Sandoval was to have around simply because of who he is, saying, “He’s just so much fun. I’ve said this so many times, I just love his love for the game, his enthusiasm. Every day, he’s got a smile on his face.”

Sandoval will become a free agent after the 2019 season, but his timetable for recovery is unclear at the moment. And, as such, so is his future in the game.

Phillies pick up Matt Strahm with 2-year deal

Paul Rutherford-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA — Left-handed pitcher Matt Strahm joined the Philadelphia Phillies on a two-year deal, the team announced.

The 31-year-old free agent was a relief pitcher for the Boston Red Sox in the 2022 season, with a 3.83 ERA in 50 appearances, striking out 52, giving up 17 walks and allowing just five home runs.

Strahm has been a reliever and a starter over his seven seasons in the MLB, playing for Kansas City and San Diego before landing in Boston.

The Phillies did not say how much Strahm’s deal was worth in the news release.

After falling short in the World Series to the Houston Astros, Philadelphia has been on an offseason spending spree, picking up shortstop Trea Turner and right-handed starter Taijuan Walker.