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Dodgers to sign Jimmy Nelson

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Jorge Castillo of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Dodgers have signed pitcher Jimmy Nelson to a one-year deal. He’ll make $1 million in 2020, with incentives that could triple that. There is a vesting mutual option for 2021 that is much more valuable, perhaps as much as $12-13 million. This is, obviously, a make-good deal for Nelson and a low-risk flyer for the Dodgers on a pitcher who has lost, basically, the last two seasons due to injury.

Nelson, you may recall, suffered dislocated his shoulder after diving back to first base following a single he had half a thought of turning into a double late in the 2017 season. He then underwent surgery to repair a partially torn labrum and strained rotator cuff. The rehab cost him all of 2018. He pitched in ten games last season, three as a starter, and was ineffective. He fared better before that in some minor league work. Shoulder injuries are rough.

Prior to the injury, Nelson was finishing up his best season of his career. He placed ninth among 2017 NL Cy Young Award candidates after turning in a 12-6 record in 29 starts and a 3.49 ERA, 2.5 BB/9, 10.2 SO/9, and 4.8 fWAR across 175.1 innings.

If Nelson can regain part of his old form he’ll be a useful addition to the Dodgers. But like I said: shoulder injuries are rough, so it’s hard to tell what Los Angeles is getting.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.