Mets: Lindor out indefinitely, deGrom has forearm tightness

Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
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PITTSBURGH – New York Mets star shortstop Francisco Lindor is out indefinitely with a strained oblique and ace Jacob deGrom is sidelined with forearm tightness, the NL East leaders announced Saturday in their latest round of health setbacks.

The Mets didn’t put a timetable on Lindor’s return, but such injuries can often take a month or more to heal.

“I’d love to say I’m day-to-day, but I’m not,” Lindor said.

DeGrom felt discomfort Friday while throwing a bullpen in Pittsburgh. An MRI hours later revealed forearm tightness but no structural damage.

The two-time Cy Young Award winner hasn’t yet been slotted back into the rotation and there is no projection on when he might pitch again.

“Right now, we’re treating the player for what he feels,” manager Luis Rojas said. “That’s how we’re approaching day to day until he feels good and can throw.”

DeGrom is 7-2 with a major league-leading 1.08 ERA in 15 starts this season despite being hampered by multiple ailments. The right-hander last pitched July 7 against Milwaukee.

Lindor was put on the 10-day injured list with a strain on his right side.

Lindor got hurt during Friday night’s 4-1 loss at Pittsburgh, wincing after he grounded out in the fifth inning. The four-time All-Star took a few steps out of the batter’s box but then peeled off toward the Mets’ dugout on the first base side.

The Mets have not said when they think he might play again. New York began the day with a three-game division lead over Philadelphia.

“What I’ve learned, especially this year, is it’s a whole different situation for each injury,” Rojas said. “As much as you hear of similar injury grades, it’s just that each person heals differently. That’s why a timeline is tricky.”

“Francisco is in great shape, and we think he will approach his rehab the right way. We’ll take it week to week,” he said.

In his first season with New York after he was acquired in a January trade with Cleveland, Lindor is hitting .228 with 11 homers and eight steals in 88 games. He agreed to a $341 million, 10-year contract just before opening day.

“I’ll be glad to do whatever I can do to help the boys, to encourage them to work as hard as you can, celebrate each day,” Lindor said.

The Mets recalled infielder Travis Blankenhorn from Triple-A Syracuse to take Lindor’s roster spot.

Luis Guillorme started at shortstop Saturday night. Jonathan Villar and Jose Peraza could also see action at the position.

“I refer to our depth,” Rojas said. “The front office has done a good job preparing for situations like this. We’re going to miss Francisco, but we’re covered.”

Beset by a long list of injuries all season, the Mets got third baseman J.D. Davis back from the 60-day IL on Friday. His return meant each of New York’s projected regulars were available for the first time in months.

That lasted less than five innings.

“I have a lot of faith in the boys. We’re a resilient team,” Lindor said. “I’m not the first person to go down this year. I know the guys will continue to work as hard as they can and are going to win a lot more games with or without me.”

Blankenhorn hit .270 with four homers in 13 games for Syracuse. He appeared in 11 games for the Mets earlier this season, going 1 for 11.

The Mets are Blankenhorn’s fourth organization this season. He also has spent time in the farm systems of Minnesota, the Los Angeles Dodgers and Seattle.

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

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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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.