Banged-up Yankees add Stanton, Loáisiga to injured list

Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

NEW YORK — Yankees slugger Giancarlo Stanton is on the injured list for the fourth straight season.

Stanton was placed on the 10-day IL with right ankle inflammation as the ailing Yankees made a flurry of roster moves less than an hour before their series finale against Baltimore.

“Feel like we got good news,” manager Aaron Boone said after his team’s 2-0 victory. “The Achilles is fine and no strain. So just feel like this is something that’s going to be short and feel like we should knock it out and not mess with it and maybe it becomes something else. So hopefully he got out in front of it a little bit and hopefully it’s just 10 days.”

New York also put struggling reliever Jonathan Loaisiga on the 15-day injured list, retroactive to May 23, with right shoulder inflammation – the latest blow to a depleted bullpen that had shined most of the season.

“Similar to what he dealt with last year. Probably not as severe. So, just feel like it’s probably something that as a precaution, we need to be smart here and take a couple weeks and hopefully that’s all it is,” Boone said. “We believe it’s something hopefully minor. We’re going to treat him symptomatically.”

Joey Gallo was reinstated from the COVID-19 injured list and started at designated hitter. Third baseman Josh Donaldson remained on the COVID-19 list, and All-Star infielder DJ LeMahieu was out of the lineup for the second consecutive night because of left wrist discomfort.

LeMahieu was feeling better after a cortisone shot and the team hopes to have him back at AL East rival Tampa Bay.

“I’d say it’s a possibility,” Boone said. “It’s still in there a little bit but I think we’re all encouraged. Today was a good day.”

Boone said he thought Donaldson was going to receive an IV, and the 2015 AL MVP was feeling better after his fever broke overnight. But the manager wasn’t sure if Donaldson would travel with the Yankees to Florida for the four-game set against the Rays, or possibly join the club sometime during the series.

The 32-year-old Stanton left the 7-6, 11-inning win over the Orioles in the seventh and had an MRI. He is hitting .285 with 11 homers and 35 RBIs for the Yankees, who have the top record in the majors at 31-13.

“Adversity’s coming for you even in the best of seasons and you’ve got to be able to weather the storm and have other guys step up in different situations,” Boone said. “Sometimes it’s in short spurts, sometimes it’s longer. That’s part of the grind of the 162-game season. We’re prepared to handle that. We look forward to handling that. The season doesn’t stop for anyone.”

Stanton played in 139 games last year, his highest total since 2018, and batted .273 with 35 homers and 97 RBIs. He was out from May 17-28 with a left quadriceps strain.

New York acquired Stanton, the 2017 NL MVP with Miami, before the 2018 season and he hit .266 with 38 homers and 100 RBIs during his first season in pinstripes.

He was sidelined from April 1 to June 18 in 2019 with a left biceps strain, then from June 26 until Sept. 19 with a sprained right knee. During the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, he was out from Aug. 9 until Sept. 15 with a strained left hamstring.

Since 2011, Stanton has been on the injured list in all but the 2014, 2017 and 2018 seasons. A four-time All-Star with the Marlins, he has a .269 career batting average with 358 homers and 928 RBIs.

The hard-throwing Loaisiga, a top setup man last year, is 1-2 with a 7.02 ERA in 18 appearances. He has walked 10 and given up 16 hits – including three homers – in 16 2/3 innings.

“I think the biggest thing with Lo, it’s been a few outings that have hurt him and when you do that early in the year as a reliever, it shows up that way,” Boone said. “But even in those times, he’s not far off as far as his stuff and his repertoire, and really confident that it’ll click once he gets rolling.”

Pitching for the second consecutive day, Loaisiga was tagged with the loss in his most recent outing during the second game of a doubleheader against the Chicago White Sox. He allowed four earned runs and four hits in two-thirds of an inning.

“After his last (appearance) he was just a little sore, so we’ve kind of slowed him down a little bit and just want to make sure obviously that he’s sound,” Boone said.

Loaisiga was 9-4 with five saves and a career-best 2.17 ERA in 57 games covering 70 2/3 innings last season. The right-hander missed 22 games and about 3 1/2 weeks in September with a shoulder strain.

Word of his injury this time came one day after the Yankees put All-Star closer Aroldis Chapman on the 15-day IL with left Achilles tendinitis, and just a few days after setup man Chad Green went down with a season-ending elbow injury that will require Tommy John surgery.

Veteran lefty Zack Britton is expected to miss the entire season after having Tommy John surgery last September.

“It’s also a great opportunity for people that we’re really excited about to step up and to step into roles,” Boone said. “Look forward to getting Lo back and pitching how we know he’s capable of.”

New York also recalled left-hander JP Sears and right-hander David McKay from Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Sears won his first major league start with five shutout innings.

Reserve catcher Rob Brantly was designated for assignment.

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

tampa bay rays
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports

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.