Nationals’ Stephen Strasburg to make season debut Thursday

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MIAMI — Washington Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg is scheduled to make his season debut against the Miami Marlins.

The 33-year-old Strasburg has been sidelined for most of the past two seasons. He underwent surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome last summer and has not pitched since June 1, 2021.

A successful bullpen session was the final step toward Strasburg’s return, Nationals manager Dave Martinez said.

“He said he felt good,” Martinez said. “So he’s going to open up for us on Thursday. Another guy that’s basically opening day, so we’re excited for that.”

Martinez added, “I’m not going to put any limitations on him. We’ll see how far we can take him. We’ll keep a close eye on him.”

The 2019 World Series MVP made three minor league rehab starts in the lead-up to his debut

Strasburg signed a seven-year, $245 million contract to remain with the Nationals after their championship season. He has made seven starts since, going 1-3 with a 5.74 ERA in those outings.

For his career, Strasburg is 113-61 with a 3.21 ERA.

Rays’ Díaz gets $24 million, three-year deal, avoids arbitration

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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Tampa Bay Rays infielder Yandy Díaz agreed to a $24 million, three-year contract on Tuesday that avoided a salary arbitration hearing.

Díaz’s agreement could be worth $36 million over four seasons.

The 31-year old will receive $6 million this season, $8 million in 2024 and $10 million for 2025. The 2026 club is $12 million with no buyout. There is a $1 million assignment bonus that would be payable by receiving team.

Díaz has spent parts of six seasons in the majors with Cleveland (2017-18) and Tampa Bay (2019-22). He has a career average of .278 with 39 home runs and 198 RBIs.

Acquired by the Rays in a three-team trade on Dec. 13, 2018, Díaz hit .296 with nine homers and 57 RBIs in 137 games last season, He career highs with 71 runs, 140 hits, 33 doubles, and 78 walks.

Díaz was the third Rays’ arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal.

Reliever Pete Fairbanks agreed Friday to a $12 million, three-year contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons. The 29-year-old right-hander 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.

Left-hander Jeffrey Springs also agreed last week to a $31 million, four-year contract that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

The 30-year-old began last season in the bullpen and transitioned to the starting rotation in May and finished 9-5 with a 2.46 ERA in 33 appearances, including 25 starts.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, and outfielder Harold Ramírez.