Rays rule Kiermaier, Zunino out for season with injuries

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

BALTIMORE — Tampa Bay Rays standouts Kevin Kiermaier and Mike Zunino are out for the season because of injuries, another significant blow for the defending AL East champions.

Manager Kevin Cash said that Kiermaier is having an operation in the coming weeks. The 32-year-old outfielder hasn’t played since July 9 because of a left hip injury, and Kiermaier said earlier this month that he might miss the rest of the regular season.

Zunino, a 31-year-old catcher, hasn’t played since June 9 because of left shoulder problems. He’s out for the season because of thoracic outlet syndrome surgery, according to a team spokesman.

In addition to missing Kiermaier and Zunino, the Rays are also without Wander Franco, Nick Anderson, Shane Baz, Tyler Glasnow, Manuel Margot and several others who are on the injured list. Brandon Lowe recently returned after missing two months.

Kiermaier, a three-time Gold Glove winner, has hit .228 with seven home runs, 22 RBIs and six steals this year. Cash indicated that his operation would be to fix the labrum.

“He’s been playing with it, and the doctor basically said years ago that you play through it until you can’t,” Cash said. “Well, we got to the point where he couldn’t.”

Kiermaier is on the 60-day IL and wasn’t eligible to return until September. Zunino was eligible to come back next month.

Zunino was an All-Star last year, when he hit a career-high 33 home runs. He’s hit .148 with five homers in 36 games this season.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports

SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.