Major league baseball has determined Rangers’ starter Yu Darvish was not involved in the gambling ring operated by his brother, tweets Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The story broke last week, although at no point in time was Darvish directly implicated. Based on the most recent reports, Darvish remains on pace to return to the Rangers in mid-May.
Here’s more from the western divisions:
- Dodgers’ outfielder Andre Ethier is set to earn 10-and-5 rights in April, writes Steve Dilbeck of the Los Angeles Times. The club has long been rumored to be shopping the outfielder who has two years and $38MM guaranteed on his contract. He could also earn an additional $15MM in 2018 via a vesting option (550 PA in 2017). After a shaky 2014 that saw him relegated to a bench role, Ethier rebounded in 2015 with a .294/.366/.486 line over 445 plate appearances. However, the team used him in a strict platoon. The Dodgers may find it difficult to find a suitor unless they pick up a large portion of his remaining contract. On the plus side, the platoon role almost ensures he won’t trigger his vesting option. Now that Dexter Fowler is the top free agent outfielder on the market, the Dodgers may find it easier to shop Ethier.
- Teams have asked about Angels’ starter C.J. Wilson, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network. Per Heyman, clubs view Wilson as a buy-low candidate, but the Angels have yet to receive an acceptable offer. I would add that the team’s starting pitching depth is a bit of a concern. While they have eight starting pitchers on the 40-man roster, names like Matt Shoemaker, Tyler Skaggs, Nick Tropeano, and Andrew Heaney are either coming of a bad season, recovering from injury, or unestablished at the major league level. However, escaping from part of the $20MM owed to him in 2016 could help the club address another position.
- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton will have his playing time carefully managed in 2016 due to knee inflammation, writes T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Hamilton received a cortisone shot on Thursday. GM Jon Daniels described the joint as structurally sound. The aftermath of two surgeries could result in occasional flare-ups like this. Texas has plenty of outfield depth, particularly on the farm where Joey Gallo, Nomar Mazara, Lewis Brinson, and others wait in the wings. Gallo and Mazara are on the 40-man roster.
- Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has downplayed Colorado’s interest in free agent starter Yovani Gallardo, writes Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. In recent days, there have been several reports linking the Rockies with Gallardo as one of three finalists. While Bridich characterized talks as merely “checking in,” Saunders speculates that a signing could still come. At the very least, there appears to be some degree of mutual interest.