Some news and notes from around the AL West…
- Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is expected to undergo arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Monday, the club told reporters (including Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram). Hamilton underwent two surgical procedures on that same knee last year and has been bothered by soreness in the same joint this spring. According to assistant GM Mike Daly, the Rangers still “feel good that Josh is going to play,” and haven’t had any talks with the veteran about his future with the organization. Texas re-signed Hamilton to a minor league deal over the winter as the former AL MVP is attempting to revive his career after several injury-plagued down years, plus a lost 2016 that saw him play in just one minor league game.
- Andrew Bailey “never seriously considered leaving” the Angels in free agency this winter, the veteran reliever tells Pedro Moura of the L.A. Times. “I feel like, with where I’m at in my career and what I’ve been through, signing early and getting something done and focusing on getting ready for this year was more important to me than chasing something else,” Bailey said. Amusing, he didn’t actually realize he was headed for free agency until last September, as Bailey believed he was still arbitration-eligible; he just barely passed the required six years of service time to hit the open market. The righty pitched well after signing a minor league deal with the Angels last August, and showed signs of recovery from several injury-plagued years by tossing 43 2/3 innings in 2016.
- The Mariners were counting on their “big three” of James Paxton, Taijuan Walker and Danny Hultzen to anchor their rotation for years to come, though as Larry Stone of the Seattle Times observes, only Paxton is still on the M’s roster. Walker was dealt to the Diamondbacks in November as part of the multi-player deal that brought Jean Segura to the M’s while Hultzen is simply trying to resume his career in the wake of multiple arm injuries.
- Chris Devenski’s surprising rise from unheralded prospect to a major weapon out of the Astros bullpen gives Houston some pitching flexibility, ESPN’s Mark Simon writes. The ’Stros could utilize Devenski as one of their many setup options, a multi-inning fireman like Andrew Miller or potentially even as starting depth in the back end of the rotation. Over 108 1/3 innings as a rookie last season, Devenski posted a very impressive 2.16 ERA, 8.6 K/9 and 5.2 K/BB rate.