Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett was pushing for a contract extension back in May, but no deal has come together since. Nevertheless, the 28-year-old – who’s only controllable for another season – told Bill Ladson of MLB.com this week that he remains hopeful he’ll continue his career in his hometown of Cincinnati. Asked whether he’d still like an extension, Gennett said: “Yeah. For me not to have an extension — I don’t think would make a whole lot of sense for it to not to happen at some point. What I’m willing to do for this team, for the fans in Cincinnati and being from Cincinnati, it’s kind of the perfect formula for me.” Gennett spoke more about his future Saturday, saying (via Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer): “I just feel like we’re kind of reaching that point where we’re going to start having talks. But like I said, when we do, I’m not going to be sharing that information.” The Reds were skeptical of extending Gennett off a career-best 2017, according to the player, though he has done his best this season to show that performance wasn’t a fluke. Overall, since the Reds claimed Gennett off waivers from the division-rival Brewers prior to last season, he has slashed an excellent .304/.352/.512 with 44 home runs and 5.8 fWAR in 961 plate appearances.
Here’s more from baseball’s Central divisions:
- Speaking with Paul Hoynes of cleveland.com and other reporters on Saturday, Indians manager Terry Francona revealed that designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion could be headed for the disabled list. Encarnacion, who’s dealing with an injured left biceps, had an MRI on Saturday and visited with a hand specialist, Hoynes writes. The 35-year-old has also battled a bone bruise in his right hand, which likely helps explain his so-so production to this point. One of the game’s biggest offensive threats from 2012-17, Encarnacion has only posted a .229/.317/.461 line (108 wRC+) this year, though he has continued to show off serious power with 25 home runs and a .232 ISO. [Update: The Indians have indeed placed Encarnacion on the DL, Hoynes tweets. The club’s recalling infielder Yandy Diaz from Triple-A Columbus in a corresponding move.]
- Tigers right-hander Michael Fulmer is closing in on a rehab assignment, per Jason Beck of MLB.com. Fulmer, out since July 20 with a left oblique strain, threw a 50-pitch bullpen session Saturday. Regardless of whether the 25-year-old returns in 2018, with the July 31 non-waiver trade deadline having passed, he no longer looks like a candidate to end up on the move this season. Fulmer had been popular in the rumor mill until hitting the DL, and if he comes back this year and performs well, he’ll surely be a target for teams over the winter.
- Cubs left-hander Drew Smyly is holding out for a September return, Jesse Rogers of ESPN.com reports. Smyly, a former Tiger, Ray and Mariner whom the Cubs signed to a two-year, $10MM guarantee in December, continues to work back from the Tommy John procedure he underwent last June. The 29-year-old hasn’t taken a major league mound since Sept. 26, 2016.