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Houston Astros CF Jake Meyers has shoulder surgery; not expected to see game action before Opening Day

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CARLSBAD, Calif. — Houston Astros center fielder Jake Meyers had surgery Wednesday to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder, an injury that could delay his 2022 season.

The 25-year-old was hurt on Oct. 12 in Game 4 of the AL Division Series at the Chicago White Sox when he tried to make a leaping catch at the wall on Gavin Sheets’ second-inning home run.

Meyers had hoped to return later in the postseason but did not play again. He was 3-for-8 with two RBIs against the White Sox.

Houston said Meyers is not expected to be ready for game competition before opening day.

Meyers started the season at Triple-A Sugar Land, made his big league debut on Aug. 1 and hit .260 in 49 games with six homers and 28 RBIs.

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MLB free agency grades – Corey Seager provides remarkable boost for Texas Rangers

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The transaction orgy of the past few days has been stupendous for baseball fans accustomed to a more leisurely pace during the late autumn and winter months. That said, it’s been more stupendous for some fans than others, and no fan base ought to feel more adrenalized than that of the Texas Rangers.

With the news Monday that Texas had reached an agreement with star shortstop Corey Seager on a 10-year, $325 million contract, the Rangers’ offseason has gone from encouraging to exhilarating. Seager’s megadeal comes on the heels of Texas’ trio of agreements on Sunday, landing the Rangers Marcus Semien (now probably an ex-shortstop turned second baseman), starting pitcher Jon Gray and outfielder Kole Calhoun.

All it took was a can-do spirit, an aggressive mindset — and $561 million in salary commitments.

The scale and pace of this year’s free-agent frenzy has been something to behold, especially coming at a time on the baseball calendar during which it’s usually safe to do things like visit family, watch an episode of “Succession” or go to the grocery without missing a breaking news alert. Not this November. As someone who moved over from NBA coverage a few years back, I’ve noticed that these past few days have a familiar feel, and I like it. Hopefully, as the players and owners negotiate in Dallas on the expiring CBA, they’ve taken note of the buzz their sport is currently generating.

However, there is another NBA dynamic that sprang to mind when I heard the Seager news. Executives in the NBA have long recognized the most important step in building a championship-caliber roster is also the hardest one: acquiring a franchise-level star player. There are only so many in the league at any given time, and NBA teams used to plan for the expiration of certain contracts so that they might be positioned to grab such a star in free agency.

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Alex Cobb reportedly nearing deal with San Francisco Giants

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SAN FRANCISCO — Right-hander Alex Cobb is close to finalizing an agreement with the San Francisco Giants, according to multiple reports.

Cobb still must pass a physical to complete the deal.

A 34-year-old free agent, Cobb would give the reigning NL West champions a key veteran near the front of the pitching rotation after the departure of All-Star righty Kevin Gausman to the Toronto Blue Jays on a $110 million, five-year contract.

Cobb went 8-3 with a 3.76 ERA over 18 starts and 93⅓ innings for the Los Angeles Angels this year. He struck out 98 batters and walked 33.

San Francisco set a franchise record with 107 wins and edged the rival, 106-win Dodgers on the final day of the regular season before losing to Los Angeles in a thrilling five-game NL Division Series.

Earlier this month, the Giants declined their $22 million contract option on right-hander Johnny Cueto.

MLB Network first reported Cobb was close to a deal.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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Atlanta Braves sign reliever Kirby Yates to 2-year, $8.25 million contract

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The Atlanta Braves have signed right-handed reliever Kirby Yates to a two-year, $8.25 million contract, the team announced Monday.

Yates will earn $1 million in 2022 and $6 million in 2023. The contract has a $5.75 million team option for the 2024 season that includes a $1.25 million buyout.

Yates signed with the Toronto Blue Jays in January but did not pitch for the team this season after undergoing Tommy John surgery in March. It was the second time in his career he had the operation.

He led the majors in saves in 2019 when he had 41 for the San Diego Padres. He had a career-best 1.19 ERA that season in 60⅔ innings pitched. He pitched only 4⅓ innings for San Diego during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season before undergoing season-ending surgery in August to remove bone chips from his right elbow.

Yates joins a highly effective bullpen that was a big reason for the Braves” surprising run to a championship. Closer Will Smith returns, along with Tyler Matzek, A.J. Minter and Luke Jackson.

Yates, 34, is 12-17 with 57 saves and a 3.54 ERA in seven major league seasons for the Tampa Bay Rays, New York Yankees, Los Angeles Angels and Padres.

The Braves also announced Monday that right-hander Yoan Lopez was claimed off waivers by the Philadelphia Phillies. Lopez was acquired last May from Arizona but spent the rest of the season at Atlanta’s Triple-A club in Gwinnett.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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