Fort Worth Star Telegram

Storylines: Andrew Cashner suffers setback and is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day

Andrew Cashner's injury woes continue as he has had a setback and is now no longer expected to start the season on time. That and all the rest of the news from around baseball on Thursday...

Top Storylines:

- The Texas Rangers have seen their pitching depth take a bit of a hit.  Right-hander Andrew Cashner has suffered a setback in his recovery from bicep tendinitis and is expected to be shut down for a few days and will not be ready to go on Opening Day per Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.  The Rangers inked Cashner to a one-year, $10MM deal in the offseason to help shore up their pitching rotation, which was riddled with injuries throughout last season.  Cashner’s injury puts the rotation in a similar situation as last year.  With Cashner on the shelf for a while, the Rangers are reportedly considering scooping up one of the remaining veteran starting pitchers on the free agent market such as Colby Lewis and Doug Fister.  Both are still unsigned at this point and are searching for new teams.  The Rangers seem more likely to try and bring back Lewis, whom pitched for the club for nine seasons before not being brought back after hitting the free agent market.  Thankfully there is still plenty of time left in the spring for the Rangers to consider other options for their rotation.

Other Storylines:

- The Oakland Athletics have also suffered a blow to their rotation.  Right-hander Sonny Gray has been ruled out for three weeks due to a lat strain per Jane Lee of   He won’t be able to go for Opening Day and may end up missing most of April due to his latest injury.

- The Atlanta Braves are reportedly scouring the market for a right-handed hitting outfielder per Jon Heyman of FanRag.  The Braves lack a clear fourth outfielder and already have two starting outfielders whom hit left-handed in Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis.

- The Colorado Rockies are reportedly making it known that two of their veteran relief pitchers are up for sale per Heyman.  The Rockies are making veterans Chad Qualls and Jason Motte available for trade as both have not lived up to their multi-year contracts with the club.

- The San Diego Padres are searching for a shortstop per Heyman.  The Padres’ best option at shortstop is Luis Sardinas but the Padres are clearly not satisfied with him.

- The Detroit Tigers are kicking the tires on finding a center fielder per Heyman.  The Tigers currently have in-house options for center field such as Jacoby Jones and Tyler Collins but the Tigers appear to seek a more proven option in their outfield to patrol center field for the season.

- The Chicago Cubs have agreed on a record-setting pre-arbitration deal for stud third baseman Kris Bryant per Heyman.  Bryant will earn a record $1.5MM in his final year of pre-arbitration before being eligible for arbitration the following season.  His new salary comes courtesy of the extra funds the Cubs had from winning the World Series.  Bryant’s high salary indicates there will be plenty of raises in his future as long as he keeps performing as he has in his first two years with the club.

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