MLB Rumors: Latest Buzz on Fernando Tatis Jr. Injury, Mike Shildt and More
Major League Baseball is firmly entrenched in the championship round, as the Boston Red Sox, Houston Astros, Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves all remain alive for a spot in the World Series.
While these four teams are still battling it out, the rest of the baseball world has largely moved on to the offseason. Teams are making front-office and roster plans, while players are considering important decisions about their immediate and long-term futures.
Here, we'll dive into the latest offseason buzz, as for many, the offseason is already underway.
Fernando Tatis Jr. Unlikely to Undergo Surgery
San Diego Padres standout shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. has been dealing with a lingering shoulder injury that could potentially have long-term consequences. As AJ Cassavell of MLB.com noted, Tatis has had a reoccurring shoulder separation that has hampered him at multiple points.
"The Padres superstar shortstop has partially dislocated his left shoulder on at least four separate occasions this year, and he spent two stints on the injured list this season as a result," Cassavell wrote. "Each dislocation makes the possibility of a future dislocation more likely."
Tatis is faced with a choice between surgery and allowing the injury to heal over the offseason. According to Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune, Tatis plans to take the latter course of action.
"Padres shortstop Fernando Tatis Jr. does not plan to have surgery on his left shoulder this offseason, a source said Monday," Acee wrote. "If he was going to have the arthroscopic procedure, the decision needed to be made by around this time so his recovery would not prevent him from starting the 2022 season on time."
Things can always change, of course, but given the recovery time required for surgery, it appears that Tatis will forego offseason surgery.
Padres Interested in Mike Shildt
Mike Shildt's departure from the St. Louis Cardinals came as a bit of a surprise. Despite leading St. Louis to the postseason, Shildt was let go as manager by the Cardinals over "philosophical differences."
"All I can say is where we felt the team was going, we were struggling to get on the same page," president of baseball operations John Mozeliak said, per ESPN.
Shildt may not be out of work long, however. According to Dennis Lin and Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic, the Padres are expected to pursue Shildt for their opening.
"The Padres are expected to interview Mike Shildt for their managerial opening, sources tell Britt Ghiroli and me. Shildt, who was fired by the Cardinals on Thursday, oversaw three playoff trips in four seasons as St. Louis’ manager," Lin tweeted.
Shildt helped lead St. Louis to a 90-72 record this season. If he doesn't land in San Diego, it seems likely that he'll find a home elsewhere soon.
Billy Beane Withdraws Name, Mets to Consider Other Options
The New York Mets are searching for a new president of baseball operations. Two early candidates were Billy Beane of the Oakland Athletics and David Stearns of the Milwaukee Brewers. New York was denied permission to interview Stearns, and it appears that Beane has since pulled his name from consideration.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, Beane has withdrawn.
With Stearns and Beane out of the equation, the Mets must look elsewhere to fill their front-office vacancy. According to SNY's Andy Martino, the Mets may take a couple of different approaches:
"It appears increasingly unlikely that the Mets will obtain permission to hire Oakland Athletics executive vice president Billy Beane or Milwaukee Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns, league sources tell SNY. As a result, those sources suggest that the Mets could pivot to a search for a young general manager-type who could assume the GM title in New York, or— if necessary to get permission to hire that person—president of baseball operations."
While it remains unclear who the Mets will now target and whether they'll go after an up-and-coming general manager, a seasoned executive or both, the reality is that New York is back to square one in their offseason search.