Report: Instigator Posada gets four-game ban

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According to the New York Daily News, both Jorge Posada and Blue Jays reliever Jesse Carlson have received four-game suspensions for their actions that started a brawl Tuesday.
Posada’s penalty is clearly the harsher of the two, even if the time off is the same. Position players, starting pitchers and relievers are all treated differently when it comes to handing out suspensions, and if the league office had thought Carlson was as much at fault as Posada, he would have faced a longer ban.
As is, the penalties seem fair. Posada didn’t set off the brawl directly, so he doesn’t get quite the five- or six-game penalty that’s usually handed out to players who charge the mound. Still, he practically forced Carlson to respond when he delivered the quick shove after crossing home plate.
6:30 pm update – It now appears as though both Posada and Carlson will serve three-game suspensions, with the condition being that neither will appeal. That follows a common trend that’s developed these last couple of years: if the players decline to contend suspensions in a hearing, they’ll usually get a game knocked off, which is the best they can typically hope for in a hearing anyway. Both players will be begin serving their suspensions tonight.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.