The Mets tested fate by handing out a guaranteed $1.25 million contract to a pitcher who has only appeared in one major league game over the past two seasons because of a torn labrum in his right shoulder. So we really shouldn’t be surprised to hear that Kelvim Escobar experienced shoulder soreness recently and will be limited as pitchers and catchers arrive to Port St. Lucie.
Escobar originally experienced the pain while preparing for spring training and was examined by team doctor David Altchek. He has been told by team trainer Chris Correnti to ease up on throwing and focus on strengthening the shoulder. Hopefully it’s just a minor setback, as soreness at this time of year isn’t out of the ordinary, but it’s going to be pretty tough to secure a gig as the team’s primary set-up man, if you he can’t, you know, actually throw a baseball.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.