The oxymorons of spring training

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Paul Sullivan reports that the cactus league is displaying a grapefruit with an autograph of a player whose autograph no one really wants anymore.

Meanwhile Amalie Benjamin tweets that “starters are throwing bullpens.”

While the winter months bring a deafening silence to the world of baseball, the sweet sorrow of spring training must be organized by military intelligence.

Phillies sign Trevor Plouffe to minor league deal

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Infielder Trevor Plouffe has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies, Gerry Fraley of the Dallas Morning News reports. Plouffe asked for and was granted his release from the Rangers earlier this month.

Plouffe, 31, had a double and a home run in 17 plate appearances with Triple-A Round Rock to start the 2018 season. He spent last year with the Athletics and Rays, putting up a meager .198/.272/.318 batting line in 100 games.

Plouffe has mostly played third base throughout his career, but can also handle the other three infield spots and both outfield corners, so he’ll serve as organizational depth at Triple-A Lehigh Valley for the Phillies.