Orioles lose Brian Roberts to abdominal strain

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Brian Roberts, who had to overcome a back injury to open the season on time, was forced from Friday afternoon’s game against the Blue Jays due to a strained abdominal muscle.
It’d be a big blow if the Orioles lost their second baseman for any length of time, though they are better covered now with recent acquisition Julio Lugo as their utilityman than they were with last year’s backup, Robert Andino.
Before the Lugo trade, it looked like Justin Turner would be the choice to fill in if Roberts’ back injury was going to limit him past Opening Day. The 24-year-old hit .300/.362/.388 with just 37 strikeouts in 387 at-bats for Triple-A Norfolk last season, and he impressed this spring by going 11-for-32 with a homer and seven RBI. Lugo is probably the better choice to start at the moment, but Turner would be in line for the callup if Roberts lands on the DL.

Report: Athletics sign Trevor Cahill to one-year deal

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Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.

Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.

The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.