Adrian Beltre pulled with left hamstring strain

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According to the Boston’s Globe’s Peter Abraham, Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre left Sunday’s game against the Blue Jays with what is currently being called a “left hamstring strain.”

No matter Sunday’s result, the Red Sox will limp into the All-Star break ranked third in the American League East behind the Rays and Yankees.  They’ve had a nice string of success recently, but it is incredible how many times the Sawx have been hit with major injuries this season.   Credit goes to the front office, and guys like Daniel Nava and Darnell McDonald, for the fact that Boston can still claim playoff hopes.

Victor Martinez is on the disabled list with a fracture in his left thumb, Dustin Pedroia is out another few weeks with a broken foot, Josh Beckett is still rehabbing a back injury and Clay Buchholz has missed the last three weeks with a hamstring strain.  In fact, 10 of the players on Boston’s 40-man roster are currently on the disabled list, including veteran catcher Jason Varitek and outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury and Jeremy Hermida.  It has all been a bit tiring to cover, honestly.

If Beltre is unable to return immediately after the All-Star break, the club may need to trade for infield help or dig deeper into the farm system.  Bill Hall slid over to third base when Beltre departed on Sunday and may need to start there when the 2010 baseball season resumes next week.

Phillies sign outfielder Michael Saunders

CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 3: Michael Saunders #21 of the Toronto Blue Jays runs to first after being walked during the third inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on May 3, 2015 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
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The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.

Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.

The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.

Jose Bautista and the Blue Jays nearing a two-year, $35-40 million deal

Toronto Blue Jays Jose Bautista flips his bat after hitting a three-run homer during seventh inning game 5 American League Division Series baseball action in Toronto on Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2015. (Nathan Denette/The Canadian Press via AP) MANDATORY CREDIT
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It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.

Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.

The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.