Jacoby Ellsbury finally cleared for batting practice

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Finally, some good news on the injury front for the Red Sox and their fans.

Jacoby Ellsbury, who has played in just three games since April 11 due to fractures in his rib cage, finally took batting practice Wednesday at the Red Sox’s spring training complex in Fort Myers, Florida.  This from Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe

There is still no timetable for the center fielder’s return, but progress is progress.

Ellsbury has made only 45 plate appearances in the big leagues this season and his absence from the Boston lineup has shown up vividly in the American League East standings.  The Red Sox currently sit seven games back of the Yankees in the division and 4.5 games back of the Rays in the hunt for the Wild Card.  There’s a real chance that we could see the first Boston-free October since 2006.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.