Victor Martinez expected back on Monday

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According to Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe, Red Sox manager Terry Francona said Sunday that he expects catcher Victor Martinez (thumb) to be ready to return from the disabled list on Monday.  Like, this Monday.  Tomorrow.

Martinez caught a Clay Buchholz bullpen session on Saturday and reported no abnormal pain or discomfort in his once-fractured left thumb.  His return to the everyday lineup will be big, as Francona told the Globe.

“You’ve got your switch-hitter right smack in the middle, that would be good,” said the manager.

V-Mart was batting .289/.344/.480 with nine homers and 38 RBI in 246 at-bats at the time that he was placed on the disabled list.  The Red Sox have entrusted starting catching duties to Kevin Cash and Dusty Brown while he has been out because veteran backup Jason Varitek is sidelined with an injury of his own.  It’s safe to say they’re about to get an upgrade.

Diamondbacks return Rule 5 pick Tyler Jones to Yankees

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Diamondbacks’ right-hander Tyler Jones is headed back to the Yankees, the teams announced on Friday. The Diamondbacks had previously selected Jones in the Rule 5 draft last December, but elected to leave the 27-year-old off of their 40-man roster heading into the 2017 season. Rule 5 draft rules stipulate that when a player is not kept on the receiving team’s roster, the player must be offered back to his original team.

Jones signed a minor league contract with the Yankees prior to the 2016 season. He pitched to an impressive 2.17 ERA, 2.2 BB/9 and 13.2 SO/9 over 45 2/3 innings with Double-A Trenton, but was unable to make the leap to Triple-A or beyond during his stay with the organization.

Jones’ outlook with the Diamondbacks appeared slightly more promising. GM Mike Hazen described the righty as a power arm with a “good fastball and power curveball” after selecting him in the Rule 5 draft, and early reports indicated that Jones would be in the mix for a bullpen spot. A rough spring performance — underscored by his lack of experience at the Triple-A and major league levels — undid most of that confidence, however, and the Diamondbacks weren’t willing to keep him on the active roster throughout the entire 2017 season in order to acquire his control rights.

Jones is set to open the season with Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, per a report from the Yankees.

Derek Norris signing with the Rays

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Yahoo Sports’ Tim Brown reports that Derek Norris is signing with the Tampa Bay Rays.

Norris was released by the Nationals nine days ago, made redundant by the Nats’ signing of Matt Wieters and by everyone sliding down a notch on the depth chart below him. Norris hit only .186/.255/.328 with 14 home runs and a .528 OPS for the Padres in 2016.

Still, there always seems to be a place for a backup catcher. For Norris that place is Tampa Bay.