Kerry Wood expected to rejoin the Indians on Friday

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Kerry Wood threw a scoreless minor league rehab inning on Thursday evening at Double-A Akron and is likely to rejoin the Indians before Friday’s game against the Blue Jays in Toronto.  This according to the Cleveland Plain Dealer’s Paul Hoynes

Wood has been on the disabled list since the middle of July with a blister on his right index finger.  He had a 6.30 ERA, a 1.60 WHIP and an 18/11 K/BB ratio in 20 innings before the disabling, but the Indians are going to hand him ninth-inning duties once he returns to justify the nearly $4.5 million that he’s still owed this season. 

Chris Perez has served as Cleveland’s closer in Wood’s absence and has been fantastic.  The 25-year-old hasn’t allowed a run since June 27 and has converted his last five save opportunities.  Wood, meanwhile, has blown three saves in 11 chances this season.  But, hey, money talks.

Tigers sign Edwin Espinal to minor league deal

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Free agent first baseman Edwin Espinal has signed a minor league deal with the Tigers, the infielder announced Saturday. The move has yet to be confirmed by the team.

Espinal, 23, capped a seven-year run with the Pirates’ minor league affiliates in 2017. He split his season between Double-A Altoona and Triple-A Indianapolis, batting a cumulative .294/.327/.447 with 15 home runs and 31 doubles in 532 plate appearances. While he’s raked at nearly every level so far, he also profiles well on defense, and rounded off his 2017 performance with a perfect fielding percentage, 208 putouts and a Gold Glove award.

Espinal is untested at the major league level and it’s not yet clear if he’ll make the jump in 2018. He showed some positional versatility during his time in the minors, however, and could take reps at third base or DH if necessary. The Tigers are reportedly on the lookout for pitching depth and left-handed bats — two bills the right-handed Espinal doesn’t fit — and presumably have a lot of moves left to make this winter.