Astros reportedly asked Dodgers for Chad Billingsley in Roy Oswalt deal

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Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times took a break from his hilarious and ongoing quasi-feud with Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle long enough to report that the “Astros wanted Chad Billingsley in return for Roy Oswalt.”
He adds that the Dodgers predictably refused, offered “four prospects” instead, and were apparently shot down. And then the Astros ended up with J.A. Happ and his significantly lower upside as the MLB-ready centerpiece of the Oswalt trade.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.