Rafael Furcal again on the verge of coming off the disabled list

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Rafael Furcal suffered a setback when he was close to coming off the disabled list about two weeks ago, but the Dodgers shortstop is once again on the verge of returning from the lower back injury that has sidelined him since August 3.
Furcal is slated to begin a brief minor league rehab assignment today at Triple-A and Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that he could be back in the Dodgers’ lineup for the start of Friday’s crucial three-game series against the Giants.
Jamey Carroll has started all but one of the 27 games at shortstop in Furcal’s absence, hitting .318 with a .412 on-base percentage. Depending on the status of Ryan Theriot’s knee injury, manager Joe Torre may look to keep Carroll in the lineup with some action at second base.

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.