Ryan Klesko: outdoorsman

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For reasons that aren’t entirely clear to me, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution today runs an editorial by former Brave Ryan Klesko — which was actually dictated to someone it seems — in which he talks about his love of hunting, fishing, surfing and buying thousands of acres of real estate:

There is a lot of carryover between baseball players and the outdoors
— as many as 70 percent of the guys hunt or fish, depending on the
team.

In Atlanta, I know Tim Hudson, Chipper Jones and Eric Hinske do. Bobby Cox and [team traveling secretary] Bill Acree went bird hunting with Ted Turner.

When I played in San Diego, there were 14 of us who wore camo shirts around the clubhouse. They called us Redneck Row.

Psst! Ryan! Did the shirts look like this? Just sayin’, there were probably 25 of you wearing them that day!

Oh well. I don’t even know why I’m even linking this. It just seems . . . weird.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.