Mejia says shoulder is fine, plans to play winter ball

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Mets right-hander Jenrry Mejia left his Wednesday start against the Pirates in the third inning after feeling some pain in the area of his shoulder, and it was announced this morning that he will be shut down for the rest of the 2010 season.

But it’s not all bad news for the 20-year-old prospect.

Adam Rubin of ESPN New York caught up with Mejia Thursday, and it sure sounds like the injury is far from serious.

“It wasn’t a real bad pain,” Mejia said in Spanish. “I just wanted to be
careful so I didn’t make it worse than what it was. It’s better to know
it’s nothing that requires surgery or anything like that.”

Mejia said he expects the injury to heal in time for him to pitch for Licey in this year’s Dominican Winter League.  If all goes well there in his native country, and he follows it up with a strong spring training, the youngster will almost certainly open the 2011 season as a member of the Mets’ starting rotation.

He posted a 4.62 ERA, 1.69 WHIP and 22/20 K/BB ratio over 39 big-league innings this year.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.