Jarrod Saltalamacchia out 4-6 weeks following thumb surgery

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Jarrod Saltalamacchia was diagnosed with a leg infection one week after joining the Red Sox, returned to get 13 at-bats, and has now been diagnosed with a torn left thumb ligament that will require surgery.
He won’t play again this season and will need 4-6 weeks of recovery time, which leaves him ample opportunity to be ready for spring training while adding to Saltalamacchia’s already lengthy list of health problems over the past couple years.
In between the leg infection and thumb injury Saltalamacchia impressed the Red Sox by showing that he’s conquered the throwing problems that plagued him earlier this season. “I think what we saw, we were actually kind of excited about,” manager Terry Francona told Ian Browne of MLB.com. “His running of the game and his energy behind the plate, we really liked. He came out throwing really well.”
With both Victor Martinez and Jason Varitek impending free agents the Red Sox were smart to bring in Saltalamacchia as a fallback option, particularly since he was available for pennies on the dollar from the Rangers. At the very least he figures to be in their plans next season as a backup behind the plate.

Adrian Beltre cleared for extended spring training

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Adrian Beltre has been on the disabled list all year because of nagging right calf strain, but he’s about to take a big step toward getting back to action.

Beltre has been cleared to begin playing in extended spring training games. He’ll commence them tomorrow at the Rangers facility in Surprise, Arizona. After three games the team’s doctors will reevaluate him. If things go well, he’ll likely be sent off for a full minor league rehab assignment.

Joey Gallo has filled in for Beltre all season, bringing a lot of power but not much else to the table. While Beltre is 38, his all-around game would be welcomed back on the field and his leadership would be welcomed back in the Rangers clubhouse. On a personal note, Beltre is only 58 hits shy of 3,000 for his career.

Barring a setback, he’ll be back with the big club in early June and will hit the milestone eventually.

Michael Bourn opts out of his minor league deal with the Orioles

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Outfielder Michael Bourn was traded by the Diamondbacks to the Orioles late last season and hit a solid .283/.358/.435 in 55 plate appearances with them through the end of the season. While that’s not enough to outweigh the miserable season he had in Arizona, it was enough to get the O’s to give him a look in spring training with a minor league deal. They signed him to one in late February.

Then, a couple of days later, Bourn broke his finger while playing catch with a football. Unable to play, the O’s cut him. In early April, once Bourn healed, the O’s signed him again. He played 11 games for their Triple-A affiliate and went 9-for-41 with ten walks in 51 plate appearances. While that makes for a decent OBP, his lack of any sort of pop or good contact suggests that if someone throws him strikes, he can’t do much with the ball.

As such, the O’s had not called him up to Baltimore. And as a result of that, Bourn exercised his opt-out rights and became a free agent.

Someone may take a look at him given that his batting eye seems to be intact and given that, in an admittedly small sample size, he still performed last season. But if he does get a look, it’ll likely be back at the minor league level.