Joe Mauer won’t require another knee surgery

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Twins catcher Joe Mauer underwent an MRI this week on his surgically-repaired left knee that showed only inflammation.  That means that he will not need another procedure this offseason and that only “rest and rehab” will be required for a full recovery.

Twins GM Bill Smith relayed this information to MLB.com’s Kelly Thesier on Thursday afternoon.

Mauer missed 10 games in September alone and hit only .250 with zero extra-base hits during the postseason this year, all due in large part to his sore left knee.  He should get better stamina out of his joint and ligament in 2011, a full year removed from the first knee surgery.

The 27-year-old turned in a .327/.402/.469 overall batting line in 2010 with nine home runs and 75 RBI over 510 at-bats.

Twins players Micheal Cuddyer, Scott Baker, Nick Blackburn and Jason Repko have also undergone surgeries this offseason.  They’re all expected to be ready for the start of spring training next year.

Report: Mariners sign Juan Nicasio to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Mariners have signed pitcher Juan Nicasio to a two-year contract, pending a physical.

Nicasio, 31, spent last season with the Pirates, Phillies, and Cardinals, putting up an aggregate 2.61 ERA with a 72/20 K/BB ratio in 72 1/3 innings. He appeared in 76 games, leading the National League.

Nicasio will help bolster the Mariners’ bullpen behind closer Edwin Diaz. It’s not known exactly what role he’ll have but it seems reasonable to assume he’ll handle mostly the seventh inning while Nick Vincent will set up for Diaz. Nicasio does have plenty of starting experience so he could also spot start in a pinch.