Southpaw search: Orioles sign Clay Rapada, make offer to Joe Beimel

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In an effort to add some left-handed relief options the Orioles have signed Clay Rapada to a minor-league contract and offered the same to Joe Beimel, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

Rapada has spent parts of four seasons in the majors for the Cubs, Tigers, and Rangers while logging a total of just 36 innings, but he’s held left-handed hitters to a .186 batting average and has always posted good numbers in the minors.

Beimel seems unlikely to accept a minor-league deal after earning nearly $6 million during the past four seasons, particularly since he did a decent job for the Rockies in 2010 with a 3.40 ERA in 45 innings while holding lefties to a .221 batting average.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.