UPDATE: Orioles sign Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year, $8 million contract

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UPDATE: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com hears that a significant portion of Guerrero’s $8 million salary is deferred.

6:59 PM: Buster Olney of ESPN.com confirms his colleague’s initial report. It’s one-year, $8 million, pending a physical.

Interestingly, as Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun notes, the O’s payroll now sits at approximately $93 million, approximately $20 million more than last season.

You can’t say the Orioles aren’t trying to win, but unless their young pitchers take a huge leap forward this season, it’s hard to imagine them being a contender.

6:32 PM: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com and Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun have both confirmed the signing, though they haven’t provided the exact terms of the deal.

6:08 PM: Well, it looks like Vlad won this staring contest.

According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Orioles have signed Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year, $8 million contract.

I’m curious to find out whether this figure includes potential incentives, but if not, this would mean that the Orioles ultimately bought Guerrero’s pitch that he had another $8 million offer on the table.

Guerrero is projected to be the regular designated hitter for the Orioles, moving Luke Scott to left field and Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie to the bench. The team’s defense will likely take a hit because of it, but their lineup now stacks up pretty well with the rest of the American League East.

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.