Justin Duchscherer to undergo minor back procedure

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The injury-related problems continue for veteran right-hander Justin Duchscherer.

According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, Duchscherer will undergo an ablation procedure on his lower back Sunday and won’t be able to pick up a baseball for the next four or five days.

It’s a minor surgery designed to heat up never endings and drive away pain. Duchscherer has undergone it before and recovered fine.

Duchscherer was placed on the 15-day disabled list at the start of the season and isn’t expected to make his debut for the Orioles until late April or early May. He’s been highly effective throughout his career when healthy, both as a starter and reliever, but injuries have limited him to just 28 major league innings since 2008.

The O’s will have to hope that the ablation does the trick on whatever is still ailing the 33-year-old.

Yankees trade Chase Headley, Bryan Mitchell to the Padres for Jabari Blash

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The New York Yankees have traded third baseman Chase Headley and pitcher Bryan Mitchell to the San Diego Padres for outfielder Jabari Blash. Joel Sherman of the New York Post was the first to report the trade. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic was the first to report that Blash was coming back in return.

Headley, a third baseman, hit .273/.352/.406 for the Yankees last year. He, of course, played for the Padres from 2007 through the middle of 2014, when he was dealt to New York. Mitchell has pitched 48 games for the Yankees, most from the pen, over four seasons, with an ERA of 4.94 in 98.1 innings. He doesn’t strike out many and he walks a lot. He throws hard.

Blash, an outfielder, has hit .200/.323/.336 with eight homers in 279 big league plate appearances. Blash has shown a lot of power potential in the minors, but has not yet put it together in the bigs. Given what the Yankees have in their outfield at the moment, he’s going to be organizational depth or, perhaps, a chit in a future trade.

This would seem to be an exercise in salary clearing by the Yankees in anticipation of another move, as it takes about $13 million off of their payroll. Which is about how much was added to their payroll for 2018 in the Giancarlo Stanton deal. That could get Todd Frazier back for them, perhaps. Or it could help them retain CC Sabathia or go after another starting pitcher. The club likewise maintains an interest in getting under the $197 million payroll threshold which would trigger yet another year of 50% luxury tax payments for the Yankees.