Clint Barmes plays catch for first time since hand fracture

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For the first time since fracturing a bone in his left hand in late March, Astros infielder Clint Barmes was able to put on a glove Saturday and play catch.

The 32-year-old reported no abnormal pain or discomfort in his hand during or after the light workout and still has his sights set on a late April or early May return to the major leagues.

Barmes spoke Sunday morning with Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle and seemed optimistic about reaching that goal:

“It was sore, but I didn’t expect to come out and feel 100 percent on my first day,” Barmes said. “It was great to be out on the field with a glove on my hand.”

Barmes is aiming to take dry swings with a bat on Monday, then he’ll slowly progress to live batting practice. Once activated from the disabled list, he should begin seeing regular starts at shortstop for Houston.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.