Jason Bay unlikely to return for at least another two weeks

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Bad news for the middle of the Mets’ projected lineup.

According to Adam Rubin of ESPN New York, Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said this afternoon that Jason Bay is unlikely to return from the disabled list until at least April 26 against the Nationals.

“I think it’s unrealistic to expect him before then,” Alderson said.

Bay is currently rehabbing from a strained left intercostal muscle near his ribcage and has just begun swinging a bat in Florida. When Bay initially suffered the injury at the tail-end of spring training, the Mets hoped he would be able to return this past Saturday.

The Mets sent down Lucas Duda following Sunday’s loss to the Nationals, so Willie Harris figures to get most of the playing time in left field for now.

Report: Athletics sign Trevor Cahill to one-year deal

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Free agent right-hander Trevor Cahill reportedly has a one-year deal in place with the Athletics, according to MLB.com’s Jane Lee. The exact terms have yet to be disclosed, and as the agreement is still pending a physical, it has not been formally announced by the club.

Cahill, 30, is coming off of a decent, albeit underwhelming year with the Padres and Royals. He kicked off the 2017 season with a 4-3 record in 11 starts for the Padres, then split his time between the rotation and bullpen after a midseason trade to the Royals. By the end of the year, the righty led the league with 16 wild pitches and had racked up a 4.93 ERA, 4.8 BB/9 and 9.3 SO/9 in 84 innings for the two teams.

The A’s found themselves in desperate need of rotation depth this week after Jharel Cotton announced he’d miss the 2018 season to undergo Tommy John surgery. Right now, the team is considering some combination of Andrew Triggs, Daniel Gossett, Daniel Mengden and Paul Blackburn for the back end of the rotation — a mix that seems unlikely to change in the last two weeks before Opening Day, as Lee points out that Cahill won’t be ready to shoulder a full workload by then. Instead, he’s expected to begin the year in the bullpen and work his way up to a starting role, where the A’s hope he’ll replicate the All-Star numbers he produced with them back in 2010.