Paralyzed outfielder Johnathan Taylor won’t sign with Rangers


No deal will come of the Rangers’ move to draft paralyzed University of Georgia outfielder Johnathan Taylor in the 33rd-round in the MLB draft earlier this month.  Instead, Taylor, who was injured in an outfield collision with teammate and now fellow Rangers draftee Zach Cone on March 6, will remain part of the baseball program at Georgia while working to complete his degree.

The Rangers have made a donation to the fund supporting Taylor’s rehab, and they invited him on the field along with their other Georgia-based draft picks prior to Saturday’s game against the Braves in Atlanta.  Once Taylor completes school, the hope is that he’ll become a part of the Rangers organization in some capacity.

In the meantime, he still has bigger priorities.

“Right now my goal is to get better in rehab, focus on trying to get my legs back up under me again. Start walking, running, and get back up on that field again,” he said Saturday.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.