Neil Walker’s extension talks with Pirates have “cooled”

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Back when the Pirates signed Jose Tabata to a long-term contract extension in August there was talk of them doing the same with Neil Walker, but Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that those negotiations never went anywhere.

According to Biertempfel the two sides were “deep in talks” as of late August, but “appear to have cooled.”

Walker isn’t even eligible for arbitration yet and the Pirates have him under team control through 2016 as is, so there’s really no need to commit guaranteed money to a 25-year-old who hit .273 with 12 homers and a .742 OPS in 159 games and is nowhere near free agency.

Hyun-Jin Ryu will open season in Dodgers’ rotation

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Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.

Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.

With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.