Nationals’ Chris Marrero suffers torn hamstring in winter ball

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Nationals first baseman Chris Marrero tore his left hamstring while playing in the Dominican winter league earlier this month and could miss the entire season, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.

Marrero repeatedly said that he doesn’t expect to miss all of 2012, but Ladson reports that the hamstring was torn off the bone and surgery was required. At the very least he seems highly unlikely to be ready for spring training, which could put the Nationals in the market for first base help with Adam LaRoche also a health question mark.

Ladson floats Mark DeRosa as a possible target and of course if the Nationals’ reported interest in Prince Fielder is real that would certainly address the first base situation in a big way. LaRoche is under contract for $8 million, but missed all but 43 games because of shoulder problems.

Blue Jays acquire Gift Ngoepe from the Pirates

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MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm reports that the Blue Jays have acquired infielder Gift Ngoepe from the Pirates in exchange for cash considerations.

Ngoepe, 27, made his major league debut this past season. Overall, he hit .222/.323/.296 in 63 plate appearances. He mostly played second base, but also spent time at shortstop and third base.

Ngoepe is from South Africa. When he debuted on April 26, he became the second African-born player to play in the majors along with Al Cabrera of the 1913 Cardinals. He had spent parts of eight seasons in the minors prior to 2017.

In case you’re wondering, Ngoepe is pronounced “in-go-pay.”