Rangers sign Brad Hawpe to minor-league contract

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Brad Hawpe was a bust for the Padres last season, earning $3 million while hitting just .231 with a .645 OPS in his first full season away from Coors Field, and Richard Durrett of ESPN Dallas reports that he’s agreed to a minor-league deal with the Rangers.

Hawpe’s numbers were always inflated by playing half his games in Colorado, but he hit .288 with a .518 slugging percentage in 585 total games from 2006-2009 and typically posted solid road numbers as well.

Then he declined significantly in 2010 and totally fell apart last season before undergoing Tommy John elbow surgery in August. At age 32 he might simply be finished as a valuable player, particularly given the health question mark, but Hawpe is a worthwhile flier to take on a no-risk deal and could give the Rangers a cheap bench bat or first base alternative to Mitch Moreland.

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.