Blue Jays and Brandon Morrow close to three-year extension

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According to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca, the Blue Jays and right-hander Brandon Morrow are nearing a three-year, $20 million contract extension.

The proposed deal includes a $10 million option for 2015 or a $1 million buyout. An official announcement could come as soon as tomorrow.

Morrow requested $4.2 million and was offered $3.9 million from the Blue Jays when arbitration figures were exchanged last week. The new deal would at least buy out his final two years of arbitration and his first year of free agency.

Morrow, 27, went 11-11 with a 4.72 ERA over a career-high 179 1/3 innings last season. He led American League starting pitchers by averaging 10.19 K/9.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with left ankle injury

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Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.

Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.

The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.