Corey Patterson lands with the Brewers

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Even thought he wasn’t offered an invitation to spring training, Corey Patterson signed a minor league deal with the Brewers on Monday. Assistant GM Gord Ash said he’s being penciled in as the left fielder for Triple-A Nashville.

Patterson had one of his best seasons with the Orioles in 2010, hitting .269/.315/.406 in 308 at-bats, but he fell off to .239/.273/.359 in 368 at-bats with the Blue Jays and Cardinals last season. The 32-year-old has a career line of .252/.290/.400 with 118 homers and 218 steals in 4,171 at-bats over 12 seasons.

If Patterson can return to the majors with Milwaukee, it will be his second stint with the club. He was 1-for-14 with seven strikeouts in 11 games for the Brewers in 2009.

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.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.