Casey Kotchman to sign with the Indians

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Jon Heyman reports that Casey Kotchman is going to sign with the Indians. According to Paul Hoynes, it’s a one year deal for $3 million plus incentives.

Earlier this week he was rumored to be going to the Orioles, but that apparently went nowhere.

Kotchman had a nice 2011 with the Rays, hitting .306/.378/.422 in 563 plate appearances.  For his career he’s a .268/.336/.398 guy, and it’s not exactly realistic to expect him to repeat his 2011.

He plays slick defense at first base and is an upgrade over Matt LaPorta.  It suggests, however, that Carlos Santana’s time at first base will be reduced as well. Whether that is just for next year or for the long haul is an open question.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with 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.