Cubs sign Mariners castoff Shawn Camp to minors deal

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Released by the Mariners last week, reliever Shawn Camp has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Cubs.

Seattle cutting Camp was surprising because he signed a $750,000 deal just a month earlier and pitched reasonably well last season with a 4.21 ERA in 66 innings for the Blue Jays.

Now he’ll have to work his way back to the majors with a stint at Triple-A and Camp’s deal doesn’t include a spot on the 40-man roster, so the Cubs will need to clear space for a promotion if/when they decide he’s needed.

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.