Ugly start for Cubs’ $6 million signee Gerardo Concepcion

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Gerardo Concepcion failed to make it out of the first inning in his start at low Single-A today, getting knocked around for seven runs.

Concepcion signed a five-year, $6 million contract with the Cubs in March after defecting from Cuba, but the 20-year-old left-hander has now allowed 12 runs through his first 5.2 innings against Midwest League hitters.

Two bad starts hardly doom him, but when the Cubs signed Concepcion many prospect analysts were shocked by the price tag and the assumption was that Theo Epstein and company decided to overspend before the collective bargaining agreement’s new rules on international spending kicked in.

Rays trade Jake Odorizzi to Twins

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The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.

With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.

Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.