Evan Longoria nearing minor league rehab assignment

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Good news for the (currently) first-place Rays.

According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, third baseman Evan Longoria “was encouraged after running the bases” on Saturday afternoon at Tropicana Field and is aiming to begin a minor league rehab assignment by the end of next week.

“I felt good,” Longoria told the Times after his workout. “We’re still moving in the right direction.”

He’s likely to spend around 10 days playing in minor league games before being cleared for activation. The 26-year-old was batting .329/.433/.561 with four home runs and 19 RBI in 23 games before tearing a hamstring.

Indians sign Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal

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The Indians have signed free agent outfielder Melky Cabrera to a minor league deal. The pact is pending a physical.

Cabrera, 33, went unsigned this past offseason after putting up a season of .285/.324/.423 with 17 homers and 85 RBI with the White Sox and the Royals.

Cabrera will report to Columbus once he passes his physical and, according to Paul Hoynes, there are no guarantees being made to him that he’ll get playing time. That said, the Indians aren’t getting much outfield production from anyone besides Michael Brantley, and Cabrera’s status as a switch hitter would give Terry Francona some flexibility, so it would not be shocking to see him on the big club after some reps in the minors.