Jered Weaver tests back with bullpen session, “feels good”

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Jered Weaver tested his injured back by throwing a 30-pitch bullpen session yesterday and said afterward that “it feels good, so obviously I want to start pushing it a little bit.”

Mark Saxon of ESPN Los Angeles reports that Weaver will throw another bullpen session and, if that goes well, could be cleared for a simulated game late in the week.

Weaver had hoped to return after the minimum 15-day stay on the disabled list and that isn’t going to happen, but barring any further issues he’s on track to potentially return after about three weeks away. Considering how much pain he appeared to be after tweaking his back on the mound that’s pretty good news for the Angels and their ace.

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.