David Ortiz is out of his walking boot, close to swinging bat

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David Ortiz’s recovery from an Achilles’ tendon injury is going well enough that the Red Sox designated hitter is out of his protective walking boot and told Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he hopes to begin swinging a bat as soon as this weekend.

Before then Ortiz will be reevaluated by team doctors Friday, which will determine his rehab timetable.

Ortiz has been out since July 16, but no tear or rupture was discovered in his Achilles’ tendon and it sounds like there’s some chance he could come off the disabled list when eligible next week.

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.