Phillies put Placido Polanco on disabled list with back injury

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So much for the Phillies trading Placido Polanco.

Philadelphia has placed the third baseman on the disabled list with lower back inflammation and he won’t be eligible to return until a week after the July 31 trade deadline.

Of course, finding a taker for the 36-year-old would have been tough even if Polanco were healthy, as he’s hit just .255 with a .628 OPS in 82 games this season, wasn’t much better last season, and is owed about $3 million for the remainder of this year with a $1 million buyout on his $5.5 million option for 2014.

Ty Wigginton figures to be the primary fill-in at third base, which is a big downgrade defensively and not much of an upgrade offensively considering he’s 34 years old and hitting .234 with a .678 OPS in 86 games.

2017 Preview: The American League Central

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League Central

Do the Indians have a weakness? Do the Tigers and Royals have one more playoff push in them or do they have to start contemplating rebuilds? The White Sox and Twins are rebuilding, but do either of them have a chance to be remotely competitive?

As we sit here in March, the answers are “not really,” “possibly,” and “not a chance.” There are no games that count this March, however, so they’re just guesses. But educated ones! Here are the links to our guesses and our education for all of the clubs of the AL Central:

Cleveland Indians
Detroit Tigers
Kansas City Royals
Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins

2017 Preview: The National League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the National League East

The Washington Nationals crave a playoff run that doesn’t end at the division series. The Mets crave a season in which they don’t have a press conference about an injured pitcher. The Marlins are trying to put the nightmare of the end of the 2016 behind them. The Phillies and Braves are hoping to move on from the “lose tons of games” phase of their rebuilds and move on to the “hey, these kids can play!” phase.

There is a ton of star power in the NL East — Harper, Scherzer, Cespedes, Syndergaard, Stanton, Freeman — some great young talent on ever roster and, in Ichiro and Bartolo, the two oldest players in the game. Maybe the division can’t lay claim to the best team in baseball, but there will certainly be some interesting baseball in the division.

Here’s how each team breaks down:

Washington Nationals
New York Mets
Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves