Gavin Floyd may not be long for Chicago with White Sox open to trading starting pitching

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After picking up Gavin Floyd’s option and signing Jake Peavy to a two-year contract the White Sox have more rotation depth than most teams and new general manager Rick Hahn is hinting that he might shop a starting pitcher for help in other areas.

“I suspect given this market for pitchers that is out there right now, I think we’re going to hear from a lot of teams about our starting pitching depth,” Hahn told Dan Hayes of CSNChicago.com. “I think we’re going to be pretty popular in that regard vis-a-vis trades because we’re in a better position than a lot of clubs right now.”

Hayes speculates that Floyd would be the obvious choice to move, as the option will pay him $9.5 million in 2013 before the 30-year-old right-hander hits the open market as a free agent. He missed time with elbow problems this year, but Floyd has started at least 29 games with an ERA between 3.84 and 4.37 in five consecutive seasons.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.