The Angels are in the mix for Edwin Jackson

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The Angels are still holding out hope to retain free agent right-hander Zack Greinke, but they are also considering some backup plans in case things don’t work out. With that in mind, CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that they are one of many teams in the mix for free agent right-hander Edwin Jackson.

Jackson, 29, posted a 4.03 ERA and 168/58 K/BB ratio over 189 2/3 innings this season as a member of the Nationals. After settling for a one-year, $11 million deal last offseason under his former agent Scott Boras, he should be able to land a multi-year pact this offseason. There’s a good chance he’ll be pitching for his eighth different organization in 2013.

As of now, the Angels’ rotation projects to include Jered Weaver, C.J. Wilson, recent acquisition Tommy Hanson, Garrett Richards and Jerome Williams. Of course, things will likely look different come Opening Day. Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com reported yesterday that the Angels have checked in on Anibal Sanchez while they have also been linked to names like Ryan Dempster, Kyle Lohse and Shaun Marcum. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports brought up a scenario earlier today that the Angels could even consider bringing back Dan Haren after declining his $15.5 million option for 2013 last month.

Steven Matz to skip next spring training start with elbow issues

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Mets’ left-hander Steven Matz will miss his Grapefruit League appearance on Monday after experiencing soreness in his left elbow, according to a report by Mike Puma of the New York Post. Matz reportedly first felt discomfort in his elbow on Wednesday after pitching four innings against the Marlins, but a medical evaluation revealed no structural damage.

Still, it’s unsettling news for the 25-year-old, who is coming off of an injury-riddled 2016 season. Matz pitched to a 3.40 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 8.8 SO/9 during his sophomore campaign with the Mets, but his success was hampered by a bevy of shoulder and elbow issues that culminated in season-ending surgery to remove bone spurs from his left elbow.

Comments from Mets’ GM Sandy Alderson indicated that while the club doesn’t believe anything is significantly wrong with Matz’s elbow this time around, the setback could have an impact on his chances of cracking the Opening Day roster. Until he’s cleared to return to the mound, the club is expected to take a longer look at rotation candidates Robert Gsellman, Zack Wheeler and Seth Lugo.

Video: Andrew Toles hammers grand slam in Cactus League win

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Dodgers’ left fielder Andrew Toles crushed his first spring training home run on Saturday afternoon. With the bases loaded and a two-run deficit hanging over their heads in the fourth inning, Toles stepped up to the plate against Oakland right-hander Jesse Hahn and unloaded a grand slam on the second pitch he saw.

Third baseman Justin Turner was quick to follow up with a solo jack of his own, bringing the score to a comfortable 7-4 lead by the end of the fourth. Another three-run outburst in the fifth and an eighth-inning RBI single by Austin Barnes raised the final score to 11-6… which, coincidentally, was the same score the Reds used to defeat the Athletics’ second split-squad lineup on Saturday (albeit with a few more RBI walks than grand slams).

Toles, 24, is approaching his sophomore season with the Dodgers in 2017. He slashed .314/.365/.505 with three home runs and an .870 OPS in his first major league season in 2016 and is expected to platoon with the right-handed Franklin Gutierrez in left field this year.