Phillies GM says Chase Utley “is doing very, very well”

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Last month Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. described himself as “cautiously optimistic” that Chase Utley would be healthy enough to play an everyday role in 2013, but Amaro has basically ditched the “cautiously” part now.

Amaro told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that Utley “is doing very, very well” while participating in baseball activities five days per week.

Utley is 34 years old and is always going to have issues playing through chronic knee problems, but he looked good down the stretch last season while hitting .264 with a .798 OPS in August and September.

Rangers sign Chris Martin to a two-year deal

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Texas Rangers have signed free agent righty Chris Martin to two-year, $4 million deal.

Martin pitched for the Nippon Ham Fighters for the past two seasons, posting 1.12 ERA in 88 relief innings with excellent strikeout and walk rates. Martin pitched 40 games in the bigs, appearing with the Rockies in 2014 and the Yankees in 2015 with some pretty underwhelming results.

He’s tall — 6’8″ — and tall guys sometimes take a long time to put it all together. Maybe he finally put it all together. The Rangers obviously think he has.