Brett Lawrie withdraws from 2013 World Baseball Classic because of left rib cage injury

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Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca has the breaking news:

The Toronto Blue Jays expect Brett Lawrie to be ready for opening day, but a mild strain near the third baseman’s 10th rib and left intercostal muscle forced him to withdraw from Canada’s entry to the World Baseball Classic on Friday.

Lawrie, a native of Langley, British Columbia, suffered the injury Wednesday during Team Canada’s 12-2 exhibition loss to the Reds.

“Hopefully it’s two weeks,” Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said Thursday. “He’s been through it. He said what he had last year was 10 times worse than this, but he knows. … Obviously there was something there and he was smart. He felt something going to his left on a ground ball and something on a swing.”

Lawrie, 23, has hit .278/.336/.446 with 20 homers and 73 RBI in his first 168 major league games.

Team Canada is expected to replace him at the hot corner with the Brewers’ Taylor Green.

Report: Reds sign Ben Revere

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The Reds have signed outfielder Ben Revere to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports. Revere is expected to take home a salary between $1 million and $1.5 million if he makes the major league roster, Heyman adds.

Revere, 29, spent last season with the Angels. He batted a light .275/.308/.344 in 308 plate appearances. Revere does have some speed as he stole 21 bases last year.

Revere will try to earn a spot on the roster as a backup outfielder. The Reds’ starting spots are spoken for with Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, and Scott Schebler.