Mike Matheny heading to St. Louis for back procedure

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Cardinals manager Mike Matheny will leave camp in Jupiter, Florida to head back to St. Louis for a procedure on his ailing back. MLB.com’s Jenifer Langosch has the details:

The procedure, which is called a microdisectomy, will help alleviate the pain that has been caused by a ruptured disc. A fragment from the disc that is pressing against a nerve will be removed.

Matheny will miss the club’s games on Monday and Tuesday but is expected to return to Jupiter, Fla., on Wednesday, which is an off day for the team.

In Matheny’s absence, bench coach Mike Aldrete will become the active manager. First base coach Chris Maloney takes Aldrete’s spot as bench coach, and Memphis Redbirds manager Ron Warner takes Maloney’s spot at first base.

Matheny, who has not only suffered from back problems but countless concussions as well, was in the news recently as an advocate for improving catcher safety.

Angels sign Zack Cozart to a three-year, $38 million deal

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Ken Rosenthal reports that the Angels have signed infielder Zack Cozart to a three-year, $38 million deal.

That seems like a bargain deal for Cozart, who hit .297/.385/.548 with 24 homers and 63 RBI as the Cincinnati Reds shortstop in 2017. In Anaheim, however, he will not be playing short — not with Andrelton Simmons around — so he’ll slide over to third base. He’s never played there, but you figure he can handle it.

This is a pretty nifty move for the Angels, as the other top third base options — specifically, Mike Moustakas — are likely going to cost a lot more than what they’ll be paying Cozart.

Between this, the Ian Kinsler trade and the Shohei Ohtani acquisition, the Angels are going to be sporting a very different look in 2018.