Luis Ayala pitched very well for the Orioles last season, throwing 75 innings with a 2.64 ERA, but Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun reports that they’re trying to trade the 35-year-old reliever.
Connolly speculates that they’re looking for backup catching depth or a minor leaguer in return after bringing Ayala back for 2013 by exercising his $1 million option.
Ayala is behind closer Jim Johnson and setup men Darren O’Day and Pedro Strop on the right-handed reliever depth chart in Baltimore. He also had a 2.09 ERA in 56 innings for the Yankees in 2011 after being pretty terrible from 2008-2010.
Phillies third baseman Will Middlebrooks suffered a serious injury during Saturday’s Grapefruit League contest against the Orioles. The infielder was chasing down a pop fly in the eighth inning when he ran into left fielder Andrew Pullin, who inadvertently trapped Middlebrooks’ ankle under his leg. Middlebrooks was unable to put weight on his leg following the collision and was carted off the field and taken to a local hospital for X-rays.
Per MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki, not much is known yet about the severity of the ankle injury or the recovery time it will require, though it appears serious enough to set Middlebrooks back considerably as he seeks a backup/bench role with the team this spring.
The 29-year-old is currently seeking another opportunity to extend his six-year major-league career in 2018. He’s coming off of two down years with the Brewers and Rangers, during which he slashed a cumulative .169/.229/.262 with four extra bases through 70 plate appearances.