Daniel Murphy makes spring debut, expects to play opener

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Six weeks after being diagnosed with a strained intercostal muscle and one month after he was said to be “7-10 days” from returning Daniel Murphy finally made his spring training debut today.

He went 1-for-3, played five innings defensively at second base, and reported no problems, telling Jorge Castillo of the Newark Star Ledger that he expects to be in the Opening Day lineup despite seeing only a handful of spring at-bats.

He’ll have to avoid a setback in the Mets’ final two games and it sounds like Murphy was still moving around a little bit gingerly this afternoon, but for now he’s ready to go.

The Rays announce “The Rays Tank.” Really.

Tampa Bay Rays
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Earlier this offseason the Rays traded away franchise player Evan Longoria. Over the weekend they traded starter Jake Odorizzi to the Twins and designated All-Star outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment. These were clearly financially driven moves, and now the Rays sport a payroll of less than $70 million. The club’s offseason moves prompted Longoria to say that he feels sorry for Rays fans.

If you asked Rays brass, I’m sure they’d make strong statements defending all of these moves while offering evidence-light arguments that, yes, they truly are interested in fielding a competitive team in 2018. They would likely react VERY angrily to any suggestion that they are tanking this year. Teams never admit that they’re tanking.

In other news, the Rays announced a new blog:

Oh.