David Price is not close to returning to the Rays

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Rays left-hander David Price is eligible to return from the disabled list on Friday. But that will not happen.

According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, Price is beginning to feel better but has not begun a throwing program and is still at least a couple weeks away from stepping back atop a mound. He’s been out since May 15 with a strained left triceps muscle.

“I honestly have no idea,” Price told reporters when asked to project a possible date for his return. “You have to give it a chance to heal, a chance to get better, and that’s what we’re doing right now.”

Jake Odorizzi will continue to fill in for now. If he struggles, Chris Archer is probably next in line.

Price, 27, had a 5.24 ERA, 1.44 WHIP and 49/14 K/BB ratio in 55 innings (nine starts) before suffering his triceps injury. He posted a 2.56 ERA, 1.10 WHIP and 205/59 K/BB ratio across 211 innings in 2012.

The Rays entered play Sunday with a 24-24 record, six games back in the American League East.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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Royals outfielder Jorge Soler has been diagnosed with a strained oblique, making it likely that he begins the regular season on the disabled list, Rustin Dodd of The Kansas City Star reports.

The Royals acquired Soler from the Cubs in December in exchange for reliever Wade Davis. Over parts of three seasons with the Cubs, Soler hit .258/.328/.434 with 27 home runs and 98 RBI in 765 plate appearances.

When he’s healthy, Soler is expected to find himself in the Royals’ lineup as a right fielder and occasionally as a designated hitter.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.