Josh Beckett cleared to begin throwing program

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Two months ago Josh Beckett underwent season-ending surgery to remove a rib that was putting pressure on a nerve and causing numbness in his hand. And now he’s ready to start throwing again.

Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times reports that Beckett is scheduled to begin a throwing program Wednesday and Beckett is very pleased with how his recovery has gone so far, saying: “I don’t think anyone was expecting for me to be where I’m at right now.”

Beckett told Hernandez that he’s hoping to do enough throwing to head into the offseason without any limitations, potentially setting him up to be ready for a full spring training. He’s under contract for $15.75 million next season in the final year of a four-year, $68 million contract, but at this point the Dodgers would probably view any contribution they get from Beckett as a bonus.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.