Cubs sign Tsuyoshi Wada

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Two offseasons ago Tsuyoshi Wada left Japan to sign a two-year, $8 million deal with Baltimore, but he underwent Tommy John elbow surgery before ever throwing a pitch for the Orioles.

He hit the free agent market again after having a $5 million team option declined and now Wada has agreed to a minor-league deal with the Cubs.

Wada was considered a potential mid-rotation starter when he came over from Japan, but his post-surgery numbers at Triple-A this year were underwhelming. Still, could be an interesting buy-low flier for Chicago.

Will Middlebrooks carted off field with injury

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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.