Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays have had “serious extension talks” with Yunel Escobar. He says that while it’s not imminent, it would not be surprising to see an extension sometime soon. Robbie Knopf of Rays Colored Glasses first wrote about extension talks between the two sides yesterday afternoon.
The Rays have a $5 million club option on Escobar for 2015 before he hits free agency after that season. He hit .256/.332/.366 with nine home runs and 56 RBI during his first season with the Rays. He’s an above average defensive shortstop.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts announced on Monday that Hyun-Jin Ryu will open the regular season in the starting rotation, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports.
Ryu, 30, missed the entire 2015 season and made only one start last season due to shoulder and elbow injuries. The lefty has looked solid in three spring appearances, however, yielding a lone run on five hits and a walk with eight strikeouts in nine innings.
With Scott Kazmir likely to begin the season on the disabled list, that leaves Alex Wood and Brandon McCarthy to battle it out for the fifth spot in the Dodgers’ rotation.
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.