Trevor Bauer impresses, gets sent right back to the minors

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Before yesterday Trevor Bauer had been a mess in the majors, walking 29 batters in 33 career innings, but the former No. 3 overall pick tossed six impressive innings against the Padres to show that he might be back on track.

Bauer racked up eight strikeouts and, perhaps more importantly, issued just two walks in allowing one earned run over six innings. He was demoted back to Triple-A immediately after the game, but that was expected because the 23-year-old right-hander was only added to the roster temporarily as a 26th man for yesterday’s doubleheader.

However, if Bauer can consistently throw strikes he’ll be back in Cleveland to stay soon enough and his raw stuff has always been top-of-the-rotation caliber. Yesterday he averaged 95 miles per hour with his fastball and showed off an effective enough assortment of off-speed pitches to be very dangerous.

Bauer’s stock has dipped of late–which is part of how the Indians were able to get him from the Diamondbacks last year–but he was the No. 3 pick in 2011 and rated as a consensus top-20 prospect this time last year. Could be a helluva midseason addition for Cleveland’s rotation.

Colby Rasmus could start 2017 on the disabled list

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Colby Rasmus isn’t ready to take outfield reps just yet. According to Rays’ manager Kevin Cash, that’s a red flag, one that could potentially postpone Rasmus’ debut as the club’s designated hitter and outfielder in 2017. Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that Rasmus will need to prove he can play a defensive position before getting cleared for the active roster, something which the veteran outfielder has yet to do this spring.

Rasmus, 30, signed a one-year, $5 million deal with the Rays following his two-year run with the Astros. He batted a meager .206/.286/.355 with 15 home runs and a .641 OPS in 2016 and was shut down in late September with an unspecified hip/groin issue. Entering the 2017 season, he’s expected to work his way back to a full-time role after undergoing surgery to repair his core muscle and left hip labrum last October.

The Rays also finalized their one-year, $1.2 million deal with catcher Derek Norris on Saturday and will need to clear room for him on the 40-man roster. Topkin speculates that the move could send Rasmus to the 60-day disabled list, though the outfielder is not projected to miss more than a couple weeks of the regular season.

Report: Rangers agree to six-year extension with Rougned Odor

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The Rangers have reportedly agreed to a six-year, $49.5 million extension for second baseman Rougned Odor, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports and Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. The extension comes with a club option for a seventh year, Heyman adds.

It’s close to the six-year, $52.5 million extension Jason Kipnis netted with the Indians in 2014, a sum Odor was rumored to be seeking during contract negotiations over the last two years. Granted, the circumstances are a little different this time around. Both players signed extensions on the cusp of their fourth year in the major leagues, but at 27 years old, Kipnis was coming off of an All-Star campaign and a career-high 4.5 fWAR performance. Odor, meanwhile, saw mixed results in 2016, batting 33 home runs and putting up 2.0 fWAR while struggling to stay consistent at the plate and exhibiting poor defense.

According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, Odor previously agreed to a $563,180 salary for 2017. Depending on when the extension kicks in, it should cover all three of Odor’s arbitration-eligible seasons and two seasons of potential free agency. The team has yet to confirm the extension.