Ryan Zimmerman cleared to begin rehab assignment

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It remains to be seen what position(s) he’ll play once he returns from a fractured right thumb, but the Nationals have cleared Ryan Zimmerman to begin a minor-league rehab assignment tonight at Single-A.

Zimmerman has been out since April 12 with an injury that was initially supposed to carry a 4-6 week recovery timetable.

He’s been taking pregame fly balls in left field for a while now and after denying that it had anything to do with a potential position switch right away the Nationals have loosened up that stance considerably this week. In fact, now it sounds like Zimmerman might play some outfield and some first base in addition to his usual third base.

Even before fracturing his thumb Zimmerman struggled to make throws from third base because of chronic shoulder problems, so this latest injury may have simply hastened a change.

Report: Momentum in talks between Mariners, Jon Jay

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that there is some momentum in talks between the Mariners and free agent outfielder Jon Jay.

Jay, 32, hit .296/.374/.375 in 433 plate appearances with the Cubs last season, which is adequate. He’s heralded more for his defense and his ability to play all three outfield spots.

The Mariners are losing center fielder Jarrod Dyson to free agency and likely don’t want to rely on Guillermo Heredia next season, hence the interest in Jay. The free agent class for center fielders is otherwise relatively weak.