A’s won’t be trading for Yunel Escobar, as Rays pull shortstop back off waivers

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As expected the Rays have pulled back Yunel Escobar off revocable waivers after the shortstop was claimed by the A’s.

Tampa Bay was only able to negotiate a deal with Oakland and ultimately decided Escobar was worth hanging onto with two seasons and $13 million remaining on his contract.

Escobar has hit just .253 with four homers and a .635 OPS in 113 games this season and wasn’t much better last year, but the bar for shortstops is always very low offensively and the Rays like his defense (and presumably don’t believe Nick Franklin is a legitimate shortstop).

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.