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Juan Lagares’ shoulder injury is not serious

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Over the weekend Mets outfielder Juan Lagares injured his right shoulder attempting to make a diving catch in a Dominican winter league game. He underwent and X-ray and was evaluated on Sunday.

The results of the evaluation: better than it could’ve been: Lagares has been diagnosed with a sprained right shoulder. His winter ball season is over, but he’s expected to be ready to go for spring training.

Lagares finished the 2016 season batting .239/.301/.380 with 13 extra-base hits and nine RBI in 160 plate appearances. Not great, but he’s really the only legitimate defensive center fielder the Mets have at the moment. Curtis Granderson will likely man the position, but he’s increasingly become a liability in center, so having Lagares around as a defensive caddy for him is pretty important.

Jorge Soler diagnosed with strained oblique, Opening Day in doubt

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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.

Report: Cardinals, Yadier Molina making “major progress” on contract extension

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Cardinals and catcher Yadier Molina are making “major progress” on a contract extension. Molina told the team he won’t discuss an extension during the season, hence the rapid progress.

Molina is entering the last guaranteed year of a five-year, $75 million contract signed in March 2012. He and the Cardinals hold a mutual option worth $15 million with a $2 million buyout for the 2018 season. The new extension would presumably cover at least the 2018-19 seasons and likely ’20 as well.

Molina is 34 years old but is still among the most productive catchers in baseball. Last season, he hit .307/.360/.427 with 38 doubles, 58 RBI, and 56 runs scored in 581 plate appearances. Though he has lost a step or two with age, Molina is still well-regarded for his defense. The Cardinals also value his ability to handle the pitching staff.