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Mets legend Ed Kranepool needs a kidney donor

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New York Mets legend Ed Kranepool has two failing kidneys and needs a transplant, reports Steven Marcus of Newsday.

Kranepool was a member of the inaugural Mets team in 1962, the Mets World Series champions in 1969 and remained with the Mets for his entire 18-year career, retiring after the 1979 season. He remains the all-time leader in games played for the Mets.

Unless he gets a specific donor, he could be on the waiting list for up to five years. He’s 72 now and his kidneys are functioning at 20 percent. As a result, he has not been able to take a full course of antibiotics which, in turn, led to the amputation of one of his toes.

According to the National Kidney Foundation, 101,000 people are on waiting lists in need of a kidney, but only 17,000 people receive one each year. Here’s hoping Kranepool beats those odds.

 

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.