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Andre Ethier diagnosed with mild herniation of a disk in his back

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier has been diagnosed with mild herniation of a disk in his lower back, making it doubtful that the veteran will be ready for Opening Day. Ethier received an epidural injection and will be shut down from baseball activity for seven to 10 days.

Ethier, who turns 35 years old next month, missed almost all of the 2016 season with a broken leg. He was hoping to grab at least a part-time role in left field, but it appears that won’t be the case to start the season. Andrew Toles is the player most likely to see increased playing time in Ethier’s absence.

Ethier has a club option worth $17.5 million with a $2.5 million buyout for the 2018 season, which likely makes this season his last in L.A given his age and health issues.

Rays sign Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal

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The Tampa Bay Rays signed free agent outfielder Carlos Gomez to a one-year deal worth $4 million.

Gomez hit .255/.340/.462 with 17 homers in 105 games for the Rangers last year. He missed time due to various ailments, as he has frequently over the past several years, playing 118 games in 2016 and 115 games in 2015. He’s useful when healthy. He just has to find a way to stay healthy.

The Rays just traded away Steven Souza and designated Corey Dickerson for assignment, making room for Gomez. Dickerson was slated to make $5.95 million and, if he is not traded, the Rays will be on the hook for $1 million of that. Souza was making $3.55 million. Gomez will work in the outfield corner rotation with Denard Span and Mallex Smith, while Kevin Kiermaier will cover center.