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Rays acquire Trevor Plouffe from Athletics

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The Rays acquired infielder Trevor Plouffe on Saturday and will send a player to be named later or cash considerations to the Athletics, who designated their third baseman for assignment just two days ago. In a corresponding move, right-hander Matt Andriese was shifted to the 60-day disabled list with a stress reaction in his right hip. Plouffe signed a one-year, $5.25 million deal with the A’s for the 2017 season and is set to enter free agency following his run with the Rays. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the Rays will receive over $2 million to cover the remaining $3+ million Plouffe is due for the rest of the year.

Plouffe, 31, was booted from Oakland’s roster earlier this week to make space for rookie third baseman Matt Chapman. He batted a meager .214/.276/.357 with seven home runs and a .634 OPS through his first 58 games with the A’s, a far cry from the .260 average he produced over half a season of games with the Twins in 2016.

The Rays aren’t hurting for third base options at the moment, with Evan Longoria firmly entrenched in the hot corner, but could use Plouffe as a bat off the bench or a platoon option with Logan Morrison at first base. He’s expected to join the Rays on Monday.

Mike Fiers may not be ready for start of regular season due to back issue

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Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press reports that Tigers starter Mike Fiers is dealing with a back issue and may not be ready for the start of the season. Manager Ron Gardenhire characterized the injury as a “stiff back” and added, “Maybe a little bit of a bulging disk or something like that.”

Fiers, 32, signed a one-year, $6 million deal with the Tigers in December. He has had a forgettable spring, yielding 12 runs on 10 hits and eight walks with seven strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings.

Fiers had a rotation spot locked up along with Michael Fulmer, Jordan Zimmermann, and Francisco Liriano. Matt Boyd and Daniel Norris were battling it out for the No. 5 spot. If Fiers opens the regular season on the 10-day disabled list, both could have spots in the rotation.