Aaron Gleeman

Edwin Encarnacion Getty

Edwin Encarnacion out 4-5 days with back injury

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Blue Jays slugger Edwin Encarnacion will be sidelined for at least 4-5 days after an MRI exam on his injured back revealed inflammation.

Encarnacion has had some previous back issues, but a week off has always done the trick and the Blue Jays are hopeful it’s once again nothing major.

Slated to be Toronto’s everyday designated hitter this season, Encarnacion hit .268 with 34 homers last season despite missing six weeks with a quadriceps injury and topped a .900 OPS for the third consecutive year at age 31.

Phillies’ former first-round pick decides to retire at age 22

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Phillies minor leaguer Larry Greene, a 22-year-old outfielder who was the 39th overall pick in the 2011 draft, has apparently decided to retire after just three seasons as a pro.

Greene did not report to spring training, but for now at least the Phillies are holding out some hope that he’ll continue playing.

Minor-league development director Joe Jordan told Ryan Lawrence of the Philadelphia Daily News:

He decided this isn’t what he wanted to do. …  I wouldn’t go on record with the retirement thing. Listen, I think a lot of Larry. He’s been with us. I’ve gotten to know him. If there’s anything I can do, I will. This is hard if you’re not 100-percent in. We’ll try to help him if he can and see if he still wants to play. But right now I don’t plan on him being here.

Jordan received a $1 million signing bonus in 2011, but has hit just .224 with eight homers and a .638 OPS in 242 career games and batted .183 last year at Single-A.

Victor Martinez takes batting practice; could be ready for Opening Day?

Victor Martinez
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Victor Martinez took batting practice Monday for the first time since undergoing knee surgery in mid-February and felt good enough to create some optimism that the Tigers designated hitter could be ready for Opening Day.

Martinez is currently four weeks into what was initially a 4-6 week recovery timetable for a torn meniscus in his left knee. He’s avoided any setbacks, but stopped short of targeting Opening Day, telling Jason Beck of MLB.com:

I don’t know anything about that … Just thank god everything is going good. We will see what happens.

Martinez re-signed with the Tigers on a four-year, $68 million deal as a free agent this offseason after hitting .335 with 32 homers and a career-high .974 OPS at age 35.

Mariners sign veteran starter Kevin Correia

Kevin Correia
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Looking to add some veteran rotation depth, the Mariners have signed right-hander Kevin Correia to a minor-league deal.

Two offseasons ago the Twins gave Correia a two-year, $10 million deal and then watched as he went 14-26 with a 4.49 ERA in 54 starts before a late-season trade to the Dodgers last season. Correia was even worse in Los Angeles down the stretch with an 8.03 ERA in 25 innings.

At age 34 and with one of the majors’ worst strikeout rates Correia is little more than a serviceable fifth starter candidate.

Matt Capps included in Braves’ first round of cuts

Matt Capps
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Here’s how far former All-Star closer Matt Capps is from making it back to the big leagues: He was included in the Braves’ first round of spring training cuts, getting reassigned to minor-league camp today.

Capps hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2012 and has spent most of the past two seasons on the Triple-A disabled list for the Indians with shoulder problems.

At age 31 he’ll have to prove himself and stay healthy in the minors to get a chance at a middle relief gig in Atlanta.