UPDATE: OK, so apparently Matt Albers isn’t going to Japan

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UPDATE: So much for all that. I’m now told by a reliable source that it’s not true. Kind of a weirdly random thing for Mullen to report inaccurately, but oh well. Sorry to get everyone so excited by the huge non-news!

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Maureen Mullen reports that the Red Sox have released Matt Albers “to allow him to play in Japan.”

She adds that Boston “will receive an undisclosed sum of money” for cutting Albers loose, which is relatively standard for MLB-to-Japan moves and in this case presumably takes the Red Sox off the hook for the one-year, $875,000 deal he signed with them after being non-tendered by the Orioles in December.

Albers had a 4.62 ERA and poor 124/92 K/BB ratio in 193 innings spread over three years in Baltimore.

Andrelton Simmons, Shohei Ohtani both injured in Angels’ loss

Associated Press
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The loss of a close, well-pitched game is hard enough for any team to take, but when you lose two key players to injury in the process it’s gotta be damn nigh intolerable. That’s what happened to the Angels last night in their 3-1 loss to Minnesota, losing Andrelton Simmons and Shohei Ohtani. And it happened on consecutive plays in the bottom of the eighth inning.

Simmons is likely to be gone for an extended period after suffering a sprained ankle which was later deemed “severe”. Indeed, they weren’t sure it wasn’t broken until the X-rays came back negative. He sustained the injury running to first base, trying to beat out an infield hit. He came down on the ankle and it twisted in ugly fashion — there are Gifs of it on Twitter and stuff, but you don’t wanna see them — before tumbling over the bag to the ground. Simmons will have an MRI today to see how bad things really are.

Ohtani got off more easily, getting hit in the right ring finger with a pitch while striking out. His X-rays were also negative, but they will reassess him today.

Simmons is hitting .298/.323/.415 on the year while playing his usual spectacular defense. Ohtani, who just came back from Tommy John surgery as a hitter a couple of weeks ago, is hitting .250/.345/.375.