Joe Mauer out of Twins lineup with sprained right thumb

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After an injury wrecked 2011 season Joe Mauer started 51 of the Twins’ first 53 games, but he exited yesterday’s game with a thumb injury and is out of the lineup tonight versus the Royals.

Mauer has been diagnosed with a sprained right thumb and so far there’s no indication that the Twins expect him to miss significant time.

Mauer’s power has been disappointing and he’s grounded into an MLB-leading 14 double plays, but he’s also hitting .298 with more walks (34) than strikeouts (22) and a .407 on-base percentage that ranks fourth in the league.

Mets sign Jose Bautista to a major league deal

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Update (5:55 PM ET): It’s official. The Mets have optioned Phillip Evans to Triple-A Las Vegas to make room for Bautista on the 25-man roster. Bautista will be available for Tuesday’s game against the Marlins.

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SNY’s Andy Martino reports that the Mets are close to a deal with free agent Jose Bautista. This doesn’t come as a surprise, as the Mets were rumored to be interested in him on Monday, a day after the Braves released him.

Bautista, 37, struggled to a .593 OPS in 40 plate appearances with the Braves. He’s coming off of his worst season as a regular, as he hit .203 in 157 games last year with the Blue Jays.

Bautista mostly played in the outfield for the Jays, but played third base for the Braves. The Mets need depth at both third base and in the outfield due to injuries to Todd Frazier, Yoenis Cespedes, and Juan Lagares.

It will be interesting to see who loses their roster spot to accomodate Bautista. I suggested earlier it should be Jose Reyes.