Mark Teixeira planning to rejoin the Yankees next week

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Mark Teixeira laid out his rehab schedule for Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York, saying the current plan calls for him to play four games in the minors next week and then come off the disabled list to rejoin the Yankees by the end of the week.

It’s worth noting that Teixeira has repeatedly laid out other plans for a return that ultimately didn’t happen, including initially saying he’d be back by May 1, but the Yankees first baseman is definitely getting close if he can avoid any setbacks.

Teixeira has been on the disabled list all season and if he returns next weekend he’ll have missed around 55 games with a wrist injury suffered during the World Baseball Classic. Fill-in first baseman Lyle Overbay has hit .250 with seven homers and a solid .467 slugging percentage in 44 games, but he’s also made a ton of outs with a lowly .286 on-base percentage.

Orioles sign Alcides Escobar

Alcides Escobar
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The Orioles have inked shortstop Alcides Escobar to a minor league contract, MLB.com’s Joe Trezza reported Saturday. The deal comes with an invitation to spring training and will allow Escobar to earn $700,000 in the majors if he breaks camp with the team (via Jon Heyman of MLB Network). The team has yet to formally announce the agreement.

Escobar, 32, completed an eight-year run with the Royals in 2018. No longer the .280-average, 3.0-fWAR player of seasons past, he hit several career lows after batting .231/.279/.313 with four home runs, eight stolen bases (in 10 chances), and a .593 OPS through 531 plate appearances last year. His defensive ratings also took a hit, and FanGraphs pegged him as the fourth-worst shortstop in the majors after he accumulated -12 DRS over the course of the season, only slightly higher than the Orioles/Dodgers’ Manny Machado, Mets’ Amed Rosario, and Red Sox’ Xander Bogaerts.

Still, Heyman holds that Escobar is being considered for the starting gig this spring and could yet prove an upgrade over top prospects and infield candidates Richie Martin and Drew Jackson. At the very least, the veteran shortstop figures to stabilize the position given Martin and Jackson’s relative inexperience, as both infielders played to varying results in Double-A Tulsa last year and have yet to break into the majors. Should either player earn consideration for the position in camp, however, Escobar might still work his way onto the Opening Day roster in a utility role as he saw some time at third base, second base, and center field in 2018.