Rays outright Jeff Niemann off 40-man roster

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Not so long ago Jeff Niemann was a big part of the Rays’ plans, but the former No. 4 overall pick missed most of 2012 and all of 2013 with a fractured fibula followed by shoulder surgery and now Tampa Bay has dropped him from the 40-man roster.

Niemann chose free agency, so he’ll be looking for a new home at age 30 after throwing 544 innings with a 4.08 ERA for the Rays.

As of September he was hoping to be fully healthy in time for spring training, so Niemann should draw plenty of interest as an inexpensive bounceback candidate capable of being a mid-rotation starter.

Brian Dozier’s shot to center got stuck in the wall at Target Field

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You don’t see this every day …

Twins second baseman Brian Dozier hit a blast to dead-center field in the first inning of Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Tigers and it neither cleared the fence, nor banged off the fence, nor dropped in front of it.

Instead, the ball found a comfortable home inside the wall …

This isn’t the first wall-sticker for Dozier. He put a ball in the bullpen fence in Washington during an exhibition game against the Nationals back in 2016.