Rays sign Yunel Escobar to an extension through 2016

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We heard yesterday that the Rays and shortstop Yunel Escobar were having “serious discussions” about a contract extension and the team announced today that the deal is done.

Escobar will be guaranteed $13 million over the life of the deal, which covers 2015 and 2016 and carries a club option for 2017. His previous contract included a club option for 2015, so the new deal simply replaces the old one.

Escobar, 31, was acquired from the Marlins last winter and hit .256/.332/.336 with nine home runs and 56 RBI over 153 games in 2013. He’s highly-regarded for his defensive abilities.

Yankees activate Giancarlo Stanton

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The New York Yankees have activated Giancarlo Stanton. He’ll be in the lineup in tonight’s game against the Rays.

Stanton has been on the injured list since April 1 due to a left biceps strain and a left shoulder strain sustained in what Aaron Boone called a “funky swing” at the time. He began a rehab assignment in late May, had it halted due to injury, and resumed it recently. He’s been swinging the bat well during his most recent stint, socking four homers in ten games.

That pop will be welcome. The Yankees have weathered Stanton’s injury — and injuries to Aaron Judge and scads of other players — but a team can’t defy gravity forever. At some point you need your established threats back. With Stanton coming back tonight, Judge coming back later this week and with the addition of Edwin Encarnación in that trade with Seattle, the Bombers should continue to hit bombs throughout the summer.