Mark Teixeira hopes to return from lat strain on Tuesday

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Mark Teixeira is out of the Yankees’ starting lineup for the eighth straight game tonight due to a lower lat strain, but he told Bryan Hoch of MLB.com that he’s aiming to make his return tomorrow.

Teixeira was originally expected to miss 3-4 days, so the Yankees have had to play short-handed for over a week now. The good news is that he has felt improvement since a platelet-rich plasma injection and had no issues today when he took on-field batting practice for the first time since the injury.

“I’m very happy,” Teixeira said. “The back spasms are gone, which I’ve been dealing with for a long time, so that’s really good. It’s good to see that the treatments worked and the time off helped, so hopefully they won’t come back.”

While it hasn’t been pretty, Brian McCann has functioned as the Yankees’ primary first baseman during Teixeira’s absence. He’s making his seventh straight start at the position tonight. Meanwhile, Francisco Cervelli is making his eighth straight start behind the plate.

After being limited to just 15 games last season due to a wrist injury, Teixeira is batting .231/.330/.443 with 17 home runs and 48 RBI over 76 games this season. He leads the Yankees in home runs, RBI, and OPS.

Braves are targeting Dallas Keuchel

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LAS VEGAS — Let’s start our first weekday of the Winter Meetings with some rumors and speculation. We’ll have a good bit of that until, you know, something actually happens.

First up: Dallas Keuchel, the top free agent pitcher remaining on the market. Jon Heyman says the Braves, who are in the market for a starter, are targeting him. In this they are not alone, as the Phillies, who missed out on Patrick Corbin, and the Reds, who would like a pitcher who doesn’t allow a lot of fly balls are each reported to be focused on Keuchel as well. There was a random report that the Blue Jays were interested in him too, but that seems off to me given where they are on their rebuild.

Keuchel, who will turn 31 on New Year’s Day, was 12-11 in 34 starts last year, posting an ERA of 3.74 in 204.2 innings. His peripherals have declined fairly consistently since his Cy Young season in 2015, so the question is whether the team that signs him is paying for his past or for what he might reasonably be expected to provide in the future.