Twins sell Kris Johnson to Japanese team

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According to Darren Wolfson of 1500-ESPN in Minnesota in the Twins have sold left-hander Kris Johnson to the Hiroshima Carp of the Japanese League.

Johnson, who was acquired from the Pirates in exchange for Justin Morneau–by way of Duke Welker, in a weird series of transactions–spent most of the past two seasons at Triple-A. He’s posted good-looking ERAs there, but they’ve come with sub par strikeout and walk rates.

It’s possible Johnson could have snagged a big-league job at some point as a fifth starter or middle reliever, but at age 30 he was running out of chances and will no doubt get a bigger payday in Japan. Minnesota has cleared four spots on the 40-man roster since the end of the season, but the Twins still have plenty of other dead weight to potentially drop.

Brett Cecil placed on 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome

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On Monday, Cardinals reliever Brett Cecil was placed on the 10-day injured list due to Carpal Tunnel syndrome. Cecil, who notably lost 42 pounds since the end of the 2018 season, was having trouble with his mechanics throughout spring training and only logged two official Grapefruit League innings.

Cecil, 32, is entering the third year of his four-year, $30.5 million contract. He struggled last year, finishing with a 6.89 ERA and a 19/25 K/BB ratio in 32 2/3 innings. The lefty dealt with shoulder and foot injuries during the season as well.

The Cardinals bolstered the bullpen in December, signing lefty Andrew Miller to a two-year, $25 million deal. It would be nice to have a healthy and effective Cecil, but the high-leverage workload will be managed by Miller and Jordan Hicks as well as Alex Reyes.

Cecil was among a handful of Cardinals to hit the injured list on Monday, joining Carlos Martínez (right shoulder cuff strain), Jedd Gyorko (right calf strain), Luke Gregerson (right shoulder impingement), and Justin Williams (right hand second metacarpal fracture).