Cubs sign Mike Baxter

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According to Matt Eddy of Baseball America, the Cubs have signed outfielder Mike Baxter to a minor league contract.

You might remember Baxter from his time with the Mets from 2011-2013. Most notably, the Queens native made a highlight reel catch in the game in which Johan Santana threw the first no-hitter in franchise history on June 1, 2012. The 30-year-old is a .225/.331/.342 hitter over 423 plate appearances in the majors and appeared four games with the Dodgers last year.

Baxter is unlikely to crack the Cubs’ Opening Day roster, but he’s useful depth to have around at the Triple-A level. And he’ll always be aces with Mets fans.

Aaron Judge has a “pretty significant strain” of his oblique

Aaron Judge
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In case you missed it over the weekend, the New York Yankees suffered yet another huge blow when another huge star went on the injured list. The star: Aaron Judge, who strained his oblique during Saturday’s 9-2 win over the Royals.

Yesterday the Yankees placed him on the injured list. In so doing, Yankees manager Aaron Boone called it a “pretty significant strain in there.” The team did not offer a timeline, but Boone said they’ll monitor Judge for a couple of weeks to see where he is. Oblique strains, however, can cause a player to miss a lot of time. Four to six weeks is not unheard of for even moderate oblique strains. Guys with major strains have missed months.

Judge is the Yankees’ 13th player currently on the injured list and is the 14th Yankees player to visit it overall on the young season. Joining him there at the moment :

It’s an All-Star team’s worth of injuries. It’s such a good group of players that Ellsbury couldn’t even make the starting lineup of the all-injured team.

Though we often ignore it in season-long narratives of successful and unsuccessful teams, choosing to focus on great or poor performances, the fact of the matter is that team health is almost always a big, big factor in who wins and who loses. No one is going to cry for the Yankees here, of course, but at some point there are just too many injuries to overcome. One has to wonder if New York has reached that point yet.