Yunel Escobar on track to make Grapefruit League debut on Monday

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Yunel Escobar suffered a Grade 1 left oblique strain earlier this month, but Jamal Collier of MLB.com reports that he’s on track to make his Grapefruit League debut on Monday.

Escobar was originally slated to play in a minor league game on Sunday, but he’s progressing quicker than expected, so he’s skipping that step. He participated in full pre-game activities this morning, including taking batting practice and fielding grounders at second base for the first time since March 5.

Escobar, who was acquired from the Athletics over the winter, is making the transition to second base this spring. It’s believed that his extra work at the position in the early part of camp is what led to the injury.

While things are looking up for Escobar, third baseman Anthony Rendon is still nursing a minor MCL sprain in his left knee and it’s unclear when he’ll be ready to return to game action.

Cardinals sign Matt Wieters to one-year, $2 million deal

Matt Wieters
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Jon Heyman reports that the Cardinals and free agent catcher Matt Wieters have agreed on a one-year, $2 million deal. Wieters can earn an additional $1 million through incentives.

Wieters, 33, spent last season with the Cardinals as Yadier Molina‘s backup. In 67 games, the veteran hit .214/.268/.435 with 11 home runs and 27 RBI. While Wieters has left something to be desired offensively in recent years, he still plays solid defense behind the plate.

Wieters will once again serve as the backup to Molina. Catching prospect Andrew Knizner is expected to start the season at Triple-A Memphis.