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Braves sign Sean Rodriguez to two-year, $11.5 million contract

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The Braves signed free agent Sean Rodriguez to a two-year, $11.5 million contract, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Thursday afternoon. Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported the specific figures: Rodriguez will receive a $1.5 million signing bonus and $5 million in each of the next two seasons.

Rodriguez, 31, can play all over the diamond. Last season, he played seven of nine positions on the diamond, excluding pitcher and catcher, logging 100-plus defensive innings at first base, second base, shortstop, and right field. He hit .270/.349/.510 with 18 home runs and 56 RBI in 342 plate appearances.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, Rodriguez figures to spell Freddie Freeman at first base and Nick Markakis in right field. Rodriguez could also play some second base along with Jace Peterson until prospect Ozzie Albies is deemed ready.

Rodriguez is the Braves’ third free agent signing of the offseason, as the club also inked R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon to contracts.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports
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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.