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Blue Jays sign Danny Espinosa to minors deal

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Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.

Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.

Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.

Mark Trumbo likely headed back to disabled list

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MASN’s Roch Kubatko reports that Orioles OF/DH Mark Trumbo will not travel with the team to Toronto and will instead return to Baltimore to have an MRI on his right knee. Trumbo will likely be placed on the 10-day disabled list, which will open up a spot for outfielder Adam Jones, who was placed on the bereavement list on Thursday, on the 25-man roster.

Trumbo, 32, has been bothered by his right knee for most of the season. The pain apparently intensified over the weekend. Trumbo had received a platelet-rich plasma injection last Monday.

Despite the ailing knee, Trumbo has posted decent numbers this season, batting .261/.313/.452 with 17 home runs and 44 RBI in 358 plate appearances. He is under contract with the Orioles for one more year, earning $13.5 million in 2019.