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MLB rumors, injuries and news roundup for March 20

By Dayn Perry | Baseball Writer

Our own Jon Heyman has the latest on Justin Masterson's contract talks. (USATSI)
Our own Jon Heyman has the latest on Justin Masterson's contract talks. (USATSI)

MORE: Spring Training | Scoreboard | Team previews

On the MLB spring training front, here's all that's worth knowing for Thursday, March 20 ...

JON HEYMAN

- There's plenty from our own Mr. Heyman. First, Heyman has learned that extension talks have broken off between the Indians and right-hander Justin Masterson. It appears that Masterson is now bound for free agency after the upcoming season.

- Also regarding the Indians, Heyman reports that 2B Jason Kipnis and the team have circled opening day as the deadline for contract extension talks.

- Heyman writes that the Royals will likely need to make the playoffs this season in order to have any shot at re-signing RHP James Shields, who's eligible for free agency next winter.

- The Tigers have added Mariners INF Nick Franklin to their list of trade targets, Heyman reports. They're in the market for a shortstop given the status of Jose Iglesias (see below).

SIGNINGS & AGREEMENTS

- Orioles: Have signed reliever Luis Ayala, possibly to a minor-league deal.

RUMORS, SPECULATION, NEWS, ETC.

- Astros: May be closing in on a five-year contract extension with 3B Matt Dominguez. (Jeff Passan via Twitter)

- Blue Jays: Have claimed INF/OF Matt Tuiasosopo off waivers from the Diamondbacks.

- Brewers: Tom Haudricourt tweets that the Brewers appear to be "stealthily" having long-term extension talks with the agent for SS Jean Segura.

- Marlins: MLB.com's Joe Frisaro writes that the Marlins don't seem willing to trade any of their young pitchers right now.

INJURY UPDATES

- Astros: X-rays on the injured hand of SS Carlos Correa were negative. Correa was forced from Wednesday's game after being struck on the left hand by a pitch.

- Braves: On Friday, RHP Brandon Beachy will undergo Tommy John surgery for the second time in his career.

- Giants: 2B Marco Scutaro received an injection in his ailing back and, according to Alex Pavlovic of the San Jose Mercury News, is now 50-50 to be ready by opening day.

- Mets: LHP Jon Niese will reportedly open the season on the DL because of ongoing elbow inflammation. RHP Dillon Gee will now be the Mets' opening day starter.

- Phillies: OF Darin Ruf suffered a strained left oblique and now may not make the active roster coming out of spring training. (Jim Salisbury, CSN Philly)

- Reds: CL Aroldis Chapman, who suffered facial fractures and a mild concussion when he was struck in the face by a line drive on Wednesday night, underwent successful surgery on Thursday to insert a titanium plate at the fracture site. He should be able to throw again in 10 to 14 days and return to game action in four to six weeks.

- Tigers: Our own Jon Heyman reports that SS Jose Iglesias is likely to miss the entire 2014 season because of leg fractures. There is a chance, however, that he could return late in the year.

- Yankees: An MRI on Jacoby Ellsbury's injured calf came back negative, and MGR Joe Girardi expects him to be ready for opening day. (Chad Jennings, LoHud.com)

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