Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson doubled in his first at-bat of 2021 on Thursday, but the club then pulled him out of the game as a result of right hamstring tightness. The Twins will re-evaluate Donaldson on Friday, manager Rocco Baldelli told Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com and other reporters. While this fortunately doesn’t appear to be a calf problem for Donaldson, who has dealt with those in previous seasons, it’s nonetheless disheartening for Minnesota to see him deal with yet another health problem at the outset of the campaign. The former AL MVP only played in 165 regular-season games from 2017-18 as a Blue Jay and Indian, and after a healthy 2019 with the Braves, the Twins signed him to a four-year, $92MM contract. Donaldson appeared in just 28 of a possible 60 games in the first year of the deal, though.
- The Red Sox and right-handed reliever Matt Barnes discussed a contract extension during the spring, but there’s little optimism about a deal coming together, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com writes. That leaves the 30-year-old on track to reach free agency next winter, and in the meantime, he’ll earn $4.5MM this season. The hard-throwing Barnes, a career-long member of the Red Sox, has pitched to a 4.08 ERA with a 29.9 percent strikeout rate in 337 1/3 innings since debuting in 2014. He amassed 60-plus innings in each season from 2016-19.
- Free-agent right-hander Brad Peacock is healthy after undergoing arthroscopic shoulder surgery last October and will hold a showcase for interested teams Friday in Florida, MLBTR has learned. The 33-year-old Peacock’s shoulder troubles limited him to a mere three appearances in 2020, his last season as an Astro, but he was an effective swingman for the club during the few preceding campaigns. Between 2016-19, Peacock recorded a 3.48 ERA and a 28.7 percent strikeout rate across 128 appearances (42 starts) and 320 1/3 innings.
- Catcher Curt Casali earned a $500K bonus when he landed a spot on the Giants’ season-opening roster, per Alex Pavlovic of NBC Sports Bay Area. Casali, whom the Giants signed to a $1.5MM contract in free agency, will back up Buster Posey. He earned that deal after a three-year stretch with the Reds in which he hit a respectable .260/.345/.440 with 18 home runs in 485 plate appearances.