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East notes: Red Sox, Rays, Mets

Here are the latest happenings around the AL and NL East.

Elsa

Papi hoping to return April 19

Boston Red Sox designated hitter David Ortiz began his minor league rehab assignment with the team's Triple-A affiliate today, and he's hoping to be activated from the disabled list as soon as April 19. The Red Sox expect Big Papi to require roughly 20 to 30 at-bats before he's ready to rejoin the major league club and make his season debut.

Tampa adds Apodaca

The Tampa Bay Rays acquired catcher Juan Apodaca from the Texas Rangers in exchange for cash consideration. It was the second time a catcher was exchanged by the two teams this week, making you wonder why Apodaca wasn't simply dealt for Robinson Chirinos.

Mets eyeing marquee outfielders

The New York Mets are monitoring the markets for high-profile sluggers Giancarlo Stanton and Carlos Gonzalez. The Mets have an "unfilled craving" for a franchise outfielder -- according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News -- and he believes they would at least consider parting ways with blue chip prospects -- including Zack Wheeler and Travis d'Arnaud -- to acquire one.

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