Handshake Agreement May Have Impacted Cabral

Left-hander Cesar Cabral was involved in a pair of transactions last week, first getting claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays from the Rays before Tampa re-claimed him two days later. As Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star explains, a handshake agreement between Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos and Red Sox GM Theo Epstein may have impacted the moves.

When the Jays hired former Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell to be their new manager this offseason, the deal apparently came with a "non-compete" handshake agreement between the two clubs, preventing Toronto from selecting Boston players in the Rule 5 Draft. Cabral was selected by the Rays from the Sox in the Rule 5 Draft, but the Jays insist they were "playing by the rules" when they claimed him last week because at that time he was property of Tampa, not Boston.

A source tells Griffin that the original waiver claim (Jays taking Cabral from the Rays) may have been rescinded because of the handshake agreement, explaining why he ended up back with Tampa before Toronto could ever see him pitch in their uniform. It's unclear who exactly would have rescinded the claim if true; did the Jays back off or did MLB intervene?

Cabral, a 22-year-old lefty reliever, must stay on the Rays' 25-man roster all season or be placed on waivers. If he goes unclaimed, the Red Sox can take him back for half of the original $50K Rule 5 Draft fee.

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