This day in baseball history saw the birth of the Blue Jays in 1943…the Philadelphia Blue Jays, that is. The Phillies adopted the 'Blue Jays' nickname in what new team president Bob Carpenter saw as a break from the club's largely mediocre history. The nickname didn't stick, however, and it wasn't until the Toronto expansion franchise came into being that the Blue Jays name returned to Major League Baseball.
Some news items to take us into the weekend…
- Bobby Abreu's $9MM option for 2012 will vest if he makes 433 plate appearances this season. As Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com points out, the Angels could face a tough playing-time decision since the veteran is coming off his worst full season, yet can still be productive. MLBTR's Mike Axisa recently profiled Abreu as a make-or-break year player, though given Abreu's durability, his status for 2012 shouldn't be in question as long as the Halos play him.
- Juan Uribe tells Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times that the Dodgers contacted his agent almost every day before finally signing him to a three-year, $21MM contract.
- Stephen Goff of the Houston Examiner profiles Anthony Rendon, who may be the first overall pick in June's amateur draft.
- Right-hander Brian Sanches is out of options and is battling for the last spot in the Marlins' bullpen, writes Clark Spencer of the Miami Herald. Sanches has a 2.40 ERA and 105 strikeouts in 120 innings for Florida over the last two seasons, so he'll definitely draw interest if the Marlins put him on waivers or try to trade him.
- Steve Slowinski of Fangraphs.com looks at the 10 completed and about-to-be-completed $100MM contracts in baseball history. Of those 10 players, only four played consistently well enough to make those contracts a wise investment — Derek Jeter, Albert Pujols, Manny Ramirez and Alex Rodriguez. (Rangers fans may argue that last one, but Slowinski is strictly looking at player performance.)
- The Orioles agreed to terms with all of their pre-arbitration players except for right-hander Jason Berken, whose contract was renewed, reports Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Berken also had his deal renewed last season.
- Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com lists the top 10 prospects in the Padres' system. Mayo puts three pitchers (Casey Kelly, Simon Castro, Cory Luebke) in San Diego's top four, as he notes the emphasis the team puts on developing young arms.
- In a chat with fans on ESPNChicago.com, Bruce Levine notes that scouts were in attendance to see Carlos Silva during his six-run first inning and subsequent dugout altercation with Aramis Ramirez on Wednesday. Levine says that the Cubs would probably be able to trade Silva, not release him, if they wanted to part ways. There's also the $11.5MM salary Silva is owed for this season that the Cubs would have to swallow if they released the right-hander.