The Dodgers are currently playing a series against the Blue Jays in Toronto, which means that former Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos (currently the Dodgers’ vice president of baseball operations) is back in town. Anthopoulos spoke to reporters, including MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, about his time with the Jays organization. Anthopoulos notes that one trade he wonders about not making was for Ben Zobrist, who the Jays evidently were close to acquiring from Oakland last season before he ultimately went to Kansas City. He also looks back on one trade he did make, sending Noah Syndergaard and Travis d’Arnaud to New York in his famous 2012 deal for R.A. Dickey. Syndergaard, of course, has emerged as a phenom, but Anthopoulos defends the deal from the Blue Jays’ perspective. The team had two sluggers in their primes, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, and faced a tough decision about whether to build around them or consider trading them and resetting for the future. The Jays opted for the former. “The thought was three years in a row, and beyond, to be able to get the playoffs and win the World Series,” Anthopoulos says. “The thought was always that it could be what it is today in terms of attendance, TV ratings, fan interest. The belief was there. It was almost like a wick and you needed to light it.” Here’s more from the AL East.
- The Red Sox could soon consider promoting top outfield prospect Andrew Benintendi from Class A+ Salem to a higher level, Evan Drellich of the Boston Herald writes. The seventh overall pick in the 2015 draft has continued his torrid hitting from last season — he’s currently batting a ridiculous .381/.442/.648 for Salem and currently has a .337/.425/.587 line for his minor-league career. Red Sox president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski says he has no hard-and-fast criteria for the timings of minor-league promotions, instead treating them on a “case-by-case basis.” Of Benintendi, Dombowski says, “I don’t think it’s worth really speculating, but I could have to say it’s at least a situation that I’m sure will merit attention.”
- Yankees manager Joe Girardi says Alex Rodriguez’s hamstring strain is a grade “one-plus,” MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch tweets. There had been optimism that Rodriguez could return from the DL on May 19, the first day he’s eligible, but that might be unlikely. Carlos Beltran has played DH in Rodriguez’s absence, with Aaron Hicks in right field.
- Meanwhile, Yankees starter C.C. Sabathia is optimistic he can return from the DL in the minimum amount of time, tweets Hoch. Sabathia was placed on the DL yesterday with a groin strain, but he doesn’t believe it’s severe. Ivan Nova is replacing Sabathia in the Yankees’ rotation.