Toronto Blue Jays Rumors
The Blue Jays have inquired on Braves shortstop Tyler Pastornicky, according to Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (on Twitter). The Blue Jays are apparently looking out-of-house for some reinforcements after learning that Jose Reyes will be sidelined for three months with a severely sprained left ankle.
Toronto traded Pastornicky to Atlanta in July of 2010 along with Alex Gonzalez and Tim Collins in the deal that brought back Yunel Escobar and Jo-Jo Reyes. Last year was the 23-year-old's first season in the majors and he posted a .243/.287/.325 slash line in 76 games.
SATURDAY: Toronto may have to wait a week to learn the full extent of Reyes's injury, but may look to add depth up the middle in the meantime, reports Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com. According to Rosenthal, the Jays have recalled Kawasaki to take Reyes's spot on the active roster, but could still look to acquire a player like the recently designated Cody Ransom or the Diamondbacks' Josh Wilson. (Links via Twitter.)
Other trade targets could include Mike Aviles, John McDonald, Yuniesky Betancourt, Jonathan Herrera, Ramiro Pena, Cesar Izturis, or even Dee Gordon, writes Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star. ESPN.com's Buster Olney offers (on Insider) that McDonald may make sense, since he occupies a limited role with a Pirates club that has other options.
FRIDAY: With Jose Reyes' health in question following a left ankle spain, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters (including Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star) that he had already talked to other general managers about possible deals to fill the void if the star shortstop is out for an extended period of time. Anthopoulos said Reyes' "best case scenario" is a one-month stint on the DL while the worst case scenario would be a three-month injury layoff, though the shortstop will undergo an MRI tomorrow to determine the extent of the damage.
Reyes suffered the nasty-looking ankle injury while sliding into second base in the sixth inning of the Jays' 8-4 win over the Royals on Friday night and had to be carted off the field. He entered the game hitting .412/.487/.559 in nine games and added another hit and two RBIs against Kansas City.
This is the biggest blow yet to a Toronto club that has struggled early in the season amidst high preseason expectations. The Jays are already thin in the infield with Brett Lawrie on the DL and, as a scout told CBS Sports' Danny Knobler, Reyes is the player they could least afford to lose given their lack of depth at shortstop. For now the Jays will use some combination of Mark DeRosa, Emilio Bonifacio and Maicer Izturis at third, short and second The team's Triple-A infield options with Major League experience include the likes of Andy LaRoche, Munenori Kawasaki, Eugenio Velez, Mike McCoy and Mauro Gomez.
Jeff Todd contributed to this post.
We'll keep track of Friday's minor moves right here...
- Infielder Sean Burroughs has signed a minor league deal with the Dodgers, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America (on Twitter). Burroughs last appeared in the Majors with the Twins in 2012 but was designated for assignment after just 18 plate appearances. The former top prospect returned to baseball in 2011.
- Within that same tweet, Eddy notes that the Mets have signed left-hander Sean Henn to a minor league deal. The 31-year-old Henn's last big league action was split between the Twins and Orioles in 2009. He has a 7.56 ERA in 81 career innings with more walks (64) than strikeouts (62).
- Still from Eddy's jam-packed tweet, the Padres have inked first baseman Brandon Allen to a minor league contract. The 27-year-old has a career .203/.290/.375 Major League batting line in 389 plate appearances.
- The Blue Jays announced that right-hander Edgar Gonzalez has cleared waivers and been outrighted to Triple-A Buffalo in order to make room for Casper Wells on the 40-man roster. Toronto claimed the 30-year-old Gonzalez off waivers just five days ago.
- Suspended right-hander Mark Hamburger has signed with the independent league St. Paul Saints, writes Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (at the bottom of the article). The 26-year-old tested positive for an undisclosed drug last season. He has appeared in eight Major League innings for the Rangers with a 4.50 ERA and was once traded for Eddie Guardado.
The Orioles have claimed right-hander Alex Burnett off waivers from the Blue Jays and optioned him to Triple-A Norfolk, the team announced via Twitter. The team has transferred Wilson Betemit to the 60-day disabled list in order to create space on the 40-man roster.
Burnett, 25, was designated for assignment when the Blue Jays claimed Casper Wells off waivers from the Mariners. Burnett's command has improved each year since his 2010 debut with, but his strikeout rate has declined as well. In 170 career innings, he has a 4.61 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9. Last year he struck out just 36 batters in 71 2/3 innings, though he managed a solid 92.7 mph on his fastball. All three of his Major League seasons have come with the Twins.
Jose Reyes says that he isn't sweating the Blue Jays' slow start and it doesn't sound like the front office is either. Here's the latest out of Toronto..
- The Blue Jays' claim of Casper Wells off of waivers likely means that Toronto will soon go with a seven-man bullpen, writes MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm. The club had been carrying eight relievers but that will soon change and it's probable that right-hander Edgar Gonzalez will be the one who is designated for assignment. Gonzalez was claimed off of waivers on Sunday.
- General Manager Alex Anthopoulos told reporters, including Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, that Miguel Batista was signed primarily for minor league depth. The right-hander was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo after being picked up yesterday afternoon.
- Jeremy Jeffress hasn't been placed on waivers just yet and Anthopoulos noted that he has until Sunday to do so, Davidi writes. The club is also going to look and see if there's a deal for the reliever, but there's no interest just yet.
Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes was surprised when Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports pointed out that his new team is off the the same 2-5 start as the Marlins were a year prior. Reyes, however, isn't worried about his team's outlook: "...there’s no concern at all. There’s way too much talent on this ballclub to continue to play the way we’re playing.” Here are some more links from baseball's two Eastern divisions...
- WEEI.com's Rob Bradford hears that the Red Sox are not interested in trading for Aaron Harang (Twitter link). Reports over the weekend linked Boston to the recently DFA'ed right-hander.
- Offseason acquisition Denard Span has given the Nationals a "new kind of offensive identity," writes Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. The presence of Span and Jayson Werth atop the lineup forces pitchers to work, given the high volume of pitches the pair averages per plate appearance. Werth and Adam LaRoche both offer high praise for the Nats' new leadoff man, who was acquired from the Twins for Alex Meyer this offseason.
- Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca chronicles the early work that former Blue Jays ace Ricky Romero has done so far in his attempts to rediscover his mechanics. As Dividi notes, given the $7.5MM owed to Romero in each of the next three seasons, Toronto has no reason to rush and every reason to make sure they get it right.
- Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. told Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com that struggling ace Roy Halladay will have as long of a leash as he needs to get things sorted out: "If he needs 30 starts he’ll get it. As long as he’s healthy and he keeps working at it -- as much as he needs."
- Chris Dickerson is set to be added to the Orioles' 40-man and 25-man roster today, but speculation that it could result in a Steve Pearce DFA doesn't make sense, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports, who hears that the upcoming move won't involve Pearce.
The Blue Jays announced that they have designated right-hander Alex Burnett for assignment, the team announced in a press release. The move clears a 40-man roster spot for Casper Wells, who was claimed on waivers earlier this afternoon.
Toronto claimed Burnett off waivers at the end of Spring Training when the Twins tried to remove him from the 40-man roster. Minnesota selected the 25-year-old out of high school in the 12th round of the 2005 draft.
Burnett's command has improved each year since his 2010 debut, but his strikeout rate has declined as well. In 170 career innings, he has a 4.61 ERA, 5.6 K/9 and 3.7 BB/9. Last year he struck out just 36 batters in 71 2/3 innings, though he managed a solid 92.7 mph on his fastball.
Wells, 28, came the Mariners from Detroit as part of the Doug Fister trade. In 432 plate appearances for the M's, Wells hit .225/.304/.406 with 17 home runs. Wells is capable of playing all three outfield positions and has abused left-handed pitching to the tune of a .264/.349/.489 batting line.
The Mariners elected to go with an outfield mix of Michael Saunders, Michael Morse, Franklin Gutierrez, Raul Ibanez and Jason Bay, leaving no room for Wells on the 25-man roster. As MLB.com's Greg Johns notes (on Twitter), today was the deadline for the Mariners to make a decision regarding Wells' future.
After the R.A. Dickey trade, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos said the inclusion of John Buck was needed because his club needed to shed the catcher's $6MM salary. However, Mets assistant GM John Ricco told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com that Buck was part of the trade package from the beginning and not a late throw-in just even out money in the deal. Buck is off to a hot start for the 2013 season and if he continues to perform, he'll be a solid contributor for the Mets this season. Here's more from around baseball..
- While it's still very preliminary, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes (on Twitter) says that the qualifying offer for the 2013-14 offseason should be right around $14MM. This past offseason, the qualifying offer was worth a little less at $13.3MM.
- Julio Borbon could be a worthwhile pickup for the Astros and Mets in the opinion of Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). Borbon was designated for assignment by the Rangers earlier this evening.
- In the wake of Josh Reddick's injury, A's skipper Bob Melvin says he is especially grateful for the depth that the club's front office has put in place, tweets Jane Lee of MLB.com.
The right-hander hooked on with Colorado in January on a minor league deal but couldn't break camp. In 52 2/3 innings with the Braves and Mets last season, Batista posted a 4.61 ERA, 6.2 K/9, 5.2 BB/9, and a 46.2 percent ground-ball rate.
Batista has appeared with eleven different Major League clubs over parts of 18 seasons and has a 4.48 career ERA with 5.8 K/9 and 4.1 BB/9.