Star Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista is looking for a contract that will keep him in Toronto into his forties at a $30MM+ AAV, says Jon Heyman of MLB Network (Twitter links), but the 35-year-old is perhaps more willing to negotiate than some of his prior comments would suggest. Previous reports of Bautista’s contract requests have reflected just that kind of asking price while sometimes portraying his stance as being more firm. Jays GM Ross Atkins made clear recently that talks have been amicable, and Heyman adds that Bautista does hope to continue on in Toronto, so it appears there is still some hope that the sides can come together on a new contract for the pending free agent.
Here’s more from the American League:
- Twins righty Ricky Nolasco believes he should remain in the club’s rotation, agent Matt Sosnick tells Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter link). Referencing last year’s disappointing, injury-filled campaign, Sosnick suggests that his client “deserves to show the Twins what he looks like without trying to pitch through pain.” If Nolasco is pushed to the pen, says Sosnick, he’d approach the front office to “directly address his feelings of disappointment” and “ask the team about his other options.”
- The initial returns on Ian Desmond in left field appear to be positive for the Rangers, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports writes. He also notes that the Giants had some interest in Desmond earlier in the winter as a super-utility option that would primarily play in the corner outfield, while the Orioles were involved later.
- Mariners lefty Danny Hultzen has suffered a setback in his bid to get back on the bump in a relief role, Shannon Drayer of Seattle’s 710AM ESPN was among those to report on Twitter. He’ll seemingly rest a while as he deals with shoulder stiffness, which hopefully will clear up on its own. It has been a long and difficult road for the 26-year-old, who has dealt with a series of arm issues since he was chosen second overall in the 2011 draft.
- Tigers reliever Bruce Rondon touched 100 mph yesterday and continues to show good form in camp, as Aaron McMann of MLive.com reports. After a disappointing end to the 2015 season, in which he was asked to leave the organization due to his lack of effort, Rondon has drawn positive reviews so far this spring. “He’s been good,” said skipper Brad Ausmus. “He’s done his work, he’s taken his non-pitching fundamentals seriously. He’s put in the effort and he’s looked strong so far on the mound.”