Agent Scott Boras is unhappy with the Blue Jays for not awarding pre-arb right-hander Aaron Sanchez a higher salary for 2017, but the star hurler doesn’t seem fazed. Sanchez told Paul Hagen of MLB.com he “absolutely” believes Blue Jays management values him, adding: “We just had a disagreement, and I want to leave it at that. There are no hard feelings between [general manager Ross Atkins] and I, between me and this organization. It’s time to go play baseball, really. All that other stuff isn’t relevant to me.” With his first trip through arbitration a year away, Sanchez, 24, will try to build on a sterling 2016 campaign in which he posted a 3.00 ERA, 7.55 K/9, 2.95 BB/9 and 54.4 percent ground-ball rate over 192 innings.
More from the East Coast:
- Major League Baseball has spent the past four-plus months investigating domestic violence allegations against Mets closer Jeurys Familia, but it appears he’ll escape serious punishment from commissioner Rob Manfred. While Manfred will hand Familia a suspension, the ban won’t be “very long,” reports FanRag’s Jon Heyman. That could rule out a potential 30- to 50-game suspension for Familia.
- Mets infielder Wilmer Flores isn’t pleased with his role as a part-time player, writes Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News. Even if injured third baseman David Wright misses regular-season time, the Mets will still have a full complement of infielders in Lucas Duda, Neil Walker, Asdrubal Cabrera and Jose Reyes. With those four on hand, the right-handed-hitting Flores is unlikely to play much against same-handed pitchers. “I’ve been comfortable (against right handers) since I started playing baseball,” Flores said. “I got a lot of opportunities against lefties (last year), but against righties, I feel really good.” Flores hasn’t made a strong case to face righties, having hit just .253/.287/.374 against them in 905 career plate appearances. Regarding Flores’ dissatisfaction, manager Terry Collins told Ackert: “The one thing about his situation is you don’t have to like it. You just have to accept it and be ready to play.”
- Marlins third baseman Martin Prado will undergo an MRI on Saturday after injuring his hamstring during Venezuela’s loss to the American team in the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com. “Hamstrings take a little bit of time, and we’ll let the doctors determine what grade it is and see what we’re going to have to do,” said manager Don Mattingly. Should Prado miss regular-season action, it’s likely the Marlins would give the lion’s share of playing time at third to Derek Dietrich, who enjoyed a career year in 2016 while primarily filling in at second for the suspended Dee Gordon. An injury to the productive Prado obviously isn’t ideal, though, especially considering he’s entering the first season of a three-year, $40MM contract.
- A poor 2016 spent with the Pirates and Mets forced now-Yankees southpaw Jon Niese to settle for a minor league contract during the offseason, leading the 30-year-old to tell Ken Davidoff of the New York Post: “It’s a tough business to be in, but at the same time, it gave me this opportunity here with the Yankees. I can’t totally be down on myself about it. I’m looking forward to embracing this bullpen role. Hopefully it can springboard my career.” Niese had been a quality starter from 2011-15, but he’d only crack the Yankees’ roster as a reliever. His new role comes with a different mindset. “Basically, I’m just treating those three outs as a game,” he added.