FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal shares some news from around baseball in his latest notes column…
- Josh Donaldson is expected to spend 2-4 weeks on the DL recovering from a calf injury. Though the Blue Jays are in dire need of Donaldson’s bat, I would suspect the team would err on the side of caution and keep Donaldson out of action until he has completely healed, given that the third baseman has been bothered by this injury dating back to Spring Training.
- With the Blue Jays off to a 2-10 start, Rosenthal figures the team will likely be dealing veterans at the July trade deadline but “a major deconstruction would be a tough sell” to fans. A complete rebuild would erase most or all of the gains made in ticket sales and TV ratings during the last two years, when the Jays twice reached the postseason. Rosenthal believes the Jays could use “a strategic re-set” and still aim to contend in 2018. If Toronto does sell at the deadline, they could limit themselves to trading players who will be free agents after 2017 (such as Marco Estrada, Jose Bautista or Francisco Liriano). The tougher calls, of course, would be on deciding to trade Donaldson or J.A. Happ, who are under contract through the 2018 season.
- Ryan Braun will gain 10-and-5 rights on May 14, according to Rosenthal, not on May 24 as previous reports have suggested. No matter the date that the Brewers slugger can gain full no-trade control, however, Rosenthal echoes earlier reports that suggest little will change with Braun’s trade status once he becomes a 10-and-5 player.
- The Orioles’ lack of international spending is “an ownership decision,” Rosenthal hears from Baltimore executive VP of baseball operations Dan Duquette. Ben Badler pulled no punches in criticizing the Orioles’ meager spending on international amateur free agents in a piece for Baseball America earlier this week, and Rosenthal adds that the O’s have also spent the least of any team on amateur draft signings over the last three years. While Duquette notes that several homegrown prospects are currently on Baltimore’s MLB roster, Rosenthal points out that with so many big names (i.e. Manny Machado, Adam Jones, Zach Britton) slated for free agency after 2018, the O’s are lacking in young depth to fill what could be several significant roster holes.
- Two sources tell Rosenthal that Duquette wasn’t happy with how the Orioles’ medical staff handled Chris Tillman’s shoulder injury. Duquette didn’t specifically comment on this report to Rosenthal, only saying that “We probably could have done a better job getting him back….I’m not sure we rushed him. I’m just disappointed he didn’t start the season with us. We had plenty of time to work with him. The shoulder was bothering him at the end of last year.” Tillman and the O’s are targeting a return date of early May for the right-hander to make his season debut.