With the season winding down, Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling writes that both right-hander Marco Estrada and outfielder Dalton Pompey are likely nearing the end of their time with the Blue Jays. Estrada, 35, is a free agent at season’s end, and the Toronto organization has rotation locks in Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and Ryan Borucki lined up for next season, with several other younger options on hand in the organization as well. As for Pompey, Zwelling notes that he’ll be out of options in 2019 and no longer fits into a crowded outfield picture in Toronto, suggesting that the 25-year-old will either be traded to another organization or simply designated for assignment as the Jays look to protect prospects in advance of the Rule 5 Draft.
Here’s more from the division…
- Orioles prospect Hunter Harvey has suffered yet another setback in his return from elbow troubles, writes Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com. The O’s had planned to send Harvey, a former Top 10 overall draft pick and once a consensus top 100 prospect, to the Arizona Fall League following the season. Those plans have been scrapped, and Harvey will cease throwing in the instructional league as well. The 23-year-old righty has already had Tommy John surgery in his young professional career, and he’s also battled shoulder troubles this year as well. There’s little doubting Harvey’s raw talent, but at this point, he’s thrown just 176 1/3 innings in parts of five professional seasons due to his inability to stay healthy. The 2018 season accounted for 32 1/3 of those frames, during which Harvey limped to a 5.57 ERA with a 30-to-9 K/BB ratio.
- Red Sox infielder Eduardo Nunez exited tonight’s game due to soreness in his right knee, tweets Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. It’s the latest in a long series of knee injuries that have hampered the versatile infielder dating back to last season. Nunez recently acknowledged that he’s played through discomfort for much of the season, posting a woeful .264/.288/.378 slash through 494 plate appearances along the way. Manager Alex Cora doesn’t believe Nunez’s injury to be serious, but he’ll be out of the lineup tomorrow at the very least. Nunez’s 400th plate appearance boosted the value of his 2019 player option from $4MM to $5MM (per WEEI’s Rob Bradford), and his ongoing knee issues create a possibility that he’ll simply opt to return at that rate for the 2019 season.
- The Yankees activated Aroldis Chapman from the 10-day disabled list earlier today, but Dan Martin of the New York Post writes that he’ll be eased back into the closer’s role as the Yanks try to be mindful of the knee issues that have slowed him in 2018. “We want to get him back in the mix,” said manager Aaron Boone. “…and in a regular role sooner than later, but we also want to make sure we are using him in big spots here down the stretch so he is firing on all cylinders as we head into October.” With Chapman, Aaron Judge and Gary Sanchez all back from the disabled list, the Yankees are more or less at full strength, but they’re still likely to need to get through an upstart Athletics club the Wild Card game in order to orchestrate a return to the American League Division Series.