The latest from Toronto…
- Several teams, including contenders in the American League, contacted the league office in regards to the Josh Donaldson trade “either to express their dismay with the circumstances of the deal or seek clarification on why baseball allowed it,” The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (subscription required). The particular issue was Donaldson’s uncertain health status and the timing of his activation from the disabled list as a Blue Jay and his latest DL placement after joining the Indians, without any return to the field in between. Prior to the deal, teams interested in Donaldson were issued a “buyer beware” warning by the league about his possible injured status, which stemmed from concerns Donaldson himself had about his bothersome calf, which he expressed to the MLBPA (via his agent). After the union passed these concerns onto the league, Rosenthal reports that MLBPA officials also wondered how the trade was completed. Donaldson’s worries, however, were alleviated after speaking to the Tribe on August 31, as Cleveland was given permission by the league to speak to the player once the general framework of the trade had been settled.
- Infielder Yangervis Solarte has been activated from the disabled list, as per the Blue Jays’ PR department’s Twitter feed. Solarte has missed just under a month due to right oblique injury suffered after an awkward swing. Solarte has hit .233/.287/.397 over 471 PA in his first season in Toronto, and could be entering his final days with the team — the Jays are deep in young infield options, and may choose to buy out Solarte’s 2019 club option for $750K rather than bring him back at the full $5.5MM price.
- General manager Ross Atkins is expected to receive a contract extension this winter, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi writes, as Atkins’ current contract only runs through the 2019 season. This means that Atkins signed a four-year deal when first hired as Toronto’s GM in the 2015-16 offseason. The contract length wasn’t reported at the time, and this new deal may also be handled with a modicum of fanfare, as Davidi predicts that an Atkins extension “likely takes place quietly behind the scenes and doesn’t get announced.” Building off a recent interview with Jays president/CEO Mark Shapiro about the club’s offseason plans, Davidi’s piece also predicts some modest roster targets for the Blue Jays, such as at least one innings-eating veteran starter, and “some value-play additions to the bullpen” in the mold of the Seunghwan Oh and Tyler Clippard signings last winter.
- In a separate piece from Davidi, he examines how the Blue Jays drafted and signed Ryan Borucki in 2012, an acquisition that may not have happened if Borucki hadn’t suffered a UCL tear while pitching for his high school team that spring. Despite several injuries that hampered his early development, Borucki has turned into one of the club’s best young arms, and projects to be a member of the 2019 rotation after making his MLB debut this season.