Blue Jays call off Overbay-for-Snyder trade

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Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that the Blue Jays have backed away from a nearly completed Lyle Overbay-for-Chris Snyder trade because of concerns about the catcher’s surgically repaired back. Snyder underwent microdiscectomy surgery in September to relieve pressure on a nerve in his back after hitting just .200/.333/.352 this season in his least playing time since 2004.
He’s expected to be ready for spring training, but with two years and $11.25 million remaining on his contract new general manager Alex Anthopoulos apparently decided against taking the risk on a replacement for free agent Rod Barajas. Piecoro speculates that the Diamondbacks will continue to shop Snyder, who’s purely a backup now that Miguel Montero has emerged as the starter, but may have to wait until spring training to find a taker given the uncertainty surrounding his health.
Also look for Anthopoulos to continue shopping Overbay, because while he had a solid season by hitting .265/.372/.466 in 132 games a mediocre all-around first baseman who’s older than the new GM likely isn’t part of the long-term plan. Overbay has one year and $7 million remaining on his contract, so he’d certainly be a decent fit for contenders looking for a short-term fix at first base and obviously Anthopoulos’ asking price isn’t very high.

Jharel Cotton to undergo Tommy John surgery

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Athletics right-hander Jharel Cotton will undergo Tommy John surgery, per an announcement on Saturday. Cotton initially experienced some elbow soreness during a Cactus League start earlier this week and was officially diagnosed with a strained ulnar collateral ligament and strained flexor muscle on Thursday. He’ll be out of commission until 2019 at the earliest.

This isn’t the first time Cotton has dealt with elbow issues. According to’s Jane Lee, he had screws inserted in his right elbow after sustaining a stress fracture in 2013 and suffered some minor elbow discomfort again last fall. Prior to his diagnosis, the 26-year-old was poised for his third run with the A’s in 2018. He pitched his first full season with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.58 ERA, 3.7 BB/9 and 7.3 SO/9 in 24 starts and 129 innings.

Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle adds that the team is open to adding pitching depth this spring, though they’ll wait to see if the price goes down on some free agents first. Barring that, right-handed long reliever Andrew Triggs could be tabbed to fill the fifth spot in the rotation.