UPDATE: Blalock picking between Marlins, Rays

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UPDATE: Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times confirms that the Rays have interest in Blalock on a minor league deal.
4:44pm: Two weeks ago Matthew named Tampa Bay and Florida as the best remaining fits for Hank Blalock, and sure enough now SI.com’s Jon Heyman reports that the 29-year-old free agent is indeed deciding between the Rays and Marlins.
In their quest for another left-handed hitter the Rays previously missed out on Russell Branyan and would likely use Blalock to split time at designated hitter with Pat Burrell while also providing some depth behind Carlos Pena at first base and Evan Longoria at third base. For the Marlins he’d be a potential alternative to prospects Logan Morrison and Gaby Sanchez at first base.
At this point Blalock is probably choosing between low-money deals or perhaps even minor-league offers, so he might as well take the best opportunity for significant playing time and that’s likely Tampa Bay unless Florida is willing to hold Morrison back at Triple-A for most of the season.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.

Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.

The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.

If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.