Blue Jays make Jarrett Hoffpauir everyday third baseman

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The Blue Jays won’t be going back to Jose Bautista at the hot corner after designating Edwin Encarnacion for assignment on Monday. Manager Cito Gaston said Tuesday that Jarrett Hoffpauir would take over as the everyday third baseman, with Bautista remaining in right field.
It’s a huge break for Hoffpauir. Formerly a second baseman in the Cardinals system, he put up solid numbers on an annual basis, yet he was given just 12 at-bats at the major league level before being dropped from the 40-man roster last winter. The Blue Jays claimed him off waivers and watched him hit .328/.378/.532 for Triple-A Las Vegas.
Of course, that was Las Vegas. Hoffpauir was batting .383/.434/.670 in one of the best hitting environments in the minors. In road games, he was at a far more modest .275/.323/.400. Two-thirds of his extra-base hits came at home.
Hoffpauir’s big chance comes just days after he turned 27 on June 18. He’ll probably have only a few weeks to establish himself, given that the Jays expect Travis Snider back after the All-Star break. With Snider back in the outfield, the Jays would have more incentive to use Bautista at third.

Mets sign Jose Lobaton to minor league deal

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The Mets signed catcher Jose Lobaton to a minor league contract, the team announced Friday. The deal includes an invitation to spring training, where it’s assumed Lobaton will be in the mix for a backup role behind Travis d'Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki.

Lobaton, 33, is coming off of a four-year stint with the Nationals. He put up his worst career numbers in 2017, producing -0.6 fWAR after slashing just .170/.248/.277 with four home runs in 158 plate appearances. While he’ll give the Mets little to work with at the plate, his near-decade of experience behind the dish should make him a decent emergency option, if nothing else.

In the meantime, the Mets are expected to roll with a d’Arnaud/Plawecki platoon to start the season. Both catchers saw slight upticks in value over the 2017 season: d’Arnaud turned in 0.8 fWAR after hitting a career-high 16 home runs, while Plawecki collected 0.6 fWAR and three homers after raising his batting line over the Mendoza Line for the first time since 2015.