Remember yesterday how I said that it probably wasn’t that big a deal that the mediation and hearing in the Rangers’ case got moved to July 16th and July 22nd, respectively? Well, apparently Chuck Greenberg and Nolan Ryan thought it was a big deal, because they filed a motion late yesterday asking that they be held earlier so as not to screw with the Rangers making moves before the trade deadline.
Daniel Kaplan of SportsBusiness Journal just reported that the judge granted their motion. The mediation is now July 6th and the hearing is back to July 9th.
The lawyers in this case are fantastic, by the way. In eleven years of practice I think i was party to about 144,229 motions to delay things and, like, six motions to speed things up. While I still don’t think the two weeks here makes a ton of difference for the reasons stated yesterday, viva judicial efficiency all the same. Nice to see it!
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.