A's lose Ryan Sweeney to season-ending knee surgery

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Ryan Sweeney tried to play through a knee injury, receiving a cortisone shot and platelet-rich injections within the past two weeks, but ultimately decided to undergo season-ending surgery.

A couple different doctors looked at the knee and it wasn’t a matter of if I needed the surgery. It was a matter of when I was going to get it. So we just had to make that decision. I just felt like I’m a young player and to try to finish the year and play in pain, then get it done after the season and miss parts of next year, that’s not what I want to do. I don’t want to miss any of next year. It’s just one of those things I knew I needed to get done now.

He’s expected to need 4-6 months of rehab and Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Sweeney may yet opt for surgery on his other knee as long as he’s sidelined anyway.
Sweeney leads the A’s with a .294 batting average, but has just one homer in 331 plate appearances and has managed a measly .386 slugging percentage through 1,382 career trips to the plate. Despite the lack of power he’s been valuable thanks to getting on base at a solid clip and playing very good defense, so how his range recovers from going under the knife will be key for the 25-year-old’s long-term outlook.

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.