Phillies hire HOFer Bruce Sutter as minors consultant

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According to the Philadelphia Daily News, Hall of Fame reliever Bruce Sutter has been hired by the Phillies as a minor league pitching consultant.  His man objective will be to assist in the evaluation of the staffs at Double-A Reading and Triple-A Lehigh Valley.

Whether it translate to the young athletes he will be working with, Sutter, 57, certainly knows a thing or two about pitching success.  He owns a 2.83 career ERA, a 1.14 career WHIP, and, if saves are your thing, 300 of those as well. 

A right-hander known for his dominant split-fingered fastball, he won a Cy Young award in 1979 and finished in the top six of Cy Young voting four other times.

Sutter pitched for the Cubs, Cardinals and Braves over 12 professional seasons stretching from 1976-1988.  He was elected to the Hall of Fame in 2006 and owns one of 10 retired numbers at St. Louis’ Busch Stadium.

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.