Joaquin Benoit opened the free agent market by signing a three-year, $16.5 million deal with the Tigers and various other relievers are reportedly shopping for three-year contracts as well, so Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals “are now open to trading” Robinson Tejeda.
Dutton notes that general manager Dayton Moore has been open to trading setup men in the past, parting with Ramon Ramirez and Leo Nunez two offseasons ago, and is willing to deal Tejeda now because his value will never be higher given the market for relievers.
After years of splitting time between the rotation and bullpen Tejeda was a full-time reliever for the first time this season, posting a 3.54 ERA and 56/26 K/BB ratio in 61 innings. He has a 4.16 ERA and 160 strikeouts in 167 career innings as a reliever, has always possessed top-notch raw stuff with a hard fastball-slider combo and a quality changeup, and figures to make around $2 million in 2011 via arbitration.
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.