The Blue Jays and Jason Frasor have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $3.5 million contract, according to a team press release. The contract includes a $3.75 million team option for 2012.
The 33-year-old Frasor accepted arbitration from the Blue Jays at the end of November, a decision motivated by his Type A free agent status, which would have likely limited the number of interested teams.
Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg both left via free agency this winter, but the Blue Jays are still in good shape in their bullpen after the additions of Carlos Villaneuva, Octavio Dotel, Jon Rauch, and most recently, Frank Francisco.
As a result of the Vernon Wells trade last Friday, Frasor is now the longest tenured player on the Blue Jays. The right-hander posted a 3.68 ERA and 65/27 K/BB ratio over 63 2/3 innings last season. He has topped 60 appearances in each of the last two seasons.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch told the media, including MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart, that starter Dallas Keuchel will come off of the disabled list and rejoin the rotation on Friday against the Tigers. Keuchel has missed nearly two months with a neck injury.
Prior to landing on the DL, Keuchel was 9-0 with a 1.67 ERA and a 69/18 K/BB ratio over 75 2/3 innings. He seemed to be on his way to potentially win another Cy Young Award.
Hinch also noted that Collin McHugh will start on Saturday and Lance McCullers will start on Sunday.
Braves starter Aaron Blair had a nightmarish bottom of the third inning on Wednesday afternoon against the Diamondbacks. He had just given up a run on a Daniel Descalso triple hit to center field that center fielder Ender Inciarte read poorly. In the following at-bat, Ketel Marte laced a curve ball to right field. Sean Rodriguez wasn’t able to get to it in time, so the ball bounced off the fence and caromed back towards the stands along the right field line. By the time Rodriguez was able to retrieve the ball, Marte was already on his way home and scored standing up.
The inside-the-park homer will certainly provide a boost to Marte’s stats. He entered Wednesday’s action batting .196/.255/.370 in 51 plate appearances.