Evan Longoria hoping to come off disabled list by April 29

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Evan Longoria hasn’t been cleared to take swings against live pitching yet, but the Rays third baseman told Bill Chastain of MLB.com that he expects to return from a strained oblique muscle by April 29.

He has quite a few hurdles to clear (and setbacks to avoid) before then, but Longoria is slated to take “dry swings” today for the first time and hopes to begin a minor-league rehab assignment at Double-A or Triple-A early next week.

Longoria told Chastain that he’s “itching to do more” and “hopefully I’ll be hitting off the tee, doing flips, and possibly by the end of the Toronto series, hitting on the field.” He’s been out since the second game of the season and was eligible to return from the disabled list yesterday.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.