Jason Donald, who was the favorite to act as the Indians’ primary third baseman before suffering a broken hand on March 4, was activated from the disabled list and optioned to Triple-A Columbus on Friday.
The move comes as no surprise, given Jack Hannahan’s strong play at the hot corner for Cleveland. Hannahan, a journeyman long known more for his glove than for his bat, hit two homers Tuesday and is batting .290/.364/.522 in 69 at-bats for the season.
With Adam Everett also playing well in his utility role, there simply wasn’t room for Donald right now. Odds are that he’ll be return as a part-timer within a couple of months, but he’s likely better off playing regularly for Columbus than he would be starting once or twice a week in Cleveland anyway.
Of course, the Columbus infield is getting crowded, too. The Pirates announced today that Rule 5 pick Josh Rodriguez cleared waivers and was returned to the Indians. Rodriguez, who went 1-for-12 after making the Pirates out of spring training, is slated to join Donald, Luis Valbuena and top prospect Lonnie Chisenhall on the Clippers roster.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.