Brett Lawrie was seemingly days away from being called up in late May when a broken hand suffered at Triple-A sidelined him for two months.
Now he’s back and has resumed crushing the ball, leading to speculation that the Blue Jays are once again on the verge of calling up their top prospect.
When the call-up comes Lawrie will take over as Toronto’s starting third baseman, shifting Jose Bautista back to the outfield and likely sending a current regular to the minors (Travis Snider, Eric Thames) or waiver wire (Edwin Encarnacion).
Lawrie, a 2008 first-round pick acquired from the Brewers in a deal for Shaun Marcum this winter, is hitting .352 with 18 homers, 24 doubles, and 12 steals in 67 games at Triple-A as a 21-year-old.
There are questions about his defense at third base, but Lawrie projects as a middle-of-the-order impact bat and based on various articles in Toronto newspapers today he might be in the majors by week’s end.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.