Stephen Strasburg could return September 2

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Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post spoke with Davey Johnson today, who said that Stephen Strasburg could return to the bigs and make the start on September 2nd.  That’s a Friday against the Mets at Nationals Park.

Kilgore refers to it as a “speculative” time table, however, so that could slide.  Given that September 2nd is the first game of a ten-game home stand — and given that Strasburg’s primary benefit to the Nationals in 2011 will be at the gate — I suppose his start could come any time in those ten games.

But hey, getting your phenom back is good no matter when it happens.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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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.