Jon Rauch close to returning from emergency appendectomy


Jon Rauch is on the verge of rejoining the Blue Jays’ bullpen less than two weeks after undergoing an emergency appendectomy.

Gregor Chisholm of reports that Rauch has been cleared to throw a simulated game tomorrow and could be activated from the disabled list as soon as Thursday if everything goes well.

What role he’ll fill upon returning is unclear, as Rauch had been struggling prior to the DL stint and fill-in closer Frank Francisco has thrived in his absence.

Rauch has reportedly cleared waivers, but trading him by Wednesday would be pretty difficult (though not impossible).

Marlins sign Sean Burnett to minor league deal

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Free agent reliever Sean Burnett signed a minor-league pact with the Marlins on Saturday. Per’s Joe Frisaro, the left-hander is slated to begin the season in extended spring training and will work toward a role in the majors.

Burnett, 35, has not appeared in full-time role in MLB since 2012. He last pitched for a big league team in 2016, surfacing for 5 2/3 innings with the Nationals before returning to the minors. Despite signing a minor-league deal with the Phillies last spring, he failed to make the Opening Day roster and was released prior to the start of the season.

Complicating Burnett’s return is a slew of chronic elbow issues. The left-hander has dealt with everything from bone spurs to a torn UCL over the last six years, and will need to take things slowly in the minors before the Marlins consider adding him to the bullpen this season.