Jon Rauch close to returning from emergency appendectomy

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

Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com 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).

Padres sign Jordan Lyles

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The Padres announced on Sunday that the club signed pitcher Jordan Lyles to a one-year major league contract with a club option for 2019. According to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports, Lyles will earn $750,000 in 2018. Pitcher Travis Wood was designated for assignment to create room on the 40-man roster for Lyles.

Lyles, 27, had miserable results between the Rockies and Padres last season, compiling an aggregate 7.75 ERA with a 55/22 K/BB ratio over 69 2/3 innings. While he specifically gave up 24 earned runs in 23 innings across five starts with the Padres, it was a small sample. A full season at the pitcher-friendly Petco Park, as opposed to Colorado’s Coors Field, might help revitalize his career.

Wood, 30, went to the Padres at the non-waiver trade deadline from the Royals this past season. Overall, the lefty posted an aggregate 6.80 ERA with a 65/45 K/BB ratio in 94 innings. He’ll earn $6.5 million this season and has an $8 million mutual option with a $1 million buyout for 2019. So, the Padres are just eating $7.5 million minus the league minimum, assuming Wood latches on elsewhere.