It still looks like the Yankees are going to finish with the American League’s best record, but not everything is fine and dandy in New York. Freddy Garcia just turned in his third straight poor start Sunday, giving up three runs in 4 2/3 innings in a loss to the Blue Jays. Adam Lind homered off him twice.
Here’s the starting pitcher ERAs for the Yankees over the last 30 days:
Ivan Nova: 2.41
CC Sabathia: 3.34
Bartolo Colon: 4.88
Phil Hughes: 5.14
Freddy Garcia: 8.56
A.J. Burnett: 9.00
Each pitcher there except Garcia has had exactly five starts. Garcia has had three since coming off the disabled list.
It’s safe to say Sabathia, Colon and Nova are in. Garcia still has the second best overall ERA of the group, a 3.77 mark that’s slightly better than the 3.81 marks shared by Nova and Colon. Still, Garcia was always going to be a hard guy to trust in the postseason and now it seems likely that the Yankees will instead choose to take their chances one of the harder throwers. Whether that’s Hughes or Burnett will probably depend on how each fares from here.
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.