Every year something happens in the offseason that makes me think that I can’t handle the looniness anymore. That the hot stove season has reached its nadir. After which I say that I cannot handle another weird rumor or report. When I say “not again. The line must be drawn here! This far, no further!”
That usually happens in mid-January. This year it happened on November 16, in a tweet from Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times:
Sideny Ponson. Who hasn’t pitched since 2009 and hasn’t pitched well since 2003. I’m going to assume for the sake of my sanity that the A’s official in question is the brother-in-law or college roommate of Ponson’s agent and that the meeting was a social affair.
If not, I’ll be in the bar. Until mid-February.
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.