Rumors that the Cubs already had a deal in place for Jorge Soler proved inaccurate and now Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reports that the 19-year-old outfielder worked out for the Blue Jays this morning at their complex in the Dominican Republic.
According to Sanchez, general manager Alex Anthopoulos was there along with several other members of Toronto’s front office, and they also worked out three other Cuban players.
Sanchez notes that the Blue Jays signed Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria for $10 million in 2010, but Soler is slated to have a similar workout for the Orioles this weekend. His cloudy visa status means that Soler can’t sign yet anyway, but it sounds like his market is picking up following fellow Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes’ four-year, $36 million deal with the A’s.
The Rangers will not sign free agent reliever Seung-hwan Oh after all. Reports from MLB.com’s TR Sullivan indicate that negotiations were brought to a halt after a physical issue was found with the pitcher. While the specifics have yet to be released, Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News says the issue was revealed on an MRI of the right-hander’s arm.
Oh was thought to be in talks with the Rangers last week, though a deal was never officially announced by the club. The 35-year-old righty is fresh off of a two-year run with the Cardinals, during which he posted a cumulative 39 saves, 2.85 ERA, 2.1 BB/9 and 10.2 SO/9 in 139 innings. He struggled with consistency in his sophomore season, however, and finished 2017 with a disappointing 4.10 ERA and 4.44 FIP in 62 appearances for the team.
While Oh hasn’t experienced any setbacks with his arm in the majors so far, he does have a history of prior injuries during his time in KBO. He sustained a shoulder injury in 2009 and underwent surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow in 2010. It’s possible that the Rangers saw an entirely different problem on the MRI, but clearly it was enough to give them strong reservations about inking the righty to a $2.75+ million deal. It’s still possible that another of Oh’s suitors will offer him a contract prior to Opening Day; the Giants were rumored to be interested in the veteran reliever, among other teams, though their recent acquisition of lefty reliever Tony Watson will likely take them out of the running now.