Matt Moore sidelined by lower abdominal strain

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Matt Moore was slated to throw batting practice this morning, but instead the 22-year-old phenom will be out for at least a couple days with what the Rays are calling a “lower abdominal strain.”

Moore described the injury as “like a sore muscle … basically right below my belly button” and said sitting things out is merely precautionary this early in camp, but the strain has apparently bothered him since throwing Friday.

He was able to play catch on both Saturday and Sunday, and for now is hoping to take his next scheduled batting practice turn Wednesday. Moore was also quick to say that it’s not an oblique strain, which is definitely good news given how long those can linger.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.