Ken Rosenthal tweets:
The decision is not terribly surprising. While this year’s schedule is already set, thus making it difficult to build in room for the expanded playoffs, Major League Baseball and its television partners clearly wanted to get this in place as soon as possible. Those one-game wild card playoffs are going to be hyped to the max and, given how everyone likes elimination games, will likely get good ratings.
Of course, as it already is, the seventh game of the World Series, if necessary, would be played on November 1. I would assume that this will bump it a couple of days. As such, watch for MLB to put the fix in, making it impossible for the northern-dwelling Twins to make the postseason.
Wait, what? Oh, in that case everything is cool.
Free agent middle infielder Danny Espinosa signed a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays, the team announced Saturday. The deal includes an invite to spring training, where Espinosa is scheduled for his first split-squad game against the Orioles this afternoon.
Espinosa, 30, was inked to another minor-league deal with the Yankees in January. The veteran infielder was competing for an infield job until the team picked up second baseman Neil Walker on a one-year, $4 million deal last Monday. Prior to his release, he slashed .160/.276/.320 with one home run through his first 12 games with the Yankees this spring. He didn’t fare much better in the majors last year, either, batting a cumulative .173/.245/.278 with six home runs and a .523 OPS in 295 PA for the Mariners and Rays.
Blue Jays starting shortstop Troy Tulowitzki is still dealing with a bone spur in his heel and has officially been ruled out for Opening Day, which could clear a path for Espinosa to claim a starting role in Toronto. Of course, he won’t be the only candidate under consideration — Yangervis Solarte and Aledmys Diaz are still in the mix as well, though no final decision appears to be made just yet.