Domonic Brown to return from thumb injury next week

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Domonic Brown is hoping to rejoin the Phillies’ lineup next week after an MRI exam showed only inflammation in his injured thumb, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Brown has been diagnosed with a sprain after suffering the injury attempting a diving catch earlier this week, but Gelb notes that “much of the inflammation and scar tissue is actually remnants of a similar injury” from last year and “it’s the fourth injury since 2009 to his right hand.”

That’s not exactly good news, of course, but at least Brown avoided something more serious this time around. His chances of cracking the Opening Day roster, however, remain slim, but that has more to do with the Phillies’ continued disinterest in giving him an extended opportunity at age 24 than anything else.

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.