Royals move Aaron Crow back to bullpen following Joakim Soria’s elbow injury

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So much for Aaron Crow’s transition from reliever to starter.

Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star reports that the Royals have decided to cancel those plans and move Crow back to the bullpen following Joakim Soria’s elbow injury.

Soria was diagnosed with a damaged ulnar collateral ligament and might be headed for Tommy John surgery, which would move Jonathan Broxton or Greg Holland into the closer role and create a setup man opening for Crow.

Crow made the All-Star team as a rookie reliever last season and finished with a 2.76 ERA and 65/31 K/BB ratio in 65 innings, but the 25-year-old right-hander was a starter in college and the minors. However, he posted a 5.26 ERA in 32 starts as a minor leaguer and there was some skepticism about whether Crow had the off-speed stuff to thrive as a starter. And now we may never find out.

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.