Aaron Rowand signed a minor league deal with the Marlins back in December, but it never got beyond that, as the Marlins released him today. Don’t cry for Rowand, though: he’s still being paid on that five-year, $60 million deal the Giants gave him.
He might be done playing, though. He hit .233/.274/.347 with four homers in 331 at-bats before being released by San Francisco last season. He still has an OK glove, but the man can’t hit anymore and in these days of 12 and 13-man pitching staffs, a defense-only outfielder is not a luxury a lot of teams can afford.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.