Stephen Drew was never expected to make it back from his broken ankle by Opening Day, but with the season starting next week there’s still no timetable for his return.
Drew, who fractured his ankle and tore multiple ligaments in July, told Steve Gilbert of MLB.com that his recovery “is a slow process” and described himself as running at about “80 percent.”
Being a shortstop likely delays Drew’s return because he can’t function well enough to really help the Diamondbacks if his mobility is at all limited. Asked when he might be ready, Drew said: “It’s too hard to say with this kind of injury. I don’t have an idea. You can’t look that far ahead, you can only take it day by day, just see where you’re at.”
In other words, it’s going to be a while.
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.