Francisco Liriano struggled Sunday for the fourth time in four starts and the Twins have decided to make use of an off day on the schedule to skip his next turn in the rotation.
Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports that Liriano will remain on the active roster all week, but won’t see any game action. Instead he’ll throw bullpen sessions Thursday and Saturday in preparation for rejoining the rotation May 1 versus the Angels.
Liriano was a mess for most of last season, but he’s been even worse this year with an 11.02 ERA and more walks (13) than strikeouts (12) in 16 innings as his diminished velocity combines with his terrible command. Moving him to the bullpen or trying to force him to accept a demotion to Triple-A were the Twins’ other options, so skipping one turn in the rotation is certainly the least drastic measure … for now.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.
The Padres have signed Trevor Cahill to a one-year, $1.75 million contract.
As recently as the middle of the 2015 season it looked like Cahill’s career would meet a premature end, but after being released by the Braves and signing with the Cubs in August of that season he has been a remarkably effective reliever. He has posted a 2.61 ERA in 61 games in Chicago and has posted a strikeout rate far above his career norms.
He’s not someone you necessarily want taking the hill when the leverage is high, but in San Diego the leverage won’t be all that high all that often.