As first reported by MLB.com beat writer Bryan Hoch, the Yankees announced early Sunday morning that right-hander Freddy Garcia has been removed from the starting rotation and will operate as the long man in the bullpen going forward.
David Phelps, who has posted a 3.57 ERA through 17 2/3 innings of relief this season, is expected to take over the Yankees’ vacant rotation spot.
Garcia was shelled for six earned runs in just 1 2/3 innings Saturday in a 7-5 loss to the Tigers and is sporting a hideous 12.51 ERA in 13 2/3 total frames this year. It’s feasible that he could pitch well enough out of the ‘pen to earn his way back into the rotation mix, but he’s dug himself quite a hole.
The Yankees hold an 11-9 record heading into Sunday’s action, which has them in third place in the AL East.
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.