Tigers catcher Alex Avila limped through last year’s postseason, batting just .073/.116/.146 in 44 plate appearances while dealing with left patella tendinitis.
He got over the issue this winter and has enjoyed a decent start (.250/.333/.463 in 23 games) to the 2012 campaign. But that knee tendinitis is back.
According to Tom Gage of the Detroit News, Avila will be sidelined for “at least” the Tigers’ next two games due to renewed patella soreness. And there’s legitimate concern that he’ll have many more absences in the future.
The Tigers will turn to veteran backup Gerald Laird for now. If Avila’s patella tendinitis lingers like it did throughout last October, outside options may have to be considered.
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.