Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson is eligible to come off the DL this Friday, but it ain’t gonna happen:
While Jackson remains in Detroit rehabbing with physical therapist Steve Scher, he isn’t ready for baseball activities and won’t do any until the Tigers return home and have their medical staff re-evaluate him Friday. That’s also the first day Jackson will be eligible to come off the 15-day disabled list.
Any chance of having him back Friday with little or no work on the field now seems out of consideration.
The linked article has a quote from Jim Leyland in which he notes that this is not good news. I applaud writer Jason Beck for editing out what was almost certainly Leyland’s first reaction to the news: “@#$^%(#^^!!$&#@@”
Any more time without Jackson is bad news for the struggling Tigers because he’s seen major improvement this year, hitting .331/.414/.544 with five homers, 17 RBI, six stolen bases and a .958 OPS in 36 games while cutting down on his strikeouts and drawing more walks.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
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.