After signing Vladimir Guerrero to a minor-league contract on May 10 the Blue Jays sent the 37-year-old to extended spring training for some workouts and then assigned him to Single-A.
Guerrero predictably destroyed Single-A pitching, going 9-for-20 (.450) with four homers in four games against pitchers 15 years his junior, prompting the Blue Jays to promote him to Triple-A today.
He’ll make his Las Vegas debut Saturday and the hitter-friendly environment gives Guerrero a great opportunity to post some impressive-looking numbers and get back to the majors. Incidentally, this will be the first time Guerrero has ever played at Triple-A, as he jumped from Double-A to the majors as a 21-year-old for the Expos in 1996 and never looked back.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.