Change of plans: Scott Rolen agrees to rehab assignment

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Earlier this week Scott Rolen indicated that he’d prefer not to go on a minor-league rehab assignment before returning from the disabled list, but apparently the Reds have talked him into playing a few games at Triple-A.

John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Rolen will begin his rehab stint tomorrow and spend the weekend in Louisville, at which point the Reds will likely activate him from the DL if there hasn’t been a setback.

And that’s far from a sure thing, as Rolen has a lengthy history of shoulder problems that have derailed his career several times and hasn’t played since May 11. In fact, his latest shoulder injury was so bad and Rolen is so sick of dealing with the discomfort that there was initially some speculation that he might simply call it quits.

Instead he’ll do some rehab and give it one last try after hitting just .174 in 29 games before being shut down. Todd Frazier has a .900 OPS filling in at third base, so in theory at least Rolen shouldn’t be guaranteed playing time.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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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.