Alexi Ogando’s versatility has basically allowed the Rangers to move him back and forth from the rotation to the bullpen based on whichever spot has been wrecked more by injuries.
He’s thrived in both roles and with Colby Lewis out for the season following Tommy John elbow surgery, Neftali Feliz on the disabled list with his own elbow problems, and Roy Oswalt’s bad back acting up the Rangers are considering moving him into the rotation again.
For now Ogando remains in the bullpen, where he has a 1.95 ERA in 77 career appearances, but general manager Jon Daniels told Drew Davison of the Forth Worth Star Telegram that making him a starter again is “something we’ve talked about” and “we may look for opportunities in the game to stretch him out and give us that option.”
For now 21-year-old prospect Martin Perez is plugging the rotation hole, but if he struggles Ogando and his 3.49 ERA in 30 career starts is one hell of a fallback option.
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.