Cleveland’s veteran housecleaning continues, as the Indians have released Derek Lowe one day after releasing Johnny Damon.
Lowe was designated for assignment last week after posting a 5.52 ERA and more walks (45) than strikeouts (41) in 119 innings and, not surprisingly, no teams wanted anything to do with his contract on waivers.
He’s now free to sign with any team for the minimum salary–or maybe just a minor-league deal–and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Lowe is willing to start or relieve despite not working out of the bullpen since 2001 with the Red Sox.
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.