As first hinted by Drew Davison of the Fort-Worth Star-Telegram earlier this afternoon, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports that the Blue Jays have signed veteran catcher Yorvit Torrealba to a minor league contract.
Torrealba batted just .236/.302/.342 with three home runs, 12 RBI and a .643 OPS in 182 plate appearances with the Rangers this season. The 34-year-old backstop was designated for assignment late last month following the acquisition of Geovany Soto and was given his release last week after passing through waivers.
Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca reports that Torrealba is slated to report to Triple-A New Hampshire on Thursday, where he’ll play four games before joining the Blue Jays next Tuesday in Detroit. He figures to split playing time with the newly-signed Jeff Mathis for now and will likely move to third on the depth chart if J.P. Arencibia is able to return from a fractured right hand at some point in September.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.