From beat writer Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com comes word that Blue Jays third baseman Brett Lawrie is tentatively scheduled to spend this upcoming weekend playing in minor league rehab games and could be cleared to return to the active 25-man roster as early as Tuesday night.
Lawrie has been on the 15-day disabled list since August 4 with a strained oblique muscle. He’ll likely have to make it through a workout on Friday in Toronto before the Jays send him to the farm.
The 22-year-old was batting .282/.326/.416 with nine homers, 40 RBI and 13 steals in 427 plate appearances before hitting the shelf. Adeiny Hechavarria and Omar Vizquel have been filling in at the hot corner.
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.