Free-agent outfielder Nyjer Morgan has signed with the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Japan’s Central League. The team says the 32-year-old Morgan will join the BayStars on a one-year-deal worth $1.6 million.
Probably better than he could do in the U.S., where he was likely to be limited to a minor league deal at best, with around the same sort of money coming in the event he made a team. Now he’s guaranteed that. I just hope he can bring his cat with him.
Morgan, who is 32, had his worst season in the bigs last year, hitting .239/.302/.308 in 322 plate appearances. He’s also an International Smooth Operator:
The Blue Jays dropped Thursday afternoon’s game to the Rangers 11-4, splitting the four-game home series. And, impressively, the Blue Jays failed for the ninth time to get back to .500. The club is now 35-37.
Here’s a look at all the times the Blue Jays could’ve evened out their won-lost record and what happened:
April 5 (0-1): Lost 3-1 to the Orioles
April 7 (1-2): Lost 10-8 to the Rays
June 1 (26-27): Lost 12-2 to the Yankees
June 3 (27-28): Lost 7-0 to the Yankees
June 5 (28-29): Lost 5-3 to the Athletics
June 13 (31-32): Lost 8-1 to the Rays
June 16 (32-33): Lost 11-4 to the White Sox
June 20 (34-35): Lost 6-1 to the Rangers
June 22 (35-36): Lost 11-4 to the Rangers
The Blue Jays are now a half-game behind the Orioles for fifth place in the AL East, but they’re only 5.5 games behind the first-place Yankees. Interestingly, if the Blue Jays played in the NL East and had the same record, they would be in second place. But even the Phillies — baseball’s worst team — have been at .500 or better for a few days: after winning Opening Day and after game Nos. 6, 18, 19, 20, 21, and 22.
Hechavarria, 28, is currently on a rehab assignment for a strained left oblique. It’s the second time this season he’s hit the sidelines with an oblique injury. Hechavarria is also hitting a disappointing .277/.288/.385 over 67 plate appearances, which is marginally better than his career averages.
While the Marlins are shopping Hechavarria at depressed value, there are two factors that give him value: he still plays good defense, and he’s under team control through the 2018 season. Passan does estimate that Hechavarria will see a pay raise from $4.3 million this season to $6-7 million next season in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility.