New manager, same Alfredo Aceves

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Alfredo Aceves clashed constantly with manager Bobby Valentine last season, but now Valentine has been replaced by John Farrell and … Aceves is still being a pain in the ass at Red Sox camp:

Aceves made a mockery of John Farrell’s camp on Sunday with his lobbing of the ball into home plate during batting practice. It was the first “incident” from a player in the Farrell era, and it comes as no surprise that Aceves was the culprit. …

Aceves was “talked to” by both Farrell and pitching coach Juan Nieves and eventually started throwing at normal speed, the issue was “addressed” according to Farrell.

Aceves went 2-10 with a 5.36 ERA in 84 innings last season, so it’s not as if the Red Sox are merely putting up with his nonsense because he’s such an amazing player. They’re also paying him $2.65 million after avoiding arbitration with a one-year deal, so the Red Sox knew what they were getting back into when they chose not to trade or non-tender Aceves.

With that said: Ugh.

Blue Jays, Josh Donaldson to table extension talks

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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.