The Blue Jays went with an eight-man bullpen out of spring training in part so that they wouldn’t have to expose right-hander Jeremy Jeffress to waivers, but they are already changing course.
Jeffress was designated for assignment this morning after he allowed a solo homer and two walks in one inning of work in his season debut last night against the Red Sox. Veteran right-hander Dave Bush has been called up from Triple-A Syracuse and will replace him in the bullpen. The Jays are expected to move back to a more traditional seven-man bullpen once Brett Lawrie is ready to return from his rib cage injury.
Jeffress throws hard, but his control has kept him from establishing himself on the big league level. The 25-year-old averaged 5.4 BB/9 in the minors and has issued 32 walks in 39 2/3 innings in the majors. While the Blue Jays would be happy if he passed through waivers unclaimed, somebody will likely take him on as a project.
John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.
The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.
Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.
The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.
MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.
Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.
Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.