Colby Lewis has been cleared to begin a minor-league rehab assignment, which is a big step in the Rangers right-hander’s recovery from July surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon.
Lewis, who re-signed with the Rangers on a one-year, $2 million deal, is scheduled to throw around 45 pitches or three innings at Triple-A tonight.
T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com writes that Lewis will probably make at least four rehab starts, building up his arm strength and pitch count while the 30-day clock ticks on his assignment. Lewis’ initial timetable was sometime around June, so he’s right on track.
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.