2013 was supposed to be the year of Oscar Taveras. He entered the season rated the #3 overall prospect by both Baseball America and MLB.com and was coming off of a season in which he decimated Double-A pitching at the age of 20. Some thought he would become a mainstay of the Cardinal offense by midseason, but an ankle injury suffered in mid-May with Triple-A Memphis put the kibosh on that.
Taveras returned from the injury on June 8 and played in 15 games before having to be shut down for the second time. He began a rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League on July 15 and got shut down a third time after just two at-bats. Now, Derrick Goold is reporting that the Cardinals are shutting him down for the next ten days, barring him from any running activity.
The Cardinals had to place Matt Holliday on the disabled list earlier with a hamstring injury, so Allen Craig will get considerably more time in left field rather than first base. Matt Adams will get more consistent playing time at first base.
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.