Another day, another lack of Biogenesis discipline. But we’ll take this Blue Jays minor leaguer:
The Office of the Commissioner of Baseball announced today that Toronto Blue Jays Minor League outfielder Brian Van Kirk has received a 50-game suspension without pay after a second violation of the Minor League Drug Prevention and Treatment Program for a drug of abuse. The suspension of Van Kirk, who is currently on the roster of the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League, is effective immediately.
Van Kirk is a 21st round draft pick from 2008 who turns 28 in two weeks. He gets on base at a decent clip and has some flashes of power but has never made it above Double-A.
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.