Exciting news here for the Royals, who are just 4.5 games out of an American League Wild Card spot.
Salvador Perez has been activated from the 7-day concussion disabled list and is back in the Royals’ starting lineup on Sunday afternoon against the Red Sox, playing catcher and batting fifth. The talented 23-year-old was diagnosed with that concussion on August 4 after taking a foul tip hard off his catcher’s mask. Because he was only out for a week, a minor league rehab assignment wasn’t deemed necessary.
Perez is hitting .297/.326/.433 with 18 home runs and 103 RBI through his first 207 major league games. He has a very bright future.
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.