Brett Anderson is scheduled to begin a minor-league rehab assignment Saturday at Triple-A and manager Bob Melvin told Paul Gutierrez of CSNBayArea.com that the left-hander could rejoin the A’s as a reliever in an effort to “get him back quicker.”
Anderson hasn’t pitched in a game since April, so in order to build up the necessary arm strength to throw 80-100 pitches as a starter he’d likely have to rehab for 3-4 weeks. Beyond that the A’s aren’t exactly hurting for rotation depth with rookie Sonny Gray taking over a starting spot recently.
For now a decision on Anderson’s potential role can wait, because he still has to clear several big hurdles before a comeback is complete, but it’ll be an interesting decision for Melvin and company next month.
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.