Reports last month that Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero had agreed to a contract with the Dodgers turned out to be premature, but the 26-year-old has apparently narrowed his list of potential landing spots.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports that Guerrero is currently deciding between four teams, including the Twins, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Braves. The Reds have also checked in, though it’s not clear if they are a serious possibility. There’s a bit of conflicting information here, as Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Red Sox are not one of the finalists, but that has to bode well for the deep-pocketed Dodgers.
Guerrero, long one of Cuba’s best middle infielders, defected earlier this year and is currently working out in the Dominican Republic. He will need to be unblocked by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control before signing with an MLB team. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported last month that he is expected to command a five- to seven-year deal.
Yankees first baseman Greg Bird gave his team tons of confidence to hand him the everyday job at first base to start the 2017 regular season, batting .451/.556/1.098 with eight home runs in 51 spring at-bats. But he’s followed that up by hitting .107/.254/.214 through the first month of the regular season.
GM Brian Cashman doesn’t have any intent to demote Bird back to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. Cashman said, “It’s not even an option for me in my mind right now, at all.”
Bird didn’t start Sunday’s game against the Orioles, a 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Lefty Wade Miley started for the Orioles, prompting manager Joe Girardi to put Chris Carter into the lineup at first base. If Bird isn’t able to figure things out, Carter might have an increased role on the team.
Rays starter Chris Archer threw his first pitch to Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista behind the slugger’s back with one out in the first inning of Sunday afternoon’s game in Toronto. Bautista and Archer then had a staredown. Home plate umpire Jim Wolf issued warnings to both teams. Bautista ultimately flied out to right field and he appeared to have a quick word with Archer on his way back to the dugout.
Archer could have been exacting revenge — euphemistically known as “protecting his teammate” — because Jays reliever Joe Biagini hit Rays outfielder Steven Souza in the seventh inning of Saturday’s game. Souza was forced to leave the game and underwent an X-ray, which came back negative. He was held out of Sunday’s lineup. Biagini’s pitch did not appear to be intentional.
The Jays won Sunday’s contest 3-1 with no further incident. The two clubs meet again in Tampa for a three-game series starting on May 5, so we’ll see if Sunday was the last of the bad blood between them.