We learned earlier tonight that the Blue Jays exercised their 2014 option on closer Casey Janssen, but Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca now reports that the club has also picked up their options on first baseman Adam Lind and utility player Mark DeRosa.
Lind is coming off a solid bounce back campaign in which he batted .288/.357/.497 with 23 home runs and 67 RBI over 143 games. His .854 OPS was his highest since 2009. The 30-year-old will be paid $7 million next season while the Blue Jays still hold club options for 2015 and 2016.
DeRosa managed to stay mostly healthy this season while batting .235/.326/.407 with seven home runs and 36 RBI in 88 games. He appeared in his most games since 2009. The option was only for $750,000, so the Blue Jays will take their chances with DeRosa headed into his age-39 season. It’s worth noting that he has discussed the possibility of retirement.
While Janssen, Lind, and DeRosa remain in the fold, the Blue Jays have declined the $1 million option on fan favorite infielder Munenori Kawasaki. Of course, it’s possible that he could return at a lower rate.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.