Blue Jays player really, really wanted to get Ervin Santana to come to Toronto

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The Blue Jays were reported to have made an offer to Ervin Santana before he signed with the Braves. Ken Rosenthal reports, however, that the team’s players were way more gung-ho to get Santana to come to Toronto than Jays brass was. Indeed, multiple players even offered to defer salary in order to make it work under the team’s payroll. What’s more:

Before that, the Jays’ Dominican players had staged a fervent recruiting effort for Santana, who is from La Romana, Dominican Republic. At one point, the players texted a photo to Santana’s cell phone, according to a source. The photo was of the players holding a sign that said, “Come to Toronto.”

Rosenthal notes that the salary deferral offer is more significant in that it suggests that team’s ownership has imposed a budget against which the team is already bumping. And suggests that if the Jays aren’t in contention this year that they could hold a fire sale. Given the high-priced talent on that team, it could be a pretty big one if it comes to pass.

Mike Trout has a torn thumb ligament, could require surgery

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Yesterday Mike Trout left the Marlins-Angels game after hurting his thumb while sliding head first into second base. After the game the Angels talked about it as if it were just a sprain. Trout had an MRI today, however, and the diagnosis is far worse: he has a torn thumb ligament.

While a treatment option has not yet been chosen, surgery is a possibility. A certainty is that he’ll miss, at the very least, several weeks of play. He has been placed on the disabled list for the first time in his career.

Trout, the reigning AL MVP and, without question, the best player in baseball, is batting .337/.461/.742 with 16 home runs, 36 RBI, 36 runs scored, and 10 stolen bases in 206 plate appearances this season. Even with the one of the weaker supporting casts in baseball, Trout had the Angels near .500 and in at least arguable contention in the AL West.

Without him, they are likely sunk. Without him, baseball is worse off.

Basebrawl! Harper, Strickland punch away, Nats-Giants fight

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SAN FRANCISCO —¬†Nationals slugger Bryce Harper and San Francisco reliever Hunter Strickland both landed punches to the head during a wild brawl that erupted Monday after a hit by pitch.

Harper was hit in the right hip by Strickland’s 98 mph fastball in the eighth inning with Washington ahead 2-0.

Harper pointed the bat toward Strickland, charged the mound and fired his batting helmet wide of the pitcher. They started to swing away and they each connected as the benches and bullpens emptied.

At least two Giants players forcefully dragged Strickland from the middle of the brawl all the way into the dugout. Harper and Strickland were both ejected.

In the 2014 NL Division Series, Harper hit two home runs off Strickland. After the star’s second shot, in Game 4, he stared at Strickland as he rounded the bases.