Nate Robertson’s comeback is over, at least with the Tigers.
Detroit released the 36-year-old left-hander from Triple-A, where he had a 3.43 ERA and more walks (13) than strikeouts (12) in 21 innings trying to return to the majors as a reliever.
Robertson was a full-time member of the Tigers’ starting rotation from 2004-2008, starting an average of 31 games per season, but hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2010 and hasn’t been healthy and effective in the majors since 2007.
It was always a long shot.
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.