TheStar.com reports that the Blue Jays have designated reliever Esmil Rogers for assignment and have called up Liam Hendriks from Triple-A Buffalo to make his 2014 debut in Friday’s start against the Athletics.
Rogers, 24, struggled for the Jays out of the bullpen, posting a 6.97 ERA with five home runs allowed despite a 21/7 K/BB ratio in 20 2/3 innings. The defense-independent numbers speak to a pitcher who deserved better results than the performance merited, but he entered the season with a career 5.52 ERA.
Hendriks, 25, had been pitching well in the minors. In 48 2/3 innings over seven starts and two relief appearances, Hendriks posted a 1.48 ERA with a 36/3 K/BB ratio. The Australian had an interesting winter, as he was selected off of waivers from the Twins by the Cubs on December 13. Then he was selected off of waivers by the Orioles ten days later. On February 21, the Jays selected him off of waivers from the O’s.
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.