Toronto first baseman Edwin Encarnacion is headed to the disabled list with a strained quadriceps muscle, which actually qualifies as relatively good news considering how bad his injury appeared to be when he was helped off the field Saturday.
Unfortunately it still means Encarnacion will miss the All-Star game after being an easy choice for a reserve spot by manager John Farrell. No word yet on who’ll replace him on the American League roster, but to replace Encarnacion on their roster the Blue Jays have called up Nolan Reimold, whom they claimed off waivers from the Orioles yesterday.
It’ll be impossible to replace Encarnacion’s bat. Not only has he hit .277 with 26 homers and a .959 OPS in 88 games this season to rank among the league’s top five in on-base percentage, slugging percentage, OPS, total bases, homers, and RBIs, he’s been one of the best power hitters in baseball dating back to 2012.
Reimold was once a top prospect, but injuries have derailed his career and the Orioles let the 30-year-old go for nothing rather than using him as a part-time bench player.
Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times reports that the Angels have inked outfielder Eric Young, Jr. to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Young, 31, played in just six games and logged one plate appearance in the majors this past season with the Yankees. He last played regularly in 2014. While Young doesn’t do much with the bat, he could provide value as a pinch-runner. He also offers versatility, having played all three outfield positions along with second base.
The Angels have Ben Revere as their fourth outfielder and Jefry Marte behind him, so Young would need to have a very impressive showing in spring training to find a spot on the Angels’ roster.
Update (5:20 PM EST): It’s a minor league contract, per Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. If he makes the major league roster, Saltalamacchia will earn $1.25 million with an additional $250,000 available through incentives.
The Blue Jays are close to a deal with free agent catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet is reporting.
Saltalamacchia, 31, hit a meager .171/.284/.346 with 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 292 plate appearances with the Tigers this past season. With Russell Martin getting regular playing time behind the plate, Saltalamacchia will serve as his understudy, pushing A.J. Jimenez and Juan Graterol down on the depth chart.
The veteran catcher isn’t far removed from being a productive backstop. He had an .805 OPS in 70 games with the Diamondbacks in 2015 and also helped the Red Sox win the World Series in 2013 with an .804 OPS in 121 games.