Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com has the scoop …
The Blue Jays are one of a few teams that has emerged as a possibility for available Indians infielder Asdrubal Cabrera.
Cabrera has been the Indians’ shortstop but he’d play second for the Jays.
FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi reported earlier this month that the Giants are also targeting Cabrera, who is scheduled to become a free agent five days after the 2014 World Series. San Francisco already has a very good defensive shortstop in 27-year-old Brandon Crawford, so Cabrera would presumably be asked to play second base out there as well.
Cabrera hasn’t made an appearance at the keystone since 2009 — when he started 28 games at second base for Cleveland — but his range at shortstop has been questionable over the years so it might actually be a good move. Cabrera, 28, is batting .249/.308/.390 with nine homers and 40 RBI in 96 games this season.
Jays second basemen have hit .264/.315/.374 this year. Giants second baseman are at .176/.257/.276.
The Phillies have signed free agent outfielder Michael Saunders.
Saunders was an All-Star in 2016 due to his wonderful start, but he cratered in the second half of the season. Overall is numbers looked good — he hit 24 homers and posted a line of .253/.338/.478, but his second half line was .178/.282/.357 in 58 games. He’s not the best defender around either.
The Phillies could use him, however, and if he has another red hot first half, there’s a decent chance they could flip him if they wanted to.
It was first reported that the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista were close to a deal last night. Now Ken Rosenthal reports that the deal is near completion. It will likely a two-year contract in the $35-40 million range.
Bautista had a tough 2016, hitting .234/.366/.452 with 22 home runs and 69 RBI, and some clubs likely considered a long-term deal for the 36-year-old too risky, this leading to the relative lack of reported interest in Bautista by other clubs. But back-to-back ALCS appearances by the Jays and the success and popularity Bautista has experienced in Toronto make his re-signing there a pretty sensible move for all involved.
The Jays, who already lost Edwin Encarnacion to free agency, get their slugger back on a short term deal. Unlike anyone else, they don’t have to give up the draft pick attached to him via the qualifying offer. Bautista, in turn, will make, on average, more than he would’ve made on the qualifying offer if he would’ve accepted it and a raise over the $14 million he made in 2016.