Ernesto Frieri clears waivers, accepts Pirates’ assignment to Triple-A

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Ernesto Frieri went from being the Angels’ closer to being designated for assignment by the Pirates in less than two months and now he’s passed through waivers unclaimed, according to Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish.

Frieri is only owed about $1 million for the remainder of this season, which isn’t a ton if some team wanted him as a reclamation project, but the problem is that his overall salary is $3.8 million and he’d be in line for similar money next year via the arbitration process. So to claim him with the intention to keep him for next season a team would have to think Frieri was worth $4 million or so in 2015.

Coming into this season that probably would have been a no-brainer, as Frieri had a career 2.76 ERA with 315 strikeouts in 231 innings. But he’s been a mess this season for two teams, posting a 7.34 ERA with 11 homers allowed in 42 innings. He’ll likely be non-tendered by the Pirates this offseason.

Josh Donaldson is still seeking a long-term deal with the Blue Jays

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If it were up to him, Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson would finish the remainder of his career in Toronto. In fact, he’d be “ticked pink” if the club decided to sign him to a long-term deal. Whether the Blue Jays share that sentiment is still unclear, as Donaldson said Saturday that the team has yet to engage his agent in extension talks.

“I’ve said that I wanted to be here,” he told MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm. “That’s pretty much all I can say. I’m not the one who makes the decisions, nor would I try to put them in the position to do that. Like I said, I believe the situation will become more fluid when the time is right.”

That doesn’t necessarily mean an extension is out of the question. The Blue Jays reached an unprecedented one-year, $23 million agreement with the three-time All-Star in arbitration, and have been reticent to field trade offers despite continued interest from the Cardinals this winter.

Donaldson, 32, is poised to enter his eighth season in the majors and fourth with the Blue Jays. In 2017, he batted .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs and a .944 OPS in 496 plate appearances, ranking sixth among all major league third baseman with 5.0 fWAR. He’s scheduled to enter free agency following the 2018 season.