ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Blue Jays have inked reliever J.P. Howell to a one-year deal, pending a physical. Financial details have yet to be revealed.
Howell, 33, had a mediocre 2016 campaign with the Dodgers, finishing with a 4.09 ERA and a 44/15 K/BB ratio over 50 2/3 innings. However, the lefty put up a 1.43 ERA in 2015, a 2.39 ERA in ’14, and 2.03 in ’13, so it’s reasonable to think he could return to that level of pitching. Howell showed a reverse platoon split in 2016 — meaning lefties hit him better than righties — but has historically dominated left-handed hitters. Howell is also quite good at inducing ground balls. Since 2013, Howell’s 58.5 percent ground ball rate is 13th best among relievers (min. 150 innings).
Howell gives the Jays a second lefty in the bullpen along with Aaron Loup.
KTAR News is reporting that Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas was arrested on Thursday morning for driving faster than 100 MPH, according to the Arizona Department of Public Safety. He was charged with reckless driving and criminal speeding.
The maximum sentence for a criminal speeding charge is up to 30 days in jail and a fine up to $500. It is considered a Class 3 misdemeanor. Tomas may also have his license suspended.
A Diamondbacks spokesperson said, “We are very disappointed to learn of this news. We are still gathering facts, and will refrain from further comment at this time as this is a pending legal matter.”
Tomas, 27, signed a six-year, $68.5 million contract with the Diamondbacks in December 2014 as an amateur free agent out of Cuba. He has mostly disappointed, owning a .769 OPS while playing subpar defense in the outfield as well as at third base, where the club briefly tried him. He battled a groin injury for most of the past season and ultimately underwent core muscle surgery in August.