Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays are “far along” in contract negotiations with pitcher Mat Latos.
Latos, 29, had a forgettable 2016 season. He started off the season great with the White Sox, then faltered before being released in mid-June. He signed with the Nationals at the end of the month but couldn’t regain his footing. Overall, Latos posted a 4.89 ERA with a 42/30 K/BB ratio in 70 innings.
The Blue Jays’ rotation is already spoken for with Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada, J.A. Happ, Marcus Stroman, and Francisco Liriano. If the club were to sign Latos, he could work out of the bullpen and provide starting depth as needed.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.