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Report: Blue Jays near agreement on contract extension with John Gibbons

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Update: The extension covers the 2018-19 seasons and includes an option for 2020, MLB Network Radio reports.

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Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports that the Blue Jays are finalizing a contract extension with manager John Gibbons. The deal is expected to be completed by Opening Day. Gibbons is currently in the last year of a contract initially signed in November 2012 which included rollover options after each season starting with 2015. That language was removed and Gibbons was instead given a raise for the 2016-17 seasons.

Gibbons, 54, led the Blue Jays to the ALCS last season but they were stopped in five games by the Indians. The Jays also made it to the ALCS in 2015 and lost to the Royals in six games. As for the regular season, the Jays are 339-309 (.523) under Gibbons since the start of the 2013 season, the beginning of his second managerial stint with the club.

Heyman notes that the Jays’ front office values Gibbons’ in-game management as well as his ability to handle the clubhouse.

Steve Delabar among three suspended after testing positive

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Three players were suspended on Monday after testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. They are: Indians pitcher Steve Delabar, Mariners pitcher Jonathan Aro, and free agent pitcher Jeffry Hernandez. Aro got a 50-game suspension while the other two were handed 80-game suspensions.

Delabar, 33, hasn’t pitched yet this season after signing a minor league deal with the Indians back in January. He spent last year with the Reds as well as the Hiroshima Carp in the Japan Central League. The right-hander has struggled over the last few seasons.

Aro, 26, also hasn’t appeared yet this season in the minors. He’s worked mostly in relief. The right-hander appeared briefly in the majors with the Mariners last season and logged 10 1/3 innings in the show with the Red Sox in 2015. Aro went to the Mariners along with Wade Miley in the trade that brought the Red Sox Carson Smith and Roenis Elias.

Hernandez, 22, is a free agent and his suspension will be effective if and when he signs with a new team.

Phillies place Aaron Nola on the disabled list

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The Phillies announced on Monday that starter Aaron Nola has been placed on the 10-day disabled list, retroactive to April 21, with a lower back strain.

Nola, 23, compiled a 4.50 ERA with a 15/6 K/BB ratio over his first three starts spanning 16 innings. He felt some back soreness during his last start on Thursday against the Mets, and it lingered when he had a side session on Sunday.

CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury hears that the Phillies are likely to call up Nick Pivetta from Triple-A Lehigh Valley to take Nola’s place in the rotation. Nola was scheduled to start on Wednesday.

Pivetta, 24, was acquired from the Nationals in the Jonathan Papelbon trade in July 2015. At Triple-A so far, Pivetta has given up only two earned runs on 12 hits and two walks with 24 strikeouts in 19 innings.