Former MLB right-hander Eric Gagne has been making a concerted effort to revive his major league career this spring, and he may just have a contract in the works now. According to SportsNet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, Gagne is discussing a minor league deal with the Dodgers, though two other teams are said to be “really interested” as well.
The 41-year-old briefly appeared for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic, where he pitched a scoreless 2 1/3 innings in the first round of the tournament, striking out two and allowing one hit and one walk. His major league track record is a little shakier; he hasn’t pitched for a big league team since 2008, when he maintained a 5.44 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 7.4 SO/9 in 46 1/3 innings for the Brewers. He found limited success with the independent league Trois-Rivieres Aigles and Ottawa Champions in 2015-16, but hasn’t pitched more than five innings in a single season since 2009.
Nevertheless, the veteran righty left an impression on major league teams during his activities this spring, both in the World Baseball Classic and a pitching showcase held at the Dodgers’ camp in February. Further details of the potential deal have yet to be released by the team, though it appears Gagne is still far removed from any significant return to the majors.
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.
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.