Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times reports that the Rays have signed right-handed relief pitcher Cody Hall to a minor league deal. Hall elected free agency from the Giants last month, splitting his season between their Double-A affiliate and the independent Atlantic League Lancaster Barnstormers in his first year without a single major league outing.
The 29-year-old reliever last appeared in the big leagues during the 2016 season, logging just three innings (and a 12.00 ERA) with the Marlins before getting jettisoned in mid-August. He was given a longer leash in the minors last season, turning in a cumulative 3.09 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 12.0 SO/9 in 43 2/3 innings for Richmond and Lancaster.
The bullpen is still a big question mark for the Rays as they look toward the 2018 season, with Brad Boxberger, Steve Cishek, Sergio Romo and Tommy Hunter already gone and Alex Colome likely on the chopping block. Hall could find a few innings as a depth piece, but appears unlikely to latch onto a full-time role with limited major league experience under his belt.
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.