The Tampa Bay Rays have acquired infielder Ryan Schimpf from the San Diego Padres for infielder Deion Tansel.
This is about as minor a deal as there can be, but we’ll take what we can get at a slow Winter Meetings. But it may have at least some minor connection to bigger deals, both completed or rumored.
Schimpf hit just .158 with a .284 on-base percentage in 53 games with the Padres this past season, but he has some power, having hit 14 homers and posted a .424 slugging percentage. With Chase Headley back in San Diego there is less of a chance for him to play now. With the Rays being rumored to be shopping Evan Longoria, he could provide at least some bare minimum insurance for that potential vacancy.
Tansel, 23, was a 32nd rounder of the Rays in 2016. He played in low-A ball last year.
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.