Aaron Sanchez wants to return to the Blue Jays’ starting rotation, per Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet Magazine. The right-hander has been working with the same trainers who directed teammate Marcus Stroman‘s knee rehab to work towards that goal.
Sanchez, 23, started out the season in the rotation and posted a 3.55 ERA over 11 starts, but moved to the bullpen shortly after the All-Star break. Across 30 appearances spanning 26 1/3 innings, he posted a 2.39 ERA with a 19/7 K/BB ratio.
The Blue Jays acquired reliever Drew Storen from the Nationals in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere on Friday night, so the back of the bullpen is rather formidable. The Jays may also create an opening in the rotation as they are reportedly discussing R.A. Dickey with at least one team.
Earlier this week, MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reported that the Marlins were nearing a deal with pitcher Edwin Jackson. That deal is now complete. As Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports, the deal is of the one-year variety worth $507,500. Somehow, Jackson received a full no-trade clause from the Marlins.
Jackson, 32, struggled in 2013-14 with the Cubs pitching out of the starting rotation. He was moved to the Cubs’ bullpen to begin the 2015 season and signed with the Braves in August to pitch out of the bullpen. He compiled an aggregate 3.07 ERA with 40 strikeouts and 21 walks in 55 2/3 innings.
As Jackson is several years removed from success as a starter, he is a question mark for the Marlins, but aside from the no-trade clause, he doesn’t represent much of a risk. Jackson will hope to turn his fortunes around in Miami in 2016 and turn that into a more lucrative deal next year.
The Nationals have traded reliever Drew Storen to the Blue Jays in exchange for outfielder Ben Revere, Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reports. James Wagner of the Washington Post adds that the Nationals will also receive a player to be named later and the Blue Jays will receive cash considerations.
Storen, 28, is entering his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $8.8 million according to MLB Trade Rumors. The right-hander has had a tumultuous tenure with the Nationals. He started out the 2015 season in exquisite fashion, posting a 1.73 ERA through his first 38 appearances.
However, the Nationals acquired Jonathan Papelbon from the Phillies near the end of July, and he usurped the closer’s role from Storen. Between Papelbon’s arrival and September 9, Storen — pitching mostly in the eighth inning and in lower-leverage situations — compiled a 6.75 ERA with worse strikeout and walk rates. Storen’s season ended after his September 9 appearance against the Mets, as he broke his thumb slamming his locker in anger.
It remains to be seen if Storen will assume the Blue Jays’ role as closer from Roberto Osuna, or if he will set up. The club should provide some clarity on the situation in the near future.
Revere, 27, hit a combined .306/.342/.377 between the Phillies and Blue Jays. The Phillies sent him to Toronto at the trade deadline for two minor league pitchers. Revere has two more years of arbitration eligibility left and his projected to earn $6.6 million by MLB Trade Rumors.
Michael Taylor was expected to get a shot at playing every day for the Nationals with Denard Span hitting free agency, but instead, Revere will handle center field and lead off for the Nationals.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that teams have approached free agent Jimmy Rollins about the possibility of playing second base. The 37-year-old has played shortstop almost exclusively throughout his 16-year career, having logged only one-third of an inning at second base. That one-third of an inning came in the ninth inning on August 5, 2002 when the Phillies made a handful of defensive changes. Rosenthal notes that Rollins is open to the idea of playing second base, but is waiting to see if he can still hang on at shortstop.
Rollins, in his first year with the Dodgers this past season, hit a meager .224/.285/.358 with 13 home runs, 41 RBI, 71 runs, and 12 stolen bases in 563 plate appearances. While he’s not unproductive, he has lost a step both at the plate and in the field. That, along with his age, all but ensures he’ll have to settle for only one guaranteed year in his upcoming contract.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reported last month that Rollins was drawing interest in a “hybrid utility role”.
Hall of Famer Ken Griffey, Jr. will have his number retired by the Mariners in August, MLB.com’s Greg Johns reports. He’ll become the first Mariner to have his number retired by the club.
The Mariners are designating August 5-7 — a home series against the Angels — as Ken Griffey, Jr. weekend. Griffey will also throw out the first pitch before the Mariners’ home opener on April 8 against the Athletics, Johns notes.
Griffey and Piazza learned on Wednesday they were the two inductees into the Hall of Fame. Griffey received votes on 99.3 percent of ballots, surpassing Tom Seaver’s previous high water mark of 98.84 percent. Piazza received 83 percent of the vote.