The Blue Jays are showing “strong interest” in Justin Upton

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There’s not much more to this than that statement itself, which Ken Rosenthal passed along a few minutes ago.  It’s kind of hard to analyze such a rumor in the manner we normally do, however, because (a) all teams should have a strong interest in Upton, so Toronto’s would not be surprising; and (b) Justin Upton is so good that the usual “where would he fit” analysis is rather silly. He fits anywhere, and if he doesn’t, you make room.

The Jays have a lot of pitching, but they’ve learned more than anyone else in recent years that you can never have too much pitching given that, you know, pitchers get hurt.

Beyond that, Upton in Toronto would be more intriguing than Upton in a lot of places, because he truly could help turn the AL East into a four-team cluster if he joined the Jays.

Nationals sign George Kontos to minors deal

George Kontos
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The Nationals selected the contract of reliever George Kontos from the Atlantic League Long Island Ducks, per an official announcement on Saturday. The right-hander has been assigned to Triple-A Fresno, but could still make his season debut sometime before the first half of the season draws to a close.

Kontos, 33, hasn’t pitched in the majors since he took a handful of back-to-back-to-back gigs with the Pirates, Indians, and Yankees in 2018. He inked a minor league pact with the Cubs over the offseason, but failed to break camp with the team and was subsequently released in mid-April. He turned in seven strong innings for the Ducks since then, allowing one run and one walk and striking out six of 27 batters in six appearances.

Last year, the veteran reliever posted a combined 4.39 ERA, 2.4 BB/9, and 5.1 SO/9 over 26 2/3 innings. While he hasn’t pitched anywhere close to his career-best numbers in four years, he may still provide some valuable depth for the club, whose bullpen ranks 10th best in the league with a cumulative 4.59 ERA and 5.9 fWAR so far in 2019.