Jays demote Travis Snider to make room for Rajai Davis

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Apparently, Corey Patterson is a keeper.

The Jays announced after Thursday’s win over the Rangers that they’ve optioned 23-year-old Travis Snider to Triple-A Las Vegas.

Utilityman Chris Woodward was sent outright to the same club.  Rajai Davis is expected to come off the DL and reclaim his spot in center field prior to Friday’s game.

Snider was demoted despite a current five-game hitting streak that had raised his average from .159 to .184. Of course, it was about as weak as hitting streaks get, considering he didn’t have a two-hit game or an extra-base hit during the span. The Jays probably would have been more patient with him if not for the 23 strikeouts in 87 at-bats.

Overall, Snider, who debuted with the Jays as a 20-year-old in 2008, has hit .246/.313/.423 in 699 at-bats as a major leaguer. He’s shown very impressive power at times — he his six homers last September alone — but he’s had big issues making contact (203 strikeouts), and since he’s limited defensively, he’s not an asset while hitting .250, much less .180.

With Snider out of the mix, the Jays will go with Patterson and Juan Rivera in left field for now. Snider should get another chance in a month or so, but if this is a make-or-break year for him in Toronto, it’s certainly off to a rough start.

Report: Astros extend Justin Verlander for two years, $66 million

Justin Verlander
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The Astros are in agreement with right-hander Justin Verlander on a two-year, $66 million extension, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com was among those to report on Friday. With no money deferred, the $33 million he’ll receive over the next two years will set a record AAV for major-league pitchers; something MLB Network’s Jon Heyman says matters to Verlander, who “cares how his deals affect markets (and fellow players).”

While it’s far from the five-year, $100 million extension teammate Alex Bregman signed with the club on Friday, the deal will give the Astros a bigger window to consider their long-term plans for the ace before he hits free agency again. Prior to Saturday’s agreement, Verlander’s original contract — the hefty seven-year, $180 million arrangement he reached with the Tigers in 2013 — was set to expire at the conclusion of the 2019 season.

It’s difficult to overestimate the value Verlander has provided to the Astros since they acquired him from the Tigers back in 2017. He was named the 2017 ALCS MVP following seven shutout innings in a must-win Game 6 performance and helped the Astros clinch their first franchise World Series title. In 2018, he earned his seventh career All-Star distinction and received consideration for both AL Cy Young and MVP awards after pitching to a 16-9 record in 34 starts with a 2.52 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, 12.2 SO/9 (the product of a career-high 290 strikeouts), and 6.7 fWAR over 214 innings.

The deal has not been confirmed by the team.