Keith Law to stay at ESPN after interviewing with Astros

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UPDATE: Two weeks after news that he’d interviewed for a spot in the Astros’ front office, Law just tweeted: “I have chosen to stay with ESPN. It was a difficult decision, and I’m very grateful to the Astros for the opportunity.”

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ESPN.com writer and former Blue Jays special assistant Keith Law recently interviewed for a job in the Astros’ front office, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com.

Rosenthal reports that “Law met with both new club president George Postolos and general manager Jeff Luhnow, but the team has yet to offer him a position, sources say.”

Prior to joining then-general manager J.P. Riccardi in the Blue Jays’ front office Law wrote for Baseball Prospectus and he’s been with ESPN.com since 2006, focusing primarily on prospect and draft analysis.

Law would be a very interesting hire for the Astros’ new regime–and in my admittedly biased opinion, a very smart hire–although I’d miss his ESPN.com analysis, Twitter snark, and various food-related blogging.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.