UPDATE: Aoki and the Brewers have agreed to a two-year deal with an option for 2014.
With two hours remaining until the deadline to sign Norichika Aoki general manager Doug Melvin told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that the Brewers are “close” to a deal with the Japanese outfielder.
Milwaukee got a 30-day window in which to negotiate with Aoki after bidding $2.5 million for his exclusive rights last month and put him through a private workout in Arizona recently.
Based on previous deals with Japanese players through the posting process Aoki seems likely to get around $2-3 million from the Brewers, although that could change depending on the length of the contract.
The Blue Jays placed right-hander Aaron Sanchez on the 10-day disabled list with a contusion in his right index finger, per a team announcement on Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to Friday. In a corresponding move, righty Marcus Stroman was activated from the DL (right shoulder fatigue) and will take the mound for the Blue Jays at 9:07 PM ET tonight.
Sanchez, 25, is in his fifth season with the club. He hasn’t looked his sharpest so far this year, going 3-5 in 15 starts with a career-worst 4.52 ERA, 5.1 BB/9 and 7.6 SO/9 through 79 2/3 innings. It’s not yet clear how long he’ll be sidelined, though he could miss as little as one turn in the rotation before returning to the roster in the next week or two.
Sanchez isn’t the only struggling starter in Toronto’s rotation, either. Per MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm, the team placed southpaw Jaime Garcia on the DL (right shoulder tenderness) as well, with lefty reliever Tim Mayza scheduled to take his spot on the roster. In 13 starts this season, Garcia carried a 2-6 record, 6.16 ERA, 4.5 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 61 1/3 innings. Any further decisions pertaining to the rotation — including Tuesday’s starter against the Astros — have yet to be publicly addressed.