Orioles finalize minor league contract with Miguel Tejada

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It was reported late last week that the Orioles and veteran infielder Miguel Tejada had agreed to a minor league contract. Now that deal is official.

According to MASN’s Roch Kubatko, Tejada passed his pre-signing physical on Monday and appeared in his first extended spring training game at the O’s complex in Sarasota, Florida on Tuesday.

Tejada will likely spend around a week in Sarasota getting in shape before reporting to Triple-A Norfolk.

If all goes smoothly at Norfolk and the O’s have an opening, Tejada could eventually climb to the majors.

The 37-year-old infielder batted .239/.270/.326 with four home runs in 91 games last season for the Giants.

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.