Here’s some good news for Blue Jays fans who watched Francisco Cordero blow another save last night: Sergio Santos has been cleared to resume throwing after sitting out the past three weeks with shoulder inflammation.
There’s no word yet on when he might be ready for a minor-league rehab assignment, but Santos is working out at the Blue Jays’ extended spring training complex in Florida and testing the injury by throwing on back-to-back days.
Asked by Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com for a potential return timetable, manager John Farrell replied: “I would guess that’s probably still two weeks away.”
I’ll be interesting to see if Cordero can hang onto the fill-in closer gig for that long. He showed major signs of decline last season even while racking up 37 saves and Cordero has blown three of his five save chances while allowing 10 runs in 5.1 innings since replacing Santos in the ninth inning.
UPDATE: Well, that was quick. Cordero is already out as the Blue Jays’ closer.
Former Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi is up for grabs this offseason, and Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that as many as nine suitors are interested in bringing the righty aboard. While the Red Sox are eager to retain Eovaldi’s services after his lights-out performance during their recent postseason run, they’ll have to contend with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, White Sox, Padres, Blue Jays, Giants, and Angels — all of whom are reportedly positioned to offer something for the starter this winter.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing for the 28-year-old in 2018, however. After losing his 2017 season to Tommy John surgery, he underwent an additional procedure to remove loose bodies from his right elbow in March and didn’t make his first appearance until the end of May. He was flipped for lefty reliever Jalen Beeks just prior to the trade deadline and finished his season with a combined 6-7 record in 21 starts, a 3.81 ERA, 1.6 BB/9, and 8.2 SO/9 through 111 innings.
Despite his numerous health issues over the last few years, Eovaldi raised his stock in October after becoming a major contributor during the Red Sox’ championship run. He contributed two quality starts in the ALDS and ALCS and returned in Games 1-3 of the World Series with three lights-out performances in relief — including a six-inning effort in the 18-inning marathon that was Game 3.
A frontrunner has yet to emerge for the righty this offseason, but Cafardo points out that the nine teams listed so far might just be the tip of the iceberg. Still, he won’t be the most sought-after starter on the market, as former Diamondbacks southpaw Patrick Corbin is expected to command an even bigger payday following his career-best 6.0-fWAR performance in 2018.