It’s not terribly surprising that Jim Leyland is going to say that he thinks his guys — Miguel Cabrera — should be the MVP over someone else.* But his comments about why Mike Trout may win the award instead of Cabrera are pretty fun:
“I mean this respectfully,” Leyland said during the interview. “I don’t mean this disrespectfully — I think what could be a little problem for Miggy … he could run into one of these Wonderboy stories.
“You know — a young kid, 20 years old, everybody gets excited about that, everybody loves that. It has a nice ring to hit, it should have. So I think that’s dangerous for Miggy.”
Between “clown question, bro,” “blinkin’ fertilizer” and now “wonderboy stories,” this has been a pretty good year for silliness. Maybe it’s just society.
That aside, I think it’s a little rich of Leyland to argue that some sort of off-the-field narrative (Trout’s Wonderboy status) may unfairly drive the MVP race when, in the very same interview he says that Cabrera’s track record — he talks about Cabrera’s career numbers — should be taken into consideration. Neither Trout’s age nor Cabrera’s past performance should have any bearing for a single season award.
*Please forget for a moment that last year Leyland publicly said that he didn’t think his guy, Justin Verlander, should win the MVP award.
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.