Every few weeks we do an update on Scott Rolen that basically says he’s still trying to decide if he wants to play in 2013 or retire, and apparently the 38-year-old remains undecided.
Mark Sheldon of MLB.com reports that Rolen “has been in periodic contact” with the Reds, who despite being committed to Todd Frazier as the starting third baseman have “interest in bringing Rolen back if he wants to play.”
General manager Walt Jocketty estimated that Rolen will make a decision within the next 7-10 days, but Sheldon speculates that it’ll be longer because “there really is no need for Rolen to make some sort of announcement, as long as the club hasn’t set any kind of deadline.”
In other words, as long as the Reds leave the door open Rolen can take his sweet time and not have to worry about changing his mind. For whatever it’s worth, Sheldon predicts that Rolen will eventually decide to call it quits after hitting .245 with eight homers and a .716 OPS in 92 games last season.
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.