Blue Jays place Melky Cabrera on disabled list with left knee tendinitis

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The Blue Jays announced after Thursday’s loss to the Red Sox that outfielder Melky Cabrera was placed on the 15-day disabled list with left knee tendinitis. The club will recall infielder Munenori Kawasaki from Triple-A Buffalo to take his place on the active roster.

Cabrera went 1-for-4 with a run scored Thursday and played the entire game in left field. He has been bothered by leg problems at various times this season, so it sounds like this could be a lingering injury. The 28-year-old is batting .278/.321/.362 with three home runs and 29 RBI through 78 games this season.

Kawasaki was demoted to Triple-A Buffalo earlier this week when Jose Reyes was activated from the disabled list, but his stint in the minors didn’t last long. The 32-year-old is hitting just .225 with a .662 OPS in 185 plate appearances this season, but he has quickly become a fan and clubhouse favorite. In fact, Blue Jays manager John Gibbons held a team meeting after Tuesday’s game to discuss Kawasaki’s demotion, which speaks to how well-liked he is among his teammates.

The Nationals have inquired about Kris Bryant

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The Washington Nationals, fresh off signing Stephen Strasburg to a $245 million deal, are now turning their attention to their third base hole. Jon Morosi of MLB.com reports that they have made inquiries to the Chicago Cubs about trading for Kris Bryant.

Emphasis on the word “inquiry” because it’d be premature for the Cubs to trade Bryant at the moment, even if they are reported to be considering the possibility.

Bryant and the Cubs are awaiting word from an arbitrator about Bryant’s years-old service time grievance. If Bryant wins, he becomes a free agent after the 2020 season. If the Cubs win they control him for two more years. The team may or may not choose to trade him in either case as they are reportedly trying to cut payroll, but the price for him will vary pretty significantly depending on whether or not the acquiring club will receive one or two years of control over the former MVP.

For Washington, this would be a means of replacing free agent third baseman Anthony Rendon. Or, perhaps, the inquiries are a means of creating a tad more leverage for the Nats as they talk to Rendon’s agent about re-signing him.

Which, in the past, the Nats said they could not do if they also re-signed Strasburg, though I suspect that’s just posturing too. They may not want to spend big money to keep their World Series core together, but they can afford it. They’re going to see, I suspect, an eight-figure uptick in revenue by virtue of being the defending World Series champs. They are poised to receive a significant payout as a result of recent rulings in their own multi-year dispute with the Orioles and the MASN network. They are, of course, owned by billionaire real estate moguls. All of that taken together means that, if they choose to, they can bring back Rendon. Assuming he chooses to come back too.

But, if that doesn’t happen, they appear to be giving themselves options at the hot corner.