Jeremy Jeffress elects free agency

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Jeremy Jeffress passed through waivers unclaimed after being designated for assignment by the Blue Jays earlier this month, but Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that the right-hander has elected free agency rather than accept an assignment to Triple-A Buffalo.

While it was reported over the winter that the Blue Jays were considering using Jeffress as a starter, he entered spring training as a reliever and won a spot in the team’s bullpen to begin the year. However, he allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks in 3 1/3 innings over three appearances before getting the boot.

Selected No. 16 overall by the Brewers in 2006, Jeffress owns a 4.47 ERA and 50/38 K/BB ratio over 52 1/3 innings in the majors. The 26-year-old throws hard, but he has yet to show that he can consistency throw strikes. Still, it probably won’t be long before he finds an opportunity elsewhere.

Report: Astros, Ryan Pressly close to agreement on two-year, $17.5 million extension

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Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports that the Astros and reliever Ryan Pressly are close to finalizing a two-year, $17.5 million contract extension, which will also include a third-year vesting club option. Rome notes that the extension is believed to be the largest, in terms of both total money and average annual value, for a reliever who is not a closer.

Pressly, 30, agreed to a $2.9 million salary for the 2019 season back in January, avoiding arbitration in his final year of eligibility. The Astros acquired Pressly from the Twins near the end of July in exchange for a pair of minor leaguers. Pressly posted a 3.40 ERA in 47 2/3 innings with the Twins and a 0.77 ERA in 23 1/3 innings with the Astros. In the playoffs, Pressly allowed just one run on one hit and three walks with seven strikeouts across five innings of work.

Along with Héctor Rondón, Pressly will once again help bridge the gap to closer Roberto Osuna.