Rafael Furcal has been on the disabled list all season with hamstring and groin injuries, but the veteran infielder is off the shelf and ready to make his Marlins debut.
Furcal signed a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the Marlins to serve as their starting second baseman after missing all of last season, but couldn’t make it out of spring training healthy. In his absence Derek Dietrich has been Miami’s primary second baseman, but he was demoted back to the minors last week to work on his poor defense.
Furcal hasn’t posted an OPS above .700 since 2010 and hasn’t been healthy and productive since 2009, so the odds of him making a big impact at age 36 seem pretty slim.
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.