Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Angels are expected to pursue pitching during the off-season by making second baseman Howie Kendrick or third baseman David Freese available in a trade. The Angels will be looking for both starting and relief pitching.
Kendrick is entering the final year of a four-year, $33.5 million contract extension signed in January 2012. Freese will be entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility, having earned just over $5 million this past season.
As Rosenthal notes, the Angels would have an easier time replacing Kendrick, as Grant Green or Gordon Beckham could fill the void, with Alex Yarbrough not far behind. The Angels lack depth at third base; losing Freese would likely mean using Beckham full-time at the hot corner, something he hasn’t done since 2009 with the White Sox.
The Buffalo Blue Jays? Is that a thing? Maybe.
The Toronto Blue Jays are, officially, set to begin their season at Rogers Centre in Toronto on July 29. Mike Harrington of the Buffalo News, however, reports that they are looking at alternatives:
Multiple sources confirm to The Buffalo News that the Bisons’ parent club has finally reached out to Rich Baseball Operations in the last couple of days to examine the possibility of Toronto’s home schedule being played in Buffalo this summer.
This report of a potential for the Buffalo Blue Jays to make their debut comes a couple of days after the strict restrictions on movement for Jays players — they are reportedly required to stick to the Rogers Centre and the connecting hotel or face harsh punishment — met with at least some backlash. The restrictions are inevitable, however, given that Canada is requiring a 14-day quarantine for people traveling into the country. Since the Jays will be playing all road games in the United States, there is little choice for them but to be restricted to their hotel and the ballpark after arriving back in the country after playing games in the states.
As Harrington notes, Buffalo is not an ideal option given the less-than-major-league-level lighting and clubhouse space present in the Triple-A park, so it would not be ideal. Like everyone else these days, however, the Buffalo Blue Jays — er, I’m sorry, the Toronto Blue Jays — have little choice but to scramble.