It appears the Marlins are going to lose out on James Shields despite making a strong effort to sign the free agent starter. Now the club’s focus looks to be shifting to a different type of late-offseason addition.
MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro reports that the Fish “have touched base” with Scott Boras, the agent for veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez. K-Rod remains available here in February despite posting a cool 3.04 ERA, 0.985 WHIP, and 73/18 K/BB ratio in 68 innings last season as the Brewers’ closer. He tallied 44 saves in 49 opportunities and led the majors in games finished with 66.
Milwaukee has maintained interest in re-signing Rodriguez, but the two sides haven’t been able to work out a deal yet. He’d probably close again if he does wind up returning to the Brewers.
In Miami, he’d presumably work as a setup man in front of Steve Cishek.
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.