Left-hander Aaron Loup has been shut down in Blue Jays camp for at least two weeks after an MRI exam showed a flexor strain in his elbow and it sounds like the team is not expecting him to be ready for Opening Day.
When asked about Loup’s odds of beginning the season on the active roster manager John Gibbons told reporters “that would be real tough.” All of which certainly suggests two weeks is a minimum absence rather than a return timetable.
Loup has been a key part of Toronto’s bullpen for the past four seasons, throwing 211 innings with a 3.11 ERA and 176/52 K/BB ratio while shutting down left-handed hitters.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports that free agent pitcher Madison Bumgarner is asking for a nine-figure deal.
Your first impression of that may be “what? how?” A lot of that, however, is probably bound up in your understandable feeling that Bumgarner is too old to get that kind of scratch. But then you remember that, oh wait, he’s somehow still only 30 years-old. Indeed, he’s only ten months older than Zack Wheeler, who just nabbed a five-year, $118 million deal from Philly.
Bumgarner, obviously, has much more mileage on the odometer than Wheeler does, and he’s not the ace he was a few years ago, but he’s coming off a fine year, having put up a solid 3.90 ERA and 203/43 K/BB ratio over 207.2 innings in 2019. He would be a fine addition to the top — or at last near the top — of a contender’s rotation.
The White Sox, Twins, Cardinals, Reds, Braves, Padres, and Yankees have all been mentioned among possible landing spots. Figure his market to heat up a good bit once Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg sign and some of those contenders start looking for fallback options.