The Athletics and outfielder Jake Smolinski have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a one-year deal worth $775,000, Tim Dierkes of MLB Trade Rumors reports.
Smolinski, 28, was eligible for arbitration for the first of three years. He missed most of the 2017 season after undergoing shoulder surgery and hit a meager .259/.310/.296 in 29 trips to the plate.
Smolinksi has a career .682 OPS but hits lefties well, owning a career .877 OPS against them. He can also play all three spots in the outfield, making him a flexible platoon option.
Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reports that the Blue Jays are considering moving starter Jaime Garcia to the bullpen. If they go that route, Sam Gaviglio would start in Garcia’s place on Sunday against the Angels.
Garcia, 31, has struggled to a 6.16 ERA with a 56/31 K/BB ratio in 61 1/3 innings over 13 starts this season. Gaviglio, meanwhile, has a 3.75 ERA with 35 striekouts and 11 walks in 36 innings across six starts and two relief appearances for the Jays this year.
Garcia inked a one-year, $10 million contract with the Jays in February. The deal includes a club option for the 2019 season worth $10 million with a $2 million buyout.