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Blue Jays sign Nick Tepesch to a minor-league deal

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Free agent right-hander Nick Tepesch has a minor league deal with the Blue Jays, per a team announcement on Saturday. The deal does not include an invitation to spring training.

Tepesch, 29, was originally acquired by the Blue Jays when the Twins dealt him for cash considerations last July. He made just three starts with the club in 2017, turning in a 5.14 ERA, 3.2 BB/9 and 4.5 SO/9 over 14 innings. While he looked a little better in Triple-A Buffalo, he has yet to prove himself as a viable starter in the big leagues. The righty hasn’t seen a full major league season since 2014, due in part to a prolonged recovery from thoracic outlet syndrome in 2015.

Whether he’ll get there anytime soon is unclear, but the Blue Jays don’t appear to have big plans for him either way. Tepesch will likely slot in behind right-hander Joe Biagini as rotation depth, should injuries continue to trouble the team’s projected top five starters: Marcus Stroman, J.A. Happ, Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada and Jaime Garcia.

Yankees place Aaron Judge (strained calf) on IL

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NEW YORK — Yankees star Aaron Judge was placed on the injured list with a right calf strain before Friday night’s game against Boston and manager Aaron Boone is optimistic the outfielder will not miss significant time.

The move was retroactive to Wednesday and Boone described the strain as mild after an MRI revealed the injury. To replace Judge on the roster, Thairo Estrada was recalled from the Yankees’ alternate site in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.

Judge began Friday leading the majors with nine homers and tied with Colorado’s Charlie Blackmon for the major league lead with 20 RBIs.

“It’s something that I think he really wants to try and work through here and kind of wants to be out here and feels like it’s a day-to-day thing which it may very well be, but I just think obviously it goes without saying how important a player Aaron is to us,” Boone said.

Boone had said last weekend’s series on the artificial turf in Tampa Bay took its toll on the 6-foot-7 outfielder.

Judge joined Giancarlo Stanton as the second Yankees slugger to land on the injured list this. Stanton was placed on the IL with a strained hamstring after getting hurt in the second game of last Saturday’s doubleheader.

“We’ve lost two MVP-caliber players,” Boone said. “Obviously that is a blow, especially two guys that playing well as they are right now.”

Judge was pulled for a pinch hitter during Tuesday night’s win over Atlanta and didn’t play Wednesday. The Yankees were off Thursday.

The 28-year-old All-Star missed time during July’s training camp because of a stiff neck.

The 2017 AL Rookie of the Year hit 27 homers in each of the last two seasons, both of them interrupted by injuries. His right wrist was broken when he was hit by a pitch in 2018 and he went on the injured list for two months last year with a left oblique strain.

Judge was diagnosed with a broken rib in March and would not have been ready for the season opener if the season began as scheduled on March 26.