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Padres, Robbie Erlin avoid arbitration

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ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the Padres and pitcher Robbie Erlin have avoided arbitration, agreeing on a $1.45 million salary for the 2019 season. The lefty was in his second of three years of arbitration eligibility.

Erlin, 28, pitched both out of the rotation and out of the bullpen for the Padres last year, making 12 starts and 27 relief appearances. Altogether, he posted a 4.21 ERA with 88 strikeouts and 12 walks in 109 innings. It was his first season back after undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2016. Erlin’s workload was managed as a result.

The Padres have a handful of candidates at the back end of the rotation and Erlin is among them. Needless to say, if he doesn’t capture a rotation spot at the end of spring training, he’ll work out of the bullpen once again.

The Buffalo Blue Jays? The team has reportedly asked about playing there

The Buffalo Blue Jays
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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.