The Blue Jays have signed pitcher David Phelps to a one-year contract, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports. Phelps will earn $2.5 million in 2019 and his contract includes a club option for 2020, the value of which depends on the number of appearances he makes this season, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.
Phelps, 32, underwent Tommy John surgery in March. As a result, he likely won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. The right-hander became a mostly full-time reliever in 2016 with the Marlins, finishing with a 2.28 ERA in 86 2/3 innings. Phelps showed more dominance out of the bullpen in 2017, finishing with a 3.40 ERA with 62 strikeouts and 26 walks in 55 2/3 innings between the Marlins and Mariners.
When Phelps is healthy, the Blue Jays will likely use him in high-leverage situations leading up to closer Ken Giles.
The Reds have sent second baseman Scooter Gennett in for an MRI exam after he was forced to make an early departure from Friday’s 6-4 loss to the Brewers. The exact nature of the injury has yet to be reported, but starting pitcher Robert Stephenson said Gennett may have hurt himself after he “rolled weird” while trying to rein in a ground ball. He appeared to be grabbing at his right thigh/groin area immediately afterward and was helped off the field.
Following the incident, the 28-year-old was swiftly replaced by veteran infielder Carlos Rivero, who went hitless as he finished out the game. Though Gennett went 0-for-1 in his lone at-bat on Friday, he’s been tearing through the Cactus League competition this spring with a .351/.405/.486 batting line in 42 plate appearances so far.
The extent of Gennett’s injuries have not been disclosed — and may still be unknown to the team as well — but any significant setback would undoubtedly throw a wrench in the Reds’ plans this season, as he was the presumed starter at the keystone after turning in his first All-Star worthy performance in 2018. Although they have a promising alternative in top infield/outfield prospect Nick Senzel, the 23-year-old has not seen any time at second base this year and was recently reassigned to Triple-A Louisville to start the 2019 season.