Manny Machado has a deal in place with the San Diego Padres. It has not been officially announced — he had a physical yesterday and has another one today and they’re presumably ordering confetti and whatnot for the press conference — but he has a deal.
The Padres team store at Petco Park, however, was not all that interested in waiting for the official announcement. They started selling jerseys yesterday. At least for a few minutes. From the San Diego Union-Tribune:
Jerseys with Machado’s No. 13 and name on the back were for sale in the team store Wednesday afternoon before being pulled when the Padres were notified.
Team officials said there has been a surge in ticket sales and inquiries since reports of Machado’s deal Tuesday. But consistent with their insistence they have not signed Machado, the Padres quickly alerted vendor Delaware North that the jerseys had to be removed from the racks.
I say wait until 2020 and get a brown and yellow one, but good for those of you who snagged an early model yesterday.
The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.
Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.
Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.
Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.