MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Blue Jays are expected to sign pitcher Clay Buchholz. Specifics about the contract are not yet known.
Buchholz, 34, spent last year with the Diamondbacks, making 16 highly effective starts with a 2.01 ERA and an 81/22 K/BB ratio over 98 1/3 innings. However, injuries have long been an issue for the right-hander. He missed the last three weeks of the 2018 regular season with a flexor strain. Prior to that, Buchholz dealt with a strained oblique.
The Jays also reportedly signed Bud Norris to a minor league contract on Thursday. While Norris is expected to pitch out of the bullpen, Buchholz will vie for a spot at the back of the Jays’ starting rotation.
The Indians have designated outfielder Carlos Gonzalez for assignment. This comes after Gonzalez batted a mere .210/.282/.276 over 117 plate appearances in Cleveland. That came after he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Indians in mid-March.
A few years ago Gonzalez was a superstar, winning three Gold Gloves, two Silver Slugger Awards, making the All-Star team three times and coming in third in the MVP balloting once upon a time. That was then, however. His most recent good season came in 2016, when he hit .298/.350/.505 with 25 homers and drove in 100. In 2017 and 2018 he combined to hit .232/.269/.334. Between his falloff in production and the fact that his big numbers of the past were heavily supported by playing at Coors Field, it should not be shocking that he couldn’t make it work in Cleveland.
If he wants to continue his career, he’ll no doubt have to take a minor league gig someplace. Otherwise, this could be the end of the line.