George Springer expected to miss more than 10 days

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

TORONTO — Blue Jays outfielder George Springer is not expected to be ready to return to Toronto’s lineup when his latest stint on the 10-day injured list ends May 13, general manager Ross Atkins said.

Also Thursday, the Blue Jays activated left-hander Hyun Jin Ryu off the injured list to start an afternoon game against Oakland. Ryu left an April 25 start at Tampa Bay because of a strained right gluteal muscle.

Springer landed on the injured list Wednesday after aggravating his strained right quadriceps, with the move retroactive to May 3. Springer had been out of the lineup for two days before undergoing an MRI Wednesday morning.

“I would expect it would take more than just the IL stint,” Atkins said. “There’s a chance I’m wrong, but based on the information that I have right now I would expect that it would take longer than that IL stint.”

Springer signed a team-record $150 million, six-year deal with the Blue Jays this offseason but didn’t make his season debut until April 28 because of two separate injuries, first a strained oblique muscle and later the quadriceps injury.

Atkins said Springer reported feeling better Thursday than the previous day, but said the 2017 World Series MVP with Houston is “obviously very frustrated” by his limited action so far this season.

Springer hit two home runs in Saturday’s win over Atlanta, his third game since returning, but also felt pain while running out a groundball. He left Sunday’s game after three at-bats due to fatigue.

“All the information we had at the time suggested it was safe to take the next step and, unfortunately, we had a setback,” Atkins said of Springer’s aborted return from injury.

Springer started at DH in all four games and has yet to play the outfield for the Blue Jays. He did play center field in a simulated game at Toronto’s alternate site, and had been expected to play the outfield last weekend, Atkins said.

Springer will have a “minimal workload” as he attempts to recover from the quad strain, Atkins said.

Right-hander David Phelps was placed on the 10-day injured list Thursday because of right lat strain. Phelps came in to pitch the eighth inning in Wednesday’s victory over the Athletics but had to leave after feeling pain while warming up.

Atkins said infielder Joe Panik had an MRI Thursday after feeling calf pain while running out a grounder Wednesday. Atkins also said catcher Alejandro Kirk is expected to miss at least four weeks, and possibly more, because of a left flexor strain. Kirk was placed on the 10-day injured injured list Sunday.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

tampa bay rays
Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.