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Sunday, January 21, 2018

Baseball

Josh Donaldson still hoping for long-term offer from Blue Jays

Josh Donaldson

Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is headed into his final year under team control, and he’s really hoping to hear from the team on a long-term extension.

Donaldson has long been vocal about his desire to remain with the Blue Jays, but on Saturday, he admitted that he hasn’t heard from the organization about a new contract.

The Blue Jays have been pretty clear about not trading Donaldson, so it remains to be seen what else they do with him. It would make sense to discuss terms with him soon if they are intent on retaining him long-term. He’s certainly ready to talk.

Twins P Michael Pineda intends to pitch this year

Michael Pineda pine tar hand

Michael Pineda says he intends to pitch this year even though he is still recovering from Tommy John surgery.

Pineda was signed by the Minnesota Twins this offseason for two years at $10 million. The Twins signed him to a two-year deal knowing that he might not be able to pitch this season after undergoing surgery in July.

Speaking at TwinsFest on Friday, Pineda said he threw on Wednesday for the first time since he underwent surgery. The Star Tribune’s Phil Miller says Pineda intends to pitch this year.

Pineda, 29, missed all of the 2012 and 2013 seasons due to shoulder surgery, so he’s used to lengthy absences and long recoveries. The Twins surely signed him with the intent of having him pay off down the road, so there is no doubt they will be patient with him.

Pineda has a 4.06 career ERA and over a strikeout per inning. His recovery will be a story to watch throughout the season.

Red Sox confirm ‘active negotiations’ with JD Martinez

JD Martinez

The Boston Red Sox have confirmed what we had all heard already — they want J.D. Martinez.

Red Sox chairman Tom Werner confirmed Friday that the Red Sox are in “active negotiations” with Martinez and are hoping to get something done with either him or another big free agent hitter.

We already heard reports that the Red Sox have an offer on the table for Martinez, though it is well short of his reported asking price. How motivated Werner and the Red Sox are to bridge that gap remains to be seen. For that reason, it’s notable that the option of pivoting to another free agent target was very much left on the table.

Roy Halladay autopsy shows he had Ambien, amphetamines and morphine in system

Roy Halladay

The autopsy report for Roy Halladay was released on Friday, and it shows the former pitcher died from blunt force trauma with drowning as a contributing factor following his fatal plane crash on Nov. 7.

The autopsy showed Halladay had a mix of drugs in his body, including morphine, amphetamine, and the sleep medication, Ambien. According to TMZ Sports, the level of Ambien in Halladay’s system surpassed the mark that puts one at risk of a motor vehicle incident.

Videos and witnesses say the former Cy Young Award-winning pitcher was showboating and flying erratically prior to his fatal crash.

The 40-year-old was flying an ICON A5 plane when he died.

Report: Indians, Orioles had discussed Manny Machado trade

Manny Machado

There’s no real movement on the Manny Machado trade front, but that doesn’t mean teams haven’t been trying.

According to Jon Morosi of MLB.com, the Cleveland Indians held trade discussions with the Baltimore Orioles about Machado last month. There are no ongoing discussions now, but there is reason to believe the two sides could match up well if the Orioles really do want to move Machado.

The Indians have a surplus of starting pitchers, a Baltimore weakness. Morosi reports that there is a belief that the Indians are willing to trade starter Danny Salazar, who could be of interest to the Orioles.

The Indians have reportedly not been the most persistent suitor for Machado, but they may match up the best. That said, there doesn’t seem to be any momentum toward a deal, and the Orioles don’t look as if they’re aggressively trying to move him. Instead, they appear to be waiting to see if anyone comes to them with an offer that blows them away.

Report: Blue Jays acquire OF Randal Grichuk in trade with Cardinals

Blue Jays logo

The Toronto Blue Jays continue to add depth to their outfield.

Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi reported on Friday that the Jays acquired Randal Grichuk in a trade with the St. Louis Cardinals. He says they are giving up Dominic Leone and Conner Greene in return.

Grichuk, 26, is a career .249 hitter but has good power, as he averages 26 home runs every 162 games. He can play any outfield position, though he spent most of last year split between right or left field.

The Jays signed Curtis Granderson earlier in the week. Their only mainstay in the outfield is Kevin Pillar. Now they have Grichuk and Granderson as options for the corners, to go along with Steve Pearce and Teoscar Hernandez.

Tim Tebow invited to major league spring training with Mets

Tim Tebow Mets

Tim Tebow may never end up playing in the major leagues during his professional baseball career, but he is one step closer to being able to showcase his skills to the people in charge of deciding his future.

On Friday, the New York Mets announced that Tebow is one of nine players not on their MLB roster who have been invited to major league spring training.

Tebow did not get the invite a year ago, so this is a step in the right direction. He has bounced around in Class-A with the Mets, hitting .226 with eight homers and 52 RBI in 126 games in his first full minor league season.

We have already seen some remarkable examples of how good Tebow is for business with the Mets, so it’s no surprise the team wants him in training camp. There are sure to be some players in the Mets’ minor league organization who feel they deserve an invite to training camp more than Tebow.

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