AL East Notes: Pearson, Borucki, Harvey, Judge, Meadows, Rays, Pollock

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The Blue Jays are dealing with some injury concerns in their bullpen, as Nate Pearson is dealing with a non-COVID illness and Ryan Borucki left yesterday’s game with discomfort in his right hamstring.  Jays manager Charlie Montoyo told Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith (Twitter link) and other reporters that Borucki will undergo an MRI.  More will be known about Borucki’s situation when the MRI results are in, but for Pearson, his illness has limited him to only two appearances thus far in Grapefruit League action.

In all likelihood, Pearson’s illness will keep him from making Toronto’s Opening Day roster.  While this issue seems less serious than the other injuries that have sidelined the righty over the last two years, it represents yet another setback for the former top prospect.  As for Borucki, the southpaw has been a pretty solid reliever when healthy, though he missed almost all of the 2019 season due to elbow problems and over two months of last season with a forearm strain.  If another IL stint is required for Borucki, Tim Mayza will be the only left-hander in the Jays’ projected bullpen, which could open the door for Anthony Kay, Tayler Saucedo, or Andrew Vasquez to break camp.

More from around the division….

  • The Orioles are considering re-signing Matt Harvey, MLB Network’s Jon Heyman reports (Twitter link).  Harvey struggled to a 6.27 ERA over 127 2/3 innings with Baltimore last season, a performance that didn’t lead to any publicly-known interest in his market this winter.  Harvey’s situation is further clouded by the possibility of a suspension of at least 60 games.  A new deal would surely take the form of a minor league contract, and if Harvey is suspended, he’ll need some extra time anyway to get ramped up to pitch.
  • There doesn’t appear to be much new on the extension front between Aaron Judge and the Yankees, as The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that the two sides aren’t close to an agreement.  Judge has stated that he doesn’t want negotiations to continue after Opening Day, so it seems as though quite a bit of progress will have to be made over just five days’ time.
  • Also from Rosenthal, he reports that the White Sox proposed a trade to the Rays that would’ve seen Austin Meadows head to Chicago in exchange for Craig Kimbrel.  Though Tampa Bay has reportedly been discussing Meadows in other trade talks, the Rays turned down the Kimbrel offer, which isn’t a surprise considering that the closer’s $16MM salary for 2022 would’ve taken up an outsized portion of Tampa’s limited payroll.
  • The White Sox ended up dealing Kimbrel to the Dodgers yesterday for another outfielder in AJ Pollock.  Beyond Chicago’s talks with the Rays, there is another AL East connection to that swap, ESPN’s Buster Olney tweets that the Red Sox were one of the teams interested in Pollock.  The right-handed hitting Pollock would’ve been a nice balance for Boston’s current corner outfield tandem of Alex Verdugo and Jackie Bradley Jr., both of whom swing from the left side.  Beyond just a platoon split, Pollock would’ve been mostly an everyday option, but the Red Sox seem committed to Bradley getting more of a regular share of outfield duty even though Bradley is coming off a dreadful season at the plate.

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