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March 17, 2017

Rumor Roundup

Kissing Your Sister

by Demetrius Bell


Boras unhappy with Blue Jays' handling of Sanchez

Fortunately for Blue Jays right-hander Aaron Sanchez, he appears to be in good shape and should be healthy for the start of season. However, he won’t be receiving a significant pay raise. While nobody’s going to argue that he should’ve been getting paid on the same level as Mookie Betts and Kris Bryant, it’d be fair to say that he could be in line for a raise in pay after he had an eye-opening first full season for the Blue Jays that included winning the ERA title.

However, the Blue Jays have a policy when it comes to negotiating salaries for their pre-arbitration players: Either you accept what they offer or you take the league minimum. So despite the fact that Sanchez delivered a 3.5 WARP season with a 3.77 DRA and 3.51 FIP last year, he declined whatever the Blue Jays offered and he’ll be paid $535,000 in 2017. Sanchez is a client of Scott Boras, and the famously outspoken agent wasted no time taking a shot at the Blue Jays for their policy.

Boras told Shi Davidi of Toronto Sportsnet that the raise the Blue Jays offered Sanchez was “small” and that it was some of the “harshest treatment” that he had seen when it came to teams and players in that situation. You have to imagine that things will change going forward when it comes time for arbitration and a potential contract extension should Sanchez keep up his level of pitching. But for now, it’s a rocky start on that road as far as agent and team are concerned.

Gonzalez rips World Baseball Classic

The World Baseball Classic has been extremely entertaining this year, which is lovely because entertaining and meaningful baseball is always welcome in the month of March. However, the tournament hasn’t been clear of controversy, as evidenced by the tiebreaker mishap that helped send Mexico out of the tournament.The controversy miffed the Mexican squad to the point that Adrian Gonzalez declared that he's done with the WBC as a whole and vowed to never play in the tournament again.

It’s a stunning turn of events for a player who previously extolled the virtues of the tournament on a regular basis and has participated in every WBC. It’s understandable if a bad result like this could result in disillusion. It’s also understandable that Mexico could’ve avoided this wacky situation altogether had they held on to a four-run lead in the ninth inning on home soil against Italy.

Maybe both the Mexican squad and the WBC have things that they need to work on before the next Classic, and maybe Gonzalez’s feelings will have changed by 2021. That way, he can be to the Mexican squad what Eric Gagne and Ryan Dempster were to the Canadian team in this year’s Classic. Time heals all wounds, and age is clearly no barrier in this tournament.

Tomas sidelined by oblique injury

The Rumor Roundup from Wednesday featured a handful of players who will be missing Opening Day due to injury, and now unfortunately there’s another player who could potentially be added to that list. Diamondbacks outfielder Yasmany Tomas has been experiencing what’s been described as back soreness for nearly two weeks and it turns out that the ailment was more insidious than just an achy back.

Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reports that Tomas has been diagnosed with a strained oblique. Oblique injuries are notoriously tricky to recover from, which is why despite there being reports that Tomas could only miss a few days, there’s still a decent chance that this could cause him to miss Opening Day if the injury continues to linger on. This explains why there hasn’t been a concrete date on a potential return for the Cuban slugger. We could get an idea of when he could return shortly, as Piecoro also reported that Tomas will be re-evaluated by team doctors in a few days.

The good news for Arizona is that if Tomas does end up missing Opening Day, they have the depth to deal with him missing out on meaningful game time. The Diamondbacks have been dealing with injury problems in the outfield, but players like Gregor Blanco and Jeremy Hazelbaker serve as a replacement options for the time being. With that being said, surely the Diamondbacks would like to have Tomas and his bat (which produced 31 home runs and a TAv of .276 in 2016) back in the lineup and healthy as soon as possible.

Demetrius Bell is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Demetrius's other articles. You can contact Demetrius by clicking here

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