Toronto Blue Jays news and notes from December 22nd, 2018, including the confirmation of a previously reported MiLB deal and the signings of some rumoured Jays free-agent targets.
Oakland Athletics Sign Mike Fiers
According to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi, the Oakland Athletics are to sign starting pitcher Mike Fiers to a two-year contract worth between $14 million and $15 million. The Jays previously had some level of interest in Fiers, who turns 34 in June, according to Morosi.
Fiers, a native of Hollywood, Florida, was non-tendered by the Athletics in November. In 172.0 innings with the Athletics and Tigers in 2018, he pitched to an ERA of 3.56 and struck out 139 and walked just 37.
Teoscar Walks It Off in Dominican League
Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, who has been playing for the Toros del Este of the Dominican Winter League (Liga de Beisbol Dominicano), smashed a walk-off home run Friday against the Tigres del Licey. In 14 games for the Toros, who play at Estadio Francisco Micheli in La Romana, Hernandez has hit .277 and has added 12 hits, two doubles, a triple and seven runs scored to go along with an OPS of .781.
The Toros roster also features major leaguers Taylor Motter (free agent), Hunter Pence (free agent), Abraham Almonte (ARI), Manuel Margot (SDP), Fernando Abad (independent baseball), Alexi Ogando (free agent), and former Blue Jays Luis Santos (TBR) and Brett Oberholtzer (free agent).
Cubs Close to Nabbing Graveman
As Jesse Rogers of ESPN 1000 reported, the Chicago Cubs are “close to signing” free-agent pitcher Kendall Graveman. Graveman, 28, appeared in seven games for the Oakland Athletics in 2018, pitching to an ERA of 7.60 and striking out 27 in 34.1 innings.
Graveman was another potential Blue Jays target, as Morosi alluded to in the same report. With that, the list of free agent pitchers the Jays could look at grabbing shrinks just a little bit more.
Carrera Thriving in Venezuela
Former Blue Jays outfielder Ezequiel Carrera, who is now a free agent, has been playing for the Tigres de Aragua of the Venezuelan Winter League (Liga Venezuela Beisbol Profesional), appearing in 44 games and tallying 169 at-bats.
Carrera, who last appeared for the Las Vegas 51s (AAA) of the New York Mets organization in 2018, has slashed an outstanding .314/.400/.408 with eight doubles, a triple, and 20 RBI while playing primarily in left field.
Blue Jays Confirm Sogard Signing
The Blue Jays confirmed the previously rumoured signing of infielder Eric Sogard to a minor-league deal Friday evening, assigning him to Triple-A Buffalo, according to the official International League transactions page via MiLB.com.
Sogard’s deal, per the announcement, includes an invite to major-league spring training. Sogard, 32, has logged innings at shortstop, second base and third base in parts of eight major league seasons.