Blue Jays news and notes from the morning of January 21, 2019, including an update on Nate Pearson and some minor news from around the organization.
Pearson On Workload Limit in 2019
Blue Jays pitching prospect Nate Pearson, who broke his arm in 2018, will be on a workload limit in 2019, according to Keegan Matheson of Baseball Toronto and MLB.com. Matheson says that the club isn’t yet sure how reduced his workload will be in 2019.
Brandon Drury Changes Uniform Number
Blue Jays infielder Brandon Drury will be switching his uniform number from #10 to #3, reports Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 the Fan. Previously, Drury wore 62, 27 and 29, per Baseball Reference. The last Blue Jays player to wear the number 3 was Gio Urshela.
Phillies Sign Ngoepe
Gift Ngoepe, who played with the Blue Jays in 2018 and spent the majority of the season with Triple-A Buffalo, has signed on with the Philadelphia Phillies on a minor-league deal, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Ngoepe previously spent time in the Pirates organization.
Merryweather: “It’s MVP or bust for me”
Blue Jays pitching prospect Julian Merryweather, who was acquired from Cleveland in the Josh Donaldson trade in August, jokingly told reporters Saturday that it’s “MVP or bust” for him, considering the circumstances of his trade. Merryweather, 27, missed the entire 2018 season due to injury.
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Reds Close to Acquiring Sonny Gray; Out on Stroman?
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, the New York Yankees are finalizing a trade that will send pitcher Sonny Gray to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for prospects. Since the Reds were previously reportedly interested in Marcus Stroman, does Gray’s acquisition mean that they are no longer in need of starting pitching?
Oliver Drake Designated Once Again
The constantly designated Oliver Drake has been DFA’d once again, this time by the Tampa Bay Rays, who acquired him from the Blue Jays earlier this month in a minor trade. In 2018, Drake had been designated for assignment by the Blue Jays twice.
Could the Blue Jays be in on Shawn Kelley?
Heyman also recently reported that free-agent reliever Shawn Kelley, who spent the 2018 season split between the Oakland Athletics and Washington Nationals, is drawing interest from “about 10 teams”. Since Ross Atkins has been vocal about wanting to acquire more pitching, could the Blue Jays be among those teams?