AL Notes: Moncada, Blue Jays, Verlander, Athletics

Yoan Moncada left tonight’s game due to right hamstring tightness, an injury seemingly suffered when Moncada was running out a grounder in the top of the second inning. Moncada returned to play third base in the bottom half of the frame but was replaced in the field by Josh Harrison in the next inning.

More will be known about Moncada’s status after further tests take place, but another injury is the last thing Moncada and the White Sox need. An oblique strain suffered near the end of Spring Training kept Moncada from playing until May 9, and he is hitting a mere .179/.230/.292 over his first 113 plate appearances. Should Moncada need to miss time, the Sox would at least have a ready replacement in the hot-hitting Jake Burgerand Danny Mendick could also find more playing time once Tim Anderson returns from the IL next week and regains his normal shortstop position. However, a Moncada injury would represent yet another setback for a White Sox club that hasn’t been able to play with its ideal first-choice lineup all season.

More from around the American League…

  • the Blue Jays were known to have interest in Justin Verander last winter, and as Verlander tells ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it seems as though Toronto was Verlander’s second choice before he ultimately rejoined the Astros on a two-year, $50MM contract. The Jays”were very proactive to the point that when I signed with Houston, I made sure to let them know that I appreciated it all,” Verlander said, noting that former teammate George Springer pushed hard to try and recruit him. “Ultimately, when it came down to it, Houston had the same offer. It was all kind of ballpark between them and Toronto, and New York [the Yankees) was kind of always just a step behind.”  With Verlander off the board, the Blue Jays instead signed Kevin Gausman and Yusei Kikuchi to augment the rotation.  Verlander also added that the Yankees were “kind of always just a step behind” those top suitors — reports surfaced in November that the Yankees were willing to offer Verlander $25MM over one year, but weren’t willing to add a second season to the contract.
  • The new collective bargaining agreement temporarily restored the Athletics’ status as a revenue-sharing recipient, though that status is dependent on whether or not the A’s can finally secure a new ballpark by January 15, 2024 (in Oakland or any other city).  Even with these caveats in place, the New York Post’s Jon Heyman reports that some owners weren’t pleased that the A’s were again receiving revenue-sharing funds, especially given that the A’s then slashed their payroll by moving several notable players after the lockout.  “The idea of revenue sharing is not to make money, it’s to field a competitive team,” one owner told Heyman.  “That money is supposed to go toward player salaries.  [The A’s] took the money and put it in their pocket.”


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