My weekly observations about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– I can’t help but feel bad for longtime Toronto Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor. Just when the club finally appears to be ready to make a post-season run, they can’t squeeze the right-hander, who has pitched in more games for the Jays than anyone else in franchise history, into their budget. His wife, Laura, is also from Toronto, so signing with the Texas Rangers couldn’t have been an ideal scenario for him. To top it all off, he signed a $1.5-million deal for 2013, less than half of his $3.75-million 2012 salary.
– The next subject of my ongoing “Whatever happened to …” series just might be Kelly Johnson. I haven’t heard a single rumour about where the former Blue Jays’ starting second baseman might land for the 2013 campaign.
– If Victoria, B.C., native Rich Harden can crack the Minnesota Twins’ pitching staff this spring, the Twinkies will once again have three Canadians on their roster. The oft-injured right-hander is vying for a spot in the rotation, but Twins GM Terry Ryan says that Harden could be used in relief. Harden would join Justin Morneau (New Westminster, B.C.) and Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ont.) on the roster. There’s also a chance that a fourth Canuck – outfielder Rene Tosoni (Toronto, Ont.) – could also be playing in Minneapolis this year.
– Although Baseball Canada won’t announce the country’s provisional roster for the World Baseball Classic until later today. New York Mets draftee Jonathan Malo (Joliette, Que.) and Toronto-born outfielder, Tim Smith, who finished last season in Double-A in the Atlanta Braves organization, have already confirmed on Facebook and Twitter respectively that they will be part of the squad.
– Nice to see that the oldest living Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Doc Younker, has been honoured in a commemorative print by B.C. Baseball as part of its B.C. Youth Baseball Legacy Special Edition Collectible Series™ Scholarship Campaign. A Canadian baseball icon, the now 91-year-old Younker served as the trainer for the national team and for several professional organizations. You can purchase a copy of the print here (scroll to bottom of page): http://playballbc.com/store