Good morning! We’re still in the dead zone with baseball news and rumors, but there are a few things to touch on today …
BACK TO THE JAYS?: Ken Rosenthal reports via a source that the Blue Jays are discussing a two-year deal to bring back Jose Bautista.
So that could be the end of those Bautista-to-Phillies rumors.
MEET THE KIDS: Last week the Phillies hosted its annual seminar for prospects getting closer to the big leagues. This year’s group: Jorge Alfaro, Dylan Cozens, Scott Kingery, Rhys Hoskins, Victor Arano, Andrew Pullin, Nick Pivetta, Elniery Garcia and Drew Anderson.
Matt Gelb has a nice profile of Anderson, who garnered the most attention, likely because he was the most curious name of the bunch. Anderson was protected from the Rule 5 Draft, placed on the 40-man roster despite not pitching above high-A. Apparently he has the stuff necessary to be in the big leagues sooner than later, but Tommy John surgery derailed his development.
AND NOW THE BIG LEAGUERS: With the prospects gone, the big leaguers are back for the Phils’ annual #BackInTown promotion.
Who’s here this week? Outfielder Roman Quinn will be at the African American Museum today. Aaron Nola and Tommy Joseph will be at the Majestic Clubhouse Store on Wednesday evening.
And Maikel Franco and Pete Mackanin are scheduled to attend all the minor league affiliate winter banquets, along with Nola, Joseph and Quinn at some select events.
Finally, Franco and Quinn will do a Snapchat Q&A at 4 p.m. Tuesday. And Franco, Nola and Joseph will do a Facebook Live event at 2:30 p.m. Thursday.
You may remember that last year’s group of #BackInTown attendees included Nola, Cameron Rupp and Aaron Altherr. Interesting to see Quinn participating in so many of these events this year.
SMALL SIGNING: And the Phillies reportedly purchased the contract of independent Canadian-American League pitcher Jesse Beal. The 26-year-old right-hander who can apparently throw 98 (and pitched to a 2.59 ERA last season) will go to Clearwater.