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Friday Bantering: Blue Jays Linked to Angel Pagan (Again)

Your morning update for everything Blue Jays.

MLB: Oakland Athletics at Seattle Mariners
Former Blue Jay Kendall Graveman is seeing success with the Oakland Athletics.
Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, Jon Heyman reported that the Blue Jays, along with the Philadelphia Phillies, have been linked to (still) free agent outfielder Angel Pagan. This is the second such time that the Blue Jays have been connected to Pagan, the first coming on March 5th, when writer Gregor Chisholm reported that Pagan was on Toronto’s radar, but it was unlikely for the team to sign him.

Pagan, exclusively an outfielder in his 11-year major league career, spent his 2016 season with the San Francisco Giants. He appeared in 129 games, posting a .277 batting average and .331 OBP, although his health, rather than his on-field performance, is more of a concern. On March 10th, Pagan allegedly reached an agreement with the Baltimore Orioles on a major-league deal, but the contract fell through when Pagan failed his physical with the club.

At 35-years-old, his most recent injury came in 2016, when he was sidelined with a strained left hamstring for 30 games of the season. In 2015, he missed time with patella tendinitis in his right knee. He also played less than 100 games in 2014 while dealing with a bad back, which required surgery late in the season.

Former Blue Jay Kendall Graveman has been announced as the Oakland Athletic’s opening day starter, per Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. Graveman, the 10th Athletic to start opening day over the past 11 years, was part of the package sent the other way in Toronto’s trade for Josh Donaldson in late 2014. Prior to that, he had appeared in just five major league games with the Blue Jays, pitching 4.2 innings total and allowing two earned runs and four hits.

Last season, his third at the major league level, Graveman started 31 games for Oakland, posting a 4.11 ERA and 4.39 FIP. Sonny Gray, who would normally be expected to start opening day for the Athletics, is currently sidelined with a lat injury.

The Blue Jays didn’t play yesterday, as it was on off day. Today, they head back home to play the Boston Red Sox at 1:07 EST. The lefties, Drew Pomeranz and J.A. Happ, will start for their respective teams. Both players have started against their opposing teams at some earlier point in spring training, as the two teams played back-to-back games against each other on March 13th and 14th.

Jose Bautista is expected to return to the lineup after being scratched on Wednesday, and Josh Donaldson is set to play his second game in the field. Additionally, Devon Travis, who has yet to see major league playing time in spring training due to a knee bone bruise, will start with the Blue Jays.

Follow Mark Colley on Instagram and Twitter at @360BlueJayNews and @MarkColley.