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Nori Aoki trade “a possibility”

Your morning update for everything Blue Jays.

Minnesota Twins v Toronto Blue Jays
Nori Aoki is congratulated by third base coach Luis Rivera after hitting a solo home run in the fourth inning during a game against the Minnesota Twins.
Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images

After designated Nori Aoki for assignment yesterday, John Gibbons told media that a trade involving the recently-acquired outfielder was “a possibility.”

“It wasn’t an easy decision,” Gibbons said. “He’s playing great for us, but we need some extra arms.”

Aoki’s designation also helps clear the way for September call-ups to receive some playing time. Both Teoscar Hernandez and Anthony Alford are a possibility to join the roster.

Aoki was acquired from the Houston Astros with prospect Hernandez for Francisco Liriano just prior to the non-waiver trade deadline.

Russell Martin started throwing yesterday, a good sign for the catcher who’s been on the disabled list for more than two weeks. Less than a week ago, Gibbons said that Martin wasn’t close to returning, although his recent progress may have accelerated his return.

More noteworthy, however, was Martin’s new haircut.

The Astros and Texas Rangers are set to play games at the Tampa Bay Rays’ Tropicana Field on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday due to the effects of Hurricane Harvey. Houston may also play their weekend series against the New York Mets in Tampa Bay.

Initially, the Astros contacted the Rangers about possibly playing the series at Globe Life Park. The Rangers organization allegedly refused to play only three of the six games as the home team, wanting to play all six as the home team.

Texas refuted this claim, saying that they were “inaccurately portrayed.”

“We were prepared to make the event all about hurricane relief and helping our neighbors. It had nothing to do with looking for a competitive advantage. That’s an inaccurate portrayal," Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said to the Star Telegram.

Despite making it close in the ninth inning, the Blue Jays lost 6-5 to the Boston Red Sox last night. Marcus Stroman gave up one earned run over seven innings and struck out four while walking none, but the Danny Barnes gave up three earned runs in the seventh inning.

Brett Anderson starts for the Blue Jays today against the Red Sox. Chris Sale, the American League’s best pitcher, is on the mound for Boston.

Follow Mark on Twitter @MarkColley.