News: Santana (shoulder) signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays that includes an invite to major league spring training, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports.
Impact: The 34-year-old lefty hasn't pitched in the majors since 2012, when he posted a 4.85 ERA, 4.09 FIP and 111:39 K:BB over 117 innings for the Mets. He signed with the Orioles last spring, and after recurring shoulder issues delayed his potential debut, Santana went down for the season with a torn Achilles at extended spring training. He then played for a team in the Venezuelan Winter League, only to be shut down early when shoulder discomfort again reared it's head. An MRI revealed no structural damage, and the Blue Jays thus decided to take a very small risk on the former Cy Young winner. Now that Santana's with a team, it's possible that we'll get some more solid information on his shoulder.
News: Dirks (back) is expected to resume baseball activities in 7-to-10 days, Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com reports.
Impact: The 29-year-old reported to minor league camp to continue rehabbing the back injury that cost him all of 2014, but he could join major league camp before long and enter the mix for left-field playing time. Michael Saunders is set to miss the entire first half due a torn meniscus in his knee. Dirks hit .256/.323/.363 with nine homers and 37 RBI in 131 games (484 PA) with the Tigers in 2013.
News: Saunders has a torn meniscus in his knee and will be out until the All-Star Break, Sportsnet's Shi Davidi reports.
Impact: Saunders' fantasy value for the 2015 season will effectively be cut in half -- that is if he's able to return at full stength after the Midsummer Classic. Per Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays will first explore in-house options before turning to other potential solutions as spring training comes to an end. This means that Kevin Pillar and Dalton Pompey should both see consistent work during the first half, while the team may choose to get a longer look at Andy Dirks and Chris Dickerson in camp.
News: Saunders stepped on a sprinkler while shagging fly balls, tearing cartilage in his left knee and sidelining him until the All-Star break. General manager Alex Anthopoulos said Thursday surgery is likely but Saunders will seek a second opinion.
Impact: The 28-year-old player was acquired by the Blue Jays in December from Seattle for pitcher J.A. Happ and was projected to be a starter. Saunders hit .273 with eight home runs and 34 RBIs in 78 games with the Mariners last season. Anthopoulos said the team will look internally for a replacement but is open to a trade or free-agent signing.
News: The Toronto Blue Jays have signed two-time Cy Young winner Santana to a minor league contract, hoping the former ace can make it back to the majors.
Impact: Santana turns 36 in March. He last pitched in the majors in 2012 with the New York Mets and has undergone two operations on his left shoulder in recent years. Santana was in Baltimore's minor league system last year and tore his left Achilles tendon in June. He's made just one appearance since then, retiring six straight batters in January in the Venezuelan Winter League. The four-time All-Star won AL Cy Young Awards with Minnesota in 2004 and 2006.