When Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen showed up Saturday at FanFest, he wasted no time in giving a progress report regarding his heart procedure in November.
“I definitely feel great. Ready to roll,” said the reliever, who lost approximately 25 pounds since his 5 1/2-hour catheter ablation procedure on Nov. 26 to fix a defect that caused an irregular heartbeat. “Excited. Playing catch for two weeks. Ready for spring training.”
That’s good news for all Dodgers fans, particularly those of Jansen, the 31-year-old right-hander who underwent the same procedure six years ago. In August, he suffered an atrial fibrillation as a result of the condition at altitude in Denver, where the elevation is 5,280 feet.
On Thursday, he threw his first bullpen session since that procedure in November. No longer needing blood thinners, Jansen said he is cleared to pitch in Denver this year. “It’s like a weight off you, doing that surgery, knowing that your heart is fine,” said Jansen, who decided not to make another trip to Denver to face the Rockies in September on the advice of his cardiologist because he would have been at “high risk” of another incident.
—The San Diego Padres are looking into signing free-agent infielder Manny Machado and potentially trading for Miami Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
According to a separate report, the Padres would slot Machado at third base to leave shortstop open for top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr., who might be ready to make the type of splash Atlanta’s Ronald Acuna Jr. made last season.
Machado, who has played shortstop and third base in the majors, is a career .282 hitter with 175 home runs and 513 RBIs. He twice has been in the top five in Most Valuable Player voting.
—Third baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., baseball’s top-ranked prospect, is among 15 non-roster players invited by the Toronto Blue Jays to their major league spring training camp, the team announced on Twitter.
Guerrero, who turns 20 in March, spent time last season at Double-A New Hampshire and Triple-A Buffalo. He is the son of Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero.
In 61 games in New Hampshire, the younger Guerrero batted .402 with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs. After his promotion to Buffalo, he hit .336 with six home runs and 16 RBIs in 30 games.
—Field Level Media