Alek Manoah's 2023 season has come to a close with Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith reporting the right-hander has received multiple injections in his arm.
Manoah has not pitched since being demoted on August 11, which has given rise to speculation about what's going on with the right-hander. The team and player have not seemingly been in sync over the past few weeks, and this latest information doesn't provide much clarity on where that relationship stands.
It appears that Manoah didn't take kindly to his second demotion, which has cost him dearly from a financial standpoint as his salary in the minors is less than it is in the majors — and he has been unable to accumulate service time.
That's crucial for the right-hander because prior to 2023 he was on track for "Super Two" status that would allow him to go through salary arbitration four times instead of the usual three, boosting his earning potential by a significant margin. Now, it seems like he'll be on track to earn approximately the MLB minimum in 2024, followed by three salary-arbitration seasons.
A better outcome for the starter would've been a trip to the IL where he would've continued to add to his service time total and earn an MLB salary. However, Blue Jays team doctors didn't find any structural damage.
It's unclear if these latest injections indicate there was some kind of physical issue with Manoah after all.
If the right-hander can provide evidence that his team demoted him — instead of placing him on the IL — when he was injured, in a way that compromised his earning potential, an already messy scenario will get messier. There's no indication that's the road we're heading down yet, though, as neither the team or the player has spoken on the record about where the situation stands.
What is apparent is that we won't see Manoah again in 2023.
Following a stellar 2022 season, the right-hander has struggled mightily this year, putting up ugly numbers at the major-league level and getting demoted twice.
Manoah will hope for a bounce-back campaign on the mound next season, but before that happens there will be plenty on intrigue off the field.