A Look At The Blue Jays’ 40-Man Roster Crunch

Want to talk about the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros playing in the American League Championship Series? Neither do I!

There ain’t much going on around these parts right now as we wait for the post-season to conclude and for the off-season to get rolling, so let’s take a look ahead at one of the interesting situations Toronto will be dealing with — the 40-man roster crunch.
As with last winter (and, well, with just about every winter when you have a deep prospect pool), the Blue Jays have a handful of interesting prospects who will be eligible for the Rule 5 draft come December. They added Gabe Moreno, Riley Adams, Ty Tice, Josh Palacios, and Otto Lopez to the 40-man ahead of last year’s draft, who might they add this year?
Here are some names worth considering…
RHP Eric Pardinho: Back in 2017, the Blue Jays inked Pardinho as an international free agent out of Brazil to a deal with a $1.4 million signing bonus. He was a top-100 prospect coming into 2019 but injuries have massively stunted his development. Pardinho, who turns 21 in January, pitched just three innings in 2021. This would almost be an Elvis Luciano situation for somebody …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Robbie Ray should win the Cy Young by a wide margin

Do you want a bold take?

Robbie Ray will definitely win the American Cy Young award. In fact, despite this being a two-horse race between Robbie Ray and the New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole, the stats tell us that Cole shouldn’t even come close.
The comparison:
Robbie Ray had a fantastic season. In 193.1 innings pitched, he had an ERA of 2.84 and a FIP of 3.69, nice. He also had a K/9 of 11.54 and a K% of 32.1%, meaning he struck out nearly a third of the batters he faced. Robbie Ray has always had the potential to be a Cy Young winning pitcher (look at 2017), but what has held him back until this season was his astronomical BB/9.
Ray had a great K/9 of 11.1 up until this season, but his 4.3 BB/9 really hindered his ability from solidifying himself in the Cy Young race, minus his All-Star season in 2017. In 2020, he finished with a BB/9 of 7.84 and before arriving to the Blue Jays at the trade deadline, that BB/9 was an astronomical 9.0 with Arizona.
This changed in 2021 as he posted a BB/9 of 2.47, by far the lowest in his career.
So what about the other horse in this race, Gerrit Cole? Well …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Should Steven Matz receive a qualifying offer this off-season?

After narrowly missing the playoffs this past season, there’s no question the Toronto Blue Jays have a very interesting off-season ahead of them, beginning with deciding which players should receive a qualifying offer.

In total, the Blue Jays are slated to have 12 players hit free agency once it opens, although only three of them (Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien and Steven Matz) are potential candidates to warrant this type of offer. Once the 2021 World Series concludes, the front office will possess just five full days to submit these offers, afterwards, any player who receives one will have 10 days to accept or decline.
Though an official amount hasn’t been set just yet, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported this year’s qualifying offer is expected to be valued at $18.4 million, down from last season’s $18.9 million figure.
On the surface, both Ray and Semien are obvious choices to be tied to qualifying offers this winter, however, they’ll each likely decline and opt to enter the free-agent market instead. Beyond this duo, Matz is the only other player on the roster who belongs in this conversation, but there’s some debate about whether he’s worthy enough to command such a …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Rumour Nest: The Blue Jays were interested in Jose Ramirez before the trade deadline and it’s safe to say they still are now

Recently, I wrote an article about the rumours surrounding Marcus Stroman and how he could be returning to the Toronto Blue Jays. Originally I intended to write two rumours in that article, but mid-article, I decided to make a rumour series. Jose Ramirez is the next rumour that this series will cover.

In an article published by Sportsnet written by Shi Davidi, an interesting yet important sentence reads as follows: “Worth noting is that before the trade deadline, the Blue Jays took a run at Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez and Detroit outfielder.”
Shi Davidi is a well-known and respected journalist that follows the Toronto Blue Jays. Where there is smoke, there is a burning building. Do you want a hot take? I believe before spring training 2022, Jose Ramirez will be a Toronto Blue Jay.
Jose Ramirez is amazing:
It’s important to look at a player’s statistics before deciding whether or not it is beneficial for trading for them, so let’s start with that.
Jose Ramirez is a 29-year-old third baseman that has put up impressive numbers over his career. His 2021 was no different as he slashed .266/.355/.893 and added 35 home runs. That’s obviously impressive, but factor …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

MLBTR projects the Blue Jays’ 12 arbitration-eligible players will cost the team $43 million

MLB Trade Rumours released its annual arbitration salary projections on Monday, and here’s what they have for the Blue Jays and the 12 arb-eligible players on the roster…

Ross Stripling – $4.4MM
Jose Berrios – $10.9MM
Jacob Barnes – $1.2MM
Teoscar Hernandez – $10.0MM
Adam Cimber – $1.5MM
Trevor Richards – $1.1MM
Ryan Borucki – $800K
Danny Jansen – $1.5MM
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – $7.9MM
Tim Mayza – $1.2MM
Trent Thornton – $900K
Cavan Biggio – $1.7MM
All told, that’s just a shade over $43 million for the group. Add that to the $58 million the team has committed to the 2022 payroll currently (George Springer, Hyun Jin Ryu, Randal Grichuk, and Lourdes Gurriel), and you have just over $100 million before considering free agents and other players who would flesh out the roster.
Of course, these are just projections and, obviously, nothing is set in stone, but MLBTR is generally pretty good with these things, so it’s a good place to start thinking about the off-season. Looking up and down this list, I would assume that 10 of these players are tendered contracts, with Jacob Barnes being a pretty easy choice to cut loose and Trent Thornton being a realistic 40-man roster casualty.
Another thing to consider is that a few of these players …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Rumour Nest: Marcus Stroman said he would be open to a Blue Jays reunion

Rumours, yes rumours, not rumors. I am Canadian. What is a rumour though? Rumour was an album released in 1977, over two decades before I was born. It is by far the best album Fleetwood Mac released, in fact, it is one of the best albums, period.  Rumours could also be the source of drama when you were in high school. 

However, this is a Blue Jays blog site and neither of those rumours have anything to do with the beloved Blue Birds. This begs the question, why the heck am I writing about rumours.
Well, dear reader, since the Blue Jays season is done, I’ll be doing a new series about rumours surrounding potential trades/signings related to the Blue Jays.
Firstly, we’ll cover a rumour about a former Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman.

I’m definitely open to a reunion.
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) October 3, 2021

I think before we start, regardless of how you feel about Stroman as a player, it’s important to call out racism as you see it. He has received quite a lot of it throughout his career which is 100% unacceptable.
With all that being said, we’ll start with Marcus Stroman as the rumour …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Best For The Blue Jays Is Yet To Come

If you clicked this article using Facebook, you probably haven’t seen this tweet. If you’re on Twitter, you may have seen me arguing with a Yankees fan about prospects which originated from one of the worst takes I have ever seen. Fun times. This one bad tweet got me thinking about “can this season be repeated” and quite frankly, I think it can be one-upped.

Been sitting on this luke warm take.
The Blue Jays may not get a better shot at a World Series than this year. Yeah they have a young core but Vlad isn’t having a better season than this.
Gut call a month from now they’re the “They’re Young, They’ll be back” team that never is.
— Phill (@MeekPhill_) September 19, 2021

Before the tweet:
The season sucked, but there are some built-in excuses. For example, the Jays didn’t play in front of home fans until arriving in Buffalo and even then, Yankee fans invaded Sahlen Field. The early part of their season was played in Dunedin, Florida, which is hostile territory. Upon arriving back in Toronto on July 30th, the team finished 40-23. 
When Charlie Montoyo says he is proud of …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Marcus Semien’s season, which was one of the best in Blue Jays history

Marcus Semien is a shortstop. Yes he played all season at second base, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he spent the previous 6 seasons playing short. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a testament to how insane Marcus Semien was this past season.

18 million without giving up a pick has never looked so good. The phrases “Semien was good this season” or “Semien will get paid” are both understatements. While I won’t speculate on the figures he’ll make this upcoming off-season, I feel the need to write about just how damn good he was. Yes, even better than Vlad or Ray.
Slash line:
I like using slash lines as it’s a good basic statistic to use. If you look at Semien’s, it doesn’t particularly stand out. If I said a .265/.334/.873 player should receive MVP votes, you may look at me and say “why?”. To that, I say, the stats, while a nice tool, doesn’t actually show how valuable the player is.
It’s the same as basic statistics for defensive play like fielding percentage. It looks great on paper, but it can be incredibly misleading. However, there …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 52: The 2021 Blue Jays Eulogy

This one was a doozy!

Me, Tyler, and BK sat down and each came up with our own ‘three up, three down’ from this year as a way to look back on all of the good, bad, and everything in between from the 2021 Blue Jays season.
We talked about the good stuff, like Vladdy’s breakout season, the value of Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray’s one-year contracts, Alek Manoah becoming The Big Man out of the blue, the home run jacket being insanely cool, and the amazing homecoming to Toronto in July.
We also talked about the bad stuff, like the chaos that was the early-season bullpen, the ugly losses that ultimately cost the Blue Jays a playoff spot, Hyun Jin Ryu’s struggles, George Springer’s injuries, and the current MLB schedule and post-season format.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Get to know the Blue Jays playing in the Arizona Fall League

Baseball sucks, I hate it, I’m never watching anoth…. Oh, the Blue Jays announced who they added to their fall league team!

While we all wish they were participating in the ongoing ALDS, if you are reading this you like to keep tabs with the Blue Jays. Here is some interesting news. On Wednesday, October 6th, it was announced who would be participating for the Jays Fall league team. 
Gabriel Moreno (Catcher)
Leo Jiminez (Infielder)
Michael Dominguez (RHP)
Cre Finfrock (RHP)
Brody Rodning (LHP)
Graham Spraker (RHP)
Spencer Horwitz (INF)
Here is a player profile on each, starting with prospects that don’t rank on MLB’s Pipeline:
Michael Dominguez:
Drafted in 447th (15th round) in 2019, the right handed pitcher recently turned 21. Appearing in nine rookie league games in 2019, he posted a 1.13 ERA with a 10.88 K/9 in 24 innings pitched. The pandemic shut down his 2020 season, meaning he didn’t pitch in a professional game until this season. He had a shaky start for the Complex team where he posted a 5.00 ERA in 9 IP, but after a promotion to the Low A team, he turned it around.
In 29.2 IP for Dunedin, Dominguez had an ERA of 3.34 and a K/9 of 9.40 ( …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation