Mike Clevinger’s contract with the White Sox further indicates an expensive free-agent market this winter

After a lull in the baseball world over the past week, we got a pair of signings on Sunday and Monday, as Jose Abreu inked a multi-year contract with the Houston Astros and Mike Clevinger inked a show-me deal with the Chicago White Sox.

This flurry of moves sees the White Sox move on from Abreu, who slashed a .292/.354/.506 line with the team over the course of nine seasons, and add a reclamation project to their starting rotation. Clevinger was moved in a big trade from Cleveland to the San Diego Padres during the 2020 season. He made just four starts with the team and underwent Tommy John surgery and then missed the entirety of the 2021 season.
In his first year back from Tommy John, Clevinger posted a 4.33 ERA over the course of 114 1/3 innings. His fastball velocity hovered around 93.5 miles per hour, a noticeable drop from where it was during his successful seasons in Cleveland. As a result, his strikeout rate dipped to 18.8% in 2022 compared to 27.5% in 2020 and 22.6% in 2019.
Now, why does any of this matter? Because Clevinger’s contract, which has $12 million guaranteed, further indicates just how expensive this winter’s free-agent market is going to be…

$12M is more than I e …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Growlers’ season primer; names to keep an eye on: Report from the Rock

Growlers’ season primer; names to keep an eye on: Report from the Rock

After an abbreviated training camp, (the advantages of having an affiliated organization that’s invested in success at every level,) the Newfoundland Growlers begin their season tonight at home.
As has become tradition, the Growlers have a majority of players assigned to their team from the Marlies. Among those names are a number of players who will benefit from much higher ice time than they’d get in the AHL. And those young players may put themselves in a position to earn ELCs from the Maple Leafs.
This season, Report from the Rock will largely be a monthly feature here at TLN focused on progress reports on the players considered Leafs prospects or projects, and while there is no shortage of interesting names on this team’s roster, here are just a few of the one’s I’ll be keeping a particularly close eye on as the site’s dedicated Growlers reporter:
Brett Budgell is a native of St. John’s making his professional hockey debut this year after five seasons in the QMJHL. In 67 games in the Q in the 2021-22 season, Budgell scored 40 goals and 79 total points. He’s just 21 years old and looks to be slottin …

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Author: Dylan Murphy / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 114: Thoughts on the Mariners, wild-card weekend predictions, and more!

After the long, winding road that was the 2022 season, here we are.

Toronto will host playoff baseball for the first time since 2016 when the Seattle Mariners come to town to play the Blue Jays in a three-game wild-card series.
We talked about the head-to-head between the Blue Jays and Mariners this season and how the two teams stack up in terms of offence and pitching. After that, we talked about who’s primed for a big moment in these playoffs and we made predictions for the entirety of wild-card weekend.
You can listen to the episode here… 
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Aaron Judge hits home run No. 61 as Yankees spank Blue Jays in series finale

Kevin Gausman said after Monday’s game that he didn’t want to be the answer to a trivia question regarding Aaron Judge’s (potential) 61st home run of the 2022 season. While Gausman avoided that label, there is finally an answer.

That man is Tim Mayza.

61 years since 61.
Aaron Judge has written his name alongside Roger Maris in baseball’s record books. pic.twitter.com/1V4Gums34C
— New York Yankees (@Yankees) September 29, 2022

Judge battled through an 8 pitch at-bat with Mayza, and eventually deposited a 94 mph sinker into the Blue Jays bullpen. While he has only tied the record for most home runs in a single season, it absolutely sucks that this happened in Toronto. Glass half full, I think we can all look at the silver lining in all of this and be grateful that Zack Hample wasn’t able to collect the home run ball.
Judge also put Roger Maris Jr. out of his misery, as every camera shot of Maris Jr. showed a man who couldn’t wait to be home.
Judge’s legendary moment came amidst some glaring momentum shifts throughout the game. The Yankees were in complete control through the first five innings. Mitch White walked the first two batters he faced en route to allowing three runs in the first inning. He pitched 3.2 innings total, only allowing those three runs, but eight baserunners.
His opposition, Gerrit Cole, cruised through five perfect innings in only 54 pitches, as the Blue Jays only managed to produce two batted ball outs in the air.
It was the sixth inning, however, that Cole imploded and let Toronto right back int …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

The 3 Marlies who need to have a breakout season in 2022-23

After missing the playoffs for the first time since 2011, the Toronto Marlies are looking for a different outcome this year.
Last season saw an inexperienced team, as a number of players made their true AHL debuts. (The COVID season skewed stats and wasn’t as competitive due to the NHL’s taxi squad.)
This year is a completely different story, though. While there were no excuses from players or management for a missed playoffs, it was clear that experience played a massive part in the result.
With a majority of the team now having at least one year of experience in professional hockey, the real work to become a playoff team begins. As does the road to developing players so that they can one day play for the Maple Leafs.
There are a few players who need to have big seasons — three of which who’ve gotten one full year of the AHL under their belts.
Semyon Der-Arguchintsev
With one more year remaining on his entry-level contract, the 21-year-old sits atop the list of players who need to have a breakout season.
Just one year ago, Assistant General Manager and head of Player Development for the Maple Leafs, Hayley Wickenheiser, said that Der-Arguchintsev’s route to success would begin with gaining muscle in the weight room.
He had plenty of success early on in …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Alek Manoah went into Ace Mode on Wednesday

After the Orioles beat the Blue Jays last night, the Sportsnet cameras panned to Alek Manoah sitting in the Blue Jays dugout right after the game. He was starting at the Orioles, watching them celebrate a win. One could only imagine that Manoah was plotting how much he wanted to dominate the Orioles for his start against them on Wednesday night.

Manoah delivered, as he pitched eight innings, only allowing three hits, one run, one walk, and five strikeouts. He allowed the one run in the first inning, but he was almost flawless after that. Manoah retired 14 batters in a row after the Ryan Mountcastle RBI, and he only gave up one hit between innings 2 through 8.
Manoah was the perfect candidate to pitch tonight’s game, after last night featured several dramatic events and the Blue Jays needing a rebound win. He earned his team-leading 14th win of the season, and lowered his ERA to 2.42.
The defense behind him was good as well, including a spectacular play in the bottom of the 3rd by Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Adley Rutschman grounded to Guerrero at first, but it threw him off the bag enough for Manoah to cover him at first base. Guerrero flipped the ball behind his back to Manoah at first to complete the out with ease, leading Manoah to shout “That was f*****g sick” at Vladd …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 107: The Dog Days of Summer are over

After an up-and-down month of August (well, months of April, May, June, July, and August, really), the Blue Jays are into September clinging to a playoff spot.

We talked about the series with the Chicago Cubs, which featured some clutch home runs and excellent relief appearances, but also left a sour taste behind as the Blue Jays weren’t able to sweep a weak opponent.
After that, we talked about Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro both doing media rounds during the week and why the timing is a little strange. We also talked about the rosters expanding to 28 in September and what that means for the team.
Finally, we looked ahead to the three-game series in Pittsburgh this weekend and explained why we’re feeling a wee bit nervous despite the fact the Pirates are very bad.
You can listen to the episode here…
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

That was not Next Level

After going 6-1 on a critical road trip against the Yankees and the Red Sox, the Blue Jays were welcomed home to a 12-0 defeat at the hands of the Los Angeles Angels. It was quite the outburst for the Halos, as they had only pushed across seven runs during their previous 12 games.

The first three innings of the game were the big difference tonight. The Angels were able to mix hitting Mitch White pretty hard with some poor Blue Jays defense to score seven runs between the 2nd and 3rd innings.
White escaped a base-loaded jam in the 1st inning (an inning that featured an error from Vladimir Guerrero Jr.), and in search of a quick second inning, he would load the bases once again. With runners on first and second, Andrew Velazquez bunted sharply towards Guerrero. Vladdy fielded the ball, thought about throwing to second or third to get a lead runner, but thought too long, as Velazquez reached first in time before Guerrero could make a decision. Instead of having an out with two runners on, there were no outs and loaded bases.
One batter later, David Fletcher scorched a ball off the fence that would score two runs. Fletcher nearly missed a grand slam by about two feet, as h …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Malachi Flynn is ready for a role in the Raptors’ 2022 rotation

Malachi Flynn is ready for a role in the Raptors’ 2022 rotation

After dropping 54 points at the Ball Don’t Stop Pro-Am game, the buzz surrounding Toronto Raptors point guard Malachi Flynn may be rounding into something of substance. While it’s still only an amateur showcase designed for pros to generate highlights, this is the second time this summer Flynn has blown up. So what? Flynn can […]
Malachi Flynn is ready for a role in the Raptors’ 2022 rotation – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Avishai Sol / Raptors HQ

Putting the Leafs prospects into tiers

After almost a month of counting down the top 20 prospects, looking at the honourable mentions, and the straight up participants, the TLN Prospect Rankings for 2022 came to a close yesterday with Matthew Knies grabbing the number one spot this year. It isn’t without some debate, as Knies’ recent early exit from the World Juniors tournament and going goalless in those five games certainly didn’t gave him a favourable recency bias.
Before going any further I want to thank Nick Richard, Kyle Cushman, and Nick Barden for their tireless work in creating these prospect write-ups. I think they like doing these, but by the time we near the top five it has to start feeling like work, and I appreciate the work they put in. You can find links to all of the profiles on the players below.
Now I have the luxury of coming in and mopping up after all their hard work. Rather than any kind of deep analysis, I get to simply sort the players and put them into tiers based on what their upside looks like, and how close they are to achieving that upside.
The main takeaway from this process is while the Leafs have a fair number of decent, solid prosp …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation