If Blue Jays trade Alejandro Kirk, targeting experienced catcher may prove beneficial

Amid another crucial off-season, the Toronto Blue Jays remain extremely deep at the catcher position and whenever this current lockout concludes, the front office could utilize some of that capital to address other glaring needs.
As currently constructed, four catchers (Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Alejandro Kirk, Gabriel Moreno) are featured on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster. Since Moreno is projected to be a future star, it’ll be very important to make sure he’s provided with a clear path to the majors.
But as of now, that doesn’t quite exist inside this organization. In an effort to prevent any logjam from being created, management will likely need to subtract at least one – if not more – of Jansen, McGuire or Kirk in the near future.
Before the transaction freeze commenced, there was plenty of speculation about Toronto utilizing Kirk as a trade chip to acquire either starting pitching or an all-star infielder. Initially, it was believed that the Miami Marlins could serve as a solid trading partner, however, they ended up landing Jacob Stallings from the Pittsburgh Pirates – putting an end to any possible trade discussions.
While the Marlins are no longer in the market for a catcher, there are still a handful of teams that could meet that descri …

Read More

Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

If Blue Jays trade Alejandro Kirk, targeting experinced catcher may prove beneficial

Amid another crucial off-season, the Toronto Blue Jays remain extremely deep at the catcher position and whenever this current lockout concludes, the front office could utilize some of that capital to address other glaring needs.
As currently constructed, four catchers (Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Alejandro Kirk, Gabriel Moreno) are featured on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster. Since Moreno is projected to be a future star, it’ll be very important to make sure he’s provided with a clear path to the majors.
But as of now, that doesn’t quite exist inside this organization. In an effort to prevent any logjam from being created, management will likely need to subtract at least one – if not more – of Jansen, McGuire or Kirk in the near future.
Before the transaction freeze commenced, there was plenty of speculation about Toronto utilizing Kirk as a trade chip to acquire either starting pitching or an all-star infielder. Initially, it was believed that the Miami Marlins could serve as a solid trading partner, however, they ended up landing Jacob Stallings from the Pittsburgh Pirates – putting an end to any possible trade discussions.
While the Marlins are no longer in the market for a catcher, there are still a handful of teams that could meet that descri …

Read More

Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays sign 18 international free agents

On January 17th, the Toronto Blue Jays announced 18 (soon to be 21) new signings through international free agency. Their names are listed below…

Jonathan Bautista (Outfielder)
Kendry Chirinos (Third Baseman)
Aneudis Escanio (Shortstop)
Jose Fernandez (Shortstop)
Eninems Flores (Right Handed Pitcher)
Raudy Gomez (Right Handed Pitcher)
Ivan Gonzalez (Right Handed Pitcher)
Jorge Guerra (Right Handed Pitcher)
Jean Joseph (Center Fielder)
Ali Lucena (Outfielder)
Carlos Meza (Right Handed Pitcher)
Luis Meza (Catcher) 
Albert Millan (Catcher)
Fernando Perez (Right Handed Pitcher)
Omar Romero (Shortstop)
Railin Tejada (Outfielder)
Luis Torres (Left Handed Pitcher)
Carlos Vasquez (Catcher)
Recently, I wrote an article on Luis Meza, but despite the Blue Jays post announcing that there are 18 signings – there are actually more. According to Sportrac, the Jays have also signed catcher Frauk de la Cruz and shortstop Darlin de Leon.
According to reporter Francys Romero, the Blue Jays have also signed 16-year-old catcher Maikel Minoso. If that last name Minoso sounds familiar, that is because Maikel has relations to hall of famer Minnie Minoso.

Cuban C Maikel Miñoso (16) officially signs with the Toronto Blue Jays. He trained at Y.P. Academy and is a family of “Minnie” Miñoso.Bonus deal: $ 20,000. pic.twitter.com/KsuwQYzOHk
— Francys Romero (@francysromeroFR) January 17, 2022

They are surely going to be more IFA signings in the future, so stay tuned!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D …

Read More

Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Changes Teoscar Hernández Made and Why He Can Exceed His Projections

The Blue Jays ZiPS projections came out over at FanGraphs this week, and the Blue Jays project as one of the best teams in the league. Vladdy and Bo project to have star level seasons. The rotation looks to be very strong and the bullpen much improved from where it was last season. The one projection that stood out was that of Teoscar Hernández.

ZiPS projects Teo to hit .268/.324/.505 and be worth 1.8 WAR. That would be a strong offensive season, ZiPS sees it as 121 OPS+, but it would be a large step down from the .295/.345/.538 he has hit over the last two seasons. 1.8 WAR is a fine season but it would be disappointing for Hernández, coming off of a 3.9 WAR season in 2021. In the article Dan Szymborski writes “Teoscar Hernández projects to regress a bit BABIP-wise, but his power still makes him a comfortable plug-and-play cleanup hitter, though I’d personally prefer that he hit third since that’s the lineup spot that leads off the fewest innings.” We can debate line-up positions all you want, but Teo is much more than just a plug and play option for the Blue Jays. He is one of the key pieces of this line-up.
ZiPS projects Teo to have a .320 BABIP which is above average but again down significantly from the .348 mark in 2020, and the .352 mark in 2021. What ZiPS might be missing or slow to account for is the c …

Read More

Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

David Phelps could play important role in Blue Jays’ bullpen once again in 2022

For most of the 2021 season, the Toronto Blue Jays were plagued by their inconsistent bullpen, although reliever David Phelps acted as one of the bright spots for this organization and could do so once again next season.
While teammates Jordan Romano and Tim Mayza – later joined by Adam Cimber and Trevor Richards as well – received most of the attention for their impressive performances, Phelps was also someone who stood out amongst the group last season. The unfortunate part for him, however, is that the 35-year-old couldn’t stay healthy.
Coming off a miserable finish to the 2020 campaign, where he posted a forgettable 12.91 ERA and a -0.4 fWAR rating through 7 2/3 innings with the Philadelphia Phillies, the right-handed reliever entered last off-season at an inopportune time and ultimately agreed to a one-year, $1.75-million contract with Toronto.
Despite receiving a major league contract, Phelps’ role in the bullpen had yet to be determined, but after a few weeks of spring training, it became evident he was still capable of making a strong impact. Doing just that out of the gate, the veteran arm registered a promising 0.87 ERA, 2.41 xERA, 1.72 FIP and a 0.4 fWAR rating over 10 1/3 innings before suffering a significant lat injury in May.


Read More

Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

WATCH: Nick Ritchie nets his first goal as a Leaf

The Leafs dominated the Blue Jackets in the opening frame of Tuesday night’s matchup and with just over three minutes remaining in the period, Ondrej Kase made a great play to come away with the puck on the forecheck and find Nick Ritchie out front. Ritchie made no mistake and finally picked up his first goal in Blue and White.
It has been a slow start to Ritchie’s Leafs tenure but he has played well in recent weeks, generating plenty of opportunities but failing to convert. With his goal on Tuesday night, he is now riding a four-game point streak and has six points in his last eight games. Perhaps this goal will help kickstart Ritchie’s season.

Ya just simply love to see it!#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/6w0OOLIZY8
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) December 8, 2021

Read More

Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

A.J. Cole has signed in Japan

A.J. Cole won’t be back with the Blue Jays next season.

The veteran righty has reportedly inked a one-year deal worth $840,000 with the Tokyo Swallows of Japan’s NPB.
Cole signed as a minor-league free agent with the Blue Jays back in November of 2019 and was an effective arm for the team during the COVID-shortened 2020 season. He was again brought back on a minor-league deal for 2021 and got off to a great start, allowing just one earned run in eight innings, but his season got derailed due to injury.
Cole dealt with neck tightness and an oblique strain and only wound up pitching 20 innings in total, eight in the big leagues and 12 in the minors.
There was some thought that Cole could join the team on another minor-league deal but it isn’t surprising to see him take a decent bag of cash and a more guaranteed role in Japan.

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays have altered the way free agents view their organization

Throughout their years of existence, the Toronto Blue Jays largely haven’t been considered a popular destination for free agents, but recently, that same narrative has begun to change, particularly in 2021.

Acting as the lone Canadian franchise in Major League Baseball, historically, there’s been a running theme about how this team hasn’t been able to attract marquee players in free agency, at least, that was the case up until the last few winters.
Whether it was the disparity between the American and Canadian dollars, concerns about income tax, being forced to pass through customs when crossing the border or having to experience the unpredictable weather in April and May, this fanbase had grown accustomed to hearing all of these excuses year after year. And yet, none of that mattered for Hyun Jin Ryu in 2019.
Breaking past the organization’s previous woes to land a high-profile name in free agency, Ryu agreed to join the Blue Jays despite being highly coveted by the rest of the league, signing a four-year, $80-million deal. Still to this day, it remains the largest contract handed out to a free-agent pitcher in franchise history, at least for now.
While it may not have …

Read More

Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Corey Seager and Javier Baez are off the board, the Blue Jays are reportedly interested in Chris Taylor

It was always a pipedream, but the Blue Jays’ “ideal target” of Corey Seager is off the market.

Seager joined Marcus Semien, inking a massive 10-year contract worth $325 million with the Texas Rangers.
Texas spent $600 million and completely revamped their infield… but still look like complete ass?

Looks so much better when you sign the best middle infield available to you in free agency:
2B SemienSS Seager1B LoweRF CalhounCF TaverasDH CalhounLF McKinney3B Kiner-FalefaC Heim
Could maybe use another outfield bat, definitely another starting pitcher.
— Eno Sarris (@enosarris) November 29, 2021

Billy McKinney batting seventh?!? I mean, hey, good on them for spending some cash on marquee free agents, but it’s sort of hilarious to see a team add two impact players and come out of it looking like they’re going to challenge to finish .500.
As much as it sucks to lose Semien and subsequently lose out on, in my mind, the best fit for the Blue Jays on the free-agent market in Seager, the positive here is that both players joined a non-competitive team. Things would be much worse if Semien and/or Seager signed with the Yankees.
Anyways, after Semien signed in Texas, Shi Davidi offered us …

Read More

Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Why Kevin Gausman can survive the AL East the second time around

They have finally done it. The Blue Jays have been after Kevin Gausman for ever it seems and on Sunday they landed their guy signing Gausman to a 5-Year $110 million contract.

It’s not hard to see why the Blue Jays coveted Gausman, he checks off so many boxes for this front office. First of all he is an ace. Gausman had a 2.81 ERA last season, supported by a 3.00 FIP and 3.28 xFIP. By FanGraphs WAR he was worth 4.8 wins, ranking 10th among pitchers who threw at least 50 innings.
He struck out 227 batters against just 50 walks. He has swing and miss stuff, his 15.3% swinging-strike rate, was basically the same as Robbie Ray’s last season. Second, he is durable, having made at least 30 starts in four of the last five full seasons. His 192.0 innings pitched last year were the sixth most in baseball. This is something I think the Blue Jays have focused on. In a league where starters are pitching less and less the Blue Jays will have two pitchers (of just seven) in their rotation next season who threw 190 innings last season in Gausman and José Berríos.
Third, Gausman seems like a really good person.

Put some respect on …

Read More

Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation