The Blue Jays’ 2022 Trade Deadline — One Month Later

To say the very least, the Blue Jays had an interesting deadline this year.

The overwhelming seller’s market convinced the team to take a ‘raise the floor’ approach, adding Whit Merrifield, Mitch White, Zach Pop, and Anthony Bass, all at a low acquisition cost. Much was made of the Blue Jays’ decision to not pursue more significant additions at the time.
One month later, does the deadline look better or worse? Well…
For all intents and purposes, it’s hard to view the deadline as anything but the front office choosing to punt on a high variance season. At times, the Jays looked unstoppable, at times, dreadful. Punting was an interesting move considering that this was a team full of players expecting more.

It was a captive audience of #Bluejays players in front of the TVs in the visitor’s clubhouse at the Trop this afternoon. Have to believe they were expecting more than what they’ve seen thus far.
— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) August 2, 2022

Regardless of whether or not the team took that perceived disinterest from the front office as personal, they’ve really not shown any signs of improvement post-deadline. A month of August that ended 13-14 has been followed up by a hot start to September, a month in which the Blue Jays haven’t lost a game thus far, but it remains to be seen how long the latest hot streak lasts. Even though the team hasn’t been performing to expectations, how have the additions themselves performed?
In some ways, it’s really tough to say. Zach Pop got “caught in a numbers game” (as Dan, Buck, and Pat have put it on Sportsnet), a game that resulted in his demotion to AAA on August 23rd. He’s only pitched 7 2/3 innings as a Jay. Whit Mer …

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Author: Tate Kispech / Blue Jays Nation

The qualifying offer remains, which is a good thing for the Blue Jays

Monday was the deadline for the MLB and MLBPA to work out a deal with the international draft.

As you could tell by the title, there wasn’t a deal reached before the deadline. This means that the qualifying offer will remain and that there’ll be no international draft.
How the Jays have used the qualifying offer to their advantage:
Last season, the Blue Jays extended a qualifying offer to Cy Young winner Robbie Ray and MVP nominee Marcus Semien. Both declined and signed with AL West teams, giving the Jays two compensation picks.
With these picks, they drafted Tucker Toman, a projected first-rounder, and Cade Doughty, someone who easily could’ve been drafted in the middle of round two. 
While losing all-star calibre players sounds like a losing strategy, the Jays were able to sign Kevin Gausman (who didn’t have a qualifying offer) and trade for Matt Chapman, filling the holes left by Ray and Semien.
I’d argue that the Jays also could have extended a qualifying offer to pitcher Steven Matz because in the worst-case scenario, he’d of made $18 million or so over one season if he accepted. Had Matz declined it and signed with St. Louis, the Jays would’ve received another pick.
Internal Ramifications:
Fast-forward a year, and the Jays are in a situation where a pitcher is pitching his ass off. Ross Stripling has a 3.10 ERA and a 3.12 FIP in 78.1 innings pitched this season. He has a K/9 of 7.12 and a BB/9 of 1.72, along with a …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Pierre Engvall has signed a one-year extension with the Leafs

Mere moments before the salary arbitration deadline, Pierre Engvall has signed an extension with the Leafs.

We’ve signed forward Pierre Engvall to a one-year contract extension.#LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 17, 2022

The new contract pays him $2.25 million for the 2022-23 season, a nice pay raise given he is coming off a two-year deal that had a $1.25 million AAV.
Today was the deadline for RFAs with the option to file for arbitration could apply for one. Had Engvall decided to go this route, it would have established a hearing date for when he and the Leafs would debate over what the player should be paid and have that decided by a third-party arbitrator.
Avoiding this route entirely rids the team and Engvall of the pressure, meaning now the Leafs only have to worry about getting Rasmus Sandin’s contract sorted out since he is the last RFA they need to sign.
Engvall is coming off his breakout season where he set career highs all across the board with 15 goals, 20 assists, and 35 points, good enough for eighth on the team in scoring. He also added on three assists in seven playoff games, although all of them came in Game 3 against the Lightning. In addition, he posted some impressive underlying metrics all across the board at 5v5.
It was an impressive season that catapulted him to become one of the Leafs’ most important secondary scoring options and an integral part of the team’s future. Given that two-thirds of what made up a dominant third line made their departure in free agency, (Ilya Mikheyev and Ondrej Kase) getting Engvall to an extension was of the utmost importance and getting it done right at the deadline was a close call. Now the question remains who will be joining him and David Kampf to make up for the revamped third line.
As a result of Engvall’s contract, the Leafs are now $1.5 million over the salary cap heading into the 2022-23 season with 13 forwards, seven defencemen, and two goalies. A trade is almost certainly going to come in the weeks ahead that will clear up the necessary cap space to get Sandin’s contract done and add a top-six forward to the mix since improving the John Tavares line remains a top priority. (perhaps Nino Niederreiter or Sonny Milano)
Best of what’s left: pooper scooping free agency for the Leafs
Kyle Dubas’ summer is far from over, but he got a key piece under contract for next season. Now the focus shifts to their 2018 first-round pick and his new extension.
Stats from and Natural Stat Trick.
Salary information from PuckPe …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs extend qualifying offers to RFAs Sandin & Engvall, let Kaše test free agency

The deadline to submit qualifying offers to pending restricted free agents came and went on Monday. The Leafs extended offers to Rasmus Sandin and Pierre Engvall to maintain their exclusive negotiating rights but decided against qualifying Ondřej Kaše, Kristiāns Rubīns, Joseph Duszak, Chad Krys, and Ian Scott.

The following #LeafsForever players did not receive qualifying offers:
Ondrej KaseJoseph DuszakKristians RubinsChad KrysIan Scott
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 12, 2022

Qualifying Sandin was a no-brainer and the club will continue to work on getting him signed to an extension in the coming days and weeks. The Leafs’ 2018 first-round pick missed significant time this past year, including the last part of the season and playoffs, but performed well when he was healthy, all but establishing himself as a full-time NHLer. Sandin suited up in 51 games, registering five goals and 11 assists while putting up strong underlying numbers.

Engvall also established himself as a bonafide NHL forward last season, putting up a career year with 15 goals and 20 assists in 78 games. He is eligible for arbitration and those numbers could result in a salary beyond what the Leafs would like to pay so you can expect they will be focused on getting him signed to avoid the arbitration process. Perhaps the Leafs could convince Engvall to take a lower number by giving him a bit more term on his deal.
Like Engvall, Kaše was also eligible for arbitration, and through he provided value to the Leafs last season when he was healthy, the club was likely a bit gun shy regarding his potential arbitration award. He is a unique case in that he has put up impressive numbers over his career but that very career is forever in limbo due to his unfortunate injury history and recurring concussion-related concerns. In the end, the prospect of an arbitration award that the Leafs couldn’t handle was just too risky and the player will get a chance to test free agency, though it sounds like the door is still open for a potential return for Kaše.

Ondřej Kaše will become an unrestricted free agent after not being tendered a qualifying offer by the #leafs, but sources say the door isn’t closed on a return.
More on that situation and Toronto’s other QO decisions here
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 11, 2022

Of the other players the Leafs decided to move on from, Rubīns was the only mild surprise. Still just 24 years old, he had worked his way up from the ECHL to earn an NHL contract and finally made his debut for the Leafs last sea …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Ilya Samsonov is heading for free agency and could be the best option for the Maple Leafs

Qualifying offer day never disappoints and as the deadline passed we began getting some interesting names materialize on the list. The most interesting, at least from a Leafs perspective has to be Ilya Samsonov.

#Caps have extended qualifying offers to forward Damien Riat and defenseman Tobias Geisser. Both players are expected to play in Europe during the 2022-23 season. #Caps elect not to issue a qualifying offer to goaltender Ilya Samsonov.
— CapitalsPR (@CapitalsPR) July 11, 2022

Considering that just last week, the Capitals fully intended to qualify Samsonov this comes as a pretty big surprise, especially when they’ve already unloaded a goaltender on New Jersey this week. Obviously this is a pretty good sign that the rumoured Darcy Kuemper deal with Washington is essentially done and we’re just waiting until 12 on Wednesday to make it official.

The decision not to qualify Samsonov was a financial decision. As an RFA (with arbitration rights), the #Caps projected that he’d come in at $3-$3.5 million per, which, in their view, was too much for a backup and not justified based on his performance to date.
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) July 11, 2022

For the record, if that is what his arbitration case is projected as, some team (read: The Toronto Maple Leafs) should have considered acquiring Samsonov to get him on a good short term bargain deal for a year or two before negotiating. It seems far more likely (and maybe to Samsonov’s benefit) that he can negotiate on the open market. As for the Capitals, we have to assume that they will aggressively be competing with the Leafs in the backup goaltender market. The fun never ends.

I still believe the Caps are front-runners for Darcy Kuemper but obviously Toronto equally on the lookout for goalie help if Jack Campbell lands …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation