The Blue Jays acquire Steven Matz from the Mets for three prospects (Reid-Foley, Diaz, and Winckowski)

Remember earlier today when Mark Shapiro said that the Blue Jays’ front office still had some “opportunities to be creative?” Well, here’s what he meant.

The Blue Jays have apparently traded three prospects (Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz, and Josh Winckowski) to the New York Mets for pitcher Steven Matz…

Sean Reid-Foley, Yennsy Diaz and Josh Winckowski to Mets for Matz per source
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) January 28, 2021

 

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs waive five players

We knew this was coming. In fact, I wrote earlier today about how it was coming. That being said, we are now playing the waiting game to see if any of them are claimed.

Kenny Agostino, Travis Boyd, Adam Brooks, Martin Marincin and Calle Rosen have been placed on waivers by Toronto.
Aaron Dell, notably, was not. So the #leafs are still carrying three goalies on the active roster.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 11, 2021

Let’s start with who wasn’t waived, and that was Aaron Dell. Not waiving Dell was absolutely necessary at this time, given that both New Jersey and Washington could use a goaltender, and let’s face it, Dell could be a starter in Edmonton as well, so he was going to get a ton of interest. Hopefully teams figure out their goaltending situations soon, and Dell can safely be moved to the Taxi Squad in the near future, giving the Leafs a bit more flexibility with their players.
Boyd and Brooks are both slated for the Leafs main roster or Taxi Squad, and the fact that they are waived pretty much guarantees that it is the taxi squad where they are landing. There is some risk …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Vancouver Canadians could still remain a Blue Jays affiliate

Earlier this off-season, word came out that the Vancouver Canadians, one of the Blue Jays’ short-season rookie ball affiliates, would be becoming a minor-league affiliate of the Oakland Athletics.

Shortly after, though, Mark Shapiro said that the report about the Canadians and Blue Jays parting ways wasn’t factual.
“Major League Baseball has been overwhelmed with the amount of variables they’ve had to deal with this year and the timing on a minor league plan for next year,” Shapiro said. “Although we’ve got some loose insight, but we haven’t gotten a firm answer on what that’s going to look like. I think an understanding that it’s going to be a reduced number of teams, that short-season baseball is certainly not going to be the same.
What we do know is that a big part of MLB’s slashing of the minor leagues has to do with getting rid of short-season ball and increasing focus on having newly-drafted players go to instructional camps.
Over at Ballpark Digest, there’s a huge list that’s keeping track of which teams and leagues are getting chopped and which affiliates are moving around to accommodate these changes. It has …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Rapid COVID-19 testing could help bring the Blue Jays back to Toronto

Earlier this week, Mark Shapiro hosted a media availability and mentioned that he’s optimistic that the Blue Jays can play home games in Toronto come 2021.

It was sort of a puzzling statement given the fact there’s no end in sight for the COVID-19 pandemic and things down south are getting worse and worse by the day. The Canadian government opted to not allow the Blue Jays to play at home in 2020 because of issues with players crossing the Canada-U.S. border. Why would this be different come April?
But, on Thursday, news came out that the federal government is testing a pilot project for rapid COVID-19 testing in Alberta beginning in November.
Currently, travellers returning to Canada from outside the country are legally required to quarantine for 14 days upon entry. Beginning on Nov. 2 at the Coutts land border crossing and the Calgary International Airport, travellers will be offered a COVID-19 test upon arrival before proceeding into the required quarantine. If the test comes back negative, they will be able to leave their place of quarantine as long as they commit to getting a second test on Day 6 or 7 after arrival.
If the trial is successful, we would likely …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

NHL “postpones” the Winter Classic and All-Star weekend, but still targets January as the start for the season

The NHL released a statement earlier today addressing the fact that the 2021 season would not feature two of it’s signature events…
NEW YORK (Oct. 22, 2020) — The National Hockey League today announced the postponements of the 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic and 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend.
The 2021 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, featuring the Minnesota Wild facing the St. Louis Blues at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn., was originally scheduled for Jan. 1, 2021. The Florida Panthers were to host the 2021 Honda NHL All-Star Weekend at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla., originally scheduled for Jan. 29-30, 2021. Both events have been postponed due to the ongoing uncertainty resulting from the coronavirus. The League intends to return to both Minnesota and Florida for these signature events in the near future.
“Fan participation, both in arenas and stadiums as well as in the ancillary venues and events that we stage around the Winter Classic and All-Star Weekend, is integral to the success of our signature events,” said NHL Senior Executive Vice President & Chief Content Officer Steve Mayer. “Because of the uncertainty as to when we will be able to welcome our fans back to our games, we felt that the prudent decision at this time …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs should not consider circling back to Cody Ceci

Earlier today, I wrote about how it was reported that Cody Ceci was expected to enter the free-agent market on October 9th. Barely two hours after that post came out, Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic doubled down on the report and also dropped this terrifying tidbit of information:

Cody Ceci is headed to market. The pending UFA D could also circle back to the Leafs and vice versa after the market opens.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 30, 2020

As you can tell by the title of this article, this scenario should not and cannot play out in real life. The fact that there remains a distinct possibility of Ceci re-signing with Toronto is something I’m sure a lot of Leafs fans are not too happy about. Even if the two parties agreed to a cheap contract, the Leafs would be far better off without Ceci than with him on the roster.
This past season saw Ceci post one goal, seven assists, and eight points during an injury-riddled year that limited him to 56 games. He was healthy for the playoffs where he only scored one goal during the five-game series against Columbus. If you take a look at his underlying metrics at 5 …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

The Brewers designated Justin Smoak for assignment… Should the Blue Jays bring him home?

Earlier this week, the Blue Jays pulled the plug on the Daniel Vogelbach experiment, designating the slugger for assignment after just five plate appearances with the team.

On Friday, Vogelbach was claimed by the Milwaukee Brewers, who, in a corresponding roster move, designated our old friend Justin Smoak for assignment.

Brewers DFA Smoak, get Vogelbach, source tells The Athletic.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) September 3, 2020

This is… a somewhat curious move.
Smoak certainly hasn’t been good in Milwaukee. He’s slashed a .186/.262/.381 line, which is his worst showing at the plate since the 2014 season, the year before he came to Toronto. But that’s still quite a bit better than Vogelbach’s hideous .088/.246/.211 line.
I would assume the play for Milwaukee here is to just grab a younger player in Vogelbach who has the potential to rebound, whereas they probably believe the 33-year-old Smoak is toast.
So, should the Blue Jays bring Smoak home? Could his big, veteran, lefty bat make a difference in the team’s lineup?
Probably not, unfortunately.
The most perplexing part of Smoak’s struggles at the plate this year is his low on-base numbers and his ugly 40 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Bruce Boudreau claims his father cursed the Toronto Maple Leafs

During an interview on Leafs Lunch earlier today, Bruce Boudreau confirmed that his father once cursed the Toronto Maple Leafs to never win another Stanley Cup. After being drafted by the Leafs in 1975, Bruce Boudreau bounced between the NHL franchise and its affiliates for the better part of a decade before being let go from the team.
Despite putting up over a point per game in the AHL, and scoring a respectable 69 points in 134 games over six seasons for the Maple Leafs, the young centre was never able to hold onto a regular roster spot and eventually left to play in Europe. Feeling his family was disrespected, Bruce’s father cursed the team to never win a Stanley Cup until he comes back to them. With rumours surfacing that Bruce Boudreau could be joining the team as an assistant coach this season, one has to wonder if his return could reverse the team’s fortunes and lift the supposed curse.

“He said they’ll never win a Stanley Cup until I come back”
Longtime head coach Bruce Boudreau gets to the bottom of why the #MapleLeafs haven’t won a Stanley Cup since 1967 on #LeafsLunch with @AndiPetrillo and @CraigJButton: His …

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Author: Filipe Dimas / The Leafs Nation

The Daniel Vogelbach era has seemingly come to an end

That didn’t last long.

We learned earlier today that Sam Gaviglio and Brandon Drury were designated for assignment in order to open up room on the roster for the new trade deadline day additions, but, it turns out that Daniel Vogelbach is also on the way out.

#BlueJays announce that Ray and Villar will be active for tonight’s game. Drury/Gaviglio DFA’d, as we already knew, and Waguespack has been optioned to the alternate training site.
— Gregor Chisholm (@GregorChisholm) September 1, 2020

 
Vogelbach was acquired from the Marlines for cash just last week. He got five plate appearances as a Blue Jay and managed to get on base in just one of them. There was really no way that he, Vlad Jr., Rowdy Tellez could co-exist on a roster.
Robbie Ray’s spot on the 40-man opened up when Travis Bergen was sent out the other way and Gaviglio and Drury getting DFA’d opened up room for Stripling and Villar. Before that, Thomas Pannone was DFA’s for Vogelbach, and Trent Thornton was moved to the 60-day Injured List to make room for Taijuan Walker.
But I’m not 100 percent sure about DFAing …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Which current Leafs could end up in the Hall of Fame?

Earlier this week, we saw a bunch of people not named Alexander Mogilny get inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame, and it got me thinking. This current era of the Toronto Maple Leafs have seen a surplus of extremely talented players play for this team, some so talented that one day they could find themselves in the same position as Jarome Iginla, Marian Hossa, and Kim St-Pierre when their careers are done.
So, let’s try and figure out who those players might be. I’ll be organizing this based on their likelihood that they end up in the Hall of Fame. Now it should be noted, this is going to be solely based on their play now and how it projects to play out over the course of their careers. With the number of young players on this team, there are a lot of things that could change that would probably affect their chances.
This stuff isn’t official, it’s just for fun.
The “Most Likely” Candidates
John Tavares
We’ll start with the player that has had enough tenure in the league to probably deem his chances as “ …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation