The roof of The Dome has been opened

Here’s some good news for a fanbase that needs some!

According to the CTV Toronto helicopter, the roof at the Rogers Centre is OPEN.

Per Source: The dome is OPEN. The source? The CTV Toronto chopper. pic.twitter.com/Z32Y8A355T
— Paul Ross (@RealPaulRoss) May 12, 2022

The Blue Jays are in Tampa Bay this weekend and then they’ll return on Monday to kick off a six-game homestand that’ll see them host the Seattle Mariners and Cincinnati Reds.
The weather forecast shows rain for Monday, but if things clear up, we could see the team roll with an open roof for the first time this season.
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Teoscar Hernandez goes on 10-day IL with oblique strain, but injury is “not as bad as first thought”

Here’s some good news on Teoscar Hernandez.

As expected, he’s going on the 10-day Injured List with an oblique strain, but, fortunately, the injury isn’t as bad as first thought. Teoscar said that he figures he’ll miss maybe two weeks of play.

Teoscar Hernandez on going on IL w/oblique strain:
“When it first happened, I thought it (oblique) was worse than last time (Sept 2020 missed 10 games).. but, it’s not too bad..I’ll be fine.. out maybe 2 weeks.” #BlueJays
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) April 14, 2022

Back in 2020, Hernandez suffered an oblique strain and wound up spending the minimum amount of time on the Injured List, which was 10 days. Hopefully it’s the same this time around, though I would expect the Blue Jays to be a bit more conservative now than they were in 2020, as they were in a full-on sprint for a playoff spot at that time.
Coming up in Hernandez’s absence will be utility guy Gosuke Katoh, who was recently sent down to Triple-A in order to fit Bradley Zimmer on the 28-man roster.

He’s baaaaaack… @GosukeKatoh #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/hKd4PAWbd7
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) April 14, 2022

Toronto’s lineup certainly looks a lot thinner without Teoscar. On Thursday night in New York, Matt Chapman is getting a day off, so the team’s lineup features Raimel Tapia batting fifth, which isn’t ideal. George Springer is the designated hitter, while Zimmer will make his first start as a Blue Jay in centre field. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Should the Blue Jays sign Bartolo Colon?

Here’s a bold take for you. The Toronto Blue Jays should sign Bartolo Colon to a minor league deal to start the season

You may read this article and ask “what the heck is Brennan writing about”, but hear me out. There are certainly benefits to the Jays signing the soon to be 49-year-old.
He’ll hopefully be a Hall of Famer:
If we’re looking at only statistics, there’s no doubt in my mind that Bartolo Colon deserves a spot in the Hall of Fame. The right hander from the Dominican Republic has pitched 3461.2 innings (76th most) in his MLB career which has spanned from 1997-2018. In case you were wondering, I was born in 1998, meaning that Big Sexy has pitched longer in the big leagues than I have been alive. 
He made his debut at the age of 23 and pitched in the MLB until he was 45. In that time frame, he has amassed an ERA of 4.12 with a bWAR of 45.8 and an fWAR of 51.0. He was never a strikeout pitcher as he had a career K/9 of 6.6, but Bartolo has always been known as a control pitcher, as his BB/9 stands at 2.5.
Looking back to his prime in New York (2014-2016), Bartolo had a BB/9 of 1.3, which was the lowest in the league during that time frame. He also had a FIP of 3 …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Apparently the Cleveland Guardians are working to get Jose Ramirez signed to a contract extension before Opening Day

Here’s a wrench in the Jose Ramirez to Toronto story.

According to Mike Rodriguez, a Spanish reporter and analyst with Univision, the Cleveland Guardians and Ramirez are on the verge of agreeing to a contract extension. Hector Gomez, a more well-known source within the world of Spanish baseball, jumped on the rumour and said that Cleveland will do “whatever it takes to keep Ramirez with the team for the bulk of his career.”
Gomez also reached out to Ramirez on Instagram with a screenshot of the contract extension rumour, to which Ramirez replied with the shifty eyes emoji, which likely means that there’s smoke to the whole situation.

This is how Jose Ramirez reacted on his Instagram account with the news of his possible extension with the #Guardians. https://t.co/81qvCKTgy9 pic.twitter.com/Gef6tG6z35
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) March 30, 2022

It’s probably best to take an ‘I’ll believe it when I see it’ approach to a cheap-ass franchise like Cleveland dumping a truckload of money on a player, but Gomez is a pretty reliable reporter who has been right about quite a few things, especially in regards to Spanish players, in the past. This off-season, for example, Gomez broke news on Wander Franco’s extension and Nelson Cruz signing with the Washington Nationals.
There’s been speculation for quite some time that Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins would be interested in acquiring Ramirez, a player they know well from their days in Cleveland. Even after the Matt Chapman trade was made earlier this month, Carlos Baerga and Ken Rosenthal were pumping the idea that the Blue Jays could still trade for Ramirez to play second base.
Given Cleveland’s asking price, which, according to Buck Martinez was Alek Manoah and top prospect Gabriel Moreno, it isn’t surprising the Blue Jays didn’t pull the trigger. Despite that, there was still speculation that Toronto could circle back to Ramirez ahead of the trade deadline.
Ramirez signing a long-term deal with Cleveland would obviously put an end to the dream of him becoming a Blue Jay. But, again, Cleveland is cheap, so I’ll believe it when I see it. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Fleury fallout could lead to the Wild being the answer to the Leafs goaltending problems

Here’s the thing. It’s deadline day and stuff is happening fast. One of those things that has just presented itself is this:

Sources say #mnwild are trading Kaapo Kahkonen in a different trade
— Michael Russo (@RussoHockey) March 21, 2022

That’s not a small thing for the Leafs, and their limited cap space. Kahkonen carries a $725k cap hit for the remainder of this season. He’s played in 25 games and put up a .910 save percentage, and that’s a definite upgrade for the Leafs at this point. He’s also a pending RFA, so the Leafs have the opportunity to re-sign the 25-year-old and make him part of their solution going forward. A lot of things look pretty great on paper.
Now, how does that get done is the next question. What exactly is Kahkonen worth? Certainly not a first and perhaps it’s worth looking at the Leafs’ pool of B-level prospects to see if something can be done. Are the Wild at all interested in Duszak? Probably not, and it’s hard to imagine that they wouldn’t want more than him anyway. The idea of a midround pick plus a Marlie is probably the ballpark the Leafs are playing in, and one they should be motivated to pursue.
It’s also entirely possible that the Leafs are already locked into the next step in net and are just waiting to see what will happen with Mrazek and Sateri when the waivers deadline hits. Suddenly the day seems a little less likely to be quiet. …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

It looks like the Blue Jays have traded for Matt Chapman

It’s taken a little while, but here’s the big move for a position player that we’ve been hearing about.

Late last night, Carlos Baerga reported on Instagram that the Blue Jays were trading for Matt Chapman of the Oakland Athletics. Given the fact Baerga also said that Toronto would be signing Freddie Freeman in free agency, it was difficult to tell how legitimate this report was.
But then on Wednesday morning, Jon Morosi reported that the Blue Jays and the A’s were finalizing a Chapman deal. We don’t yet know the return, but Morosi said that the Blue Jays are “not giving up players from their projected Opening Day roster.”

The #BlueJays are finalizing a trade for 2-time Platinum Glove-winning 3B Matt Chapman, source confirms. Carlos Baerga was the first to report. @MLBNetwork @FAN590 @Sportsnet
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) March 16, 2022

Chapman is an interesting addition for the Blue Jays. He fills the hole the team has at third base, as he’s a plus defender who has won three gold gloves at the hot corner, but he’s also another right-handed bat in an already right-heavy lineup.
He’s also coming off a somewhat rough season at the plate, as his .210/.314/.403 slash line produced a .716 OPS, the worst of his big league career. Despite the ho-hum season offensively, Chapman was still worth 3.5 WAR last season (per FanGraphs) largely because of his excellent defence and ability to hit the ball out of the park.
He might not be Freeman or Jose Ramirez, but the last time the Blue Jays traded for an Oakland third baseman coming off a down year, things turned out pretty well! …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

No need to worry about Pete Walker as the Mets hire Buck Showalter to be their manager

Not much going on lately, but here’s something of interest!

The New York Mets filled their manager role this weekend by hiring veteran skipper Buck Showalter.

Buck Showalter brings an extensive MLB resume with him to the Mets. pic.twitter.com/Ef3RBiIaXi
— SNY (@SNYtv) December 18, 2021

Showalter has 20 years of experience as a big-league manager with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and, most recently, the Orioles. He’s known around these parts, of course, as the guy who left Zack Britton in the bullpen while Edwin Encarnacion launched a ball into space off of Ubaldo Jimenez to walk off the O’s in the 2016 American League Wild-Card game.
Anyways, this is worth noting because there was a ‘rumour’ going around earlier this month that Pete Walker was a name to watch in New York’s managerial search.
This was actually just a Tweet from Jon Morosi saying Walker was a ‘name to watch’ because he’s respected in baseball, so it really wasn’t anything more than pure speculation. But if you were one of the ones to take it seriously and demand Walker get promoted into Charlie Montoyo’s gig before it was too late, you can now exhale. 


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Top Leafs prospect Roni Hirvonen and Topi Niemela have been named to the Finnish World Junior Roster

So here’s the thing. This really shouldn’t be a surprise at this point. Roni Hirvonen has been playing very well for some time, and Topi Niemela…well…no Finnish defenseman in the history of Liiga is having a season like he’s having. He was not only a lock, but a lock made out of adamantium with a vibranium locking mechanism.

Finland announced its World Junior roster today. pic.twitter.com/PqnBkChbKW
— Chris Peters (@chrismpeters) December 8, 2021

Roni Hirvonen’s numbers:
Season
Team
League
GP
G
A
P
PIM
2019-20
 Ässät
Liiga
52
5
11
16
14
 Finland U18 (all)
International-Jr
9
6
6
12
10
 Finland U20 (all)
International-Jr
3
1
2
3
14
2020-21
 Ässät
Liiga
54
6
15
21
54
 Finland U20
WJC-20
7
2
4
6
18
2021-22
 HIFK
Liiga
26
4
9
13
18
 Finland U20
WJC-20





 Finland U20 (all)
International-Jr
11
12
3
15
14
Topi Niemela’s numbers:
Season
Team
League
GP
G
A
P
PIM
2019-20
 Kärpät U20
U20 SM-liiga
1
0
1
1
0
 Kärpät
Liiga
43
1
6
7
8
 Finland U18 (all)
International-Jr
9
0
4
4
2
 Finland U20 (all)
International-Jr
9
0
4
4
2
2020-21
 Kärpät U20
U20 SM-sarja
6
1
3
4
0
 Kärpät
Liiga
15
0
4
4
2
 Finland U20
WJC-20
7
2
6
8
6
2021-22
 Kärpät
Liiga
27
5
17
22
6
 Finland U20
WJC-20





 Finland U20 (all)
International-Jr
9
2
5
7
8
Both players had a strong WJC performance last year, and the expectations are just as high, if not higher this year as …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Blue Jays might be in the mix for… Freddie Freeman?

Here’s one completely out of the blue.

Over on Instagram, former All-Star Carlos Baerga posted this image with Freddie Freeman wearing his Team Canada uniform in front of a Toronto Blue Jays logo. In the post he said that Freeman could sign with the Blue Jays.
 

Here’s the translation… 
“Freddie Freeman could sign with the Blue Jays that in the history of the franchise there is no Canadian player who was an All-Star Player when he wore the Toronto uniform. There is a possibility that this will change in the 2022 season, Freddie Freeman (WS Champ, MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger) …… calm that Vlady Jr knows where the 3rd base is.”
There’s quite a bit going on here!
First of all, Baerga saying that there hasn’t been a Canadian All-Star playing for the Blue Jays is inaccurate, as Russell Martin was an All-Star in 2015 and Michael Saunders was in 2016. Anyways…
This is certainly interesting because Baerga is one of those sorta random sources who has been right about stuff in the past. For example, he was the first one to report that Yimi Garcia had signed with the Blue Jays a few days ago and he was …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Tigers signed Eduardo Rodriguez, the Blue Jays were apparently in the mix, and Carlos Correa might also sign in Detroit

Here’s the first big signing of the 2021 off-season.

The Detroit Tigers have dipped into the starting pitching market, coming to a four-year deal with lefty Eduardo Rodriguez worth $77 million. Rodriguez’s deal also includes an opt-out after his second season.
Robbie Ray and Steven Matz are looking at that contract and are salivating.
Rodriguez broke into the league with the Boston Red Sox in 2015 and has largely been a middle-of-the-rotation arm since. The best showing of his career came in 2019 when he posted a 3.81 ERA over the course of 34 starts, which was good enough to result in him finishing sixth in American League Cy Young voting.
After missing the entirety of the 2020 season due to complications from COVID-19, Rodriguez had an OK season for the Sox in 2021, putting up a 4.74 ERA over the course of 32 outings. That said, while his raw numbers aren’t great, Rodriguez put up very good peripheral numbers, including 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings, so the hope is that he can have better results playing in less of a hitter-friendly park.
According to Jon Heyman, the Blue Jays were in the mix for Rodriguez, but he opted for Detroit. That doesn’t tell us how serious …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation