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

A Look at a Leaf: William Nylander vs. the Canadiens (October 13)

Well, here’s to a new Toronto Maple Leafs season and a new series I had formulated in my head, in which I will focus on and breakdown one player’s performance for (hopefully) a majority of Leafs games.
Some of these will be longer than others, some might not even be about a good performance, but I’m looking forward to it and to this upcoming season. Fans are back, we’re getting an 82-game schedule as long as everything goes smoothly, so things are looking up this. The Leafs opened their season against the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday with a 2-1 win and there was a good amount to breakdown. Specifically, who better to start this season with than William Nylander, who I think is poised to have yet another breakout season this year.
Nylander is always one of the most-talked Leafs and for good reason. He is coming into this season looking to build on a successful campaign last year that saw him net 42 points in 51 games. To be fair, the Leafs all faced a terrible, terrible fate in the playoffs at the hands of the Canadiens, but out of all the Maple Leafs in that series, …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

The Yankees opt to face the Red Sox rather than the Blue Jays in the event of a four-way tie

Here’s an interesting update in regards to today’s wild-card chase…

If the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Mariners all finish with matching 91-71 records, which is possible if New York and Boston lose on Sunday while Toronto and Seattle win, the Yankees will travel to Boston to play the Red Sox in a 163rd game leaving the Blue Jays to face the Mariners.
This is because, per Jeff Passan, the Yankees chose Boston to be their potential Game 163 opponent…

Fun little subplot amid the chaos that’s about to unleash itself in less than three hours: If there is a four-way tie for the AL wild card, the Yankees will go to Fenway to play the Red Sox. That was their choice. They could have chosen to go to Toronto instead and play the Jays.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) October 3, 2021

I’m somewhat surprised given the fact the Yankees just had a good series in Toronto and would be familiar with the Blue Jays pitchers they would likely face on Monday, Jose Berrios or Robbie Ray. But that being said, the Red Sox are rolling with Chris Sale on Sunday, so he wouldn’t be able to pitch at …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays have released Elvis Luciano

Here’s a somewhat surprising roster update — the Elvis Luciano Experiment has come to an end.

The Blue Jays announced on Monday that Luciano had been released. Also, Josh Palacios is joining the big league team while Kirby Snead is heading back down to Triple-A Buffalo.

ROSTER MOVES:
OF Josh Palacios recalled from Triple-A
LHP Kirby Snead optioned to Triple-A
RHP Elvis Luciano released and is now a free agent pic.twitter.com/y3nGSe400O
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 23, 2021

The strange thing here is that adding Palacios to the roster didn’t require somebody getting let go, so there’s no an open spot on the 40-man roster for somebody else with Luciano gone. Julian Merryweather suffered a setback and clearly won’t be ready to join the team anytime soon, so I have no idea who’s going to be added.
Palacios made his debut with the Blue Jays back in April when the team was dealing with a handful of injuries and COVID-related issues. In 10 games, he went 7-for-35. All of the hits were singles and four of them came in that wild 15-1 win over the L.A. Angels in Dunedin.
After he was sent …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays are planning to designate Rafael Dolis for assignment

Here’s the move that was pretty much expected after last night’s meltdown.

The Blue Jays are reportedly planning to designate Rafael Dolis for assignment in order to make room for Kevin Smith on the 40-man and active roster. Also, Alek Manoah appears to be heading to the Bereavement List while Tim Mayza returns from the 10-day Injured List.

#BlueJays’ likely roster moves today (not yet official)…
•Rafael Dolis will be DFA•Kevin Smith to be selected to the active roster•Alek Manoah to be placed on the Bereavement List•Tim Mayza to be activated from the 10-day IL
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) August 18, 2021

My immediate thought when word came out that Smith was coming up on Tuesday night was oh fuck, George Springer is going to the 60-day Injured List. As we learned earlier today, Springer is only dealing with a Grade 1 sprain, so that isn’t the case. Instead, it’s the end of the line for Dolis.
It’s an unfortunate end for a pitcher who was quite effective for the Blue Jays in 2020 and appeared to be a legitimate arm moving forward. Dolis tossed 24 innings for the team last season and put up a 1.50 ERA, though, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

George Springer to the Injured List, “we’ll see” is the response when asked if he’ll return this season

Well, here’s the corresponding move that nobody was hoping for.

We learned earlier that Otto Lopez was being called up to the Blue Jays, which meant that either the team wanted another position player for the upcoming Nation League series or somebody was hurt. Since it’s the 2021 Blue Jays and this team is cursed, it was obviously the latter.
The Blue Jays announced on Tuesday that George Springer will be placed on the 10-day Injured List with a sprained left knee. This, of course, occurred on Saturday night in Seattle when Springer crashed into the centre field wall trying to track down a hit by Ty France.
We all saw how awful that play looked, so it really isn’t all too surprising that Springer is going to the IL, even though the team was trying to downplay the whole thing on Sunday. The shitty thing here is Charlie Montoyo’s answer when asked if we were going to see Springer again this season…

George Springer is going on the injured list with a sprained left knee per #BlueJays manager Charlie Montoyo.
Asked about timelines, Montoyo said he doesn’t know. “I wish I did,” he said, adding …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Save percentage and the Leafs success

Here’s the thing, we all know what happened last night, and no one is going to be more familiar with what happened than the Leafs goaltenders. Quite simply, David Rittich shit the bed. He’s not the first Leafs goaltender to do it this season, and there’s a lot of evidence showing that he won’t be the last one either.
Unfortunately the truth is the Leafs desperately need goaltending to stay afloat in the playoffs. I’m not sure you need to make a case for stellar, lights out goaltending, but a salvageable effort that keeps the Leafs in the game. To put it plainly, when the Leafs have received a .900 save percentage from their goaltending, they’ve only lost twice this year. Once in a 2-1 loss to Montreal, and once getting shutout 3-0 by the previously mentioned David Rittich when he was still a member of the Calgary Flames.

It is painfully obvious that Leafs worst hockey of the year has coincided with the worst goaltending stretches of the year, and the Leafs best hockey has come at times when they’ve been receiving consistent goaltending. The six recent games, as seen in the ugly …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ross Atkins: Nate Pearson is pain-free and now the focus is getting him ramped up

Here’s some good news from the mouth of Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins…

While talking to Mad Dog Chris Russo on MLB Network, Atkins said that Nate Pearson is feeling incredible and he’s 100% pain-free. The focus for Pearson now is building him up so that he can handle a starter’s workload. Atkins also went on to say that, based on the way Pearson is throwing, he looks like he has a very successful year ahead of him.
As Keegan Matheson reported last week, though, it’ll still take some time for Pearson to make his way back to the Blue Jays. Remember, Pearson only had one outing in Grapefruit play and it was one inning long, so he’s basically working his way back up from scratch and going through his own spring training now.
Barring any setbacks, it would seem that mid-May is a realistic target for Pearson’s return.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Both Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have cleared waivers

Here’s some good news from an Asset Management perspective…

The Blue Jays announced on Sunday that Reese McGuire and Breyvic Valera have cleared waivers and have been reassigned to the Alternate Training site. McGuire and Valera were designated for assignment earlier this week in order to open up room on the 40-man roster for Joe Panik and Tim Mayza.
Valera getting through waivers isn’t really much of a surprise as he’s a 29-year-old middle infielder with a ho-hum glove and a .592 OPS over 54 games at the big-league level. But McGuire, a pretty solid young backup catcher, getting through is a bit more surprising. I thought that somebody out there would take a flyer on him.
Anyway, that’s good news for the Blue Jays as it keeps them with a backup middle infielder and a third-string catcher in the minors in the event of an injury. The team went out and acquired Juan Grateol from the Anaheim Angels last week as insurance in case McGuire got claimed but now they’ll be able to instead just bring a familiar player in McGuire back if necessary.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation