Ryan Noda is the other Player To Be Named Later in the Ross Stripling trade

The most drawn out trade in Blue Jays history has finally been completed.

Back at the end of August, the Blue Jays acquired Ross Stripling from the L.A. Dodgers in exchange for two Player(s) To Be Named Later.
One of them, as we found out shortly after, was pitcher Kendall Williams, the Blue Jays’ second-round pick from the 2019 draft. The other one, as we learned today, was Ryan Noda.

#BlueJays announce that OF Ryan Noda has been sent to the Dodgers as the second PTBNL in the Ross Ross Stripling deal.
— Keegan Matheson (@KeeganMatheson) February 24, 2021

Noda, a corner outfielder and first baseman was the 15th round pick of the Blue Jays from the 2017 draft. He isn’t currently ranked on Toronto’s Top-30 prospects list and went unclaimed in the last Rule 5 Draft.
In his first professional season, Noda slashed a .364/.507/.575 line in Rookie Ball in Bluefield and he then followed that up with an impressive .256/.421/.484 line in Low-A Lansing. Most recently, Noda put together a .238/.372/.418 line in High-A Dunedin and didn’t join the Blue Jays at their Alternate Training Site in Rochester in the summer of 2020.
As I said, Noda has never really been a big-time …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Joel Payamps era has come to an end (and a 40-man roster spot has opened)

Apparently Joel Payamps was on waivers.

The Blue Jays announced on Monday that Payamps, the pitcher the team had claimed off of waivers a couple of weeks ago, has been claimed by the Boston Red Sox.

ROSTER MOVE: RHP Joel Payamps has been claimed off waivers by the Red Sox. pic.twitter.com/YRIyKHIZba
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) February 22, 2021

Payamps was claimed by Boston from Arizona in November, claimed by the Blue Jays in early-February, and now he’s back with the Red Sox. He’s one hell of a jet-setter for these times.
The interesting part of this transaction is that the Blue Jays now have an open spot on their 40-man roster. Could that mean something imminent, like a a Jake Odorizzi signing? Or is this just for something down the road, like inevitably adding a veteran like Francisco Liriano or Joe Panik to the roster?
We haven’t seen much smoke around the Blue Jays and Odorizzi lately, and Ross Atkins’ media availability on Friday didn’t make it appear as though the team would be adding another free-agent before the start of the season.
I wouldn’t expect anything major, but I would love to be …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Getting out of Dunedin: Messing Around With the Schedule

So, reports are in that the Toronto Blue Jays will play their first two homestands, a total of 12 games, in Dunedin, which settles the border issue until at least May 13.

From there things are uncertain but this much we know, the heat and daily rain that commences down there in June puts an onus on the team to start looking for other options. Already there’s speculation about Buffalo which sets up the potential of being “home” in three different locations during the season, but let’s explore some more creative options.
Let’s start by recognizing that their best practical hope for management is that things resolve to the point that they could hold their “home opener” in Toronto on Canada against the Marlins. That’s the first of five home games in the early days of June. Doing this would mean their last game in Dunedin would be May 24, minimizing the potential scheduling conflict with the actual Dunedin Blue Jays and getting out of Florida before the weather is intolerable. But if we suppose that June 1 is too soon to be allowed to cross the border – about which I have thoughts but let me finish this one – then …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays have apparently shown interest in… Yadier Molina?

Here’s a new name to cross off of your ‘The Blue Jays have shown interest in _____’ bingo card.

According to Jon Heyman, the Blue Jays “still” have interest in catcher Yadier Molina…

Blue Jays still have interest in legendary catcher Yadier Molina and have been in contact. Expectations have been that he returns to St. Louis, where he’s an icon. But nothing’s done, and a couple other teams are still in play.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) February 3, 2021

The “still” in this post is a little weird, given the fact Molina is one of the few names we haven’t heard associated with the Blue Jays this winter. But, alas, the veteran catcher is apparently a target for the team.
Why, though? I mean, there’s no denying the excellent career Molina has put together (nine-time All-Star, nine-time Gold Glove winner, and two-time World Series winner) but he’s now 38 years old and is coming off a season in which he slashed a .262/.303/.359 line.
The Blue Jays also already have a logjam behind the plate with Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Alejandro Kirk, Riley Adams, and Gabriel Moreno currently on the 40-man roster, so this doesn’t seem to be …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays have signed Francisco Liriano (yes, that Francisco Liriano)

Old friend alert!

According to Rob Longley, the Blue Jays have inked pitcher Francisco Liriano to a minor-league deal with an invite to spring training.

#Bluejays have just agreed to terms with LHP Francisco Liriano, per source. Will be a non roster invitee to training camp.
— Rob Longley (@longleysunsport) February 3, 2021

That’s right, Francisco Liriano is BACK. Party like it’s 2016!
As you’ll remember, the Jays acquired Liriano from the Pirates as a money-dump in 2016 to give the team some pitching depth during their playoff pitch. Liriano ended up pitching really well for the team and earned the W in the Blue Jays’ win over the Orioles in the Wild Card game.
He wasn’t quite as good in 2017, but the Jays managed to flip him to Houston in exchange for Teoscar Hernandez. Liriano would end up winning a World Series with the Astros.
Liriano didn’t pitch in 2020, but posted a 3.47 ERA over 70 innings (all in relief) with the Pirates in 2019 with 63 strikeouts and 35 walks.
So, what’s going on here?
The Blue Jays have five left-handed pitchers on their 40-man roster. Robbie Ray is slated to be a starter, Kirby Yates is likely the closer, Ryan Borucki …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Meet The Baby Blue Jays: Dasan Brown has all the tools to become a traditional leadoff hitter

Welcome to Meet The Baby Blue Jays, a series in which I’ll profile a handful of lesser-known young prospects in the Blue Jays’ system.  

When the Blue Jays selected the Dasan Brown in the third round of the 2019 MLB June Amateur Draft, they knew they were getting a player with a ton of upside and plenty of room to round out his game.

Brown’s power isn’t anything to write home about, but his contact-first approach combined with his natural speed on the base paths and ability to read balls right off the bat while on defence makes him an extremely intriguing prospect.
“I didn’t work on getting fast, it was a natural thing for me,” Brown said last April. “But I did run track in high school and learned the proper running form, so that helped my speed. Right now I do a lot of leg work — keeping mobility in my legs is the biggest thing for me because when you’re not playing as much and you’re putting on more weight, the muscle can add tightness to your body. So I’m working on staying loose and not overworking, but making sure I’m …

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Author: David Quadrelli / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays’ addition of Marcus Semien makes a potent lineup even deeper

After missing out on Michael Brantley the Blue Jays were clearly looking to add another bat to the line-up and found one in Marcus Semien. The deal is a one year deal worth $18M. Reports indicated that the Blue Jays had to overpay to get Semien as they are asking him to move off of shortstop to play second base.  

Craig Edwards at Fangraphs predicted Semien would sign a 4 year deal at $16M per, the Crowd had it three years and $17M per, and MLB Trade Rumors predicted a one year deal for $14M. The Blue Jays may have overpaid by a couple million to bring in Semien.
Given what other teams have paid players in free agency this off-season it won’t be hard for Semien to be worth his contract. Using Roster Resource at Fangraphs, I was able to sort through players who signed a major league contract for one year (including those who accepted the qualifying offer) and compared that to those players projected WAR. I found that teams have been spending $5.7M for a win in free agency. If we round that up to $6M, Semien just needs to be worth 3 WAR next season to be …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

Get Used to the Blue Jays Acting Like the Dodgers

It’s been a strange winter for Blue Jays fans.

After months of being told that the team was interested in big-name players and making franchise-altering moves, Ross Atkins and Co. finally exploded over the past two weeks, adding Tyler Chatwood, Kirby Yates, George Springer, Marcus Semien, and as of last night, Steven Matz.
This has been a whirlwind time, and it is disorienting to see that the Blue Jays have spent the most money among all 30 MLB teams in free agency. It will take getting used to, but if yesterday’s comments from Mark Shapiro at the George Springer press conference are any indication, this is going to be the new normal for the team. The Blue Jays are going to act like the Dodgers.
The Dodgers are special because after their ownership changed hands early on last decade, all they have done is win. They have won the National League West every year since 2013, and show no signs of slowing down. They combine the analytical savviness of the Tampa Bay Rays, the player development of the Houston Astros, and the ability to spend like the New York Yankees all into one – that is what the Blue Jays are …

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Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays add to their pitching depth with buy-low, rebound candidate Steven Matz

The moves just keep on coming. The Blue Jays continue to add, this time acquiring Steven Matz from the New York Mets for Sean-Reid Foley, Yennsy Diaz and, Josh Winckowski.

On the surface this is a move that helps both clubs. The Mets are able to clear Matz’s $5.2M salary off the books, so they can go after Trevor Bauer, and the Blue Jays are able to open up a 40-man roster spot for Marcus Semien. Reid-Foley and Diaz are DFA candidates on a jam-packed 40-man (more so the latter than the former) and Winckowski is a low-level prospect with some upside to be more than that. 
For the Blue Jays, they are hoping Matz can be more than just a salary dump. Matz had a pretty terrible 2020, a 9.68 ERA, and a 7.76 FIP. He wasn’t able to keep the ball in the yard allowing 14 homers in just 30.2 innings. His 37.8% home run per fly ball rate was more than double his career high. He was done in by the long ball and his 4.15 xFIP and 4.05 SIERA are a little more in tune to how he pitched last season.
What Matz does well is strike batters out. He struck out 25.4% …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays have signed Marcus Semien to a one-year deal

It looks like the Blue Jays have found their infielder.

According to *checks notes* 1990s All-Star infielder Carlos Baerga, the Blue Jays have agreed to a one-year deal with Marcus Semien worth $18 million.

Yes please! Hope it’s true. https://t.co/fN5veh8Xj8 pic.twitter.com/zTkfVuxKgJ
— Brendon K (@_bkuh_) January 26, 2021

And then here’s Jeff Passan confirming the report…

Infielder Marcus Semien is in agreement with the Toronto Blue Jays on a one-year, $18 million contract, a source familiar with the deal tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) January 26, 2021

Interesting! As we know, the Blue Jays have a pretty glaring need in the infield. There are questions about both Bo Bichette and Vlad Jr. at shortstop and third base respectively, more so with the latter than the former.
Semien isn’t a great shortstop, but he’s a better glove at third than Vlad, and he could also fit nicely at second, which would open the team up to shuffling Cavan Biggio around the diamond as a super-utility guy.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about Semien and why he would be a worthwhile buy-low option (and that’s exactly what this one-year contract ended up being)…
In 2019, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation