News and Notes: The insurance on Hyun Jin Ryu’s contract, Yankees have “uneasy feeling” about Aaron Judge’s free agency, and more!

The World Series kicks off on Friday. Do you know what that means? It’s almost Transaction Season.

The big talk around Blue Jays land over the past few days has been about Hyun Jin Ryu, specifically the insurance on his contract. The Twitter account Blue Jays Hotstove brought up that the Blue Jays fully ensured Ryu’s contract and that they’ll allocate the money they were expecting to pay him back into the payroll for 2023…

Not sure if this has already been reported but the Blue Jays have Ryu’s contract fully ensured in case of injury so they will recoup all dollars for time missed.
The plan is for the club to reallocate that money back into the payroll for next season
— BLUEJAYS HOTSTOVE (@bluejayhotstove) October 27, 2022

This is something that’s been talked about quite a bit in the past but the details are a little murky.
Ryu, of course, inked a four-year, $80 million deal with the Blue Jays back in December of 2019. He had an excellent showing in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, started off well in 2021 but faded as time went along, and then completely fell off early in 2022 and wound up having season-ending elbow surgery in June. There’s a chance that Ryu comes back late in 2023 but the reasonable bet here is that he’s thrown his last pitch for the Blue Jays.
Given Ryu’s injury history (he missed all of 2015 and most of 2016 after undergoing shoulder surgery and was limited to 15 starts in 2018 because of a groin injury), having his contract insured would have been t …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Meet the Sellers: Los Angeles Angels

Did you know that the Los Angeles Angels have four former Blue Jays on their current roster?

In fact, all three players featured today will all be former Blue Jays, one longer than the other two, so that’s pretty cool.
Let’s be real here, the Angels suck. Yes, Ohtani and Trout are two of the best players in the game, but my god, are they ever bad at developing players. Not just that, but the Angels hand out some really bad contracts (i.e Rendon)
Aaron Loup:
The first of the former three Jays, Aaron Loup gets swings and misses, despite having a “meh” season. Not just that, but it would be cool to have two submarine pitchers, one lefty and one righty. Bonus points if you remember who the Jays got in return when they traded Loup in 2018.
This season, Loup has a 4.40 ERA and a 4.02 FIP in 30.2 innings pitched. While this isn’t outstanding by any means, his K/9 of 10.57 is a career high, and he’s done a fine job of limiting the walks with his 3.52 BB/9
In his career, he has pitched 438.1 innings and has a 3.14 ERA and a 3.40 FIP. That includes a 8.60 K/9 and a 2.71 BB/9. All things combined, he has a rather impressive track record.

Aaron Loup, Wicked 86m …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Why the NHL Free Agent Market is Ripe for Deals

You know when the “buckle up” light comes on in a plane? That’s what this post is. We’re about to hit some turbulence.
Folks, we’re 36 hours away from Free Agency, capital FA. I don’t have time to explain things as well as I should, so you’re getting pure, unadulterated Earl brain. Here’s what I know; when the 2020 MOU was signed, high escrow in the first two seasons incentivized players to take shorter term contracts. The flat cap doubled down on that, as teams didn’t have the cap space to sign players to long term extensions. Well, 2022-23 is the third season of the MOU. Escrow is (relatively) low, those short term contracts are coming due, and the cap has still barely budged, just $1m in 4 seasons.
Teams didn’t stop giving elite players raises. In the past 5 seasons, the average of the top 100 cap hits jumped from 9% to 10% of the upper limit. There is already more players making $7.5m+ than ever before, and there are still some big names on the market. Like, massive names. Gaudreau, Kadri, Giroux, Burakovsky, Malkin, and Klingberg could all join that group. Some …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

Yusei Kikuchi is going on the “Injured” List with a “neck strain”

They’re calling it a neck strain, but we all know Yusei Kikuchi is actually going on the Injured List for Left Arm Shittyness.

The Blue Jays announced the move ahead of tonight’s series-opener in Seattle….

LHP Yusei Kikuchi (neck strain) placed on 15-day IL
RHP Max Castillo recalled from Triple-A and will be active tonight
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 7, 2022

This move allows the Blue Jays to get Max Castillo back on the roster, which could come in handy as Anthony Banda/Casey Lawrence is starting tonight. The Blue Jays also haven’t named a starter for Friday’s game yet, so Castillo could figure into that.
Anyways, back to Kikuchi.
After a very good start against the Tampa Bay Rays last week, Kikuchi again completely lost control of the strike zone on Tuesday in Oakland. He allowed four earned runs and walked five batters and was only able to clear two-and-one-third innings.
Since the beginning of June, Kikuchi has only cleared five innings in one start, and that was the aforementioned Tampa game last week. Given the way he’s been going, the Blue Jays had to figure out to slam the rest button with Kikuchi because it isn’t working right now.
There had been some thought the team could opt to put him in the ‘pen where he could work on specific things in a role with less pressure. That’s what the team did with Robbie Ray when he was originally acquired mid-way through a miserable 2020 season with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
But for now, Kikuchi will take a breather and try to figure out what’s happening. If he can’t get things sorted, the Blue Jays will need a solution before the trade deadline to fill the number five spot in the starting rotation.

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation