Pablo Lopez should be on the Blue Jays’ radar this winter

With key free agents like Robbie Ray, Marcus Semien and Steven Matz expected to become available this off-season, it’s no secret the Toronto Blue Jays will be looking to spend in free agency. But there’s also a very good chance they could be major players on the trade market over the next few months, too.
Considering two-fifths of the Blue Jays starting rotation from this past season is slated to hit the open market following the World Series, addressing those two areas will undoubtedly be one of the many priorities for the front office this winter. Since every hole can’t be filled through free agency, at least for this organization, it seems they’ll be aiming to execute a few impactful trades before spring training rolls around.
While several different teams might be inclined to move a talented starter, on paper, the Miami Marlins – who haven’t been strangers to making blockbuster deals in the past – could prove to be an ideal trading partner once the off-season begins.
Hoping to climb out of the National League’s basement next season, the Marlins have previously been rumoured to be looking to make a giant splash or two in …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

Let’s take a moment to appreciate Marcus Semien’s season, which was one of the best in Blue Jays history

Marcus Semien is a shortstop. Yes he played all season at second base, but that doesn’t take away from the fact he spent the previous 6 seasons playing short. This is not a bad thing, in fact, it’s a testament to how insane Marcus Semien was this past season.

18 million without giving up a pick has never looked so good. The phrases “Semien was good this season” or “Semien will get paid” are both understatements. While I won’t speculate on the figures he’ll make this upcoming off-season, I feel the need to write about just how damn good he was. Yes, even better than Vlad or Ray.
Slash line:
I like using slash lines as it’s a good basic statistic to use. If you look at Semien’s, it doesn’t particularly stand out. If I said a .265/.334/.873 player should receive MVP votes, you may look at me and say “why?”. To that, I say, the stats, while a nice tool, doesn’t actually show how valuable the player is.
It’s the same as basic statistics for defensive play like fielding percentage. It looks great on paper, but it can be incredibly misleading. However, there …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays have apparently offered Marcus Semien a contract extension and plan to do so with Robbie Ray

Marcus Semien and Robbie Ray have been two of the three most important Blue Jays this season and they’ve only cost the team $26,000,000 combined. They aren’t going to be that cheap next year.

After Sunday’s excellent start, Ray leads the American League with a 2.60 ERA and he’s second in all of baseball with 212 strikeouts. There’s a very decent chance he wins the AL Cy Young this season and it’s a given he’s going to cash in and get a massive contract this winter.
And then there’s Semien, who reminded the A’s how hilariously stupid they were to not offer him a qualifying offer last winter when he smashed a three-run walk-off bomb on Friday night in what was likely Oakland’s worst loss of the season. Semien, like Ray, is going to get paid.
The question is whether the Blue Jays are going to be the ones signing these cheques. According to Ken Rosenthal, the team has approached Semien with an offer for an extension, which he declined, and they’re preparing to do so as well with Ray…
According to sources, they’ve attempted to sign Semien to an extension, …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Springer-less Blue Jays head to Houston

Marcus Semien just had a nice homecoming in Oakland in which the team honoured him with a touching video tribute. This would have been George Springer’s triumphant return to Houston, but he’ll have to wait until next season for his video tribute and ovation from Astros fans as he’s back on the Injured List.

How they’re doing…
The Astros have been a strange team this season. They own a record 16-15 despite sitting in the top third in baseball in both runs per game and runs allowed per game.
Houston kicked their season off with an absolutely dominant four-game sweep of the A’s in Oakland, scoring 35 runs in the process. Since then, though? They’ve had a pretty uninspiring month that featured a whole bunch of losses to some pretty bad teams. The Astros got swept by the Tigers at home and dropped both games in a two-game set to the Rockies in Denver. Most recently, they narrowly avoided getting swept by the struggling Yankees in New York.
The Astros’ offence is firing along just fine, with Yuli Gurriel, Yordan Alvarez, and Blue Jays legend Michael Brantley carrying the load, and every member of their …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Marcus Stroman tees off on the Blue Jays’ front office for missing out on Lindor

I think it’s safe to say Marcus Stroman still has beef with the Blue Jays’ front office.

Shortly after word broke that Francisco Lindor, a top off-season target of the Blue Jays, had been acquired by the New York Mets, Stroman took to Twitter to let everybody know that his former employer was getting outdone by his current team. The post has since been deleted, so props to the guys over at JaysJournal for catching it…
That front office will never build the team they should around their unbelievable core of young players…it’s a travesty!
This angst Stroman has towards the Blue Jays’ front office is nothing new. Back in 2019 after he was traded to the Mets, Rob Longley reported that there was a “loud commotion” inside the team’s room and that Stroman’s reaction to learning the news “wasn’t pretty.”
Shortly after, Stroman criticized Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins, suggesting that they got rid of everyone from the 2015 and 2016 teams to start their own regime while also complaining that he had never been offered a contract extension despite his accomplishments.
“Nobody’s left,” Stroman said. “It seems like [management] wanted to get rid of …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays were asking for Clint Fraizer in a Stroman to the Yankees deal

Marcus Stroman was traded to New York prior to the trade deadline. That wasn’t a surprise. It was the team in New York that happened to be what shocked everyone.

It had been long-rumoured that the Yankees were looking to acquire the native New Yorker to help add quality depth to a starting rotation that had been enigmatic. It was assumed that Stroman, a guy unafraid of the big lights in New York City and an ability to keep the ball on the ground, would thrive as a Yankee. But, prior to the trade deadline, it was the Mets who came out of left field and acquired Stroman.
So, what happened? Why didn’t Stroman end up a Yankee like as all assumed he would? Well, according to Wallace Matthews of Yahoo! Sports, Brian Cashman didn’t believe that Stroman could be a major difference-maker on the team and, thus, wouldn’t meet Toronto’s demands.
Plopped in the middle of the article in a section titled “Is 2019 Cashman’s masterpiece?” is this quick but incredibly interesting tidbit about the Yankees pursuit of Stroman at the trade deadline.

And this year, when the Blue Jays were demanding Frazier be …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays are prisoners of the moment, but only for now

In discussing Marcus Stroman’s trade value with Shi Davidi and Ben Nicholson-Smith on a recent episode of Sportsnet’s At the Letters podcast, writer and insider Arden Zwelling perfectly summed up the difficulty and complexity of evaluating Stroman-like trades.
“In terms of sports commentary and fandom, we’re such prisoners to the moment,” Zwelling remarked. “You have to make these sweeping assessments of things in the moment, but we won’t know when Marcus Stroman is traded, whether or not it was a good trade or not.”
Zwelling’s thought process, while simple and logical at its core, represents what probably should be the prevailing opinion among Blue Jays fans regarding the trade of Marcus Stroman — it’s too early to evaluate the trade.
In case you missed it, the Blue Jays, now in full-sell mode ahead of Wednesday’s trade deadline, traded starter Marcus Stroman to the New York Mets in exchange for two pitching prospects, Anthony Kay, who has since been assigned to Triple-A Buffalo, and Simeon Woods-Richardson, who’ll head to High-A Dunedin.
Many commenting on the trade immediately slagged on the return the Blue Jays were able to net for Stroman, who, per many insiders, …

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Author: Hayden Godfrey / Blue Jays Nation

Daily Duce: The post-Stroman trade reaction edition

Daily?????!!!!!
We all knew Marcus Stroman was going to be traded, but this isn’t exactly how we expected it to go down. The Jays pulled the trigger on a deal with, out of left field, the Mets, a few days prior to the trade deadline, resulting in some pretty mixed reviews on the return. There’s a lot being said about this very confusing deal and I’ll do my best to synthesize the interesting and important information.

First and foremost, there’s Marcus Stroman’s reaction to the trade, which wasn’t overly shocking. There was reportedly a loud commotion in the clubhouse between Stroman and Blue Jays coaches and executives after the ace found out he had been dealt to the Mets.
It seems that Stroman’s frustration had to do with being traded to the Mets rather than to a contending team, like his hometown Yankees, which had been his rumoured destination for weeks. Stroman’s father even chimed in to admit he was a little disappointed with the result…
“He was kind of psyched, maybe hoping to go there. I’m not going to tell you that he wasn’t,” the elder Stroman said. “If …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Stroman: “I’ve come to terms with it and I’m ready to dominate”

Always wearing his heart on his sleeve, starter Marcus Stroman had some words for fans, media and the front office during a scrum after his fantastic start Wednesday night.
The 28-year-old pitcher was clearly emotional after what could be his last start as a member of the Toronto Blue Jays and will most likely be his last start at Rogers Centre.
“This start could be my last outing here” said Stroman. “I’ve always been emotional, I feel like I’ve had a pretty good tenure as a Blue Jay, I feel like I’ve pitched pretty well in the best division in baseball.”
While rumours swirl on what team might be acquiring Stroman, he might in fact stay within the division and be on the Yankees roster as the July 31 trading deadline passes.
It almost feels like a forgone conclusion that he won’t be in Toronto once that deadline passes and any talk of a possible extension has been smothered.
“There’s been no willingness from the front office to sign me, so I’ve just come to terms with it and I’m ready to dominate, wherever that may be,” said Stroman.
What was assumed to be …

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Author: Thomas Williams / Blue Jays Nation

Gauging Ken Giles’ trade value compared to deals from the past

Next to Marcus Stroman, Ken Giles is the most valuable trade chip the Blue Jays have (whom they’re willing to part with, at least). Giles has been a revelation in a Blue Jays uniform ever since they acquired the fireballer closer at last year’s trade deadline.
Removed from the pressure cooker environment in Houston, Giles has thrived in the low-pressure environment in Toronto and rehabilitated his image to the point where he’s no longer viewed as “damaged goods” to prospective teams.
For the second consecutive year, it’s very likely that Giles will be on the move and it’s difficult to imagine him not with another team come July 31st. He’s arguably the most attractive relief arm on the trade market and the Blue Jays should expect a decent return for the 28-year-old.
This year, Giles has struck out 47 batters, walked eight, has four earned runs to his name and owns a sparkling 1.33 ERA in 27 appearances. If a contending team needs a power arm for the back-end of their bullpen, Giles should be their number one target. He isn’t a straight-up rental and he’s been one of baseball’s best relievers dating back …

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Author: Ian Hunter / Blue Jays Nation