Keith Law ranks the Blue Jays farm system 17th, ESPN lists it at 22nd, and more!

As we inch closer to spring training, more and more prospect lists will be released.

In the past week, there have been quite a few releases, such as from ESPN, The Athletic, and Prospects Live. The latter is strictly looking at Blue Jays prospects, while the other two will focus on where the organization stacks up against the rest of the league.
Let’s start with the Jays’ centric list.
Prospects Live:
Admittedly, I can’t go into too much depth about who comes after the top 10, as that is a Patreon exclusive (it’s like seven dollars in Canadian currency a month.)
However, the top 10 is what you’d expect, with Ricky Tiedemann topping it. In fact, the first three prospects on the list are pitching prospects. They have seven 50 overall-graded players, and the last three are rather solid 45 overall-graded players. You can read the entire Top 10 here, which comes with five in-depth scouting reports.
For the enTop 30, it’s well worth the extra $7.50, as ese scouting reports are incredibly in-depth. Heck, I was even able to write one! You can read entire Top 30 here!
Where does The Athletic rank the Blue Jays’ farm system:
The Athletic’s Keith Law has been rather complementary of the Blue Jays in the past, and their 17th ranking came as a little bit of a surprise. Not as big of a surprise as former Blue Jay Kevin Smith ranking 89th in the 2022 edition of the Top 100, but still surprising.
While he only had one Blue Jay in the Top 100 (Tiedemann at 47th, a rather low ranking), he notes that they have plenty of middle infielders signed via international free agency. Moreover, he notes that Yosver Zulueta and Hayden Juenger could pitch for the Ja …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Why a Fred VanVleet-Deandre Ayton swap could help Raptors and Suns

Why a Fred VanVleet-Deandre Ayton swap could help Raptors and Suns

The Toronto Raptors are looking more like a seller than ever before. Despite winning four of their last five games prior painful losses against the Bucks without Giannis Antetokounmpo and the Timberwolves without Karl-Anthony Towns, Toronto may need to part with some of their starters in order to get deeper. PG Fred VanVleet and SG […]
Why a Fred VanVleet-Deandre Ayton swap could help Raptors and Suns – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The Blue Jays apparently have interest in Johnny Cueto

Could the Toronto Blue Jays be in the market for more starting pitching depth?

According to MLB Scoops, the Blue Jays are interested in veteran right-handed pitcher Johnny Cueto…

#BlueJays interested in SP Johnny Cueto
— MLBScoops (@mlb_scoops) December 28, 2022

This, of course, is a random, unverified account on Twitter, so the rumour should be taken with a grain of salt, but MLB Scoops said that the Blue Jays were “heavily interested” in Chris Bassitt shortly before the team signed him to a three-year contract earlier in the month.
Cueto made his big league debut with the Cincinnati Reds back in 2008 and developed into an All-Star calibre starter a few years later. In 2015, he was traded to the Kansas City Royals as part of their push for the World Series, and he then inked a huge contract with the San Francisco Giants in free agency.
It looked like Cueto was toast a few years ago, as he had Tommy John surgery in 2018 and then posted a 5.33 ERA over 79 1/3 innings upon his return in 2019 and 2020 but he’s found a second wild since. Cueto put up a 4.08 ERA over 22 appearances for the Giants in 2021 and he posted a 3.35 ERA over 25 appearances with the Chicago White Sox in 2022.
He turns 37 years old in February so anything more than a one-year deal would obviously be a significant gamble, but Cueto could be a nice depth addition for the Blue Jays on an incentive-based contract.
They currently have Alek Manoah, Kevin Gausman, Jose Berrios, and Chris Bassitt pencilled …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays may head into the 2023 season with three catchers, which isn’t a bad thing

As we move further along in the off-season, it’s more unlikely that the Jays will find a trade partner for one of their three catchers.

The big question is if this is bad, which I believe it isn’t. While numerous teams are still looking for backstop help, such as the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Arizona Diamondbacks, the market for trading catchers isn’t quite great. 
This is reflected by the return that the Oakland Athletics got, granted the Milwaukee Brewers absolutely messed that trade up. 
Either way, we’ll look at why everyone wanted a catcher moved and who they’re in a position to avoid doing so. We’ll also look at why it really isn’t a bad idea for the Jays to have three catchers on the 26-man roster.
Trade a catcher because the Jays have a surplus:
The Jays have three MLB-quality catchers: Danny Jansen, Alejandro Kirk, and Gabriel Moreno. So at a certain point, it actually made sense to trade one for starting pitching help or an outfielder. However, the Jays already have filled the need for a middle-of-the-rotation start by acquiring Chris Bassitt in free agency.
The only gaping hole that remains on the 2023 Blue Jays roster is a left-handed batting outfielder, but that can also be filled with an a …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Precious Achiuwa injury update: Raptors big man far from return

Precious Achiuwa injury update: Raptors big man far from return

The Toronto Raptors have been one of the more impressive teams in the Eastern Conference when you factor in all of the games that their best players have missed due to injury. Losing an All-NBA player like Pascal Siakam and the Sixth Man in Precious Achiuwa is tough to shoulder. Achiuwa tore up some ligaments […]
Precious Achiuwa injury update: Raptors big man far from return – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Dissecting the Leafs rumoured interest in Tyler Myers

Dissecting the Leafs rumoured interest in Tyler Myers

Few things are more troublesome than hearing that the team you cheer for is kicking tires on Tyler Myers. Unfortunately for Leafs fans, that’s exactly what Bruce Garrioch reported this week:
There’s also been talk the Vancouver Canucks are willing to move defenceman Tyler Myers and the Leafs have been among the teams kicking tires there.
Now it’s very easy to yell “HELLS NO” and run off screaming into the horizon, but we’ll go a little bit further in our analysis than that, despite the fact that this clearly looks like a bad idea.
Let’s start with the well established reasons of why this isn’t a good idea. Tyler Myers has an AAV of $6M for not only this season, but next. There is also the issue of despite being listed as a defenseman, very little defense seems to happen when Tyler Myers is on the ice, and goaltenders tend to get shelled. His Evolving Hockey player card put him in the bottom 11th percentile of players in the league, and his RAPM charts very rarely show any blue. His rate stats are modestly better than that, and speak to the Canucks getting shelled with Myers on the ice, but not necessarily seeing puck go in a ridiculous amount as a result of that. I guess that’s something…
Season
GP
TOI/GP
CA/60
CF%
GA/60
GF%
xGA/60
xG%
HDCA/60
HDCF%
PDO
20212022
82
18.31
58.63
49.15
2.16
53.85
2.60
49.39
11.39
47.61
1.013
20222023
14
18.34


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

3 free agent flops the Toronto Raptors were right to pass on

3 free agent flops the Toronto Raptors were right to pass on

The Toronto Raptors started the offseason with more aggression in free agency than most years. Knowing that he had to ensure the core of an already thin rotation had to be retained, Masai Ujiri wasted no time in making sure that the club’s vets were signed and the team’s needs were met. The Raptors brought […]
3 free agent flops the Toronto Raptors were right to pass on – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

The pros and cons of separating William Nylander and John Tavares in the Maple Leafs lineup

A brand new season means more narratives to come as the Maple Leafs open training camp in just a few weeks.
There’ll be a number of fascinating scenarios to look into including whether or not any of last year’s Marlies will make Toronto’s NHL roster this year. There’s also the topic of who’ll be on Auston Matthews’ wings once the season opens up on October 12th.
 How can Auston Matthews score more than 60 goals for the Maple Leafs this season?
Maybe the most intriguing of them all, though, is whether or not William Nylander will play alongside John Tavares — either in training camp or when the regular season begins.
If you remember back to the playoffs in May, Nylander was on Tavares’ wing for about half of the series vs. the Lightning. After a game four that saw the Toronto get dismantled by Tampa, 7-3, Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe thought it would be best to split the pair up.
Once that occurred, Nylander became a more successful player — skating on the third line with David Kampf and Pierre Engvall. Tavares also went onto have more success centering a line with Alexander Kerfoot and Ilya Mikheyev.
After the split, the Maple Leafs captain had four points in the final three games of the series. In the four games prior, with Nylander by his side, Tavares only had two points. The same success came to the Swedish winger, who had only two points before the split, and five point …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 108: It wasn’t pretty, but the Blue Jays got the job done against the Pirates

It was a little more stressful than you’d like for a series with the basement-dwelling Pirates, but the Blue Jays came into Pittsburgh and pulled off a sweep.

We talked about Alek Manoah’s excellent start on Friday night, Bo’s putting together arguably the best at-bat we’ve seen from any Blue Jay this season in Saturday’s win, and Jordan Romano coming through with a huge save on Sunday’s afternoon.
After that, we looked ahead at the upcoming series with the Orioles, which is far more anxiety-inducing than we expected it would be back in April.
You can listen to the episode here…
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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Around the NHL: Kadri to Calgary, Isles lock up RFA’s

Around the NHL: Kadri to Calgary, Isles lock up RFA’s

The NHL offseason is now more than halfway over, and most teams appear ready to get started on the 2022-23 season. In the past week one of the most notable free agents finally signed, the New York Islanders locked up some key, young players, a couple depth pieces earned one-year deals and two assistant coaches found new homes.
Kadri lands in Calgary
Up until about a week ago it seemed like Nazem Kadri was destined to end up on Long Island but in the end, he opted to head north to Calgary. It’s been a busy offseason for the Flames who once again stole the headlines this past week.
General manager Brad Treliving inked the soon to be 32-year-old Kadri to a seven-year contract at an average annual value (AAV) of seven million dollars. Kadri joins former Florida Panthers Jonathan Huberdeau and MacKenzie Weegar as a fresh face in Calgary. The revamped Flames look primed to compete for the Pacific division title yet again, albeit with a new look roster.
To make room for Kadri’s contract, long-time Flame Sean Monahan was traded to the Montreal Canadiens with a conditional first round pick in 2025 for future considerations.
Islanders lock up RFA’s
Besides the Kadri rumours, things have been awfully quiet in Long Island this summer. This past week GM Lou Lamoriello …

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Author: Scott Ony / The Leafs Nation