Top Leafs Outside the NHL: #7 Jeremy Bracco

Bracco is one of the more interesting names on this list. He’s long been considered one of the better offensive options in the system for the Leafs, excelling as a playmaker and power play specialist, but he hasn’t really evolved his game in any meaningful way that would encourage the Leafs to give him a look in the NHL. He’s coming off an interesting year that included a trade request and then an extended personal absence from the team and now as a 23 year old pending restricted free agent, the Leafs will have to make a decision on what they are going to do with Bracco.
In 2015 the Leafs started off the evening right by drafting Mitch Marner. Then we were treated to a bizarre run of picks which led to Mathew Barzal, Travis Konecny, Kyle Connor, and Brock Boeser all sliding in the draft. The Leafs were scheduled to pick at 24 and would have been able to select Travis Konecny. The Leafs wanted Travis Dermott so began trading down. In their deal with the Flyers for the 24th overall pick they’d use to select Travis Konecny, the Leafs picked up the 61 …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Top Leafs Outside the NHL: #9 Mikhail Abramov

Abramov is probably one of the most intriguing names on this list, and when it comes to his upside score, we was one of the highest rated players, but ended up 9th due to the fact that we don’t really see him as being NHL ready. Although I think our voting panel would be happy to be proven wrong here.
Abramov was an absolute steal being selected in the fourth round of the 2019 draft. Though a skilled center in the fourth round usually means he comes with the criticism that frequently comes up with Leafs prospects, he’s undersized. At 5’11, Abramov isn’t particularly short, but his 160 lb listed weight is probably the bigger concern.
So why did they draft him? Here’s some insight from 51Leafs from last summer:
Abramov is a smart, skilled playmaker who can play both in the middle or on the wing. With the puck on his stick in the offensive zone, Abramov is primarily looking to set up a teammate for a scoring chance. He is very patient with the puck on his stick, and will hold onto the puck and skate around the offensive zone if he …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

A really, really early look at this winter’s free agent class (for pitchers)

Yesterday, I took a look at the notable names on the free-agent market among position players, so today I’ll finish up our very, very early look-ahead by talking about the pitchers set to hit the open market this winter.

Last year’s class featured two huge names at the top of the list. It was Gerrit Cole, who was coming off an incredible season in which he was the runner up for the American League Cy Young while striking out an obscene 13.8 batters per nine, and Stephen Strasburg, who put together his first fully healthy season in years to help the Nationals win their first-ever World Series.
There aren’t any aces like Cole or Strasburg headlining this year’s free-agent class, but there are still a handful of quality arms set to hit the open market.
In the event of a cancelled season, I think the market for pitchers will take more of a hit than the position players. Teams are already wary of handing out massive contracts to pitchers due to the inherent volatility of the position, so doing so after (possibly) not having seen these guys pitch for over a year will …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays and Collin McHugh would be a nice match

One of the names surprisingly still kicking around there without a job is former Houstons Astros swingman Collin McHugh. According to Scott Mitchell, the Blue Jays have internally discussed McHugh as a late-spring addition.

McHugh has been discussed internally by #BlueJays.Long injury history and decent track record as a starter (4.14 ERA across 119 starts), but he’s potentially a high-end late-inning arm..206 BA against, 11 K/9, 2.76 ERA in 114 career IP out of the ‘pen. https://t.co/qTnSR9R5yY
— Scott Mitchell (@ScottyMitchTSN) February 28, 2020

Remember, the Jays didn’t add Daniel Hudson until March 25th of last year, meaning there’s plenty of time before the start of the season for the bullpen to completely change. As of right now, the Jays have a laundry list of interesting arms vying for jobs out of the ‘pen, but there’s always room for more, especially if it’s somebody with the upside and pedigree of McHugh.
According to MLB Trade Rumours, McHugh has been cleared to begin a throwing program after undergoing a non-surgical procedure on his right elbow in the off-season. He’s behind other pitchers and wouldn’t be ready …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

You can cross Jake Odorizzi off your free agent wish list

One of the names the Blue Jays had been linked to early on this off-season — and a name many fans had been talking about for months as an ideal fit — is off the free-agent list before things even got rolling. Jake Odorizzi has reportedly accepted his qualifying offer from the Minnesota Twins.

Odorizzi accepting qualifying offer, source tells The Athletic. Back with #MNTwins.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 14, 2019

After Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg, Odorizzi’s name was towards the top of the list for free-agent starters. Thanks to a bounceback season in which he posted a 3.51 ERA and made his first-ever All-Star appearance, the 29-year-old seemed primed to get himself a nice payday this winter. But instead, he’ll bet on himself, and do it all over again next winter.
This seems like an odd choice for Odorizzi, given that he’s coming off of the best season of his career. But since players can only be qualified once, Odorizzi will be able to head straight to the free-agent market next winter without any draft pick compensation attached to him. It’s also a much, much weaker free-agent market next year for starters, so another year like he had …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Leafs Place 4 on Waivers, Send Down 7 to Marlies

The roster is taking form and some exciting names are still a part of the Toronto Maple Leafs just days away from the opening to the 2019-20 regular season on Oct. 2.
Rasmus Sandin, Egor Korshkov and Timothy Liljegren are some key prospects that are still with the NHL squad heading into the game against the Ottawa Senators. Some are more guaranteed to make the team than others — Sandin essentially forcing his way into the discussion.

Leafs announce alterations to training camp roster.
Details:https://t.co/cnFczwNuJZ
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) September 28, 2019

With this remaining roster, the Leafs had to place four skaters on waivers and send down a total of seven to the Marlies that did not require waivers.
Defencemen Ben Harpur and Jordan Schmaltz are currently on waivers, while forwards Pontus Aberg and Tyler Gaudet are there as well. The latter played themselves out of the lineup with some poor decision making and inability to play at the speed the Leafs want. While the forwads were impressive, there is just simply not enough roster spots to give out to players on the bubble like Aberg and Gaudet.
Forwards Darren Archibald, Jeremy Bracco, Rich Clune, Adam Brooks, Hudson Elynuik, …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

Hot Takes From the Farm: Week Three

The theme this week may be one of following up on the names already mentioned, as well as taking a look at a few names you might have expected to see but haven’t. At the obvious risk of repeating myself, it’s so early that extreme reactions, positive or negative, are unwise even though they are tempting. The fella you bragged on as hot last week can see a big dip in his numbers after just five or six poor games at the plate, or vice-versa. Still, that’s why I call it “hot takes” – because hot takes are often premature!
Lansing
Starting with the pitching staff this time, I have to lead with this: If Josh Winckowski isn’t on your radar yet, you might want to correct that. Down the stretch last year in Vancouver, the now 20 year old (young for the Midwest League) RHP posted a 1.78 ERA over his last six starts, striking out 40 against only 7 BB in 35.1 IP. This year he’s picked right up where he left off, with a 1.04 ERA through five starts while continuing to post solid secondary stats. While promotion schedules are complex organizational decisions and not knee-jerk reactions to stats ( …

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Author: Tammy Rainey / Blue Jays Nation