Toronto Blue Jays targets Andrew Heaney, Cody Bellinger sign elsewhere and the latest on Toronto Blue Jays payroll

A few free-agent targets have signed elsewhere.

Left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, who was linked to the Jays a day ago, inked a two-year, $25-million deal with the Texas Rangers. The deal also carries an opt-out that could increase it to $37-million.
Outfielder Cody Bellinger, meanwhile, inked a one-year, $17.5-million deal with the Chicago Cubs. The slugger reportedly was looking for a one-year reset type of deal and now, he’s got it.
Here’s some of what Thomas Hall had to say about how Heaney made sense as a Blue Jays target:
Toronto heavily pursued Heaney last off-season before he ultimately signed a one-year, $8.5-million contract with Los Angeles, marking his second tenure with the franchise after being briefly acquired from the Miami Marlins in 2014. And their interest level has undoubtedly increased even further following his bounce-back 2022 performance.
After a disappointing 2021 campaign, where the left-hander posted a 5.83 ERA over 129.2 innings split between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees, he underwent some key mechanical adjustments that allowed him to enjoy a much-needed reset. As a result, the 6-foot-2 hurler finished with a 3.10 ERA, 3.39 xERA, 3.75 FIP and a . …

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Author: Zach Laing / Blue Jays Nation

The Toronto Blue Jays select Brandon Barriera with the 23rd overall pick

“The Jays have selected left-handed pitcher Brandon Barriera with the 23rd overall pick.

This will be the first time that the Mark Shapiro era Blue Jays will select a prep pitcher with their first round pick. Despite that, this is a pretty good pick. It’s been said that Barriera has some of the best pure stuff in the draft class.

The moment Brandon Barriera joined a COUNTRY #MLBDraft
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) July 18, 2022

According to MLB Pipeline, he has multiple fastballs which sit in the low 90s, but has touched 99 mph. He has a plus slider and his changeup can develop as well. His pitching has sinking action and his slider and has impressive spin rates, sitting between 2,500-2,600 rpm. He occasionally throws in a mid-70s curveball, but it’s not used as often.

Here’s a glimpse at #BlueJays 1st-round selection Brandon Barriera:
— Thomas Hall (@ThomasHall85) July 18, 2022

He pounds the zone and has a bulldog mentality. This can be said in his post draft interview:
“Looking at the 22 teams before me, they’re going to regret this. I’m going to be the best pitcher in the MLB.”

He was the 15th best available draft prospect according to MLB Pipeline, but here are his grades.
Fastball: 55
Slider: 55
Changeup: 55
Control: 55
Overall: 55
Getting a 55 future value prospect is quite impressive, and he very well could’ve been the best available draft prospect. Joe Doyle (who has been breaking everything” notes that Jays fans should be excited about the left-handed Barriera as he’s a better pure athlete than 2021 3rd rounder, Ricky Tiedemann.

After what the Blue Jays have done with Ricky Tiedemann, fans should feel awfully excited about Brandon Barriera. Up to 99;sinking, flashing a plus slider and feel for a changeup. Better pure athlete than Tiedemann too. Could be scary.
— Joe Doyle (@JoeDoyleMiLB) July 18, 2022

With all that being said, I’m incredibly excited to watch the 18-year-old make his professional debut. If I had to guess, he would be assigned to the FCL to work on pitch development, much like Ricky Tiedemann and Irv Carter after they were drafted in 2021.
The Jays still have three more picks tonight, so stay tuned!
As always, you can follow me on Twitter @Brennan_L_D. I still want the Jays to pick Ryan Cermak …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation