ESPN’s Buster Olney believes the Blue Jays are an ideal destination for Josh Bell

Who cares if the calendar just turned May, we want rumours, and we want it now.

Total speculation at this point, but this would be a nice trade match later this season between a team rebuilding and a team trying to win (and desperately in need of more lineup balance): the Nats’ Josh Bell to the Blue Jays.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) May 5, 2022

Well, this is actually speculation, but Buster Olney believes that first baseman, Josh Bell, would make a perfect fit for the Blue Jays. That begs the question, would it?
According to Sporttrac, the 29-year-old Josh Bell will be a free agent at the end of the season, meaning that the Nationals have no control over where he goes. This cheapens his value when it comes to the trade deadline.
What about his bat though, is it worth it?
Bell is a switch hitter, and has a career slash line of .265/.352/.471 with 116 homers in 2858 plate appearances with a career wRC+ of 117. This season, he’s slashing .366/.464/.549 with three homers in 99 plate appearances.
Moreover, he has a career 11.9% BB% with a rather low K% of 18.5%. This season, his BB% is an astounding 14.1% with a K% of 12.1%.
Like Olney points out, the Jays do need balance in their lineup, and throughout his career, Bell has been better from the left side of the plate. As a lefty, he has a .274/.358/.487 slash line with 86 homers. He has a K% of 18.4% and a BB% of 12.8% from the left side of the plate. 
Compare this to him batting righty, and we can see his .239/.333/.424 slash line doesn’t compare. Furthermore, he has a K% of around 19% and a BB% of 12.6%, which is around the same.
If the Jays were to do this, they would be trading for a lef …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays News Dump: Post game, Teoscar Rumours, Arbitration and Prospects

A lot happened in the Blue Jays world, including rumours, arbitration dealings and a smacking of the Yankees.

Jays smack the Yankees 9-2
Dear Yankee fans:
Is this the team you believe will finish at the top of the division? Yes, it’s Spring Training and the Yankees only had a few starters, but Jordan Montgomery didn’t look good at all. You know who did look good though? The Jays pitchers.
After a rough first inning, Yusei Kikuchi absolutely bullied the Yankees batters in the second inning of the game, striking out the side. He finished his afternoon with 2 IP, 4 K and 1 BB. Ross Stripling took over for the new signee, pitching 3 IP, allowing a run and striking out two.

Yusei Kikuchi, Nasty 82mph Slider. pic.twitter.com/8q9vo0XK9s
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 22, 2022

 
My #15 prospect, Kyle Johnston, also pitched in the bottom of the ninth, striking out one and walking another batter.
The Jays bats also did quite well.

He’s considered one of the weaker bats in that new Blue Jays starting 9.
Imagine if he gets it going … pic.twitter.com/7LqrSFPbdW
— Christian Rauh (@RauhReport) March 22, 2022

George Springer went 2-3 in his Spring Training debut and Bo Bichette also went 2-3. Vlad Jr went 3-3 while Cavan Biggio went 2-2. Randal Grichuk also hit a grand slam which begs the question, has he finally figured it out. No, it’s a façade. Here’s an A+ meme by everybody’s favourite Blue Jays memester.

The Randal Grichuk experience starts soon pic.twitter.com/aSD9177ksG
— spencer” (@Spenred) March 22, 2022

 
Danny Jansen also threw out his second runner of Spring Training, which is interesting to see because he’s not really known for a strong arm. Alejandro Kirk, who also had a questionable arn, threw out a runner in Monday’s game. Sadly, Chapman was spiked by the runner trying to steal third.
He was replaced by my #13 Jays prospect, Sebastian Espino, who went 1-2 after replacing Chapman. Fortunately, Chapman was pulled for precautionary reasons, and he won’t need stitches. Here is the play in question.

Matt Chapman left the game with a laceration to his left forearm. No stitches required #bluejays
— Hazel Mae (@thehazelmae) March 22, 2022

 
He and Teoscar (sprained wrist) are considered day to day. Which, speaking of Hernandez…
Speaking of Teoscar:
According to the Miami Herald https://www.miamiherald.com/sports/mlb/miami-marlins/article259612989.html, the Blue Jays engaged in talks with the Miami Marlins about trading Teoscar Hernandez. When my editor sent this to me, it came as a shock. While I don’t believe the 29-year-old slugger is untouchable, I found it hard to believe that they’d be interested in moving him.
The authors, Ba …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Jonathan Villar declines a one-year, $6 million contract + incentives

Who doesn’t love late night rumours? Per Hector Gomez, the Jays offered 30-year-old utility infielder Jonathan Villar a one year, $6 million dollar contract.

SOURCE: Jonathar Villar turned down a $6.5 million, one-year deal offer, plus $1.0 million incentives from the #BlueJays. https://t.co/c8z8UYvd31
— Héctor Gómez (@hgomez27) March 13, 2022

My thoughts? Good, he isn’t good.
March 12th edit:
Unfortunately, my editor told me I have to actually write this article, so let’s go into why it’s good that Villar declined this contract.
His first tenure didn’t go great:
This isn’t the first time the Jays have had an interest in the infielder, in fact, they traded prospect Griffin Conine for Villar in 2020. He wasn’t very good. In 79 plate appearances, he slashed .188/.278/.481 without a home run. He also had a rather high K% of 27.8%, but this number is only slightly elevated from his career 26.5% K%. He also stole 7 bases in all of his attempts, but had issues running the bases, being picked off multiple times.
It’s a small sample size, but that’s not all.
He’s a bad teammate:

Looked as though Jonathan Villar picked up his equipment and left the dugout after the #BlueJays pinch hit for him in the top of the seventh pic.twitter.com/P6o8hVmRor
— Ben Nicholson-Smith (@bnicholsonsmith) September 29, 2020

The guy picked up his things and walked out of the Jays dugout after being pinched hit. This was in game one of what would be only two games in the 2020 playoffs. My message to Villar: Don’t play like crap and you won’t get pulled.
He didn’t have a great 2021:
Villar slashed .249/.322/.738 in 505 plate appearances in the past season. He added an additional 15 homers, but his K% was still on the high side at 26.1%. His wRC+ totaled 105, slightly above average, but still not the replacement you’d expect at third base.
He also had his lowest succes …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Maple Leafs don’t appear to have interest in Jakob Chychrun

The best part of the NHL’s trade deadline is all the rumours that come about, especially around the Maple Leafs.
As we get closer and closer to that deadline of March 21st, the chatter about a trade gets larger, but so has the talk around Jake Muzzin.
On Tuesday morning, he took to the ice all by himself doing drills just to get a feel of how he’s doing. It’s similar to the process John Tavares went through after his head injury against Montreal in the playoffs. But is there a chance Muzzin returns sooner? Maybe.
During the second intermission of the Maple Leafs’ game against the Seattle Kraken, TSN’s Darren Dreger said Toronto expects Muzzin to be back in “a month or less.”
Earlier on Tuesday during Insider Trading, Chris Johnston reported something similar, stating that if Muzzin returns, the Maple Leafs might have to send players out to bring players into the team.
“Leafs management looks at Jake Muzzin returning to the ice as a positive step for his health as he recovers from his second successive concussion. And for them, that means they’re not going to be able to use LTIR space to acquire any extra cap hits at the deadline. And so really right now, the Leafs are looking at having ab …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Rumour Nest: The Blue Jays were interested in Jose Ramirez before the trade deadline and it’s safe to say they still are now

Recently, I wrote an article about the rumours surrounding Marcus Stroman and how he could be returning to the Toronto Blue Jays. Originally I intended to write two rumours in that article, but mid-article, I decided to make a rumour series. Jose Ramirez is the next rumour that this series will cover.

In an article published by Sportsnet written by Shi Davidi, an interesting yet important sentence reads as follows: “Worth noting is that before the trade deadline, the Blue Jays took a run at Cleveland third baseman Jose Ramirez and Detroit outfielder.”
Shi Davidi is a well-known and respected journalist that follows the Toronto Blue Jays. Where there is smoke, there is a burning building. Do you want a hot take? I believe before spring training 2022, Jose Ramirez will be a Toronto Blue Jay.
Jose Ramirez is amazing:
It’s important to look at a player’s statistics before deciding whether or not it is beneficial for trading for them, so let’s start with that.
Jose Ramirez is a 29-year-old third baseman that has put up impressive numbers over his career. His 2021 was no different as he slashed .266/.355/.893 and added 35 home runs. That’s obviously impressive, but factor …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

MLBTR projects the Blue Jays’ 12 arbitration-eligible players will cost the team $43 million

MLB Trade Rumours released its annual arbitration salary projections on Monday, and here’s what they have for the Blue Jays and the 12 arb-eligible players on the roster…

Ross Stripling – $4.4MM
Jose Berrios – $10.9MM
Jacob Barnes – $1.2MM
Teoscar Hernandez – $10.0MM
Adam Cimber – $1.5MM
Trevor Richards – $1.1MM
Ryan Borucki – $800K
Danny Jansen – $1.5MM
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. – $7.9MM
Tim Mayza – $1.2MM
Trent Thornton – $900K
Cavan Biggio – $1.7MM
All told, that’s just a shade over $43 million for the group. Add that to the $58 million the team has committed to the 2022 payroll currently (George Springer, Hyun Jin Ryu, Randal Grichuk, and Lourdes Gurriel), and you have just over $100 million before considering free agents and other players who would flesh out the roster.
Of course, these are just projections and, obviously, nothing is set in stone, but MLBTR is generally pretty good with these things, so it’s a good place to start thinking about the off-season. Looking up and down this list, I would assume that 10 of these players are tendered contracts, with Jacob Barnes being a pretty easy choice to cut loose and Trent Thornton being a realistic 40-man roster casualty.
Another thing to consider is that a few of these players …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Rumour Nest: Marcus Stroman said he would be open to a Blue Jays reunion

Rumours, yes rumours, not rumors. I am Canadian. What is a rumour though? Rumour was an album released in 1977, over two decades before I was born. It is by far the best album Fleetwood Mac released, in fact, it is one of the best albums, period.  Rumours could also be the source of drama when you were in high school. 

However, this is a Blue Jays blog site and neither of those rumours have anything to do with the beloved Blue Birds. This begs the question, why the heck am I writing about rumours.
Well, dear reader, since the Blue Jays season is done, I’ll be doing a new series about rumours surrounding potential trades/signings related to the Blue Jays.
Firstly, we’ll cover a rumour about a former Blue Jays, Marcus Stroman.

I’m definitely open to a reunion.
— Marcus Stroman (@STR0) October 3, 2021

I think before we start, regardless of how you feel about Stroman as a player, it’s important to call out racism as you see it. He has received quite a lot of it throughout his career which is 100% unacceptable.
With all that being said, we’ll start with Marcus Stroman as the rumour …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Seravalli: Leafs one of the teams offering a first round pick for Nick Foligno

Today in rumours we didn’t want to hear, we’ve been treated to this unfortunate tweet:

Believe the #Leafs, #Avs and #caps are among the teams potentially willing to part with a 1st round pick in a Foligno deal – and that list may not be conclusive. https://t.co/jGjNBrHvS2
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) April 11, 2021

Now, I think there are certain aspects to this deal that can be justified. The Leafs are certainly a team that can benefit from more forwards that are willing to finish their checks. Foligno is another capable veteran presence, and one that could potentially improve their power play. The higher cost associated with bringing him in likely also points to the Blue Jackets retaining half of his salary, and while this trade isn’t ideal, nor the first choice of most Leafs fans, it would be far from the worst thing they could do at the deadline. The worst thing would be to stand pat.
Nick Foligno, of course, is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so this is a steep rental price to pay for someone with seven goals (16 points) in 42 games. The fact that Foligno has over 100 hits …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Is a Mikael Granlund trade imminent for the Leafs?

We’ve spilled a lot of digital ink talking rumours over the past month, and with three weeks to go, it’s unlikely that we’ll be letting up at all. It’s in that spirit we are circling back around to one of the most frequently talked about rumoured players, Mikael Granlund.
If you feel like reading (or re-reading) almost 2000 words on Granlund, what he is and isn’t and how he’d fit in with the Leafs, we’ve got you covered here:
Where there’s smoke there’s probably Granlund

We aren’t going to explore the nuances of Granlund’s game again today, but rather try to answer a few of the questions that are popping up. Why are we talking about him again? When will Nashville trade him? What will he cost? Is he a good idea for the Leafs?
Why are we talking about Granlund again?
We have last night’s Insider Trading segment on TSN and Frank Seravalli to thank for that one:
After scouring the league, I believe the Leafs’ primary target at this point is Nashville Predators forward Mikael Granlund.
Okay, that will do it. That’s pretty direct for an …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Rumours: Galchenyuk a Leaf, Granlund a target, and a possible goaltending upgrade

Nothing kills a weekly rumours column like having a trade the night before. Not a whole lot to speculate on when the Leafs have actually done some adding. The Leafs were in the market for a top six winger, and depending on how loose your definition is of top six winger, that’s what they acquired in Alex Galchenyuk. Though that’s leaning heavily into the pre 2019-20 part of Alex’s resume. In a much more accurate sense the Leafs acquired someone who if he finds his game, he could be a top six winger, maybe even a center, although that has never gone well for Galchenyuk. In reality the Leafs acquired the modern day Richard Panik, which isn’t a bad thing, but it likely wasn’t the move the Leafs are truly exploring.
Mikael Granlund and others
Via Spectors Hockey:
Friedman didn’t elaborate but the consensus around the league suggests Nashville Predators winger Mikael Granlund fits the description. He could become available if the Predators continue to struggle. The winger signed a one-year, $3.75 million contract with the Predators. Mirtle indicated the Leafs had an interest in him during the offseason but lacked the cap space to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation