Lockout update! Digging into MLB’s first proposal, why the Players’ Association declined, and what’s next

It isn’t much, but, at the very least, we have something to talk about.

On Thursday, Major League Baseball presented its first labour-related proposal to the Players’ Association since the beginning of the lockout, ending what had been a 43-day stalemate.
Unfortunately (and, well, unsurprisingly) it was a very one-sided offer, one that Jeff Passan of ESPN said “did little to encourage the players and heightened the likelihood of spring training being postponed.” The meeting, which reportedly took place over the span of one hour, consisted of MLB presenting its proposal and the players agreeing to present an official counter-proposal at an unspecified time in the future.
Here’s a quick run-down of what the league presented in its offer…
A lottery for the top pick in the draft. The worst three teams are in the lottery and the winner gets the top draft pick. Also, to address tanking, teams wouldn’t be allowed in the lottery for three consecutive years. The PA has also been in favour of a lottery, but they want it expanded to eight teams to further dissuade tanking.
A draft for international players. This would scrap the current system that features an international free-agent signing window and a bonus pool system in which teams can only offer international players a certain amount of money.
An expanded post-season bracket. MLB wants to expand the playoffs to involve 14 teams, a significant jump from the current 10-team format. The players have said they’re will …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

No need to worry about Pete Walker as the Mets hire Buck Showalter to be their manager

Not much going on lately, but here’s something of interest!

The New York Mets filled their manager role this weekend by hiring veteran skipper Buck Showalter.

Buck Showalter brings an extensive MLB resume with him to the Mets. pic.twitter.com/Ef3RBiIaXi
— SNY (@SNYtv) December 18, 2021

Showalter has 20 years of experience as a big-league manager with the Yankees, Diamondbacks, Rangers, and, most recently, the Orioles. He’s known around these parts, of course, as the guy who left Zack Britton in the bullpen while Edwin Encarnacion launched a ball into space off of Ubaldo Jimenez to walk off the O’s in the 2016 American League Wild-Card game.
Anyways, this is worth noting because there was a ‘rumour’ going around earlier this month that Pete Walker was a name to watch in New York’s managerial search.
This was actually just a Tweet from Jon Morosi saying Walker was a ‘name to watch’ because he’s respected in baseball, so it really wasn’t anything more than pure speculation. But if you were one of the ones to take it seriously and demand Walker get promoted into Charlie Montoyo’s gig before it was too late, you can now exhale. 


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays lose Tanner Kirwer and Curtis Taylor in Minor-League Rule 5 Draft, select Abdiel Mendoza from the Rangers

Look at that! Something to talk about!

The Minor League Rule 5 Draft went down on Wednesday and the Blue Jays have lost two prospects but gained another.
The Seattle Mariners selected outfielder Tanner Kirwer and the Washington Nationals took pitcher Curtis Taylor. The Blue Jays selected pitcher Abdiel Mendoza from the Texas Rangers.
The results from the whole draft can be found here…
Tanner Kirwer, a native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, was a 20th round pick of the Blue Jays back in 2017. He had a strong season in High-A Vancouver, slashing a .285/.420/.474 line over 170 plate appearances. His numbers took a decent dip after getting called up to Double-A New Hampshire. Kirwer had 118 plate appearances for the Fisher Cats and slashed a .208/.370/.399 line. He also stole 43 bases across the two levels.
Curtis Taylor was one of the pitchers that the Blue Jays got from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Eric Sogard back in 2019. Taylor pitched 34 2/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A in 2021 and produced an 8.05 ERA. His strikeout numbers in Double-A (14.7 per nine) were impressive, but he also walked 4.4 per nine across both levels.
And then there’s Mendoza, who the Blue Jays selected. Mendoza tossed 36 1/3 innings (seven starts, 10 appearances) …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays lose Tanner Kirwer and Curtis Taylor in Rule 5 Draft, select Abdiel Mendoza from the Rangers

Look at that! Something to talk about!

The Rule 5 Draft went down on Wednesday and the Blue Jays have lost two prospects but gained another.
The Seattle Mariners selected outfielder Tanner Kirwer and the Washington Nationals took pitcher Curtis Taylor. The Blue Jays selected pitcher Abdiel Mendoza from the Texas Rangers.
The results from the whole draft can be found here…
Tanner Kirwer, a native of Sherwood Park, Alberta, was a 20th round pick of the Blue Jays back in 2017. He had a strong season in High-A Vancouver, slashing a .285/.420/.474 line over 170 plate appearances. His numbers took a decent dip after getting called up to Double-A New Hampshire. Kirwer had 118 plate appearances for the Fisher Cats and slashed a .208/.370/.399 line. He also stole 43 bases across the two levels.
Curtis Taylor was one of the pitchers that the Blue Jays got from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for Eric Sogard back in 2019. Taylor pitched 34 2/3 innings between Double- and Triple-A in 2021 and produced an 8.05 ERA. His strikeout numbers in Double-A (14.7 per nine) were impressive, but he also walked 4.4 per nine across both levels.
The Blue Jays had a few prospects such as Samad Taylor, Miguel Hiraldo, and Eric Pardinho who appeared …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

There’s risk attached to signing Robbie Ray

I’m going to say something that’ll sound controversial and I may be dunked on for saying it. However, I think it must be said: In recent days, I’ve started to lean towards not re-signing Robbie Ray.

This isn’t a slight on Robbie, hell, if it’s announced tomorrow that Robbie Ray signs a contract long-term, I’ll be over the moon halfway to the planet Pluto.
So that begs the question, what the hell am I talking about?
Well, I’ll give you one word: Sustainability.
At this point, the word sustainable has likely become my most written word on this site. It sounds crazy that losing Robbie Ray, a Cy Young nominee (and probable winner) helps the organization’s success stay sustainable, but hear me out.
Qualifying Offer:
If you don’t follow me on Twitter, you’ll know I’m an Oilers fan (#LetsBrennanWriteForOilersNation). In four years’ time, Connor McDavid’s contract will be expiring. If you aren’t a hockey fan, Connor McDavid is like Mike Trout, that’s to say that he’s the best player in the game’s history.
Despite this, if McDavid decides to sign elsewhere before Edmonton trades …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

TLN Three Stars: Well, that was certainly a random weekday November game

Something something progress isn’t linear.
Obviously the Leafs weren’t going to win every single game for the rest of the season, but a game against the Kings both seemed very winnable, but it also seemed like a trap game. It ended up being the latter as the Leafs played relatively well, but ran into the problem of poor officiating, getting goalied by *shudders* Jonathan Quick, and the Kings capitalizing on their mistakes.
It’s a random game on a Monday night in November, it sucks to see the winning streak end, but it probably won’t matter come playoff time.
Three Stars
Third Star: Tobias Bjornfoot
The former first round pick had another solid night on the backend, something the Kings needed with a depleted blueline. He didn’t quite stand out, but he definitely didn’t hurt the team either, and that’s all you can ask from a defenseman.
Second Star: Carl Grundstrom
Grundstrom helped ignite the scoring for the Kings tonight with an underrated job of hanging onto the puck from Michael Bunting before handing it off to Trevor Moore for the opening goal.
First Star: Trevor Moore
Speaking of Moore, his goal was pretty …

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Author: Scott Maxwell / The Leafs Nation

Leafs trade Greenway to the Bruins for Future Considerations

Not the blockbuster you would have hoped for, but it’s something resembling Leafs news today…

TRADE
To Toronto Maple Leafs #LeafsForever Future Considerations
To Boston Bruins #NHLBruins D James Greenway (Signing Rights)https://t.co/6YFJlipItk
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) July 26, 2021

James Greenway is an unsigned NCAA free agent who’s rights are about to expire on August 15th. He’s a big 6’5 defenseman, and the brother of Jordan Greenway of the Minnesota Wild. He’s been in the Leafs organization for a while, and had a setback where he left the University of Wisconsin for the USHL, and then joined the University of Maine. There isn’t a whole lot in his history that says he was going to be an AHL contributor let alone a NHL player for the Leafs, so letting him walk isn’t the end of the world.
On the other hand the Leafs just let a giant defenseman walk to the Bruins for nothing so you know how it’s going to play out. At least they got Future Considerations.

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs are first team to clinch playoff spot in North Division

The Toronto Maple Leafs have done something special — they’ve clinched a playoff spot. More importantly though, Toronto defeats the Montreal Canadiens five times this season for the first time since 1967. The Leafs also clinched a playoff spot with 67 points.
Coincidence? I think not.
Also, Auston Matthews scored a nutty goal, William Nylander continued his hot-streak, Joe Thornton reached 1100 career assists and Adam Brooks had another goal (three in six games).
More fun reaction in my video. I hope you enjoy!

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

How the Kyle Palmieri trade affects the Leafs

How the Kyle Palmieri trade affects the Leafs

It’s taken a while, but the NHL finally did something interesting. Even if it was a trade a player (Kyle Palmieri) that we knew was going to be traded, alongside a player that the GM had been lusting after (Travis Zajac) for a 1st round pick in an underwhelming draft, and two minor league players that I’m sure only existed for that brief moment in time that this trade was completed.
I guess good for the Islanders in beefing up their lineup in a year that they have been more successful than in recent memory, and good for the Devils in picking up one good draft pick instead of a mitt full of midround garbage, but none of this answers the important question, and that is How does this affect the Leafs?
One less trade target
The first thing this trade does is take Kyle Palmieri off the trade market. This isn’t a particularly big deal to a lot of people who were incredibly underwhelmed with the idea of bringing in Palmieri. It leaves Taylor Hall out there with one less team going after him, but might light a fire under teams like Boston and Colorado that …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Nate Pearson has a Grade 1 Right Groin Strain

Here’s something you don’t want to see… Nate Pearson is dealing with a groin injury.

According to Arden Zwelling, Pearson suffered a Grade 1 Right Groin Strain while making his 2021 spring debut on Monday against the Pirates.

Per Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins, Nate Pearson suffered a grade 1 right groin strain while pitching Monday.
Club will be cautious and limit his activity in the coming days; not yet a clear timeline on when he could return to the mound.
— Arden Zwelling (@ArdenZwelling) March 4, 2021

As Zwelling says, there isn’t yet a timeline for Pearson’s return and the team is going to limit his pitching activity in the coming days. According to Google, a grade 1 groin strain occurs when the muscle is overstretched or torn and it generally takes one-to-two weeks until somebody can return to exercise.
Hey, on the bright side, at least it isn’t a blister!
Pearson’s outing on Monday was a bit shaky, as it took him 28 pitches to navigate through one inning of work, so this would probably explain what was going on.
There isn’t really so much of a long-term worry with a groin injury as there would be with elbow …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation