The Blue Jays have acquired Juan Graterol (which means Reese McGuire is probably getting cut)

The Blue Jays announced today that they had acquired a familiar face (well, a familiar face if you were really, really invested in the dark days of the rebuilding era).

Juan Graterol is back! The team acquired him from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in exchange for cash considerations.
Graterol, as you surely don’t remember, was a member of the Blue Jays organization for, like, three months back in 2017. The Jays grabbed him off of waivers that off-season and he played a handful of games for the Buffalo Bisons and then they traded him to the Angels for cash.
He’s pretty much been an insurance, third- or fourth-string catcher option for his entire career. He’s 32 years old and has played in only 67 big-league games while being a part of six different organizations. In those 67 games, he’s slashed a .218/.227/.266 line with zero homers. But, hey, he can squat behind the plate and catch the damn ball!
So, what does this mean?
I would assume it means that the team is going to cut Reese McGuire and they want a veteran third-string option so that they don’t have to call up a prospect like Riley Adams …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Multiple teams calling Toronto about Norman Powell trade

Toronto Raptors: Multiple teams calling Toronto about Norman Powell trade

The Toronto Raptors are still figuring out if they will be buyers or sellers at the deadline, as their quality roster has been let down by the fact that several star players have missed time due to the league’s health and safety protocols. While they could be buyers and trade for someone like Tristan Thompson, […]
Toronto Raptors: Multiple teams calling Toronto about Norman Powell trade – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Is Malachi Flynn still a long-term building block?

Toronto Raptors: Is Malachi Flynn still a long-term building block?

The Toronto Raptors know they need to find some young backcourt help in order to help them prepare for the post Kyle Lowry era, and Masai Ujiri tagged San Diego State point guard Malachi Flynn as a potential savior after using the 29th pick in the 2020 NBA Draft on the Mountain West Player of […]
Toronto Raptors: Is Malachi Flynn still a long-term building block? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Who is the Juggernaut Jr. of the North Division?

The Leafs have had what they would deem a “slump” by dropping two games in regulation, and the fact that these losses came against a very bad Canucks team might lead people to panic. Those people would be silly. There are going to be off nights, and Auston Matthews is still recovering. The Leafs are safely the first place team in this division, and all the juggernaut jinxes in the world won’t change that.
That being said, I was curious this week, and decided to ask The Leafs Nation contributors who is likely to take the second place spot in the Scotia North Division and why. Here are their responses…
Michael Mazzei:
At the start of the season, I would have said that the Canadiens would end up in second. But as we approach the halfway point, it’s starting to look like it will be the Jets that finish there as they have separated themselves from the rest of the division as the second best team in Canada. I think they and the Leafs will be in a dog fight the rest of the way and the team that will be their biggest threat for the top spot.


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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Grapefruit Notes: The much-anticipated George Springer debut that nobody saw

The Blue Jays remain undefeated in 2021 as they beat the Phillies by a score of 4-2 (after picking up a 2-2 tie against the Pirates on Monday.

Tuesday’s game was headlined by George Springer’s debut as a Blue Jay. Unfortunately, all we got to see from this game was A) a MLB dot com’s Gameday feed and B) a 10-second clip on Twitter of Springer hitting a single.
This whole spring training broadcast (or lack thereof) situation is obviously nothing new and everyone has pissed and moaned about it by this point. But still, it’s absolutely perplexing that Rogers allowed the Blue Jays to go out and spend $150 million on a player and the first view of them in a game wasn’t aired or even played on the radio.
Could you imagine if John Tavares’ first pre-season game with the Maple Leafs wasn’t aired? I’ve seen more effort put into broadcasting pre-pre-season NHL rookie intra-squad games than George Springer’s Blue Jays debut.
Anyways!
Things worth mentioning…

We also missed the not-quite-as-anticipated debuts of Steven Matz and Tyler Chatwood, two of Toronto’s off-season pitching additions. Matz tossed two innings and allowed one …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Raptors: Can Toronto pull off an Andre Drummond trade?

Raptors: Can Toronto pull off an Andre Drummond trade?

The Toronto Raptors need to be aggressive if they want to stay near the top of the Eastern Conference totem pole, and trying to solve their issues at center could go a very long way towards making them a more robust team. With the Cleveland Cavaliers still building for the future, center Andre Drummond could […]
Raptors: Can Toronto pull off an Andre Drummond trade? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors Mock Draft: Should Toronto grab UNC’s Day’Ron Sharpe?

Raptors Mock Draft: Should Toronto grab UNC’s Day’Ron Sharpe?

The Toronto Raptors are a solid team, but they need some help in certain areas. Rebounding is a big concern for the team, and the team needs an upgrade from Aron Baynes at the starting center position. Could a draft prospect who is steadily rising in the rankings in North Carolina’s Day’Ron Sharpe be a […]
Raptors Mock Draft: Should Toronto grab UNC’s Day’Ron Sharpe? – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Ben Zelniker / Raptors HQ

The Toronto Six add to win column with a 4-2 victory against the Buffalo Beauts

On a night where they weren’t even supposed to play, the Toronto Six pull off a magnificent win over the Buffalo Beauts.
This team keeps making history, and it is a beautiful thing.

FIRST EVER WIN STREAK IN FRANCHISE HISTORY pic.twitter.com/5WSODnmfI4
— Toronto Six (@TheTorontoSix) January 28, 2021

Let’s dive into the things that made this game what it is.
A FULL PLAY BY PLAY RECAP AVAILABLE HERE
The Good and The Great
Right from the get-go, it is evident that there was an improvement from yesterday’s game. They came out of the gate with powerful energy and got right to work. As this game progressed we saw the team get creative not only with plays but with their goals as well. The Toronto Six put in the work to tie the game after they lost their lead to the Beauts and eventually took back the lead. With each game that passes their ability to read plays as a team develops. They did a great job with this throughout, and it allowed them to take amazing shots. 
Yet again the SOG were high and very much in favor of the Six 49-26. That offensive power is so …

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Author: Marsha Joseph / The Leafs Nation

Raptors: Grading Nick Nurse after first month of the season

Raptors: Grading Nick Nurse after first month of the season

The Toronto Raptors looked like they were destined for a major regression in 2020-21, as Nick Nurse couldn’t get his troops to muster the same effort on both sides of the floor as they did in 2019-20. Given the looming COVID-19 pandemic forcing them to relocate to Tampa in addition to the loss of both […]
Raptors: Grading Nick Nurse after first month of the season – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Leafs split another series and that’s okay

No Matthews. No Thornton. No Robertson. No problem. Well, they didn’t make it look that easy. The Leafs were significantly helped by a strong outing from Freddie Andersen, who held the Oilers to two goals. The Leafs were certainly helped by Nylander, who was carrying the Leafs through the early part of the game, and setting up Jimmy Vesey for the goal that made tonight seem like winning was a real possibility.
Yes, the Leafs won, and with a 4-2-0 record, they appear to be on track for the season we want them to have. In reality, they have not made it look like they know what they are doing at any given in the season, and perhaps for a team that had a short camp and a number of a new faces, and now is plagued with injuries, expecting them to be dominant is too much to ask.
Tonight the Leafs depth was the most encouraging takeaway. The recently scolded Pierre Engvall didn’t look bad in his third line center role after being called out by Sheldon Keefe at the end of training camp. Adam Brooks picking up his first NHL goal was certainly memorable, but …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation