Digging into eight proposed trades involving Blue Jays catchers!

It’s the time of year when we all make hypothetical trade suggestions. It doesn’t help that this off-season has felt incredibly slow. Grab a snack and get curled up, this article is going to be a long one.

A few days ago, Kaitlyn McGrath of The Athletic wrote an article pitching eight trades involving Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk. She spoke with the other team’s beat writers of The Athletic to compile these trades, while former general manager Jim Bowden gave his assessment.
As a somewhat rational Jay fan, I also wanted to take a look at these trades and give my opinion. The fact of the matter is that some of these trades actually make sense, and I want to dig into those ones in particular.
We’ll start by looking at Danny Jansen and Alejandro Kirk by the numbers and attempt to gauge their value.
Danny Jansen:
The 2022 season was a career year for the 27-year-old catcher, at least with the bat. He slashed .260/.339/.516 in 248 plate appearances and had a 10.1 K% and 17.7 BB% during that time.
Where he really impressed though, was the fact that he hit a career-high 15 homers in such a short span, which was good enough for a 140 wRC+ and 2.6 fWAR.

FREE TIP: To shift Danny Jansen, place your outfielders BEHIND the wall pic.twitter.com/N7y35YnNoG
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) May 27, 2022

Defensively, he just hasn’t been the same as his 2019, whe …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Spending the Leafs LTIR cap relief on defense: Rumours

Spending the Leafs LTIR cap relief on defense: Rumours

It’s not yet confirmed that Jake Muzzin is out for the year, but the media (ourselves included) have decided to start spending the cap relief money for Kyle Dubas even though he hasn’t asked anyone to. It’s important to note that some of that cap relief will already be spent thanks to the Leafs always being a little bit over the cap without LTIR this year, but the Leafs are still likely looking at an easy path to $4.5M of available relief using a 21 player roster, or if they wanted to waive Justin Holl and go with a 20 player roster the Leafs would have the full $5.6M of cap relief from Muzzin at their disposal. This is all before considering salary retention or sending money/players out in the trade as well. Basically, it seems like any player is fair game at the moment for the Leafs and that’s a dangerous way to let this market think.
Frank Seravalli suggests six defensemen for the Leafs…
In his article yesterday at DFO, Frank suggested the following six defensemen as replacements for Jake Muzzin:
John Klingberg
Vladislav Gavrikov
Matt Roy
Carson Soucy
Nick Jensen
Dmitri Orlov
Matt Dumba as an honourable mention
I’m going to start off by saying I’d much rather see the Leafs take the Muzzin cap relief and put it toward a high end forward, but since Frank is looking at defensemen that’s what we’ll talk about here.
John Klingberg is following up an underwhelming year with a bad start to …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Amirov resumes treatment, Akhtyamov excelling, Lisowsky lighting it up: Leafs Prospect Roundup

Amirov resumes treatment, Akhtyamov excelling, Lisowsky lighting it up: Leafs Prospect Roundup

It has been an incredibly difficult year for the Leafs’ 2020 first-round pick, Rodion Amirov, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor last February. Through it all, he has been an inspiring source of strength and positivity, and it was great to see him around the Leafs’ players and staff in the early part of the season. It was an invaluable opportunity for him to familiarize himself with the organization and experience what life in the NHL could be like.
Unfortunately, Amirov’s agent Dan Milstein announced last week that he has returned home to his family as he undergoes further treatment and will be putting his training on hold. Amirov continued to train in the early stages of his treatment and had been eying a return to the ice sometime this year, but it appears that is on the back burner as the primary focus remains his overall health.

Update re: Rodion Amirov #WeAreGoldStar! pic.twitter.com/iZzbJR5aHh
— Dan Milstein-Hockey (@HockeyAgent1) November 8, 2022

We here at The Leafs Nation continue to send our best to Amirov and hope to see him fully healthy and back on the ice in the future.
Let’s get to this week’s Prospect Roundup.
Artur Akhtyamov | G | Neftyanik Almetievsk (VHL)
A fourth-round pick of the Leafs back in 2020, Akhtyamov has arguably been the best goaltender in the VHL so far this season. He is tied for the league lead in both wins and shutouts, and his .938 SV% is second among qualified goaltenders, though he has played in seven more games than the lone netminder ahead of him.
Akhtyamov played in his 17th and 18th games of the season l …

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Keith Petruzzelli: What to expect

Keith Petruzzelli: What to expect

Another year of Maple Leafs hockey, another year of the injury bug causing goaltending issues.
With all of Ilya Samsonov, Matt Murray, and Joseph Woll at various phases of recovering from injury, the Leafs have been forced to lean on their depth. Erik Källgren, who saw some time with the Leafs last season, has filled in as starter, with mixed results.
The goaltender that intrigues me, however, is the acting backup Keith Petruzzelli. I wrote in my goaltending primer earlier this year that Petruzzelli would “have to have some degree of AHL success this season” in order to continue being considered an NHL prospect. And a degree of success he has had. Through six games with the Marlies so far, Petruzzelli is 6-0-0 with a .922 save percentage. This strong play, coupled with the Leafs’ injury issues, resulted in him signing his first NHL contract on November 6th.

Some Keith Petruzzelli highlights from this season. The 6-foot-6 netminder is 6-0-0 and has a .922 SV% with the Marlies. Coming off of a strong first professional season with the @NLGrowlers pic.twitter.com/09g3cj1WzB
— Kyle Cushman (@Kyle_Cush) November 6, 2022

To go from starting in the ECHL to earning an NHL contract within a year, injuries or not, is very significant. I spoke with TLN’s Dylan Murphy (@dylanmurphy329 on Twitter) who covers the Growlers for the site about him, and he praised Petruzzelli’s work ethic and positive attitude. Further, Dylan spoke with Growlers head coach Kyle Wellwood, who echoed that sentiment, saying that “[the organization] always said he was a gamer, he just had to learn to be a pro …

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Author: Colin Hunter / The Leafs Nation

Blue Jays Nation 2022 Mid-Season Prospect Countdown: The Players Who Just Missed The Top 60 List

It’s that time of year when prospects sites are updating their rankings, and BJN is no different!

At the beginning of the season, we released 20 articles featuring 20 players, as well as a two “ones to watch”.
For the mid-season update, we’ll be doing a top 60 in six articles. Not just that, but this article will be focusing on the players that just missed out for various reasons, such as age relative to the league they play in, or they’re underperforming.
At the end of the day, these articles are to inform you of players that you may not have known about in the Blue Jays system. There won’t be any 2022 draftees on the “ones that missed” out list, but you can read about them here. 
Unlike the preseason articles, I’ll also be giving my own scouting report on players if they’re in High A, Double A or Triple A. For A ball and the two rookie league teams, we’ll be relying on statistics from the 2022 season.
Zac Cook:
Zac Cook is a 24-year-old outfielder currently with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. He signed with the Blue Jays as an undrafted free agent in 2020 and has risen to be Toronto’s 31st best prospect according to Fangraphs.
Cook’s 2022 stats:
This season, the 24-year-old is slashing .189/.315/.378 in 299 plate appearances. The outfielder has one of the highest home run totals in the Blue Jays organization at 13.

@cookie4822 with ANOTHER homer.@Fishercats are making it close, as the next batter hit a double.#NextLevel #BlueJays pic.twitter.com/clPxlGrgUU
— Brennan …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

2022 TLN Prospect Rankings: #18 Veeti Miettinen

This time last year, Veeti Miettinen was on an upward trajectory following a strong freshman season in the NCAA.
Less than a year removed from being a sixth-round pick for the Toronto Maple Leafs, Miettinen tied for the most points on St. Cloud State, won Rookie of the Year and landed on the Second All-Star Team in his NCAA conference, and rose from an honourable mention on the TLN Prospect Rankings all the way up to 12th.
One year later, Miettinen drops six positions on the TLN Prospect Rankings after an uninspiring sophomore season. A stagnant offensive year with a lack of progression in the deficiencies in his game has cooled some of the Miettinen hype, but there are still skills to get excited about.
Veeti Miettinen
LW | St. Cloud State (NCHC) | Age: 20 | 5-foot-9 | 160 lbs | Shoots: LAcquired: 2020 6th Round, 168th Overall | 2021 Ranking: 12th
On the surface, it would appear that Veeti Miettinen had a similar season to his freshman year. He scored 10 goals and 23 points in 37 games as a sophomore, compared to 11 goals and 24 points in 31 games as a freshman. His scoring rate took a slight dip, but nothing overly drastic?

For starters, St. Cloud State took a slight step offensively, going from 3.26 goals …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation

What could the Jays do with Ross Stripling?

Ross Stripling is in his final year of his contract. What should the Jays do with him? It’s a brand new series!

Sometimes, contenders will trade their main roster players. It sounds weird, but this literally happened in 2020, when the Dodgers traded the Jays Ross Stripling for two prospects.
I’m split on what the Jays should do with the 32-year-old. One half believes the Jays should do everything to re-sign him. The other half of me thinks they should trade him to a contender for a haul of prospects.
Let’s be real, the Jays making the playoffs is not even close to being guaranteed. While they currently sit two games above the next team for the final wildcard spot, there have been signs that point to the team needing a lot of work.
Despite having “one of the best offenses”, when it goes cold, it’s enough to give you frostbite. Whether it be with the approaches at the plate, incredibly streaky hitters, or too many right handed bats in the lineup, if their bats go cold in the playoffs, they’re done.
Surprisingly, starting pitching has been fine, aside from Jose Berrios and Yusei Kikuchi starts. Berrios has been the better of the two (regardless of ERA), and he’s had some fantastic games. Kikuchi, on the other hand, should be a relief pitcher, as he gets a lot of swings and misses.
Which leads me to my next point – the bullpen. Aside from players who’ve pitched under 10 innings, it really hasn …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

TLN Prospect Rankings begin: A look at the Leafs’ graduating prospects

It’s that time of year again, it’s blog summer filler content PROSPECT RANKING TIME!!! That magical time of year where we determine who is the best little buff boy the most promising Leafs prospect of the year.
This year is definitely starting off with a couple of unfortunate recognitions, the first being that Ian Scott has, unfortunately, had to call it a career due to ongoing injuries.

Leafs goalie prospect Ian Scott announces retirement https://t.co/ykV9Nu3yPr
— Daily Faceoff (@DailyFaceoff) July 21, 2022

Ian Scott showed a lot of promise in his post draft year being a surprise addition to the Canadian World Junior Team and being part of leading Prince Albert to a WHL Championship. Once he went pro the injuries started and he was never able to even begin a proper run at an NHL job. It’s an unfortunate part of hockey and we wish all the best to Ian in what comes next for him.
The other unfortunate circumstance involving a Leafs prospect is Rodion Amirov’s fight with cancer. A highly touted prospect that many of us are excited to have come over and play in North America is dealing with a far more pressing health issue this year, and while we hope to have the privilege of seeing him in a Leafs camp someday soon, this year it seems inappropriate to include him in our prospect rankings.
The criteria for being included in the rankings
To be considered a prospect in the TLN rankings the player must be under the age of 24 and has to have played 41 or fewer games (no more than the equivalent of half a regular season.) It should also be clear the player has to be on the Maple Leafs re …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Alex Kerfoot is good, but sometimes you have to trade good players

Alex Kerfoot had a career year last season. Good for him. After a couple of years of feeling the weight of expectations for not being Nazem Kadri, he had a year he could hang his hat on. Unfortunately, Nazem Kadri really had a season and Kerfoot still had to feel the weight of that trade, as unfair as that is.
Still, Kerfoot had a good productive season putting up 51 points while only averaging 15 minutes a night and only getting second unit power play time. For the Leafs he was a chameleon, never really having a set spot in the lineup, but constantly blending into his surroundings, either as Tavares’ winger, or a part time center during Auston Matthews’ injuries, and Kerfoot spent plenty of time in the bottom six as well, but managed to produce in those situations too. He fit into the power kill philosophy on the penalty kill, and was generally pretty good. At $3.5M he has value, at only $750k remaining to be paid on his contract, he’s an absolute bargain.

It’s pretty easy to see that Kerfoot brought a lot to the table last season and even in the years prior to that was a very serviceable middle six forward. Even if Kerfoot isn’t living up to his career year he adds value to a team. For the Leafs though, it seems they need him to be at his career year levels. In fact, there seems to be a lot of banking on a career year or better for Leafs players this season and that’s a tad frightening.
The Leafs have an apparent interest in keeping Alex Kerfoot, as discussed by Frank Seravalli earlier this week. There is interest in him around the league, but with a definite shortage of top six talent in the free agency market, the familiarity with Kerfoot makes the case for why he’d stay.
That said, it feels like the easy way out. It’s also committing to once again losing an asset …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Mark Shapiro Era Draft Retrospective: 2018

Although it feels like just a year ago, it’s been over 4 years since the 2018 draft.

It has to be said that this was the current regime’s most creative draft. They went underslot with their first round pick, just to go overslot with their third rounder.  Those two players also went to the same high school and were seniors at the same time, so this will be a pretty interesting article.
Jordan Groshans:
Selected with the 12th overall pick, the 22-year-old is the first player in this series to currently be on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 list. Let’s look over each season of the utility player’s career.
In 2018, he played for the two rookie league teams. He posted a .296/.353/.446 slash line in 207 plate appearances. He hit five homers between the two levels, a rather impressive display of power early in his professional career.
Moving on to 2019, Groshans was promoted to the Lansing Lugnuts in A ball. In 96 plate appearances, he slashed .337/.427/.428 while adding two homers. He had a K% of 21.9 (a career high), but walked 13.5% of the time, which is also a career high). In May, he had an undisclosed left foot injury, which ended his season prematurely.
Much like every single other minor league player, Groshans didn’t participate in the 2020 minor league season, because there wasn’t one. However, Groshans played at the alt site, where he re …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation