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The 2020 Toronto Blue Jays [OOTP15]

Started By ryan008, Jan 30, 2015 10:54 AM

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#1

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I have been dying to get back into writing a dynasty report ever since I lost my Blue Jays Dynasty after a corrupted hard drive killed it in 2032. So I decided to start a new 2015 game and let it sim 5 seasons before I took over. I wanted to see what the computer GM would do with the Jays and to be honest he did a very good job! 

In 5 seasons the Blue Jays managed to make the playoffs 4 times (with 2017 being the exception) and in the last 2 seasons they have had the best record in baseball winning 103 games in 2019 and 110 in 2019. The regular season is where their success seems to stop however, as they have not made it out of the first round yet losing to Detroit in 2018 and just this past season they were swept by the Cleveland Indians. 

We pick up our story at the conclusion of the 2019 Playoffs. The National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies have steam rolled the Cleveland Indians 4 games to 1 to capture the 2019 World Series. The Phillies went 88-7 during the regular season capturing the National League East Crown before beating the Dodgers and the Brewers en route to their 3rd World Series title and 1st since 1998. The Rule V draft is right around the Corner and the Jays new GM, Ryan Stewart has some very big decisions looming with a couple of players in Salary Arbitration. 

Here we go! Thanks for reading and I hope you enjoy.



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#2

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I'm going to do "Meet the Blue Jays" post soon but I wanted to get through the first part of the Offseason first. The Jays head into the arbitration hearings with 11 Players eligible and with 3 players whom free agency is looming.

The Arbitration cases are no real concern to me right now. We have a $170,000,000 budget and our payroll is in pretty good shape at just over $120,000,000. My issue is with two of the 3 free agents. I have roughly $16 million left available for extensions and the reigning AL MVP 3B Brett Lawrie who hit .305 with 42 HR and driving in 129 RBI's is up for free agency. He is currently looking for a 9 year contract worth a whopping $243,000,000 (with an annual average value of $27,000,000). Its not that I don't think he is worth that kind of money its just that I do not have it in my budget without cutting my scouting and development budgets or by moving someone else. Unfortunately I will have to offer him arbitration and hope he accepts. If he doesn't I can try to get him as a free agent or at the very least we will recoup a draft pick.

The other player is CF Anthony Gose the 29 year old has been the Jays #2 hitter for the better part of the last 3 seasons since taking over for CF Colby Rasmus who left he Jays in the 2014 off season signing a contract with the rival New York Yankees. Gose is looking for a 3 year deal and also wants north of $15 million a season. He hit just .237 with 9 HR and 68 RBI and spent 2 months on the Disabled list with a thumb injury. I'm going to offer him arbitration and see if he accepts, and then possibly negotiate an extension with him this season. If worst comes to worst and he declines he is compensation eligible and we will get another compensation selection at the conclusion of the 1st round.

Up Next: The 2019 Rule V Draft



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December 1st, 2019

The 2019 Rule V draft came on right away and I am definitely going to have to trust the Jays Director of Scouting Brian Parker who has held that position in the organization for the past 6 seasons. I quickly went over the scouting reports of the players available and there was one in particular that caught my eye. We hold the 30th overall pick in the draft with the Yankees, Colorado Rockies and Chicago Cubs picking 1-2-3. So we waited patiently to make our selection and when the 30th overall pick came up the player we wanted was still on the board:

1st Round 30th, Overall 

The Jays selected 3B Stu Daniels a 23 year old right handed hitter out of the Arizona Diamondbacks organization. Daniels is a former 1st round pick of the DBacks 17th overall in 2015 out of Seattle High School in the United States High School Baseball Association (USHSBS). He spent the entire season in AA Mobile where he hit .272 with 18 HR and drove in 64 RBI. He was a Southern league All Star and took home the 2019 Southern League Gold Glove award at 3B. At the start of the season he ranked as the #29th best prospect in the game and my scouts seem to think he will hit for a decent average and maybe around 15 homers a season. With 3B Brett Lawrie's departure a virtual certainty, this is a gamble that I am more then willing to take and a very cheep way to fill a gaping hole in our lineup. 

The rest of the Rule V Draft was uneventful as we didn't lose anyone nor pick anyone else up. So we move along to the Salary Arbitration and the Free Agency Filings.

Up Next: Meet Your Toronto Blue Jays Part 1 Starting Pitchers



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The Blue Jays had one of the best starting rotations in the majors last season ranking in the top 5 in ERA, Walks and Strikeouts. The staff is relatively young and durable and has been the main reason the Jays have been able to do so well in the regular season.

Starting Pitchers

SP Jamie Cox Cox just took home the 2019 American League Cy Young Award after a fantastic season that saw him go 22-6 with a 2.55 ERA he struck out 318 batters and walked just 61 in 244 innings of work. The 27 year old lefty is a homegrown talent ahving been drafted by the Jays in the 1st round 9th overall in the 2014 First Year Player Draft out of Michigan State in the NCAA. He is just heading into his 4th full season in the league and is a 2 time Cy Young Award Winner and a 3 time All Star. He currently makes $8,100,000 and has 4 years of control left. He is the face of the franchise and will be the teams opening day starter in 2020.

SP Gerrit Cole Cole is a 29 year old righty who was acquired by the Blue Jays from the Pittsburg Pirates at the trade deadline in 2016 for catching prospect Gary Sanchez. Cole had a tremendous season in 2018 going 20-7 with a 3.20 ERA and finished 2nd int he Cy Young Voting to teammate Jamie Cox. He struggled in 2019 though with an 11-12 record with a 4.56 ERA. He makes $9,900,000 and could see free agency at the end of this season. He is a very good #2 starter and at 29 i just entering his prime. We will likely be looking at extending him this season.

SP Kohl Stewart Is the Jays #3 starter. The 25 year old right hander was acquired by the Jays in 2016 in a trade that saw them send SP Gabriel Ynoa (whom they picked in the Rule V Draft the previous season) to the Twins in exchange for Stewart. He was the 3rd overall pick of the Twins in the 2013 First Year Player Draft but hasn't quite lived up to that draft status. He was solid for the Jays in 2019 going 10-11 with a 4.29 ERA however and is a relatively inexpensive and effective #3 starter. He makes $6,875,000 and is arbitration eligible at the end of this season. He is a solid #3 and will reprise that roll in 2020.

SP Marcus Stroman The 28 year old is another home grown talent having been drafted in the 1st round 22nd overall by the Jays in the 2012 First Year Player Draft. He provides the team with tremendous value in the 4th spot in the rotation having posted an 18-8 record with a 4.21 ERA in 2019. He earns just $1,700,000 this year and is still arbitration eligible. 

SP Nathan Kirby The 26 year old lefty is a former 1st round pick of the Baltimore Orioles 15th overall in 2015 out of the University of North Carolina. He was dealt to the Blue Jays in 2016 for SP Drew Smyly (Smyly was acquired by the Blue Jays from the Tigers in exchange for SS Jose Reyes). in 2017 Kirby was the #59th rated prospect in baseball. The 6'2" left was 16-6 with a 3.04 ERA for the Jays in 2019 and makes just $500,000 this season. He is also arbitration eligible at the conclusion of this season. 

Down on the Farm

The Jays farm system is rated as the #22nd best in baseball heading in the 2020 season (A ranking I intend to increase dramatically!) and it boasts a few intriguing arms that could impact at the Major League Level sooner rather then later.

SP Jake Godfrey A 23 year old righty was a 2nd round pick of the San Francisco Giants in 2014 and was traded to Toronto in 2015 by Oakland for SS Hideto Asamura who was a Jamanese shortstop who was signed by the Jays as an International Free Agent in early 2015. Godfrey features a 96-98 MPH fastball as well as a very good curve and a slightly above average slider. He was 15-9 with a 3.16 ERA in AAA Buffalo and is knocking at the door to get his shot at the MLB level.

SP Bob Miller is a 24 year old right hander whom the Jays drafted int he 1st round 24th overall iin 2015 out of Long Beach High School in the USHSBA. He features a 97-99 MPH fastball as well as a very good cutter and a devastating change up. He was 10-14 with a 4.39 ERA in AAA Buffalo. His ceiling is that of a #3 starter but realistically is a back of the rotation arm due to his command issues. 

SP Cisco Ramos is a 22 year old lefty who stands 6'4" and features a very hard 95-97 MPH fastball as well as a very good curve, slider, change up and forkball. He was 13-7 with a 3.12 ERA in 2019 for the AAA Buffalo Bisons. He originally signed as an International Free Agent with the San Diego Padres in 2014 out of Columboa and was traded to the Jays in 2018 by the Chicago White Sox. He doesn't have the stuff that the previous two pitchers have but he has better control. My scouts believe he is a mid to back end of the rotation arm.

SP Erik Black Another lefty and another Jays 1st Round Pick 27th overall in 2017 out of the University of Hawaii. He spent the 2019 season in AA New Hampshire where he was 12-11 with a 4.22 ERA. He features a 96-98 MPH fastball as well as a below average curve and a very good slider and splitter. He will start the season in AAA Buffalo this season and is another mid rotation innings eater that could see time in the Jays rotation as early as 2020.

SP Jose Cerventes A 20 year old righty who is also a hard thrower with a 96-98 MPH fastball. He also throws a curve, slider and change. He was signed as an international amateur free agent by the Jays in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic for a whopping $3,000,000. He spent all of the 2019 season in Short Season A Vancouver where he was 9-5 with a 2.65 ERA. He needs to work on both his control and stamina and is better suited at the back end of an MLB bullpen. But I will give him every opportunity to be a starter simply because he has electric stuff. 

Up Next: Meet the Blue Jays Part 2 the Relievers



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The Blue Jays Bullpen was the best in baseball in 2019 in terms of team ERA finishing the season with a sparkling 2.75 ERA. Having a shut down bullpen is a huge asset and most of the Jays hurlers are still relatively you, controllable and cost effective. Lets meet the Jays relief corps

Relievers

CL Rex brothers
2019 Stats:6-1 23 Saves 1.84 ERA 30 BB 63 K (49.0 IP)
Acquired: Was traded to the Blue Jays in 2014 by the Colorado Rockies in exchange for 2B Maicer Izturis and C A.J. Jimenez.
Contract:$7,000,000 in 2020 + a $7,000,000 Team option for 2021
GM's Comments The 31 year old lefty has been lights out at the back end of the Jays bullpen since coming over from the Rockies in 2014. He has been a 5 time AL All Star for the Jays and at just a 7 million dollar a year salary is a bargain. 

MR Carson Fulmer
2019 Stats:4-3 1 Save 2.54 ERA 16 BB 67 K (60.1 IP IP)
Acquired: 3rd round pick 95th overall in 2015 out of Notre Dame in the NCAA. He was traded to the Blue Jays in 2017 for RF Alfredo Despaigne who was an international free agent signing by the Jays.
Contract:$500,000 Auto Renew (Potential Arbitration)
GM's Comments A hard throwing right he has fit in nicely as the 8th inning guy for the Jays. 2019 was his second full season in the Majors and he has already emerged as a shut down guy. He has 3 very good pitches (a fastball, slider and change up) and was a starter in the NCAA. A low stamina forced him into the bullpen and it has been a great move.

MR Chris Richardson
2019 Stats:2-4 9 SV 4.92 ERA 35 BB 54 K (53.0 IP)
Acquired: 2nd round pick 45th overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2014 out of the University of Cincinnati he was selected by the Jays in the 1st round 21st overall in the 2017 Rule V Draft. 
Contract:$500,000 auto renewal
GM's Comments A 27 year old lefty who has emerged as the Jays left handed specialist as well as a complement to Fulmer in the 8th inning of games. He features a 93-95 MPH fastball and a very good slider. He limited lefties to a .209 batting average this season but had some troubles with the righties. His control is a little suspect still and he has trouble with the walks but he is a reliable and cost effective bullpen arm.

MR Tony Boone
2019 Stats: 0-2 5 Saves 2.39 ERA 16 BB 46 K (49.1 IP)
Acquired: A 2nd round pick 46th overall in 2014 by the Baltimore Orioles out of Hialeah High School. He was picked up in the 2017 Rule V Draft from the San Diego Padres in the 2nd round.
Contract:$500,000 (Auto Renewal)
GM's Comments The 24 year old righty is a force out on the mound standing 6'7" and weighing in at 225 lbs. He has a very hard cutter that sits 96-98 MPH as well as a very good slider. He developed a change up but it is well below average at this point. Another good young arm he will likely be groomed to move in to the latter innings role.

MR Aaron Crow
2019 Stats:4-1 1 Save 1.80 ERA 15 BB 42 K (45.0 IP)
Acquired: Selected by the Blue Jays in the 2015 Rule V Draft from the Texas Rangers.
Contract: 1 year $1,105,000 (FA at end of 2020 season)
GM's Comments The veteran of the Jays bullpen the 3 year old righty is the leader down there and he did a very good job in 2019 finishing with a 1.80 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP. He is a free agent at seasons end and despite getting a little older still has some good life on his fastball sitting in the 94-96 MPH range. 

MR Mark Montgomery
2019 Stats: 7-2 1 Save 3.99 ERA 30 BB 61 K (56.1 IP)
Acquired: Traded tot he Blue Jays by the Yankees in 2014 in a massive deal that sent 1B Edwin Encarnacion and prospects to the Yankees
Contract:$1,200,000 (Arbitration Eligible)
GM's Comments A 29 year old righty he was the work horse of the Jays pen logging 56.1 innings of work. He is another solid pen arm and a veteran who has 4 years of service in the Jays bullpen.

Bullpen Losses

The final part of the Jays bullpen was 30 year old MR Daniel Webb. The 30 year old righty was traded to the Blue Jays in 2014 by the Chicago White Sox in 2014 in exchange for 1B Adam Lind and LF Melky Cabrerra. He was 4-2 with 12 saves and posted a 2.52 ERA. He was looking for a contract in the 3 year and $30 million dollar range and that was just not something that I was willing to do. He wasn't going to be the closer and I had no intention of paying him closer money so he elected to become a free agent. 

Down on the Farm

With the departure of MR Daniel Webb as a free agent the Jays pen will have at least one spot open for this upcoming season. There are a few options that I'll look at internally.

[B][MR Nick Kennedy/B] A 22 year old power lefty (99-101 MPH fastball) who was 2-2 with 3 Saves and a 1.83 ERA in AA New Hampshire this season. He was a 14th round pick of the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2015 out of Newark High School in the USHSBA. The Jays acquired him in a trade in 2016 in exchange for SP Drew Hutchinson. Ideally he will go to AAA to get at least 1 more year of seasoning but he has the stuff to be a dominant late inning guy and he could force his way on to the team with a good performance during the spring.

MR Randy Cleveland A 26 year old righty who has spent the last 3 seasons in AAA Buffalo. He was 3-2 with 4 Saves and posted a 2.08 ERA in 62 games in 2019. He was drafted by the Jays in the 3rd round 71st overall in 2014 out of the University of San Francisco. He is not the youngest prospect on this list and really he only has 1 good pitch (he throws 3 a 91-93 MPH fastball and a curve and circle change that are both well below MLB average) but he will be invited to camp and could earn a spot with the big club this spring.

CL Jorge Miranda A 23 year old righty who was drafted by the Jays in the 2nd round 58th overall in 2016 out of Omaha Beach High School in the USHSBA. He was the closer for AA New Hampshire in 2019 going 3-7 with 41 saves and had a 3.48 ERA. He features 3 pitches: a 93-95 MPH fastball as well as a curve and is developing a changeup. He is likely ticked to close out games in AAA but could also factor in the Jays plans this year depending on how the offseason shakes out.

MR Jeff Henderson Another member of the AA New Hampshire Fisher Cats bullpen, the 24 year old lefty was 5-4 with 5 Saves and a 4.70 ERA in 2019. He was drafted by the Jays in the 5th round 154th overall out of the University of Minnesota. He was a starter in college so he he has very good stamina along with 2 solid offerings (a 92-94 MPH fastball and a wipeout slider). He is probably the most likely to me MLB ready this season despite not pitching above AA yet. 

Up Next: Meet the Blue Jays Part 3: The Batters



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Meet the Blue Jays Part 3: The Batters
The Blue Jays offence finished at or near the top of the league in just about every offensive category. When you combine their offensive ability with the dominant pitching they have been getting you have a recipe for success and thats why the Jays have been one of the best teams in baseball the last 5 seasons. The Jays offence did take a significant hit this off season though as the lost the reigning AL MVP 3B Brett Lawrie and their starting CF Anthony Gose as free agents. the rest of the Jays roster shapes up like this:

The Batters

C Max Pentecost 
2019 Stats: .320 20 HR 77 RBI
Acquired: Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 2014 First Year Player Draft 11th overall. 
Contract:$8,125,000 (Arbitration eligible)
GM's Comments: The Jays 1st round pick back in 2014 he has quickly emerged as one of the best all around catchers in Major League Baseball. He is a two time American League All Star and plays gold glove caliber defense. He is running out of arbitration years though and he is going to be getting quite expensive. One of the goals this season will be to get him locked up long term. 

C Tomoya Mori 
2019 Stats: ..267 6 HR 34 RBI
Acquired: Signed by the Jays as an International Free Agent in 2014 out of Japan. 
Contract:$500,000 (Auto Renew)
GM's Comments: The left handed compliment to Pentecost. He is very solid defensively and has a strong accurate arm. He isn't going to hit for a lot of power but he can drive the ball to the gaps. He runs very well for a catcher too and managed to steal 11 bases last season. 

1B A.J. Reed 
2019 Stats: .304 38 HR 117 RBI
Acquired: 1st round pick 5th overall but the Minnesota Twins. Traded to the Jays by the Minnesota Twins in 2017 for SP Vladimir Garcia and SP Jose Mujica.
Contract:$8,125,000 (Arbitration eligible)
GM's Comments: The 26 year old lefty bopper has become one of the biggest power threats in the game. He was an AL All Star in 2019 and finished 3rd in the home run race this year. He is another young player who is headed to the end of his arbitration years and will need to be locked up long term. 

2B Kolten Wong
2019 Stats: .274 11 HR 60 RBI 24 SB
Acquired: Traded to the Blue Jays in 2014 by the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for prospects SP Aaron Sanchez and SS Franklin Barreto.
Contract:$7,000,000, 7,000,000 , $9,500,000 (Team Option)
GM's Comments: The diminutive 29 year old has been a staple at the top of the Jays line up since being acquired in 2014 by the Jays. He is a two time AL All Star and plays tremendous gold glove caliber defense. His batting average dipped a little last year but his .274 number is still respectable. 

3B Stu Daniels 
2019 Stats: .272 18 HR 64 RBI (AA Mobile)
Acquired: Drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 1st round 17th overall in 2015 out of Seattle High School. He was taken by the Jays in the 2019 Rule V Draft. 
Contract:$8,125,000 (Arbitration eligible)
GM's Comments: The newest member of the Blue Jays he was just selected during the 2019 Rule V draft. The Jays are hoping that he can somewhat offset the loss of 3B Brett Lawrie who left as a free agent. The 23 year old has never appeared above AA but has a lot of talent and the Jays scouting and development staffs are optimistic about his outlook. 

SS Xander Bogaerts 
2019 Stats: .265 32 HR 96 RBI
Acquired: Traded to the Blue Jays by the Boston Red Sox in 2015 in exchange for SP R.A. Dickey 
Contract:$13,781,250 (Arb Eligible but possible FA at seasons end)
GM's Comments: Bogaerts was acquired in 2015 in a very good trade for the Jays that saw them part ways with SP R.A. Dickey. The 27 year old is a 3 time American League All Star for the Jays and has been a stalwart at short and a leader in the club house. He is also coming to the end of his arbitration clock and we are going to need to lock him up long term.

DH Anthony Rizzo 
2019 Stats: ..264 28 HR 86 RBI
Acquired: Traded to the Blue Jays in 2015 by the Chicago Cubs in exchange for SP Dustin McGowan 
Contract:$14,500,000 (FA at seasons end)
GM's Comments: The 30 year old lefty has been an All Star in all of the last 4 seasons but has seen a decline in his skills of late. He has been supplanted at 1st by 1B A.J. Reed and has been relegated to the DH role. He is getting expensive at $14.5 million and will likely not be resigned unless that number drops dramatically. For this season though he will provide a very good bat in the middle of the lineup.

LF Desmond Jennings
2019 Stats: .283 19 HR 65 RBI
Acquired: Signed a 1 year $1,300,000 contract with the Blue Jays as a Free Agent in 2018. 
Contract:$1,500,000 (FA at seasons end)
GM's Comments: the 3 year old has been a pleasant surprise for the Jays. He was signed in 2018 as a depth move and ended up hitting his way into the starting lineup. He was an All Star in 2019 and I'm hoping that he can continue that trend into the 2020 season. He plays very good defense in left and has some speed on the base paths. His play will definitely dictate if he will get a new contract offer from us this season.

LF Randal Girchuk 
2019 Stats: .194 1 HR 6 RBI
Acquired: Claimed on waivers by the Blue Jays in 2018 from the St. Louis Cardinals. 
Contract:$900,000 (Arbitration eligible)
GM's Comments: He is the Jays defensive replacement and 4th outfielder. He is a defensive whiz in the outfield and can play all 3 positions. Offensively he is just average and he won't wow you with any of his tools. But he should hit enough to make a spot start here and there. 

RF Justin Williams 
2019 Stats: ..260 33 HR 103 RBI
Acquired: Traded to the Toronto Blue Jays in 2018 by the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for SP Carlos Martinez 
Contract:$6,000,000 (Arbitration eligible)
GM's Comments: the 24 year old is just starting to hit his stride with the Jays. He has tremendous pop in his bat and should hit upwards of 35 home runs a season. The knock against him would be his lack of disciple at the plate and the fact that he strikes out quite a bit. He is very strong defensively and gives the Jays gold glove caliber defense at both corner outfield positions.

Down on the Farm

The Jays farm system is a little thin on position prospects with 5 of the Jays top 6 being starting pitchers. The top position prospects are:

SS Nicholas Gordon A 24 year old left handed batter who was drafted by the Jays in the 2nd round 41st overall in 2014 out of Clearwater High School int he USHSBA. He hit .299 with 14 HR and 55 RBI for AAA Buffalo this season and is a defensive whiz on the infield taking home the International League gold glove in 2019. He is pretty close to being MLB ready and could make SS Xander Bogaerts expendable.

1B Ryan Tellez a 24 year old power bat he hit .251 with 39 HR and 102 RBI for the AAA Buffalo Bisons in 2019. He is above average defensively and has a lot of pop in his bat. He is blocked by Rizzo and Reed at the MLB level but could make some intriguing trade bait to fill one of my other holes this off season. 

LF Don Bergeron A 21 year old who was the Jays 2nd round pick 60th overall in 2017 out of Washington High School in the USHSBA. He hit .350 with 4 HR and 25 RBI for Rookie League Blue Field in 2019. He has a lot of talent and can do everything but hit homeruns. He is definitely on my radar but is a ways off from making an impact.

Up Next: 2019 Free Agency & Jays Offseason Report


#7

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Free Agency & 2019 Off Season Report
My first off season as the Jays GM went by quickly. The Scouting and Development Staffs and I sat down and identified three key areas that we needed to address:

Need #1 - Third Base
This one is quite obvious. We lost a big piece of our line up when 3B Brett Lawrie elected to leave as a free agent. I was unable to sign or trade for any big name replacement but we picked 3B Stu Daniels in the Rule V Draft and were hopeful that he can be a useful contributor this season. Some of the other internal options include: 3B Jeimer Candelario who hit .323 with 12 HR and 65 RBI in AAA this season and 3B Jeff Hatcher who had a monster season in AA new Hampshire hitting .291 with 32 HR and 91 RBI. Both will be in camp this spring and both will get a shot at the starting job. Right now its Daniel's to lose.

Need #2 A Bullpen Arm
We had an opening in the pen when MR Daniel Webb elected free agency this off season. We have a couple of internal arms that we will give a look at but I went out and made my first free agent signing. We inked CL Paco Rodriguez to a 1 year $6,300,000 contract. The 28 year old lefty was 3-3 with 12 Saves and a 3.00 ERA for the Yankees last season. We inked him because I wanted to add another lefty to work the middle innings and a 1 year deal at $6.3 mil seemed like a reasonable price. He isn't overpowering sitting 90-92 but throws 5 different pitches and has a ton of movement. 

Need #3 An Outfielder
Our final need this off season was an outfielder. We lost CF Anthony Gose who elected free agency and I was not blown away by any of the other options we had internally. We had a look at the available free agents and once again nothing jumped out at me there. So we ended up using some of our prospect depth and made a deal with the Chicago Cubs. We sent 1B Ryan TellezSP Alberto TiradoSP Bob Miller and SP Charlie King to the Cubs in exchange for CF Albert Almora

Players to Chicago

1B Ryan Tellez is a 24 year old left handed power bat who hit .251 with 39 HR and 102 RBI for the Bisons in 2019. He is above average defensively and has a really nice approach at the plate. He is blocked at the MLB level by 1B A.J. Reed so he was expendable.

SP Alberto Tirado is a 25 year old righty who the Jays signed as an International Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic. He was 7-2 with a 3.16 ERA with 26 BB and 96 strikeouts for AAA Buffalo. He scouts as a mid to back end of the rotation arm and was being considered for the vacant bullpen role.

SP Charlie King is a former 1st round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals 24th overall in 2016 and was acquired by the Jays in a trade in 2018. He was 8-13 with a 4.61 ERA with 63 BB and 128 K's for Dunedin in the Florida State League. My scouts are split on his ability, with him looking like a top of the rotation arm at points but then struggling with his command at other times. He should at a minimum be a middle of the rotation arm with a lot of upside. Its just a question of if he can fulfill his potential.

SP Bob Miller Miller is the centerpiece of this deal for the Cubs. He was the Jays 1st Round Pick 24th overall in 2015 out of Long Beach High School and has top of the rotation arm written all over him. The 24 year old sits 97-99 MPH with his fast ball and has pin point control. He was 10-14 with a 4.39 ERA with 69 walks against 171 strikeouts in AAA last season. It was tough to give him up but the Cubs would not do the deal without him included. Our depth takes a little bit of a hit with his trade but there are still a number of good arms there that we should be able to absorb his loss.

Players to Toronto

CF Albert Almora is a 25 year old right handed batter who had a terrific season in Chicago last year. He hit .350 with 21 HR and drove in 86 RBI en route to an appearance for the National League at the 2019 All Star Game. He is a 5 tool player (with his power tool being the worst of the bunch) with a cannon for an arm and very good range defensively. We see him as our everyday centerfielder and he will most likely slot in the #2 or #3 spot in the lineup depending on where Manager John Gibbons decides to utilize him.

Top 10 Free Agents

There are a lot of big names available this offseason and some pretty big contracts ended up being signed:

Top 10 FA's According to baseball America

#1 2B Juan Segura (29, RHB)
#2 SP Madison Bumgarner (30, LHP)
#3 C Travis D'Arnaud (30, RHB)
#4 3B Manny Machado (27, RHB)
#5 SP Felix Hernandez (33, RHP)
#6 3B Brett Lawrie (30, RHB)
#7 SP Yu Darvish (33, RHP)
#8 3B Nick Castellanos (27, RHB)
#9 SP Shelby Miller (29, RHP)
#10 RF Yasil Puig (29, RHB)

Off Season FA Signings from Around the League

There was a ton of money tossed around this off season and the Los Angeles Dodgers seemed to be the ring leaders:

SP Felix Hernandez - 3 years $52,800,000 (Oakland A's)
SP Clayton Kershaw 5 years $120,000,000 (LA Dodgers) *Extension
3B Brett Lawrie - 6 years $186,000,000 (LA Dodgers)
2B Juan Segura - 6 years $102,000,000 (Kansas City Royals)
SP Alex Wood - 6 years $136,800,000 (Chicago Cubs)
CF Christian Yelich - 5 years $60,000,000 (Miami Marlins)
SP Taijuan Walker - 4 years $78,000,000 (Detroit Tigers)
SP Patrick Corbin - 6 years $112,800,000 (Houston Astros)
3B Nick Castellanos - 4 years $35,020,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)
RF Yasil Puig - 4 years $105,700,000 (Seattle Mariners)
1B Pablo Sandoval - 3 years $54,400,000 (Baltimore Orioles)
CL Paco Rodriguez - 1 year $6,300,000 (Toronto Blue Jays)
2B Jonathan Villar - 6 years $79,400,000 (Los Angeles Dodgers)
C Travis D'Arnaud - 2 years $42,400,000 (Houston Astros)
SP Yu Darvish - 4 years $118,400,000 (Los Angeles Dodgers)
SP Shelby Miller - 4 years $120,100,000 (Philadelphia Phillies)
2B Didi Gregorius - 6 years $76,500,000 (Houston Astros)
CL David Robertson - 3 years $41,700,000 (Tampa Bay Rays)
CF Anthony Gose - 3 years $69,000,000 (Arizona Diamondbacks)
CF Andrew McCutchen - 1 year $7,300,000 (Arizona Diamond Backs)
SP Yordano Ventura - 6 years $98,000,000 (Cleveland Indians)
SP Madison Bumgarner - 5 years $134,000,000 (Chicago White Sox).

Notes:
1. Jays will receive compensation picks in the supplemental 1st round for the loss of 3B Brett Lawrie and CF Anthony Gose

Blue Jays Financials 2020

Here is how the Jays are shaping up financially to start the 2020 season:

Budget: $180,000,000 (4th in the league)
Payroll: $117,036,250 (9th int he league)
Draft Allowance: $7,500,000
Scouting Budget: $18,000,000 (League Max)
Player Development Budget: $18,000,000 (League Max)

Up Next: 2020 Spring Training Invitees and Report


#8

ryan008
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Spring Training Report
April 1st, 2020

GM Ryan Stewart was excited to head down to the Bobby Mattick training center in Dunedin Florida to kick off preparations for the 2020 Regular Season. The Blue Jays had a relatively quiet off season (with the exception of losing 3B Brett Lawrie who signed a 6 year $186,000,000 deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers) having traded for CF Albert Almora from the Chicago Cubs and signing CL Paco Rodriguez a free agent who pitched for the Yankees in 2019. Both Players will be in camp and are going to be important parts of the club moving forward. The rest of the Spring Training invitees were:

Starting Pitchers

SP Erik Black - 12-11 4.22 ERA (AA New Hampshire)
SP Jose Cerventes - 9-5 2.65 ERA (S.A. Vancouver)
SP Gerrit Cole - 11-12 4.56 ERA (Toronto)
SP Jamie Cox - 22-6 2.55 ERA (Toronto)
SP Jake Godfrey - 15-9 3.16 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
SP Cobi Johnson - 10-1 1.85 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
SP Nathan Kirby - 16-6 3.04 ERA (Toronto)
SP Cisco Ramos - 13-7 3.12 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
SP Kohl Stewart - 10-11 4.21 ERA (Toronto)
SP Marcus Stroman - 18-8 4.21 ERA (Toronto)
SP Bob Williams - 13-7 3.32 ERA (A Lansing)

GM's Comments
Heading into camp there really isn't a free spot open in the rotation. We are pretty set with Cox, Cole, Kirby, Stroman and Stewart. If all goes to plan those 5 will make up the teams 1-5 starters to open the 2020 season. I am pretty excited about some of the depth that we have in AAA Buffalo, Godfrey, Johnson and Williams are all knocking on the door and will give us some options should we have anyone falter or if we lose someone due to an injury.

Middle Relievers and Closers

MR Leo Bensen - 0-2 2.08 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
MR Tony Boone - 0-2 5 SV 2.39 ERA (Toronto)
MR Randy Cleveland - 3-2 4 SV 2.08 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
MR Aaron Crow - 4-1 1 SV 1.80 ERA (Toronto)
MR Carson Fulmer - 4-3 1 SV 2.54 ERA (Toronto)
MR Jeff Henderson - 5-4 4 SV 4.70 ERA (AA New Hampshire)
MR Jorge Miranda - 3-7 41 SV 3.48 ERA (AA New Hampshire)
MR Mark Montgomery - 7-2 1 SV 3.99 ERA (Toronto)
MR Chris Richardson - 2-4 9 SV 4.92 ERA (Toronto)
MR Dave Steele - 5-8 35 SV 2.09 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
CL Rex Brothers - 6-1 23 SV 1.84 ERA (Toronto)
CL Nick Kennedy - 2-2 3 SV 1.83 ERA (AA New Hampshire)
CL Paco Rodriguez - 3-3 12 SV 3.00 ERA (New York Yankees)
CL Jose Sandoval - 0-3 33 SV 2.73 ERA (A Lansing)

GM's Comments
I like our bullpen depth. We have a number of good power arms and they all throw strikes. With veterans Crow and Brothers anchoring the back end and hard throwing youngsters like Boone, Fulmer and Richardson there is a really good balance. In AAA we will have a couple of arms that are going to be able to step in very soon. I really like CL Nick Kennedy and CL Jose Sandoval, both are still a little raw but are definitely in my plans for the future.

Position Players

Catchers

C Wyatt Cross - .326 32 HR 96 RBI (AA New Hampshire)
C Max Pentecost - .320 20 HR 77 RBI (Toronto)
C Jonathan Lucroy - .248 14 HR 53 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
C Ryan Casteel - .259 21 HR 75 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
C Tomoya Mori - .267 6 HR 34 RBI (Toronto)

GM's Comments
The starting catcher position is firmly held by Pentecost but the back up spot could be up for grabs. C Tomoya Mori did the job last year and was decent. He provides a left handed bat off the bench and is very good defensively. He will have some competition from both C Wyatt Cross and C Ryan Casteel. Cross had a big season in AA last year and is likely going to be the starter in Buffalo this year. Casteel was the #1 catcher in Buffalo last season. He isn't as good as Mori defensively and bats right handed but is a solid option and could push for a spot on the opening day roster.

First Base Base

1B A.J. Reed - .304 38 HR 117 RBI (Toronto)
1B Anthony Rizzo - .264 28 RH 86 RBI (Toronto)

GM's Comments
Both of the first baseman in camp this year will make the opening day roster. Reed is the better of the two defensively and will take most of the reps at first. Rizzo will be the everyday DH. They are two really good bats to have in the middle of the lineup.

Second Base

2B Goskuke Katoh - .243 1 HR 3 RBI (Toronto)
2B Kolten Wong - .274 11 HR 60 RBI (Toronto)

GM's Comments
Wong is the incumbent at second and is not going anywhere. He has been the teams lead off hitter and is a two time American League All Star. Katoh was a utility player for the Jays last season but didn't really see much action. He can play multiple positions and will be auditioning for the utility role during Spring Training.

Third Base

3B Jeimer Candelario - .323 12 HR 65 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
3B Jeff Hatcher - .291 32 HR 91 RBI (AA New Hampshire)
3B Stu Daniels - .272 18 HR 64 RBI (AA Mobile)

GM's Comments
This is the biggest weakness on the team by far. We were left with a huge hole when Lawrie signed with the Dodgers in the off season and are really hopeful that Rule V pick up 3B Stu Daniels is as good as our scouts believe he is. We will have some insurance in AAA with 3B Jeff Hatcher who had a monster season in AA New Hampshire. I'm a little uneasy going into the season with very little major league experience at third, but I think the rest of our offence should be able to compensate as long as Daniels can produce at a decent clip.

Short Stop

SS Yeltsen Gudino - .248 14 HR 54 RBI (AA New Hampshire)
SS Xander Bogaerts - .264 32 HR 96 RBI (Toronto)
SS Nicholas Gordon - .299 14 HR 55 RBI (AAA Buffalo)

GM's Comments
Bogaerts will be the teams opening day starter (barring injury of course) and he is very solid both offensively and defensively. We do have a little bit of depth here as Gordon, who is a former 2nd round pick of the Jays is very close to being MLB ready. The 24 year old could vie for one of the utility infielder spots but its most likely he will go down and be the starter in AAA Buffalo to get some more seasoning.

Outfielders

LF Desmond Jennings - .283 19 HR 65 RBI (Toronto)
LF Randal Girchuk - .194 1 HR 6 RBI (Toronto)
CF Andrew Alpin - .278 8 HR 46 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
CF Albert Almora - .350 21 HR 86 RBI (Chicago Cubs)
CF D.J. Davis - .288 4 HR 30 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
RF Justin Williams - .260 33 HR 103 RBI (Toronto)
RF Colin Bray - .310 16 HR 72 RBI (AAA Buffalo)

GM's Comments
The Jays have 7 infielders in camp and spots for 5. The top 3 are pretty much set with Jennings, Almora and Williams manning the opening day outfield. There are some options for the back ups here as Alpin, Girchuk and Davis all have MLB experience. It will be interesting to see how the battles shape up as the spring moves along.

Up Next: Spring Training Recap and Opening Day Rosters


#9

ryan008
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Spring Training is Over - Opening Day Next
The Jays had a very good spring finishing with a record of 15-11. They finished 2 games back of the New York Yankees in the AL this spring and managed to stay healthy having no one suffer an injury that required any time on the disabled list. 

Spring Training Surprises

The Jays had three players that put up some dynamite numbers during the spring. The included SP Nathan Kirby who was very strong going 2-1 and posting a 1.69 ERA in 4 starts. 3B Stu Daniels had a very good spring at the plate hitting .333 with 2 HR and 7 RBI and cemented himself as the opening day third baseman and C Tomoya Mori hit .400 and managed to snag the back up catcher position heading into the start of the season.

Spring Training Disappointments

SP Gerrit Cole was awful this spring pitching to a 1-3 record and posting a 4.50 ERA. He just didn't have his good stuff this string and we are really hoping that he is not injured. 2B Kolten Wongstruggled mightily with the bat this spring to a tune of a .197 batting average with just a single homerun and 6 RBI. Were hoping that he is able to snap out of this funk with the calender changing to April. Finally newly signed MR Paco Rodriguez put up an 8.31 ERA in 12 innings of work and walked 8 batters, this has caused a little bit of concern and we will be watching his performance in the early season very carefully.

OPENING DAY ROSTERS

SP Jamie Cox
SP Nathan Kirby
SP Marcus Stroman
SP Gerrit Cole
SP Kohl Stewart

MR Tony Boone
MR Carson Fulmer
MR Paco Rodriguez
MR Mark Montgomery
MR Chris Richardson
MR Aaron Crow
CL Rex Brothers

C Max Pentecost
1B A.J. Reed
2B Kolten Wong
3B Stu Daniels
SS Xander Bogaerts
LF Desmond Jennings
CF Albert Almora
RF Justin Williams
DH Anthony Rizzo

C Tomoya Mori
INF Gosuke Katoh
OF Randal Girchuk
OF Andrew Alpin

Pre Season Predictions

The pundits have the Jays winning 90 games and finishing second in the American League East behind the New York Yankees whom they believe will win the division with 94 victories. The 90 wins would give the Jays one of the two wild card spots and would get them into the post season. They are also predicting that the Los Angeles Dodgers who opened their wallets this off season spending over $500 million dollars to bring in 3B Brett Lawrie, SP Yu Darvish, 2B Jonathan Villar and an extension for SP Clayton Kershaw will be the best team in baseball winning the National league west with a record of 108-54.

Financial Information

The Blue Jays opening day budget is $180,000,000 which ranks 4th in the majors and they sit with a payroll of $123,536,034 ranking 7th highest in the league. We currently spend $18,000,000 on scouting and $18,000,000 on player development and have a draft budget of $7,500,000. This leaves us with roughly $30 million in available budget room with a couple of contracts expiring at the conclusion of the season. We should have enough room to bring in an asset or two should we be in contention around the trade deadline.

Top Prospects and Farm Systems

Baseball America released their first prospect rankings today and the 10 best prospects in the majors were:

1. SP Ken Davis - 23, Milwaukee Brewers
2. LF Chris Caro - 20, New York Yankees
3. LF Rex Wall - 21, Philadelphia Phillies
4. SP Chris Lee - 19, New York Mets
5. SP Jose Cerventes - 21, Toronto Blue Jays
6. CF Joe Galloway - 21, San Francisco Giants
7. RF Danny Miller - 21, Seattle Mariners
8. 1B Will Benson - 21, New York Yankees
9. SP Wes Summers - 23, New York Yankees
10. LF Ivan Saldana - 20, Baltimore Orioles

Its no surprise that the New York Yankees boast the #1 rated farm system in the game. Having three prospects rated in the top 10 gives an organization that traditionally has not held on to their prospects a very nice boost. The Yankees are followed by the Kansas City Royals and the Chicago Cubs as the top 3 minor league systems in the majors. The Jays currently sit at #18th best according to baseball America. The Nationals, Dodgers and Cardinals currently have the worst systems in the game.

Up Next: April Review as Opening Day is here!


#10

ryan008
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April is in the Books!
May 1st, 2020

Toronto Blue Jays capped off the opening month of the 2020 season posting a record of 11-11 and finding themselves sitting in 3rd place in the American League east division. They currently trail the New York Yankees (13-8) by 2.5 games and the Baltimore Orioles (12-9) by 1.5 games. The Jays were very inconsistent in the early part of the season and it is reflected in their .500 record. GM Ryan Stewart "We had a hard time getting everything going at the same time early in the season. One day we would pitch very well but our bats would go silent and then we would hit but our pitching would let us down. I think as the season wears on we will all start to click and get on the same page".

AL East Standings - May 1st
New York Yankees - 13-8 
Baltimore Orioles - 12-9 (1 GB)
Toronto Blue Jays - 11-11 (2.5 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 8-13 (5 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 8-14 (5.5 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings
Baltimore Orioles - 12-9
Texas Rangers - 11-10 
Milwaukee Brewers - 11-11 (.5 GB)
Toronto Blue Jays - 11-11 (.5 GB)
Cleveland Indians - 10-10 (.5 GB)

April's Hot Players

SP Nathan Kirby - 4-0 2.54 ERA
SP Jamie Cox - 1-1 2.48 ERA
MR Paco Rodriguez - 1-0 1 SV 1.08 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .320 0 HR 4 RBI
CF Albert Almora - .297 2 HR 11 RBI

April's Cold Players

SP Kohl Stewart - 1-2 8.31 ERA 
SP Marcus Stroman - 1-2 5.64 ERA
MR Chris Richardson - 0-1 11.52 ERA
1B A.J. Reed - .195 4 HR 12 RBI
1B Anthony Rizzo - .218 2 HR 8 RBI

April News & Notes

Suspensions

The MLB's Commissioner's office announced that SP Kohl Stewart of the Blue Jays and 1B Jonathan Singleton of the Houston Astros would both be suspended for 9 games after an incident in a game in which the Jays won 5-4 over the Astros. Stewart and Singleton were both ejected in the 5th inning after Singleton charged the mound following being hit by a Stewart fastball.

Injuries

The Blue Jays will be without the services of SS Xander Bogaerts for the next 3 weeks as the Jays shortstop suffered a strained shoulder in a game against the Yankees. He was hitting .327 with 1 HR and 7 RBI and was placed on the 15 day disabled list. The Jays recalled SS Nicholas Gordon who was hitting .269 with 1 HR and 6 RBI in AAA Buffalo. 

Awards

SP Jake Godfrey a former 2nd round pick 42nd overall in 2014 was named the International League Pitcher of the Month after going 6-0 with a 3.41 ERA for AAA Buffalo.

Around the Majors

CL Kenley Jansen of the Los Angeles Dodgers earned career save #300 in a 5-4 victory over the San Diego Padres. The 32 year old has a career 45-44 record with 300 saves and a 2.35 ERA.

Up Next: May Update


#11

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May Update - First Year Player Draft is Around the Corner!
June 1st, 2020

May was a much better month for the Jays. They would start off the month with a 4 game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles and would go on to go 14-7 and they would leap frog the Yankees into second place behind the Baltimore Orioles. They Jays record of 25-18 puts them a full 1.5 games back of the Orioles (27-17) for top spot in the East and they have a 3 game lead over the 3rd place Tampa Bay Rays. In the AL Wild Card Standings the Jays have surged ahead and currently hold one oft he two AL Wild Card spots but have the Rangers, Angels and Rays all within 1.5 games of them. A look around the Majors reveals that the Arizona Diamondbacks are the currently the best team in baseball with a record of 32-13 and the Washington Nationals are sitting at the bottom of the standings with a 12-31 record.

AL East Standings
Baltimore Orioles - 27-17
Toronto Blue Jays - 25-18 (1.5 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 22-21 (4.5 GB)
New York Yankees - 21-24 (6.5 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 16-30 (12 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings
Toronto Blue Jays - 25-18
Cleveland Indians - 23-19
Texas Rangers - 23-20 (.5 GB)
Los Angeles Angels - 23-21 (1 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 22-21 (1.5 GB)

May's Hot Players

SP Jamie Cox - 3-0 2.20 ERA
SP Kohl Stewart - 3-2 4.50 ERA
SP Gerrit Cole - 2-1 3.73 ERA
MR Aron Crow - 0-0 1 SV 1.69 ERA
MR Paco Rodriguez - 0-1 1.72 ERA
CL Rex Brothers - 1-1 6 SV 0.53 ERA
CF Albert Almora - .386 5 HR 21 RBI
C Max Pentecost - .333 3 HR 13 RBI
LF Justin Williams - .293 5 HR 12 RBI
1B A.J. Reed - .291 6 HR 20 RBI

May's Cold Players

SP Nathan Kirby - 2-2 4.80 ERA
MR Jose Miranda - 0-0 4.15 ERA
LF Desmond Jennings - .169 0 HR 4 RBI
SS Nicholas Gordon - .222 2 HR 11 RBI

May News & Notes

Injuries

Toronto would be forced to place a pair of players on the disabled list during the month of May. The first was MR Carson Fulmer. The 26 year old righty went down with a forearm strain and is going to be out for at least the next 3 months. He had struggled to a 1-1 record with a 6.43 ERA this season and the injury might account for a lot of those struggles. He was placed on the 60 day disabled list andMR Jose Miranda who was 1-1 with a 4.50 ERA for AAA Buffalo had his contract purchased from AAA Buffalo and was added to the roster.

The next player to go down was SS Xander Bogaerts who makes his second trip to the disabled list this season. He is going to miss another 4 weeks this time with a sprained ankle. He was placed on the 15 day disabled list and SS Nicholas Gordon was recalled from AAA.

Awards

CF Albert Almora of the Blue Jays was named the American League Batter of the Month for May after hitting .386 with 5 HR and driving in 21 RBI.

SP Jose Cerventes who was an international free agent signing by the Jays back in 2015 went 5-0 with a 1.87 ERA for the Florida State League's Dunedin Blue Jays and was named the FSL Pitcher of the Month.

Extension Talk

Word around the water cooler is that a pair of Blue Jays have approached management about contract extensions. 1B Anthony Rizzo and LF Desmond Jennings are both unrestricted free agents at the conclusion of the 2020 season. GM Ryan Stewart would not comment on the extension talks but of the two the most likely to earn an extension is Rizzo. Jennings is having a tough year so far hitting just .227 and he may not be worth the money that he is rumored to be asking for.

Up Next: First Year Player Draft Preview


#12

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2020 MLB First Year Player Draft Preview
June 5th, 2020

The 2020 First Year Player Draft will take place tomorrow and the Toronto Blue Jays and rookie GM Ryan Stewart will be making his first selections as the General Manager of the Blue Jays. The Jays currently select 20th in the first round and also hold a Supplemental Round pick 33rd overall that they were awarded when 3B Brett Lawrie signed with the Dodgers in the off season. One of GM Ryan Stewart's major goals is to over haul a farm system that currently ranks 18th overall and boasts only one player in Baseball America's Top 10 rankings. GM Ryan Stewart "Drafting and developing players is the highest item on our priority list right now. The ultimate goal is to set up your farm system so that you have a constant wave of young controllable talent that can either step in and contribute or that can be utilized in trades that can help fill other organizational holes. We have upped our scouting budget significantly and have been working really hard to prepare for this and future drafts and are really excited to see who is available to us at #20"

The first overall pick is held by the New York Yankees. The Yankees already boast the strongest farm system in the Majors and will add to it considerably this draft. They will be followed by the Colorado Rockies, Chicago Cubs, Miami Marlins and the Cincinnati Reds will round out the top 5 picks.

Baseball America's Pre Draft Top 10

According to Baseball America the top rated players for the 202 First Year Player Draft are as follows:

1. C Ken Elder 21, RHB - University of Oregon, NCAA
.272 10 HR 29 RBI
Edler missed 15 games in his third full season with the Ducks but still managed to put up some impressive numbers. He is a very strong defensive catcher with a strong and accurate arm. Offensively he struggles a bit to make contact but has tremendous power and can spray the ball to all fields. He is easily the top rated catcher in the draft and should go early tomorrow.

2. LF Erik Burns 21, RHB - Villanova University, NCAA
.365 23 HR 52 RBI
The 2020 NCAA Silver Spikes Award winner as the batter of the Year. He is a 3 time NCAA All Star and is a bonafide 5 tool prospect. His weakest tool would be his defensive ability and it still rates as above average. He has a very good eye at the plate and good discipline for a power hitter. He projects as a middle of the order bat and is very advanced. He should move up to the Majors quickly.

3. 3B Dusty Taylor 21, Switch - University of West Virginia, NCAA
.356 7 HR 36 RBI
Another highly rated College Bat Taylor does just about everything well. He hits for a good average and decent power and is very patient at the plate. Defensively he has above average range and a strong arm. He will not be a burner on the basepaths but he could steal a few bases at the MLB level.

4. SP Sam Hobbs 19, LHP - Garden Grove High School, USHSBA
5-1 1.69 ERA 15 BB 74 K
Hobbs is the top rated prep arm in the draft and is everything you want out of a pitching prospect. He is big at 6'4" and 215 lbs and has a hard fastball sitting in the 92-94 MPH range. He is still project-able and should add some more muscle and a few MPH to his fastball. He is quite raw which is typical of most High School arms but he scouts as having top of the rotation potential.

5. SP Kurt Stewart 21, RHP - Florida State University, NCAA
6-3 1.85 ERA 15 BB 108 K
Stewart is a pure power pitcher. He features a 94-96 MPH cut fastball as well as a hard slider and is developing a change up. He was an NCAA All Star twice and finished third in the NCAA Pitcher of the Year voting in 2018. He is an advanced arm already with very good command of his pitches. He is a player that could soar through the minors and could see time in the majors as early as this season.

6. SP Al Anderson 21, RHP - University of Florida, NCAA
6-3 2.12 ERA 20 BB 88 K
Anderson is a bit of an enigma. He has tremendous stuff sitting 99-101 MPH with his fastball and also throws a cutter, change and forkball. He struggles with his command at times and has a hard time going deep into games. When he tires his pitches tend to flatten out and thats when he gets hit. He may not be destined to be a starter at the next level but he definitely has closer type stuff.

7. SP Tommy Jackson 19, RHP - Aurora High School, USHSBA
3-3 1.27 ERA 12 BB 89 K
Jackson is another intriguing arm. He is a big strong kid standing 6'3" but sits just 88-91 MPH with his fastball. He relies more on control then power at this point. Right now his control is enough to project him as a middle of the rotation arm but if he is able to add some muscle and bump up his fastball a little he could have top of the rotation stuff. 

8. SP Steve Perkins 21, RHP - Ohio State University, NCAA
10-1 1.40 ERA 13 BB 102 K
The 2020 NCAA Pitcher of the Year Award winner, Perkins sits 94-96 MPH with a very good fastball as well as a slider, curve and change up. He can locate his fastball quite well and has the stamina to work deep into games. For my money he is the best pitcher available in the draft and could easily be considered for the top pick.

9. CF Derek Page] 21, RHB - University of Tennessee, NCAA 
.244 8 HR 21 RBI
Page is another sleeper for me. He was a 14th round pick of the Angels in 2017 but failed to sign and spent 3 seasons in Tennessee. He had a down year in 2020 hitting just .244 but missed significant time with a back injury. If he was healthy he is the type of prospect that most organizations would love to have. He combines speed and power and is very good in the outfield. He can play all 3 outfield positions but by far his strongest is centerfield. 

10. SP Ron Schafer 19, LHP - Memphis High School - USHSBA
2-2 2.67 ERA 12 BB 60 K
Another project-able prep arm. Schafer is a big 6'4" lefty with an 88-91 MPH fastball, but he pretty much throws the kitchen sink at you with 5 other offerings. He is not going to blow you away at this point but he has some room to grow and could shape up to be a very good middle of the rotation arm in the future. He is a project so he won't be blazing through the system like some of the other more advanced arms available this draft.

Previous Blue Jays Picks

None. This is GM Ryan Stewart's first draft as GM with the Jays.

Up Next: 2020 First Year Player Draft


#13

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2020 First Year Player Draft
June 6th, 2020

The 2020 First Year Player Draft was held today and the New York Yankees held the top pick in the draft. They would use the pick to select 3B Rob Duncan a 21 year old out of the University of Mississippi. He hit .341 with 3 HR and 21 RBI and was a two time NCAA All Star (2018 and 2020). Hr. He was a bit of a surprise selection as he fell outside Baseball America's Pre-Draft Rankings bit he scouts as a well rounded player. He has good plate discipline and sprays the ball to all fields. He doesn't have a ton of power but should be good for 10-15 HR a season. His biggest asset is his defensive ability. He has big time range and is very athletic at third. The rumor is that he is hunting for a signing bonus in the $7,000,000 range and it will be interesting to see if he can get it from the Yankees.

Blue Jays Draft

The Jays picked 20th in the first round this year thanks to the number of compensation eligible free agents that signed in the off season (they would have picked 29th otherwise). GM Ryan Stewart on the Jays haul this year "We were quite happy with our picks this year. There were a couple of players that we thought would go much higher that were available when we made our selections. Overall we got a nice mix of hitters and pitchers this draft and we think that we should get a few players who are able to contribute at the MLB level".

First Round - 20th Overall

With their first pick the Jays selected 2B Jim 'Moondog' Miller a 21 year old out of Washington State University in the NCAA. Miller hit .368 with 0 HR and drove in 26 RBI he was also 17/17 in stealing bases in 2020. Miller looks like your prototypical lead off hitter. He handles the bat very well. He can spray the ball to all fields and is a very good bunter. He isn't going to hit for any power at all but thats not his game. Defensively he has above average range and a strong arm. He can play short and third but his natural position is second. The slot for the 20th overall pick is $1,230,000 and he is rumored to be looking for a deal in that area. 

Supplemental First Round 33rd Overall - For the loss of 3B Brett Lawrie

With their supplemental 1st round pick the Jays took another College player this time a pitcher selecting SP Vic Johnson also out of Washington State University. Johnson is a 21 year old 6'2" righty who features a 92-94 MPH fastball as well as a slider, cutter and curveball. He was 6-2 with a 2.91 ERA with 11 BB and 68 K in 2020. Johnson isn't going to completely blow hitters away with his stuff and he relies on locating his pitches and utilizing his defense to get him through games. My scouts see him as a middle of the rotation arm and I could see him fitting into the #3 slot in a big league rotation nicely. His bonus demands are in the range of the slot for the 33rd pick ($820,000) and he should be an easy sign for the Jays.

Second Round 63rd Overall

In the second round the Jays took their first high schooler selecting SP Sam Burns, a 19 year old righty out of Lakewood High School in the USHSBA. Burns had a very good senior season in the USHSBA in 2020 going 5-1 with a 1.32 ERA with 13 BB and 66 K. He is a big boy standing 6'5" and weighing in at 200 lbs. He features a 90-92 MPH fastball as well as a curve, slider, forkball and is developing a change up. I was surprised that he was available in the second round as we considered taking him with the 33rd pick. He has the body that scouts drool over and if he can add some MPH to his fastball he could be a top of the rotation talent. He is very raw though coming out of high school and he could be a tough sign as he is being courted by several NCAA division one schools. Slot for this pick is $370,000 and it might take significantly more then that to get him signed.

Third Round 94th Overall

With their 3rd round pick the Jays took another highly talented but hard to sign high school pitcher in SP Jose De Jesus out of Oakland High School in the USHSBA. De Jesus went 5-3 with a 2.60 ERA walking just 4 batters and striking out 70 in 9 starts. He is also a big project-able arm standing 6'5" and tipping the scales at just 190 lbs. He features an 88-91 MPH cut fastball as well as a curve and changeup and he has very good control for a high school arm. He has the frame to add a significant amount of muscle and could bump his velocity up significantly. He is listed as an almost impossible sign because of a strong NCAA commitment, the slot value for this pick is $250,000 but to sign him the Jays are going to have to buy him away from the NCAA.

Fourth Round 124th Overall

In the fourth round the Jays stuck in the prep ranks but went with a bat taking LF Ron Jackson a 19 year old right handed hitter out of Bakersfield High School in the USHSBA. Jackson hit .346 with 5 HR and drove in 35 runs in his senior season of High School. He is a very versatile player who can play all 3 outfield positions and has a really strong arm. He is a bit of a free swinger and tends to strikeout quite a bit. It is his bat that may limit him to an ultimate bench role at the next level. It doesn't look like he will be a tough sign for the Jays and he should sign for near his assigned value of $180,000.

Fifth Round 154th Overall

In the 5th round GM Ryan Stewart was looking to hit a homerun by selecting a player who should have been taken within the first two rounds but fell because he told teams he wanted to return to the NCAA for his final season of NCAA eligibility. The Jays select CL Mike McNeal out of Clemson University with the 154th overall pick. McNeal is an elite closer prospect and is a two time NCAA All Star (2019 & 2020). He was 1-3 with 13 Saves a 0.89 ERA walking just 4 and striking out 27 in 19 innings of work in 2020. He throws extremely hard with a fastball that reaches triple digits (99-101 MPH) and a very good curve. He will not be an easy sign for the Jays and will not sign for the recommended slot value of $150,000. 

Blue Jays Picks rounds 6 through 30:

6. CL Johnny Jones - 21, RHP - University of Miami, NCAA
7. C Steve Reed - 21, RHB - University of South Carolina, NCAA
8. SP Bob Townsend - 21, RHP - New Mexico State University, NCAA
9. 1B Steve Fox - 21, LHB UCLA, NCAA
10. CF Greg Elkins - 19, LHB - Atlanta High School, USHSBA
11. SS Rex Everett - 19, Switch - Fort Worth High School, NCAA
12. 3B Chris Lemoine - 19, Switch - Escondido High School, USHSBA
13. CL Rod Hannah - 19, LHP - Miami High School, USHSBA
14. CF Dave Sanders -21, RHB - Virginia Tech, NCAA
15. LF Horace Foreman - 21 RHB - San Diego State University, NCAA
16. C Dave Hawkins - 21, RHB - Texas A&M, NCAA
17. SS Greg Cook - 21, RHB - TCU, NCAA
18. RF Tommy Rodriguez - 19, RHB - Washington High School, USHSBA
19. Greg Lewis - 21, LHB - University of South Carolina, NCAA
20. CL Ron Hernandez - 21 RHP - University of North Carolina, NCAA
21. CL William Heflin - 21, LHP - St. Mary's University, NCAA
22. CL Joe Ingram - 21, RHP - University of Hartford, NCAA
23. 1B Tim O'Neill - 21, RHB - University of South Carolina, NCAA
24. SP victor Sanchez - 21, RHP - Purdue University, NCAA
25. MR Doug Elliott - 21, LHP - University of California, NCAA
26. C Gene Myers - 21 RHB - University of Mississippi, NCAA
27. 3B Jesus Escobedo - 19, RHB - Irving High School, USHSBA
28. CL Greg Garner - 19, RHP - Tampa High School, USHSBA
29. CL Kurt Caster - 19, LHP - Seattle High School, USHSBA
30. SP Joe Hensley - 19, LHP - Garden Grove High School, USHSBA

Up Next: June Update


#14

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June Update - International Free Agents Season is Open
July 1st, 2020

Despite going 19-9 during the month of June the Blue Jays were unable to pass the Baltimore Orioles for top spot in the American League East. The Orioles had a very good month themselves posting a record of 17-9 and are still clinging to a slim 1/2 game lead over the Jays. The rest of the AL East has fallen back with the Rays the next closest team but they trail by 6.5 games. The New York Yankees who started the season very strong have fallen into a tail spin and are 12 games out and the Boston Red Sox are one of the worst teams in the majors with a record of 28-45 and they are battling the Nationals for the #1 overall pick in next years draft. 

GM Ryan Stewart had a busy month as well with the first year player draft and the all of the negotiations that followed. The Jays were able to ink all but three of their draft picks so far. This haul included both of their first round picks. Of the tree unsigned picks the highest is 7th rounder C Steve Reed who was selected 214th overall out of the University of South Carolina. GM Ryan Stewart still has a few weeks left before the signing deadline and there is a chance that they could get these last three picks inked to contracts before then.

AL East Standings 
Baltimore Orioles - 44-26
Toronto Blue Jays - 44-27 (.5 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 38-33 (6.5 GB)
New York Yankees - 33-39 (12 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 28-45 (17 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings
Toronto Blue Jays - 44-27
Houston Astros - 40-31
Tampa Bay Rays - 38-33 (2 GB)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - 37-34 (3 GB)
Texas Rangers - 35-35 (4.5 GB)
Chicago White Sox - 36-37 (6 GB)

June's Hot Players

SP Jamie Cox - 6-0 0.55 ERA
SP Gerrit Cole - 3-1 2.93 ERA
SP Nathan Kirby - 3-2 3.49 ERA
CL Rex Brothers - 0-0 9 SV 0.00 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .337 3 HR 16 RBI
3B Stu Daniels - .311 3 HR 16 RBI
LF Justin Williams - .287 2 HR 9 RBI

June's Cold Players

MR Dave Steele - 0-1 1 SV 5.94 ERA
CF Albert Almora - .231 3 HR 16 RBI
LF Desmond Jennings - .240 2 HR 9 RBI

June News & Notes

First Year Player Draft Signings

GM Ryan Stewart was able to get all of their picks in the first five rounds of the draft signed and the players off to their assignments in either the Gulf Coast League with the GCL Blue Jays or in the case of some of the more advanced draftees off to Short Season A Vancouver in the North Western League. The Jays would end up spending a total of $5,020,000 on 6 players. Their budget for the draft was $7,250,000 so there is still some money to work with should they try and go after any of their last three unsigned players. The Jays signees and bonuses were:

1st Round - 2B Jim Miller - $650,000 (Slot = $1,230,000)
Supp 1st Round - SP Vic Johnson - $600,000 (Slot = $820,000)
2nd Round - SP Sam Burns - $460,000 (Slot = $370,000)
3rd Round - SP Jose De Jesus - $2,750,000 (Slot = $250,000)
4th Round - LF Ron Jackson - $210,000 (Slot = $180,000)
5th Round - CL Mike McNeal - $350,000 (Slot = 150,000)

Unsigned Players

The Jays only have three players left unsigned the highest of which is 21 year old C Steve Reed out of the University of South Carolina, 13th Rounder CL Rod Hannah out of Miami High School and 27th Rounder 3B Jesus Escobedo out of Irving High School. It is unlikely that the Jays will have the budget to sign all three players. Of the 3 Reed is the most likely to sign as he has the least amount of leverage. Both of the high school players were heavily recruited by NCAA teams and will have an option to play in College next season should they fail to come to an agreement with the Jays. 

Injuries

Toronto's rotation was dealt a huge blow early in the month as SP Marcus Stroman suffered a damaged elbow ligament and will miss the remainder of the season. The 29 year old had elbow ligament reconstructive surgery and is going to miss the next 9-10 months. He was placed on the 60 Day Disabled List and the Jays recalled top pitching prospect SP Jake Godfrey who was 9-2 with a 2.58 ERA for AAA Buffalo. The 24 year old will make his first major league start at home against the New York Yankees. 

The Jays also will be without the services of MR Paco Rodriguez who is out for the next 3 weeks with a mild shoulder sprain. He was having a great first season with the Jays posting a 1-1 record with 2 saves and a 2.05 ERA. He was put on the 15 Day Disabled List and the Jays purchased the contract of MR Dave Steele who was 3-2 with 2 Saves and had a 3.21 ERA in AAA Buffalo.

Awards

SP Jamie Cox was named the American League Pitcher of the Month after a tremendous month that saw him go 6-0 with a minuscule 0.55 ERA. 

Around the Majors

The Tampa Bay Rays announced they have come to terms on a 6 year $102,000,000 contract extension with their Ace SP Chris Sale. The 31 year old lefty was acquired from the Chicago White Sox in a blockbuster trade back in 2017 that saw 4 prospects head over to the White Sox. This season Sale is 7-2 with a 2.80 ERA. The 3 time All Star is 118-78 with a 3.26 career ERA. 

Up Next: July Update


#15

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July Update - What a Busy Month
August 1st, 2020

The month of July was a very busy month around the Majors. There was the opening of the International Free Agency signing period, the deadline to sign your 2020 draft picks as well as the All Star Game and Trade Deadline. On the field the Jays had a very successful month going 20-6 and they opened up a 7 game lead over the second place Baltimore Orioles. Toronto got a nice mix of hitting and pitching and went on a run that saw them reel off 13 straight victories before finally losing to the Houston Astros.

AL East Standings
Toronto Blue Jays - 64-32
Baltimore Orioles - 57-39 (7)
Tampa Bay Rays - 53-43 (11)
Boston Red Sox - 39-59 (26)
New York Yankees - 38-59 (26.5)

AL Wild Card Standings
Baltimore Orioles - 57-39
Houston Astros - 53-43
Tampa Bay Rays - 53-43
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - 49-47 (4)
Texas Rangers - 48-48 (5)

July's Hot Players
SP Jamie Cox - 4-1 1.29 ERA
SP Jake Godfrey - 4-0 2.70 ERA
SP Gerrit Cole - 3-0 2.86 ERA
MR Chris Richardson - 1-1 2 SV 1.42 ERA
CL Rex Brothers - 1-0 9 SV 0.86 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .325 3 HR 7 RBI
2B Kolten Wong - .289 0 HR 8 RBI
CF Albert Almora - .271 6 HR 16 RBI

July's Cold Players
SP Nathan Kirby - 0-2 3.73 ERA
MR Tony boone - 0-2 5.14 ERA
LF Desmond Jennings - .208 4 HR 10 RBI
RF Justin Williams - .239 3 HR 8 RBI

July News & Notes

Injury Update
The Blue Jays had an injury free month for the first time this season and they are starting to get some of their injured players back into the lineup. MR Carson Fulmer who missed 3 months with a fore arm strain started a 30 day rehab assignment in AAA Buffalo so far in 10.1 innings pitched he is 1-0 with a 1,69 ERA. He is slated to rejoin the team in early August.

First Year Player Draft Signing Deadline
The deadline for signing draft choices in the 2020 first year player draft came and went and July and the Jays were unable to come to terms on contracts with three of their draft choices. 7th Rounder C Steve Reed and 13th Rounder CL Rod Hannah will both attend the University of South Carolina and 27th Round pick 3B Jesus Escobedo will attend Wake Forest.

International Amateur Free Agents
July 1st is a big day for scouts and GM's as its the opening of the International Signing period. Each team has a budget of $3,000,000 to spend. Any additional spending results in taxes and restrictions on the ability to hand out bonuses in the future. The biggest prize of this years class was CF Luis Hernandez a 16 year old 5 tool prospect out of the Dominican Republic. He has the potential to be an All Star and could anchor a lineup someday. He ended up signing for a whopping $7,100,000 with the Chicago Cubs.

The Jays had a successful signing period inking 4 prospects to deals. GM Ryan Stewart would spend a total of $2,550,000 of his $3,000,000 budget. "We were quite happy with our haul this year. We picked up some impact arms and our scouts really like the potential talent we infused into the system. We would have loved to get Hernandez but we didn't want to limit what we could do with next years International Amateur class".

Blue Jays Signings:

SP Hector Bermundez - a 17 year old righty out of the Dominican Republic. He features 3 solid offerings with an 86-88 MPH cutter, a changeup and a very sharp curveball. He is a big boy already at 6'3" and 180 lbs. My scouts see him as a middle of the rotation work horse who should add some muscle and velocity as he matures. He signed for a bonus of $250,000.

SP Andre Peters - an 18 year old righty who hails from the Dutch Antilles. He has a very slight build standing 5'10 and weighing in at 160 lbs. He features an 86-88 MPH fastball as well as a curve and slider. My scouts believe he is a back of the rotation arm but could also be well served in the bullpen. He signed for $150,000.

SP Tomas Munoz - A 16 yea old project. He has a pitchers frame standing 6'4" and weighing in at 185 lbs. He features 4 pitches with an 84-86 MPH fastball, a cutter, curve and slider. He has tremendous command of his pitches already and with some development our scouts think he could be a #1 or #2 starter at the MLB level. He signed for $250,000.

1B Miguel Angel Rivera was the prize of the signing period for the Jays. He is a 17 year old slugger who has tremendous power. He is a another big specimen standing 6'3" and weighing in at 210 lbs. Unlike some of the other youngsters that were signed he has already filled out a lot. He has the potential to be a starter at the MLB level and could even have an All Star season or two. He signed for $1,900,000. He was rated as the #2 prospect just behind Hernandez by Baseball America. 

All of the Jays signees were assigned to the teams international complex and will most likely spend a season or two in the instructional league before moving up to the Dominican Summer League for their first taste of pro ball. 

2020 All Star Game
The Blue Jays were well represented at the 2020 All Star Game as they sent 4 players to participate. SP Jamie Cox (14-1 1.36 ERA) got the start for the American League and would go 2 scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts. CL Rex Brothers (2-3 26 SV 0.86 ERA) was the only other Jays pitcher selected but did not see any action in the game. On the offensive side of the ball C Max Pentecost(.324 9 HR 29 RBI) and CF Albert Almora (.299 16 HR 63 RBI) both saw action but did not register a hit. Almora did walk once and would score a run as the American League defeated the National League 11-9.

Awards
SP Jamie Cox continued his Cy Young pace going 4-1 with a 1.29 ERA and took home another American League Pitcher of the Month Award. 

CF Jerry Irwin (3rd round pick 98th overall in 2019 out of the University of Iowa) was named the Gulf Coast League Batter of the month after hitting .379 with 9 HR and 29 RBI for the GCL Blue Jays.

Around the Majors
SP Yu Darvish of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim put up a 15 strike out performance in a 6-1 win over the Chicago White Sox. Darvish is 12-5 with a 3.52 ERA for the Angels this season.

CF Austin Meadows of the Pittsburgh Pirates has been on a tear hotting safely in his last 20 games. It is the longest current hitting streak in the Majors this season.

CL Craig Kimbrel of the Atlanta Braves inked a 3 year $24,000,000 extension with the Braves. the next day he went out an saved his 400th career game. the 32 year old is 4-6 with 19 Saves and a 3.68 ERA this season and has a career mark of 41-36 with 400 Saves and 1094 strikeouts in 696.1 innings. He also boasts a career era of 1.69.

Up Next: August Update


#16

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August Update: Jays Cruising As Regular Season Nears End
September 1st, 2020

The Blue Jays have really distanced themselves from the rest of the pack in the American League East. They have opened up a comfortable 17 game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays and Baltimore Orioles and would seem to be a lock to capture the AL East crown with just over a month left in the regular season. The Jays would go 20-8 during the month of July and have improved their Major League best record to 84-40. Perhaps the biggest surprise this season has been the collapse of the New York Yankees. The Yankees came into the season being touted as having a great shot at taking home the AL East. They are loaded with high ceiling youngsters and boast the #1 rated farm system in the game. Things have not worked out for them however and they fins themselves in the basement of the American League East trailing the Jays by 31.5 games. Only the lowely Boston Red Sox have a worse record.

AL East Standings
Toronto Blue Jays - 84-40
Baltimore Orioles - 67-57 (17)
Tampa Bay Rays - 67-57 (17)
New York Yankees - 53-72 (31.5)
Boston Red Sox - 49-75 (35)

AL Wild Card Standings
Houston Astros - 68-56
Baltimore Orioles - 67-57
Tampa Bay Rays - 67-57
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim - 64-60 (3)
Chicago White Sox - 60-64 (7)

August's Hot Players
SP Gerritt Cole - 5-1 3.61 ERA
SP Jake Godfrey - 5-0 1.51 ERA
SP Jamie Cox - 4-0 3.29 ERA
MR Paco Rodriguez - 0-0 3 SV 1.38 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .436 3 HR 17 RBI
CF Albert Almora - .398 8 HR 32 RBI
2B Kolten Wong - .320 0 HR 9 RBI
1B Anthony Rizzo - .301 4 HR 12 RBI
LF Justin Williams - .301 10 HR 21 RBI

August's Cold Players
SP Nathan Kirby - 1-3 6.34 ERA
MR Chris Richardson - 1-3 5.25 ERA
C Tomoya Mori - .194 0 HR 5 RBI

August News & Notes

Injuries

The Blue Jays rotation was dealt a heavy blow when rookie SP Jake Godfrey came out of a game against the Baltimore Orioles in the 2nd inning clutching his arm. Upon further examination it was revealed that the youngster is suffering from Ulnar Nerve Irritation and is expected to miss the next 3 months. The rookie hurler was off to a great start for the Jays posting a 10-0 record with a 2.19 ERA. Godfrey started the season in AAA Buffalo and was recalled after SP Marcus Stroman went down for the season in early May. The injury will likely sideline Godfrey for the remainder of the season. The Jays announced that they have recalled SP Erik Black who was 10-12 with a 3.67 ERA for AAA Buffalo this season. Black was a 1st round pick of the Jays back in 2017 27th overall out of the University of Hawaii and will make his Major League debut.

Awards

SP Jake Godfrey was named the American League Rookie of the Month after a spectacular month that saw him post a 5-0 record with a 1.51 ERA.

CF Albert Almora was named the American League Batter of the Month after he hit .398 with 8 HR and drove in 32 RBI.

1B Gilberto Compete (signed as an International Free Agent in 2016 out of the Dominican Republic) was named the Dominican Summer League Batter of the Month after hitting .353 with 13 HR and driving in 30 runs for the DSL Blue Jays.

September Callups

With the calender turning over to September the MLB rosters have expanded from 25 to 40 and the Blue Jays have elected to add a number of reinforcements from AAA Buffalo. GM Ryan Stewart "We have a comfortable lead in the division right now and we know a number of our guys are banged up with some minor injuries, we will be able to give our regulars a bit of a rest as the seasons winds down and it will give us a chance to get a closer look at some of the talent we have in AAA"

The Jays announced that they have recalled the following players from AAA Buffalo:

SP Cisco Ramos - 9-9 3.95 ERA
MR Jorge Miranda - 1-2 5.26 ERA
MR Dave Steele - 6-3 3 SV 2.30 ERA
CL Nick Kennedy - 4-4 28 SV 3.77 ERA
C Wyatt Cross - .298 17 HR 67 RBI
SS Nicholas Gordon - .259 4 HR 30 RBI

Around the Majors

SP Justin Verlander of the Oakland Athletics notched his 200th career victory in a 6-0 win over his former team the Detroit Tigers. The 37 year old is 7-12 with a 5.19 ERA this season for Oakland and carries a career record of 200-145 with a 3.67 ERA and 2587 career strike outs. 

CL Jonathan Papelbon of the Cleveland Indians notched his 500th career save in a 5-3 win over the St. Louis Cardinals. Papelbon has posted a 6-5 record with 30 saves and a 3.45 ERA for the Indians this season. For his career the 39 year old is 59-52 with 500 saves and a 2.42 ERA. He is 3rd on the alltime saves list behind Mariano Rivera (652) and Trevor Hoffman (601).

1B Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds got his 2000th career hit, a double in a 2-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Votto is hitting .299 with 13 HR and driven in 47 for the Reds this season. For his career he is hitting .301 with 325 HR and 1040 RBI.

SP Tanner Sheppers of the Los Angeles Dodgers tossed a no hitter against the Milwaukee Brewers. The Dodgers took the game 6-0 and Scheppers was masterful walking just 3 and striking out 5. In 18 games this season Scheppers is 5-8 with a 4.12 ERA.

Up Next: End of the Regular Season


#17

ryan008
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2020 Regular Season is in the Books!
October 8th, 2020

The 2020 regular season has come to a close and it was a very successful one for first year GM Ryan Stewart and the Toronto Blue Jays. The Jays would cruise to a Major League best record of 111-51 and would run away with the American League East Title. This is the Jays 6th AL East Title in the past 7 years and sets a new franchise record for most victories in a season (the previous record was 104 set in 20188 and 2019). By capturing the AL East title the Jays have earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs and will face the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Baltimore Orioles. 

AL East Standings
Toronto Blue Jays - 111-51
Baltimore Orioles - 90-72 (21)
Tampa Bay Rays - 85-77 (26)
New York Yankees - 66-96 (45)
Boston Red Sox - 64-98 (47)

AL Wild Card Standings
Baltimore Orioles - 90-72
Tampa Bay Rays - 85-77
Chicago White Sox - 84-78 (1)
Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim 84-78 (1)
Seattle Mariners - 82-80 (3)

2020 First Year Player Draft Update

With the 2020 season coming to a close this is a good time to peek in and see how the Jays draft picks from this season fared int heir professional debuts. The Jays had an additional supplemental 1st round selection this year from the loss of 3B Brett Lawrie to the Dodgers in the off season. For the most part all of the Jays picks this year got off to good starts with their respective minor league teams:

1st Round (20th OA) - 2B Tim Miller - .359 0 HR 21 RBI (S.A. Vancouver)
Supp. 1st Round (34th OA) - SP Vic Johnson - 4-4 3.25 ERA 25 BB 102 K (S.A. Vancouver)
2nd Round (63rd OA) - SP Sam Burns - 6-2 3.45 ERA 18 BB 46 K (GCL Blue Jays)
3rd Round (94th OA) - SP Jose De Jesus - 7-4 4.04 ERA 27 BB 53 K (GCL Blue Jays)
4th Round (124th OA) - LF Ron Jackson - .251 0 HR 19 RBI (GCL Blue Jays)
5th Round (154th OA) - CL mike McNeal - 2-3 17 SV 1.71 ERA (S.A. Vancouver)

End of the Regular Season News & Notes

Injuries

The Blue Jays had a little bit of bad luck on the injury front during the last few games of the season as the lost a pair of their regulars who will both be out for at least the first round of the playoffs. 

CF Albert Almora (.317 25 HR 106 RBI) suffered a fractured rib and is expected to miss the next 4-6 weeks. He was placed on the 15 day disabled list and CF D.J. Davis (.276 8 HR 52 RBI) was added to the playoff roster from AAA Buffalo. 

The Jays will also be without the services of 1B A.J. Reed (.288 29 HR 112 RBI) who suffered a sprained knee and is expected to miss the next 3-4 weeks. He was also placed on the 15 day disabled list and 3B Jeimer Candelario (.287 16 HR 71 RBI) was added to the playoff roster.

Awards

1B Tim Nelson (17th Round Pick 506th OA in 2018, Wake Forest) was named the North Western League batter of the Year after hitting .350 with 16 HR and driving in 64 for the S.A. Vancouver Canadians.

SP Jeff Burns (3rd Round Pick 94th OA in 2017, Toledo High School) was named the Mid Western League Pitcher of the Year after going 17-5 with a 3.01 ERA for the Lansing Lugnuts.

LF Don Bergeron (2nd Round Pick 60th overall in 2019, Washington High School) was named the Mid Western League Batter of the Year after hitting .347 with 5 HR and 63 RBI for the Lansing Lugnuts.

SP Jose Cerventes (International Free Agent Signing in 2015, Dominican Republic) was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year after going 15-6 with a 2.69 ERA for the Dunedin Blue Jays.

LF Bernie Anderson (7th Round Pick 206th OA in 2018, Notre Dame, NCAA) was named the Florida State League Batter of the Year after hitting .269 with 26 HR and driving in 71 for the Dunedin Blue Jays.

SP Eric Johnson (6th Round Pick 191st OA in 2019, Alabama, NCAA) was named the GCL Pitcher of the Year after posting a sparkling 9-0 record with a 2.41 ERA for the GCL Blue Jays.

CF Jerry Irwin (3rd Round Pick 98th Overall in 2019, U of Iowa, NCAA) was named the GCL Batter of the Year after hitting .403 with 24 HR and driving in 66 runs for the GCL Blue Jays.

Around the Majors

RF Giancarlo Stanton of the Philadelphia Phillies belted his 300th career homerun in a 4-3 victory over the Washington Nationals. Stanton hit .271 with 27 HR and drove in 94 runs for the Phillies this season and for his career the 30 year old is hitting .257 with 301 HR and has 835 RBI in 1420 games played.

1B Ryan Zimmerman of the Milwaukee Brewers collected his 2000th career base hit in a Brewers 4-1 victory overt the Detroit Tigers. The veteran is hitting .282 with 17 HR and 58 RBI this season. For his career the 36 year old is hitting .275 with 283 HR and 1068 RBI in 2015 games played.

Up Next: Toronto Blue Jays Playoff Baseball


#18

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2020 ALDS - Blue Jays Shocked by Rays!
October 17th, 2020

The Toronto Blue Jays were the best team in the Majors in 2020 posting an impressive record of 111-51 and finishing atop the American League East Standings, outpacing the Tampa Bay Rays by 26 games. All of that however mattered for naught as the Rays having knocked off the Baltimore Orioles in the Wild Card Game would stun the Blue Jays in the ALDS and sweep the series 3 games to 0. GM Ryan Stewart on the Jays early exit: "We were not expecting this at all, We all figured we had a good chance to move onto the next round and possibly get to a World Series, I know we had some injuries that really took some thump out of our lineup as well. I'm not going to make any excuses though, the Rays came to play and they deserved to win this series. They were the better team"

ALDS Game #1 - Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays
SP Chris Sale - 13-10 3.52 ERA vs
SP Kohl Stewart - 14-9 4.07 ERA
TB 9 - TOR 3
W: SP Chris Sale (1-0) 7.0 IP 8 H 3 R 2 BB 6 K
L: SP Kohl Stewart (0-1) 3.2 IP 8 H 8 R 2 BB 4 K
Game Recap:With the Jays ace SP Jamie Cox nursing the flu the Jays opted to give him an extra days rest and would start Stewart in game #1 vs the Rays. The start did not go well for Stewart as he couldn't get out of the 4th inning allowing 8 runs on 8 hits and would eventually take the loss. The Rays come out swinging and would knock Stewart around early and often with 1B Dan Vogenburn 2-3 HR 2 RBI, LF Vahn BozoianRF Wil Myers and C Salvador Perez all touching the young righty up for homeruns. For the Jays they got a two run homerun from C Max Pentecost and a solo shot from3B Stu Daniels but that was all that they could muster against the Rays ace SP Chris Sale.

ALDS Game #2 - Tampa Bay Rays @ Toronto Blue Jays
SP SP Carlos Rodon (12-11 3.53 ERA)
SP Jamie Cox (24-2 1.65 ERA)
TB 3 - TOR 2
W: SP Carlos Rodon (1-0) 7.0 IP 6 H 2 R 2 BB 10 K
L: SP Jamie Cox (0-1) 7.1 IP 6 H 3 R 1 BB 12 K
S: CL Phil Gibson (1)
Game Recap: The Blue Jays would send their Ace and perhaps the best pitcher in Baseball to the mound in game #2 and he would be out dueled by SP Carlos Rodon of the Rays. Cox would allow an RBI double to 1B Justin Chigbogu int he 2nd and then a 2 run triple to SS Gleyber Torres and that would be all the scoring that the Rays would need. For the Jays 2B Kloten Wong had a 2 run double in the 4th and that was all they could muster as they now find themselves down 2-0 in the ALDS with game 3 in Tampa.

ALDS Game #3 - Toronto Blue Jays @ Tampa Bay Rays
SP Gerrit Cole - 18-5 3.05 ERA vs
SP Phil Baker - 14-9 2.43 ERA
TB 1 - TOR 0
W: Phil Baker (1-0) 8.0 IP 4 H 0 R 1 BB 6 K
L: Gerrit Cole (0-1) 8.0 IP 6 H 1 R 2 BB 7 K
S: CL Phil Gibson (2)
Game Recap: Game #3 was a pitchers duel with SP Gerrit Cole and SP Phil Baker going head to head. The only blemish on the day would be a RF Grant Heyman RBI sacrifice fly in the 5th that would prove to be the games only run as the Rays ended the Jays season taking the American League Division Series 3-0.

Up Next: 2020 World Series Winner


#19

ryan008
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Los Angeles Dodgers Capture 2020 World Series
October 28th, 2020

Well all of the moves that the Dodgers made this off season signing 3B Brett LawrieSP Clayton Kershaw2B Jonathan Villar and SP Yu Darvish all payed off as the Dodgers took home the 2020 World Series title with a convincing 4-2 series win over the American League Champion Tampa Bay Rays. The Dodgers didn't win their division and were forced to play the New York Mets in the National League Wild Card game. They would win that game and then would defeat Pittsburgh 3-2 in the NLDS and the Arizona Diamondbacks 4-2 in the National League Championship Series. This is the 10th World Series title in Dodgers history and is their first since winning the their 3rd of 3 consecutive world series titles from 2014-2016. 

Up Next: Off Season Awards


#20

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2020 Awards & Blue Jays Minor League POTY's
Major League Baseball announced its winners for the Gold Gloves, Rookie of the Year, Cy Young Award and the MVP today and there were a couple of Jays that took home some hardware. The Jays also announced their R. Howard Webster Award Winners for the Best Player at each level of the Jays minor leagues.

2020 AL Gold Gloves
P Justin Hooper (Cleveland Indians)
C Jorge Alfaro (Texas Rangers)
1B Wil Benson (New York Yankees)
2B Shane Benes (Chicago White Sox)
3B Matt Chapman (Oakland Athletics)
SS Arquimedes Gamboa (Houston Astros)
LF Chris Blair (Seattle Marniers)
CF Byron Buxton (Minnesota Twins)
RF George Springer (Houston Astros)

2020 NL Gold Gloves
P Alex Wood (Cincinnati Reds)
C Reese McGuire (Pittsburgh Pirates)
1B Justion Bellanger (Chicago Cubs)
2B Alonzo Jones (Miami Marlins)
3B Brett Lawrie (Los Angeles Dodgers)
SS Andrelton Simmons (Atlanta Braves)
LF Monte Harrison (Pittsburgh Pirates)
CF Cesar Alfonzo (Philadelphia Phillies)
RF Marcus Wison (Atlanta Braves)

2020 American League Rookie of the Year
LF Abel Black (23 yrs old) (Oakland Athletics)
1st Round Pick 5th Overall in 2017 (Orlando High School)
.292 26 HR 96 RBI

2020 National League Rookie of the Year
LF Doug Klein (25 yrs old) (Milwaukee Brewers)
2nd Round Pick 34th Overall by Kansas City in 2016 (New Mexico State, NCAA)
.271 29 HR 87 RBI

2020 American League Cy Young Award
SP Jamie Cox (Toronto Blue Jays)
24-2 1.65 ERA 55 BB 292 K

2020 National League Cy Young Award
SP Austin Bergner (San Diego Padres)
18-10 2.25 ERA 66 BB 225 K

2020 American League MVP Award
C Max Pentecost (Toronto Blue Jays)
.363 17 HR 82 RBI

2020 National League MVP Award
1B Corey Seager (Los Angeles Dodgers)
.309 24 HR 89 RBI

2020 Blue Jays Minor League Players of the Year

AAA Buffalo Bisons - 75-67 3rd in North Division
C Wyatt Cross
23, LHB
Acquired: 2nd Round Pick 63rd Overall in 2015 by Toronto (Orlando High School)
2020 Stats: .298 18 HR 69 RBI
GM's Comments: A former 2nd round pick of the Jays Cross has slowly moved up through the Jays farm system and has been good at every level. He has some decent pop in his bat as evidenced by his 18 HR in AAA this season. 
Outlook/ETA: His future is most likely that of a back up catcher a role that he will compete for this coming Spring. He is good defensively and with his ability to hit for a decent average and power he could be a very valuable bat off the bench in 2021.

AA New Hampshire Fishercats - 58-84 5th in Northern Division
SP Jose Sandoval
21, RHP, V: 97-99 MPH
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2015 out of Panama.
2020 Stats: 9-10 16 SV 2.91 ERA in 44 Games (16 Starts)
GM's Comments: Sandoval was signed to a pretty big contract back in 2015 as the Jays shelled out $2,400,000 to ink him to a contract. He has bounced between starting and relieving over the past year and my scouts are leaning towards him being better as a relief option. 
Outlook/ETA: Most likely a back of the rotation arm, Sandoval will get an invite to Spring Training this season with the plan to have him in the back end of the bullpen in AAA. There are a few more high ceiling relief arms a head of the 21 year old on the depth chart so he might not see action in the Majors until at least September 2021. 

High A Dunedin Blue Jays - 85-55 1stNorth Division
SP Jose Cerventes
21, RHP, V:96-98 MPH
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic
2020 Stats: 15-6 2.69 ERA 35 BB 189 K
GM's Comments: Another international signing out of the 2015 period, Cerventes really flourished in the Florida State League this season. He was an FSL All Star and took home the FSL Pitcher of the Year and Gold Glove Award. 
Outlook/ETA: Cerventes has top of the rotation arm written all over him and he could move quickly through the higher levels of the Jays farm system. He is ticketed for AA New Hampshire to start the 2021 season and could be a staple in the Jays rotation as early as 2023.

Low A Lansing Lugnuts - 87-53 1st in Eastern Division
SP Jeff Burns
22, RHP, V:93-95
Acquired: 3rd Round Pick 94th Overall in 2017 (Toledo High School)
2020 Stats: 17-05 3.01 ERA 50 BB 147 K
GM's Comments:Another high draft pick that put together a solid season in his first full season in pro ball. Burns doesn't possess any one tool that will blow you away but is smart and knows how to utilize a 4 pitch repertoire very well.
Outlook/ETA: Most likely a back end of the rotation arm he will be bumped up to AA new Hampshire to start the 2021 season and depending on performance could see AAA by seasons end. There is a possibility that he could be a September call up by the end of 2022.

Short Season A Vancouver Canadians - 50-36 1st in West Division
1B Tim Nelson
23, LHB
Acquired: 17th Round Pick 506th Overall in 2018 (Wake Forrest, NCAA)
2020 Stats: .350 16 HR 64 RBI
GM's Comments: A late round pick back in 2018 that blossomed in Vancouver this season. He really hadn't done much in 2 seasons in the low minors but broke out in 2020 being named the NWL Batter of the Year and taking home a Gold Glove Award. 
Outlook/ETA: He was playing against competition that was significantly younger then he is and that may have inflated his stats somewhat. He will be challenged in 2021 heading to AA where the level of competition will be much higher. He projects more of a AAAA player then a regular at the big league level so we will see what 2021 has in store for him.

Bluefield Blue Jays - 31-37 2nd in East Division
SP Sam Kyte
22, LHP, V:93-95
Acquired: 6th Round Pick 180th Overall in 2016 (Tampa High School)
2020 Stats: 9-3 2.60 ERA 28 BB 102 K
GM's Comments: Kyte is an intriguing arm, he dropped to the 6th round despite having 4 solid pitches and very good command. He spent 4 seasons in the low minors without much success but had a breakout 2020. 
Outlook/ETA: Most likely a mid-back end of the rotation arm he is a lefty who could at a minimum be a useful pen arm. He is headed to Lansing for his first year of pro ball and at 23 could start to move quickly if he can duplicate his results. ETA would be late 2022-2023 most likely in a bullpen role.

GCL Blue Jays - 46-14 1st in North West Division & 2020 GCL Champs
CF Jerry Irwin
22, RHB
Acquired: 3rd Round Pick 98th Overall in 2019 (University of Iowa, NCAA)
2020 Stats: .403 24 HR 66 RBI
GM's Comments: Irwin had a monster season in the GCL this year taking home the GCL Batter of the Year Honors for his efforts. A former 3rd round pick he is a little old for the GCL but never the less his offensive out put was impressive this year. 
Outlook/ETA: My scouts don't think that he has the tools to be an everyday outfielder at the MLB level and I'm not entirely sure I agree with that assessment. He is headed to Low A Lansing for the start of the 2021 season and we wills see what he could do against some competition more his level. ETA is a few years off, probably around 2023.

Dominican Summer League Blue Jays - 35-30 3rd in San Pedro De Marcois Division
1B Gilberto Compete
22, LHB
Acquired: Signed as an International Amateur in 2016 (Dominican Republic)
2020 Stats: .346 20 HR 58 RBI
GM's Comments: Compete spent the better part of 4 seasons between the Jays International Complex and the DSL Blue Jays and 2020 was the first season that he got to play a full time position. He took advantage of that leading the team in just about every offensive category.
Outlook/ETA: Still very raw having never played in North America Compete is going to be challenged as he was assigned to the Lansing Lugnuts of the Mid Western League. At 22 he is too old to head to the GCL or Bluefield and we wanted to challenge him. ETA is hard to say as he may not be able to maintain his pace against stiffer North American competition.

Up Next: Salary Arbitration





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