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The 2020 Toronto Blue Jays [OOTP15]

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

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#21

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2020 Salary Arbitration Cases & Possible Free Agents
The Blue Jays had a whopping 14 cases that needed to be settled as well as a number of players who were free agents that needed required a qualifying offer in order to net the Jays a compensation pick should they reject it and sign elsewhere.

Free Agents

The Jays have three key players who are pending unrestricted free agents this off season: SS Xander Boegaerts1B Anthony Rizzo and MR Paco Rodriguez. Of the three the jays pushed the hardest to retain Rodriguez, he was a great addition to the back end of the Jays pen but he was looking for closer money and with CL Rex Brothers holding down that job and signed for 2 more seasons it was just too rich for the Jays blood. All three players were extended qualifying offers and all 3 declined so they will hit the open market. This situation creates a few holes in the Jays lineup that GM Ryan Stewart is going to have to fill but there is a silver lining as the Jays have the potential to add up to 3 extra compensation selections in the 2021 First Year Player Draft.

Salary Arbitration Cases

The Jays had 14 salary arbitration cases go to a hearing this season and GM Ryan Stewart and his staff was very busy getting all of the offers prepped for the arbitrator. The rumor mill has been churning that the Jays have been working on long term extensions for a couple of their players including the reigning AL MVP and Cy Young Award Winners C Max Pentecost and SP Jamie Cox. GM Ryan Stewart was asked to comment but revealed very little about the ongoing negotiations saying "we would absolutely love to get both Cox and Pentecost signed to long term deals. It is something that we have high on our list of priorities. We tried to get deals done before arbitration and there just wasn't enough time. We will start talking again in the off season and see where things go from there".

Blue Jays Salary Arbitration Cases and 2021 Salaries

C Max Pentecost - $11,250,000
RF Justin Williams - $8,750,000
SP Kohl Stewart - $8,000,000
LF Randal Girchuk - $1,000,000
C Tomoya Mori - $2,600,000
MR Carson Fulmer - $1,000,000
MR Chris Richardson - $800,000
SP Marcus Stroman - $1,900,000
SP Jamie Cox - $11,250,000
CF Andrew Alpin - $800,000
MR Tony Boone - $800,000
1B A.J. Reed - $11,250,000
2B Gotsuke Katoh - $800,000
SP Nathan Kirby - $2,200,000

2021 Operating Budget

Rogers Communication, the parent company of the Toronto Blue Jays announced that GM Ryan Stewart would have a 2021 operating budget of $178,000,000 which is the 4th highest in the Majors this season. They have allocated $7,500,00 of that budget to the 2021 First Year Player Draft. As it currently sits the Jays have $101,370,000 in salary committed in payroll for the 2021 season. When you include scouting ($18,000,000) and Player Development ($15,000,000) the Jays have roughly $35,000,000 in money available for free agents this off season. The Jays have the 8th biggest payroll in the game with the Los Angeles Dodgers having the highest at just over $185,000,000.

GM Ryan Stewart's Off Season Wish List

With the start of the Off season here GM Ryan Stewart has a number of holes to fill. Some of them could be filled internally with prospects that are already in the Jays system. GM Ryan Stewart also didn't rule out going outside the organization via trade or in free agency.

1. Starting Shortstop
With the departure of SS Xander Boegaerts as a free agent the Jays have a gaping hole on the left side of the infield. Boegarts hit .271 with 20 HR and had 85 RBI this season and played defense at a decent level but is just slightly above average. In terms of internal options the Jays have former 2nd round pick SS Nicholas Gordon who hit .259 with 4 HR and 30 RBI in AAA this season and he also spent some time with the Jays. 

2. Designated Hitter
The Jays also lost 1B Anthony Rizzo to free agency. He hit .267 with 26 HR and 87 RBI last year. At 31 he has seen a decline in his ratings and my scouts were leary of offering him a multi year deal. We tried to connect on a 1 year deal but he was not interested. In terms of internal options there really aren't any and this is a spot that will likely have to be filled internally.

3. Right Field
RF Desmond Jennings also left as a free agent this off season. The Jays caught lightning in a bottle with him after he signed a 1 year deal in 2019 and hit .283 with 19 HR and drove in 65 runs. He was granted an extension for 2020 but saw a huge decline in his performance hitting just .222 with 6 HR and 34 RBI. In terms of internal options CF Colin Bray who hit .384 with 12 HR and 55 RBI for AAA Buffalo last season is a viable option. There are a few attractive options on the free agent market as well. 

4. Bullpen Help
MR Paco Rodriguez was a rock in the late innings for the Jays in 2020 posting a 3-3 record with 10 saves and a 1.59 ERA. The 2020 All Star was looking for a minimum 3 year deal and to get paid closers money. With CL Rex Brothers firmly entrenched in that role for the Jays he was not going to get that kind of money from the Jays and he left as a free agent. The Jays have a number of internal options here that could be make the jump up from AAA. MR Jorge MirandaMR Jim Phillips and CL Nick Kennedy are all bullpen arms that we are quite high on and all could be on the radar for the open spots in the Jays bullpen.

Up Next: 2020 Off Season Transactions Report


#22

StLee
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I'm a big-time LSU fan, so of course in real life I'm rooting for Sean Ochinko to become the Jays' catcher of the future. However, I see in your dynasty that Pentecost has found his fifth star. Can you tell me how Ochinko did and where he is now? 

 

I'm following along in your dynasty. There hasn't been much action here. :)


Who Dat? 


#23

ryan008
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I'm a big-time LSU fan, so of course in real life I'm rooting for Sean Ochinko to become the Jays' catcher of the future. However, I see in your dynasty that Pentecost has found his fifth star. Can you tell me how Ochinko did and where he is now? 

 

I'm following along in your dynasty. There hasn't been much action here. :)

 

Hey,

 

Thanks for the post! Glad that people are enjoying the story so far. Pentecost has to have had a number of talent bumps over the last couple of seasons and is really rounding into a top flight catcher. As for Ochinko he played in the Jays system with the AAA Buffalo Bisons until the conclusion of the 2015 season. In 2015 he hit .301 with 3 HR and 23 RBI in 42 games. At the end of 2015 he became a free agent and didn't sign with any new clubs. He retired at the end of the 2017 season and is currently a bench coach for the University of Hawaii Rainbows in the NCAA. He holds a career record of 42-30 in 2 seasons at the helm. 



#24

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Blue Jays Off Season Report
GM Ryan Stewart had another very busy off season as the Jays tried to patched a number of holes created when SS Xander BoegaertsLF Desmond JenningsMR Paco Rodriguez and 1B Anthony Rizzo all left as free agents after the conclusion of the 2020 season. The Jays used pretty much every avenue available to them to improve the team of the upcoming season making a huge trade and adding some depth through the free agent market. The 2021 free agent class was another very deep one that had a number of marquee players available. some of the names included SP Stephen Strasburg1B Kris Bryant, RF Wil MyersLF Jason HeywardSS Andrelton Simmons and CF Andrew McCutchen

Blue Jays Off Season:

GM Ryan Stewart identified 4 major holes that the team was looking to fill heading into the off season and with the start of Spring Training just days away and the off season days becoming numbered Jays fans should be quite happy with what was accomplished so far. GM Ryan Stewart "We had a very productive couple of months, we tried to be active on the free agent market but got priced out of most of the top tier free agents and me managed to bring in a very good player via trade. Now it did cost us quite a bit in prospect terms but we got a piece that could be a cornerstone for the organization moving forward. We still have some question marks heading into Spring Training and there will be some competition for jobs but when is a little competition not a good thing"

Starting Shortstop

To fill the spot vacated by SS Xander Boegaerts the Jays made a blockbuster trade with the Houston Astros. The Jays agreed to send SP Marcus StromanC Tomoya Mori and minor league SP Bob Williams to the Astros in exchange for SS Carlos Correa

Players to Houston

SP Marcus Stroman is coming off of an injury plagued year that saw him start just 12 games and post a 5-6 record with a 4.19 ERA with 22 walks against 66 strikeouts. The 29 year old righty missed 10 months with a damaged elbow ligament but luckily didn't require surgery. The Jays had high hopes for Stroman after a spectacular 2019 season in which he went 18-8 with a 4.21 ERA. 

C Tomoya Mori was the Jays back up catcher in 2020 hitting .276 with 2 HR and 27 RBI. He was not happy backing up but clearly wasn't going to supplant C Max Pentecost as the Jays everyday catcher. The 25 year old was signed by the Jays in 2014 as an International Free Agent out of Japan and has the potential to be an above average catcher at the MLB level. 

SP Bob Williams is a 24 year old left with a 90-92 MPH cut fastball and 3 other plus pitches. He was a former 1st round pick of the Jays 21st overall back in 2016 out of Buffalo High School in the USHSBA. He spent the 2020 season in AAA Buffalo where he was 11-8 with a 3.51 ERA with 69 walks against 171 strike outs and was named to the International League All Star Team. He was the Jays #2 rated prospect and scouts as a mid to top of the rotation arm.

Players to Toronto

SS Carlos Correa is a 26 year old righty who was the 1st overall pick of the Astros in 2012 out of Puerto Rico Baseball Academy. He hit .294 with 27 HR and drove in 112 runs and was named to the American League All Star Team. He has better range and a stronger arm then Boegaerts and is an upgrade offensively. He is in his last year of arbitration eligibility and will earn a lot more then his $8,900,000 salary for next year.

GM's Comments Houston was desperate for pitching and they have another young shortstop waiting in the wings in SS Arquimedes Gamboa whom they signed as an international free agent out of Venezuela in 2014 so they were looking to move Correa before he could become a free agent. It was hard losing both Stroman and Williams in this deal but the emergence of SP Jake Godfrey last season made the trade a little easier to swallow. We are going to make a concerted effort to get his name on a long term deal this season and have him be the Jays shortstop for the foreseeable future. 

Designated Hitter

In order to fill the designated hitter void that was created when 1B Anthony Rizzo signed with the Milwaukee Brewers, the Jays reached out to slugging 3B Josh Donaldson with a 1 year contract offer worth $1,100,000. The 35 year old Donaldson spent the 2020 season with the Detroit Tigers where he hit .204 with 13 HR and drove in 46 RBI but appeared in just 76 games because of a back injury. GM Ryan Stewart "We felt this was a good low risk signing for us. We bring in a veteran bat who has experience in the American League and has had some success in recent seasons. Defensively he gives us some options as well as he can play both third and first base"

Right Field

The Jays once again dipped into the free agent market this time inking RF Oswaldo Arcia to a 3 year deal worth a total of $30,480,000. The 29 year old left handed batter hit .278 with 13 HR and drove in 81 runs in 133 games for the Minnesota Twins last season. He is a former American league All Star (2017) and took home the Gold Glove Award for right field in 2017 as well. His deal pays him an annual value of $10,160,000 per season with the 3rd year being a team option with a $300,000 buyout. GM Ryan Stewart "Our scouting staff really liked what Arcia can bring to the table . He hits for a decent average and has some pop and can even steal a base or two. Defensively he is very solid and has a strong arm and great range. He should slot in nicely in the bottom part of our order and at a little over $10 mil a year didn't break the bank budget wise"

The Bullpen

GM Ryan Stewart added a couple of veterans to the mix for the vacant spots in the bullpen by signing MR Kevin Chapman and CL Jarred Cosart to 1 year contracts. The 33 year old Chapman is a lefty with a hard 93-95 MPH fastball and devastating slider. He was 5-3 with 2 saves and a 2.16 ERA for the Arizona Diamondbacks last season. Lefties hit just .145 against him and he was brought in primarily as a lefty specialist and someone who will work the late innings. He signed a 1 year deal worth $1,350,000.

CL Jarred Cosart is a 30 year old righty with a 93-95 MPH sinking fastball. He keeps the ball in the park and on the ground and allowed just 2 homeruns in 67.2 innings of work last season. He went 5-7 with 25 saves and posted a 4.41 ERA with the Chicago Cubs in 2020. He inked a 1 year deal worth a total of $1,500,000 and will be in the mix for a spot as a middle reliever since he won't be needed to close. His stuff and a 1 year team friendly contract is a great value for the Jays and he could be a key piece of the Jays revamped bullpen.

2021 Major League Free Agent Signings 

1B Anthony Rizzo - 2 years $24,600,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)*
CF Kyle Parker - 2 years $16,850,000 (Los Angeles Dodgers)
CL Mike Dunn - 2 years $26,100,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)
CL Cody Allen - 3 years $33,300,000 (Boston Red Sox)
CF Andrew McCutchen - 3 years $74,400,000 (Arizona Diamondbacks)
C Mike Zunino - 2 years $20,200,000 (Seattle Mariners)
CF Juan Paulo Martinez - 4 years $68,400,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)
3B Joey Gallo - 3 years $52,200,000 (Arizona Diamondbacks)
SP Stephen Strasburg - 2 years $54,000,000 (Atlanta Braves)
1B Brendan Belt - 1 year $6,300,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)
C Jorge Alfaro - $65,500,000 (Oakland Athletics)
CL Ernesto Frieri - 3 years $44,700,000 (Philadelphia Phillies)
C Salvador Perez - 2 years $16,900,000 (Cleveland Indians)
SP Carlos Martinez - 2 years $21,800,000 (Los Angeles Dodgers)
MR Paco Rodriguez - 3 years $38,900,000 (Los Angeles Dodgers)*
RF Oswaldo Arcia - 3 years $30,480,000 (Toronto Blue Jays)
1B Kris Bryant - 4 years $62,700,000 (Washington Nationals)
LF Jason Heyward - 6 years $85,700,000 (Colorado Rockies)
SP Drew Pomeranz - 5 years $56,000,000 (Kansas City Royals)
SS Andrelton Simmons - 2 years $48,000,000 (Boston Red Sox)
C Austin Hedges - 5 years $75,500,000 (New York Yankees)
CF Mike Trout - 6 years $173,000,000 (Seattle Mariners)
CF David Dahl - 4 years $50,800,000 (Colorado Rockies)
RF Wil Myers - 6 years $132,400,000 (New York Mets)
SS Xander Boegaerts - 6 years $123,600,000 (Seattle Mariners)*
SS Corey Seager - 1 year $11,000,000 (Los Angeles Dodgers)

*The Jays were awarded 3 supplemental 1st round draft picks because of the loss of Boegaerts, Rodriguez and Rizzo. 

Up Next Spring Training 2021


#25

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Spring Training 2021

 

The off season has finally come to a close and the Blue Jays are ready to begin their preparations for the start of the 2021 baseball season. Most of the Jays players have already made their way to the Bobby Mattick Training Center in Dunedin Florida, the home of the Jays A Ball Affiliate in the Florida State League. There will be a number of new faces in camp with the Jays this season. RF Oswaldo Arcia, SS Carlos Correa and DH Josh Donaldson were all brought in over the off season to fill spots vacated by SS Xander Boegaerts, MR Paco Rodriguez, LF Desomond Jennings and 1B Anthony Rizzo all left as unrestricted free agents and signed on with other clubs. The Jays have 56 players in camp this season trying to impress the coaching staff and win one of the 25 man roster spots needed to break camp with the club and to start the season with the Jays when they take on the Boston Red Sox on opening night at the Rogers Center.

 

Starting Pitchers

SP Erik Black - 10-12 3.67 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
SP Jose Cerventes - 15-6 2.69 ERA (A Dunedin)
SP Gerrit Cole - 18-5 3.05 ERA (Toronto)
SP Jamie Cox - 22-2 1.65 ERA ERA (Toronto)
SP Jake Godfrey - 10-0 2.19 ERA ERA (Toronto)
SP Nathan Kirby - 12-11 4.83 ERA (Toronto)
SP Cisco Ramos - 10-9 4.07 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
SP Kohl Stewart - 14-9 4.07 ERA (Toronto)
SP Jose Sandoval - 9-10 16 SV 2.91 ERA (AA New Hampshire)
 

GM's Comments
The Jays starting rotation is perhaps the best in baseball with the reigning AL Cy Young winner SP Jamie Cox leading the way. He will be followed by Cole, Godfrey, Stewart and Kirby. Barring any injuries the Jays will not have an opening in the rotation this year. There are a pair of young and intriguing arms in camp this spring however as both SP Jose Cerventes and SP Jose Sandoval received invitations to attend camp with the big club. The pair were both signed as International Free Agents back in 2015. They both have big arms and had good seasons in AA and A ball respectively. With a good showing this spring they will likely be challenged and sent to AAA Buffalo and could see some time in the Majors at some point this season. 

Middle Relievers and Closers

MR Tony Boone - 5-1 5 SV 4.26 ERA (Toronto)
MR Aaron Crow - 1-0 4 SV 3.71 ERA ERA (Toronto)
MR Carson Fulmer - 1-1 6.17 ERA (Toronto)

MR Phil Jones - 1-7 19 SV 2.17 ERA (AAA Fresno)

MR Clayton Kwiatkwski - 2-3 7 SV 2.53 ERA (AA New Hampshire)

MR Jorge Miranda - 1-0 3 SV 6.75 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
MR Mark Montgomery - 7-1 7 SV 3.58 ERA (Toronto)
MR Chris Richardson - 5-6 4 SV 4.16 ERA (Toronto)
MR Dave Steele - 7-3 3 SV 2.70 ERA (AAA Buffalo)

MR Kevin Chapman - 5-3 2 SV 2.16 ERA (Arizona Diamondbacks)

MR Jarred Cosart - 5-7 25 SV 2.16 ERA (Chicago Cubs)
CL Rex Brothers - 2-4 28 SV 1.00 ERA (Toronto)
CL Nick Kennedy - 4-4 29 SV 3.70 ERA (AAA Buffalo)
CL Jim Phillips - 4-3 19 SV 2.11 ERA (AA New Hampshire)

GM's Comments
It looks like the majority of a pretty good bullpen will remain intact for the 2021 season. We will have to replace MR Paco Rodriguez who left as a free agent but there are a number of candidates in camp that should be able to fill that void adequately. Free agent signings MR Jarred Cosart and MR Kevin Chapman along with some of our younger arms like CL Nick Kennedy and MR Dave Steele will have the inside shot. 

 

Position Players

Catchers

C Wyatt Cross - .298 18 HR 69 RBI  (AAA Buffalo)
C Max Pentecost - .363 17 HR 82 RBI (Toronto)
C Jonathan Lucroy - ..298 17 HR 68 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
 

GM's Comments
We are also set at the starting catchers position with the reigning AL MVP C Max Pentecost set to return. There will be a competition for the back up spot however as  C Tomoya Mori was traded in the off season int he deal that brought SS Carlos Correa over to Toronto. The two options right now for the Jays are veteran C Jonathan Lucroy who hit well in AAA last season and C Wyatt Cross the youngster who split playing time with Lucroy in AAA. Cross is the better defender and has a little more pop in his bat so he could be the best option as the back up but his performance during the spring will dictate where he starts the season. 

 

First Base Base

1B A.J. Reed - .288 29 HR 112 RBI (Toronto)
1B Josh Donaldson - .204 13 HR 46 RBI (Detroit Tigers)

GM's Comments
For the second straight season there isn't going to be much of a battle in the first base department as both Reed and Donaldson are expected to crack the Openign Day Lineup. Donaldson had a down year for the Tigers in 2020 hitting just .204 but he did have 13 homeruns. He will be the everyday DH and can fill in at first when Reed needs a day off.

 

Second Base

2B Goskuke Katoh - .321 4 HR 29 RBI (Toronto)
2B Kolten Wong - .301 9 HR 66 RBI (Toronto)

GM's Comments
Wong is going to be the starter at second and our lead off hitter again this season a role he has done very well in over the past few seasons. I like having Katoh as a back up infielder as he can play multiple positions and is a decent bat offensively hitting .321 last season. He can spell anyone on the infield and if needed could play the outfield. He is a very valuable bench piece.

 

Third Base

3B Jeimer Candelario - .287 16 HR 71 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
3B Stu Daniels - .271 11 HR 68 RBI (Toronto)

GM's Comments
Daniels did very well as a rookie coming straight out of AA last season and managed to hold his own with a respectable .271 batting average. I think that he can only go up from here and another full season of pro ball under his belt can really help the young Rule V pickup. He will be backed up by Candelario who had a decent season in AAA and is a good defensive option and a decent bat off the bench for the Jays.

 

Short Stop

SS Carlos Correa - .294 27 HR 112 RBI (Houston Astros)
SS Nicholas Gordon - .240 3 HR 17 RBI (AAA Buffalo)

GM's Comments
We had a huge hole in our middle infield when we lost SS Xander Boegaerts as a free agent this off season. It cost us a couple good young arms to bring in Correa from the Astros but in the end it should work out quite nicely for the Jays. Correa has a nice blend of offensive upside and defensive ability, he should slot in to the #2 hole in the batting order and were hoping the 2020 All Star keeps his numbers up.

 

Outfielders

 

LF Don Bergeron - ..347 5 HR 63 RBI (A Lansing)

LF Randal Girchuk - .253 11 HR 28 RBI (Toronto)

CF Andrew Alpin - .278 8 HR 46 RBI (AAA Buffalo)
CF Albert Almora - .317 25 HR 106 RBI RBI (Toronto)
CF D.J. Davis - .276 8 HR 52 RBI (Toronto)
RF Justin Williams - .280 33 HR 82 RBI (Toronto)
RF Colin Bray - .239 2 HR 6 RBI (Toronto)

RF Oswaldo Arcia - .278 13 HR 81 RBI (Milwaukee Brewers)

GM's Comments
The plan heading into the spring is to have Williams in left, Almora in center and Arcia in right but things could change. We have a few options for the 4th and 5th outfielder jjobs in camp with Girchuk, Bray, Davis and Alpin all having major league experience. We also invited 22 year old former 2nd round pick LF Don Bergeron to camp. He had an awesome season in Lansing and the 22 year old is going to get an extended look this spring. He is a player that my scouts are quite high on and whom my player development staff keep recommending.

Up Next: Spring Training Recap and Opening Day Rosters



#26

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Opening Day is Around the Corner
 
The Jays had another successful spring finishing off Grapefruit League action with a record of 15-11 which was the best in their division with the Tampa Bay Rays finishing second with a record of 13-13. The Boston Red Sox had a really rough spring going just 8-19 and it looks like its going to be a long season in Boston. The Jays had a couple of scares this spring as they had both SP Jamie Cox and newly acquired SS Carlos Correa miss time due to injuries. Neither proved to be serious and both are going to be ready for opening day. 

Spring Training Surprises

The biggest surprise of the Spring was the play of 22 year old rookie LF Don Bergeron the former 2nd round pick out of Washington High School put up some dynamite numbers this spring hitting .347 with 5 HR and 13 RBI and had my scouting and development staffs raving about his ability. We are going to start him out in AA New Hampshire since he has never appeared above A Lansing and I bet he isn't there long with a promotion to AAA Buffalo looming before the end of the 2021 season. The other nice surprise was the play of CL Jim Phillips the 25 year old righty had a great spring tossing 14.1 innings of shut out base ball waking just 3 and striking out 11. He really put himself on the map and will be one of the first arms to be called up from AAA Buffalo. The former 8th round pick 244th overall in 2017 out of Michigan State could be a major contributor to the Jays bullpen as soon as this season. 

Spring Training Disappointments

The biggest dissapointment of the spring was the pitching of veteran MR Aaron Crow. Crow pitched to a 17.74 ERA in 12 innings of work allowing 6 homeruns and 9 walks against just 3 strikeouts. The 34 year old essentially played his way out of a job and found himself headed down to AAA Buffalo. Its not know if he is suffering from a nagging injury and that has caused his drop in performance. Never the less he will start the season in AAA and if he can get it together and find his form from last season he could be back up in the Jays bullpen later this season.

OPENING DAY ROSTERS

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

MR Tony Boone
Mr Kevin Chapman
MR Jarred Cosart
MR Mark Montgomery
MR Carson Fulmer
MR Chris Richardson
CL Rex Brothers

C Max Pentecost
1B A.J. Reed
2B Kolten Wong
3B Stu Daniels
SS Carlos Correa
LF Justin Williams
CF Albert Almora
RF Oswaldo Arcia
DH Josh Donaldson

C Wyatt Cross
INF Gosuke Katoh
OF Randal Girchuk
OF Andrew Alpin

Pre Season Predictions

The baseball writers have spoken and they have the Jays finishing with a record of 100-62 and taking home the American League East title. In the National League the defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers are predicted to have the best record in baseball winning a total of 110 games. The Boston Red Sox and Milwaukee Brewers are predicted to have tough seasons both on pace to lose well over 100 games. 
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Financial Information

The Blue Jays are in pretty good shape financially. We have an opening day budget of $178,000,000 and are currently spending $124,480,000 on players. Our budget is ranked #5th highest in the league and our payroll is 7th. Last season we turned a $38,000,000 profit and our owner (Rogers Communication Inc) took $22,500,000. Needless to say our owners should be quite happy with what they are getting from a financial stand point. We do have some players that we will be looking to lock up this season so we are going to eat into some of our available funds that away. We also have $8,000,000 available for the draft but with 3 additional compensation round selections coming our way we are probably going to spend over that amount.

Top Prospects and Farm Systems

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

1. SP Sam Hobbs - 20, Colorado Rockies
2. LF Chris Caro - 21, New York Yankees
3. LF Ivan Saldana - 21, Baltimore Orioles
4. SP Vic Johnson - 22, Toronto Blue Jays
5. SP Jose Cerventes - 22, Toronto Blue Jays
6. RF Danny Miller - 22, Seattle Mariners
7. SP Chris Lee - 21, New York Mets
8. LF Jesus Vargas - 21, Kansas City Royals
9. LF Buddy Sims - 22, Milwaukee Brewers
10. SP Alfredo Bernal - 21, Pittsburgh Pirates

The Minnesota Twins have over taken the New York Yankees as having the #1 rated system in the majors. The Twins don't have a lot of talent ranked high on the top prospects list but they have 9 players ranked in the top 100. The Yankees graduated a few of their top prospects to the Majors last season and that dropped them out of the top spot and into second. The Blue Jays on the back of a pair of top rated pitchers (SP Vic Johnson being rated so high is a pleasant surprise) have vaulted into the #3 spot on the list. Rounding out the top 5 are the Cincinnati Reds and Milwaukee Brewers. The Phillies, Cardinals, Rays and Braves all are tied for last in terms of the prospect rankings each not having a single player ranked withing the top 100 prospects in major league baseball. 

Up Next: April Review 


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#27

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April 2021 has come and gone
 
May 1st, 2021
The Blue Jays kicked off the first month of the season a little slow finishing the month with a 9-8 record and finding themselves tied for 3rd spot n the American League East with the Baltimore Orioles. The New York Yankees surged out to an 11-7 start and have an early hold on the division lead, with a 1/2 game cushion on the second place Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles and Jays are only 1 1/2 games back and the lowly Boston Red Sox find themselves in the basement of the AL East with a 6-10 record. In the AL Wild card races, which are really early at this point the Jays are tied with the Orioles, White Sox and Tigers all sitting 1 game back of the Kansas City Royals and Tampa Bay Rays. Around the Majors the San Francisco Giants are currently the best team in the league with a record of 12-5 and the San Diego Padres are bringing up the rear with a 4-13 record.

AL East Standings - May 1st
New York Yankees - 11-7
Tampa Bay Rays - 10-7 (1/2 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 9-8 (1 GB)
Toronto Blue Jays -  9-8 (1 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 6-10 (4 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings
Kansas City Royals - 10-6 
Tampa Bay Rays - 10-7 
Baltimore Orioles - 9-8 (1 GB)
Chicago White Sox - 9-8 (1 GB)
Toronto Blue Jays - 9-8 (1 GB)
Detroit Tigers - 9-8 (1 GB)

April's Hot Players

SP Jamie Cox - 2-0 2.67 ERA
SP Kohl Stewart - 2-1 5.19 ERA
CL Rex Brothers - 1-1 4 SV 2.16 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .463 5 HR 15 RBI
2B Kolten Wong - .310 0 HR 6 RBI
SS Carlos Correa - .358 2 HR 12 RBI
3B Stu Daniels - .391 4 HR 12 RBI

April's Cold Players

SP Jake Godfrey - 0-2 7.43 ERA
MR Jarred Cosart - 0-0 8.68 ERA
LF Justin Williams - .242 1 HR 7 RBI

April News & Notes

Injuries

The Jays were not without their injuries this month as very early on they lost one of the newest Jays RF Oswaldo Arcia for a month with an ankle sprain. The veteran was signed as a free agent in the off season and was hitting .255 with 1 HR and 7 RBI so far this season. He was placed on the 15 day disabled list and CF Colin Bray was recalled from AAA Las Vegas. 

Awards

C Max Pentecost was named the American League Batter of the Month winner for April after he started the season on fire hitting .463 with 5 HR and 15 RBI. 
 
Minor League Contracts
 
GM Ryan Stewart was quite busy in the early weeks of the season looking to add some depth to the Jays AAA team in Buffalo. There were a number of veteran MLB players who were still without contracts as the season started and the Jays managed to snap up a few on minor league deals. The Jays agreed to minor league contracts with C Sandy Leon (.235 1 HR 3 RBI with the Washington nationals in 2020), SP James Paxton (11-11 3.90 ERA with the Kansas City Royals in 2020), MR Jake Barrett (3-2 1 SV 3.42 ERA with Arizona in 2020) and LF Desmond Jennings (.222 6 HR 34 RBI with the Blue Jays last season). 

Up Next: May Update


#28

ryan008
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May is in the Books - Jays Heating Up
 
June 1st, 2021
After starting the season with a 9-8 record the Blue Jays really began to heat up in May and put together a record of 18-10 and have jumped firmly into 2nd place in the American League East behind the surging New York Yankees who put together another good month and have a Major League best record of 31-15 leading the division by 3.5 games over the Jays. The Houston Astros have taken over the bottom spot in the majors with a very poor record of 14-30 and they look to have the inside track on the first overall pick in the 2022 first year player draft. Speaking of the draft the first year player draft is just around the corner and GM Ryan Stewart and the Jays scouting staff have been extra busy this season. With 4 picks between the first round and supplemental first round the Jays have the potential to add a lot of talent to their minor league system. GM Ryan Stewart "We are really looking forward to this draft as the preliminary reports are saying it is particularly deep at starting pitching and that is an area that I always like to load up on. We still have a few more days before the draft is held and a lot of scouting reports to go over".

AL East Standings - May 1st
New York Yankees - 31-15
Toronto Blue Jays -  27-18 (3 1/2 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 22-22 (8 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 20-23 (9 1/2 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 18-25 (11 1/2 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings
Detroit Tigers - 27-18 
Toronto Blue Jays - 27-18
Chicago White Sox - 24-22 (3 1/2 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 22-22 (4 1/2 GB)
Oakland Athletics - 21-23 (5 1/2 GB)

May's Hot Players
SP Jamie Cox - 5-0 0.43 ERA
SP Jake Godfrey - 3-1 4.23 ERA
SP Nathan Kirby - 3-1 3.86 ERA
CL Rex Brothers - 0-1 3 SV 1.80 ERA
MR Chris Richardson - 1-0 1.26 ERA
1B A.J. Reed - .307 6 HR 24 RBI
C Max Pentecost - .284 0 HR 9 RBI

May's Cold Players

SP kohl Stewart - 0-2 4.67 ERA
MR Jarred cosart - 1-1 4.05 ERA
3B Stu Daniels - .222 0 HR 7 RBI
2B Kolten Wong - .241 1 HR 12 RBI 

May News & Notes

Injuries

May was not a good month to be a Blue Jays outfielder as they suffered a pair of injuries and have had to rely on their depth on AAA (which is way thinner then GM Ryan Stewart would like) to fill in. First it was LF Randal Girchuk who is off to a fantastic start with the Jays hitting .387 with 1 HR and 4 RBI. He has been a great addition as a 4th outfielder and has contributed with the bat when needed. He suffered a lacerated hand and is going to miss the next 4 weeks. He was placed on the 15 day disabled list and CF Colin Bray (.364 3 HR 11 RBI) was recalled from AAA Buffalo. The very next day the Blue Jays would lose CF Albert Almora with a bruised wrist. He was hitting .263 with 6 HR and 21 RBI and is expected to be out 3-4 weeks. He was also placed on the 15 day disabled list and the Jays were forced to recall veteran LF Desmond Jennings from AAA Buffalo. Jennings sat out the entire spring before signing a minor league deal with the Jays in April. So far he is hitting .281 with 1 HR and 9 RBI for the Bisons.

Awards

SP Jamie Cox was named the American League Pitcher of the Month for May after posting a fantastic line of 5-0 with a 0.43 ERA.
C Luis Lopez (International Free Agent Signing in 2016 out of Venezuela) hit .394 with 6 HR and 19 RBI and was named the Batter of the Month in the AA Eastern League for the Fishercats.
SP Daniel Rodriguez (International Free Agent Signing in 2012 out of Mexico) was named the Pitcher of the Month for May after going 4-1 with a 2.04 ERA for the Low A Lansing Lugnuts in the Midwestern league.
 
Around the Majors
 
SP Matt Harvey of the New York Mets signed a 1 year $7,000,000 extension with the club for the 2023 season. The 32 year old righty is 2-4 with a 4.47 ERA so far this season and in his career boasts a record of 87-79 with a 3.03 ERA.
 
SP James Taillon of the Pittsburgh Pirates agreed to a 2 year $34,000,000 extension with the Club. The 29 year old is 2-4 with a 3.56 ERA in 2021 and owns a career record of 90-59 with a 2.94 ERA in 7 seasons with the Pirates.
 
SP Felix Hernandez of the Oakland Athletics earned career victory number 200 in a 7-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. The 35 year old hurler is 2-4 with a 4.06 ERA this season with the Athletics. A 7 time All Star, Hernandez has a career record of 200-174 and boasts a 3.27 ERA with 3011 strikeouts.

Up Next: 2021 First Year Player Draft Preview
*Note I plan on converting to OOTP16 at the conclusion of the 2021 season. I'm really excited to see what 16 has to offer and have read a lot of great things.


#29

ryan008
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2021 MLB First Year Player Draft Preview
 
June 5th, 2021

The 2021 First Year Player Draft will be held tomorrow and GM Ryan Stewart and the Toronto Blue Jays will be quite busy as they own 4 selections in the first and supplemental first round. The Jays were awarded compensations selections for the loss of MR Paco Rodriguez, 1B Anthony Rizzo and SS Xander Boegaerts who all left as free agents and signed on with other teams this off season. The end result for the Jays is that they will have a great chance to infuse a number of talented young players into a farm system that is already one of the best in baseball. The Jays will make their first selection at #24th overall and then again at 25, 27th and 30th. GM Ryan Stewart "Our Director of Scouting Brian Parker has identified a number of good prospects that we think will be available when we step to the podium to make our selections tomorrow. The consensus is that this draft is loaded with pitching and that a number of very good arms will be taken with the first few selections in the draft".

The First overall selection in the 2021 First Year Player Draft will be used by the Kansas City Royals and they will be followed up by the Miami Marlins, Boston Red Sox, Chicago Cubs and New York Yankees. The Yankees have drafted and developed very well over the last few seasons and they are starting to get dividends at the major league level as they currently have the best record in baseball. They graduated a number of top prospects to the majors this season and they have helped them to top spot in the American League East. 

Baseball America's Pre Draft Top 10

According to Baseball America the top rated players for the 2021 First Year Player Draft are as follows:

1. SP Kurt Stewart 22, RHP - Florida State University, NCAA
7-1 1.36 ERA 12 BB 113 K
Stewart was the 3rd overall pick in last years draft by the Chicago Cubs but he failed to sign and returned to Florida State where he put together a dominating season. He is a two time NCAA All Star and finished second in the Roger Clemens Award Voting in each of the past two seasons as the NCAA's top pitcher. He features a 94-96 MPH cut fastball as well as a hard slider and  a changeup that has made great strides this season. He is rumored to be a tough sign and is asking for a bonus i the $8,000,000 range. 

2. SP Chris Flynn 21, LHP - UCLA, NCAA
8-1 1.69 ERA 18 BB 113 K
Flynn was a 2021 NCAA All Star and had a tremendous season in UCLA. He features a 94-96 MPH fastball as well as a cutter and changeup. He has tremendous control and great movement on his pitches. Most scouts seem to think that he would be the #1 pick in the draft but he may fall due to signability concerns. He is rumored to be asking for a $8,000,000 signing bonus and is said to be a hard sign. He has top of the rotation stuff and is very polished already, he is an arm that could fly through the minors and could see the majors as early as this season.

3. RF Tim Montgomery 19, LHB - Aurora High School, USHSBA
.336 2 HR 27 RBI 17 SB
Montgomery is a prototypical leadoff hitter in the making. He has the ability to put the ball in play in all fields and has tremendous speed. He could steal 40 plus bases at the MLB level. For a high school player he has a very patient approach at the plate and is not afraid to take a walk. Defensively he can play all 3 out field positions and it would not be out of the question for him to take home a gold glove in the future. The one knock against him is his lack of power but that is not a necessary took for a player with his skill set.

4. LF Esteban Canseco 19, LHB - Cleveland High School, USHSBA
.400 17 HR 51 RBI
Canseco is the opposite of Montgomery, another highly toughted prep bat he is just that a big bat. He has very good power from the left side swatting at least 16 homeruns in each of his last three seasons. He is a bit of a free swinger and is not the most patient guy at the plate and that can lead to a few too many strikeouts. Defensively he is passable, he won't be a gold glover but doesn't embarrass himself either. He should go early on draft day as he is one of the best bats in the class.

5. SP Adrian Pereira 19, LHP - Austin High School, USHSBA
5-2 1.79 ERA 11 BB 65 K
Pereira has three very good pitches, a sinker, curve and circle change that all have the potential to be plus pitches some day. He features the 91-93 MPH sinker and tends to get a lot of ground balls. His control is pretty good for a high school kid and he doesn't walk many. The knock against him is that he doesn't have great stamina and it may limit his ability to go deep into games. A lot of scouts are torn if he is a viable option as a starter or if his future is better served in the bullpen. 

6. SP Tony Anderson 19, LHP - Lincoln High School, USHSBA
4-1 1.59 ERA 8 BB 62 K
Anderson is a tall lefty at 6'7" and weighs in at 200 lbs. Right now he features an 89-91 MPH fastball that he compliments with a very good slider and a fantastic changeup. He has pinpoint control which is rare for a young kid of this size. He isn't a hard thrower right now but there is a good chance he adds some velocity as he matures. He is a project but could be worth the risk as he has top of the rotation arm written all over him. He also has a great work ethic which should really help him as a pro.

7. CF Dal Dickerson 19, LHB - Glendale High School, USHSBA
.298 2 HR 17 RBI
Dickerson is an all around solid talent. He doesn't so anything extremely well but he has no serious flaws in his game. He can hit for average and power and sprays the ball to all fields. He has a patient approach at the plate and has above average speed on the basepaths. He projects to have the power to hit 15-20 homers at the mlb level and his defense is very strong. He isn't the 'sexy' prospect but he is a hard worker and has the tools to be an everyday major leaguer. 

8. SP Stu Clark 19, RHP - North Las Vegas High School, USHSBA
2-2 1.43 ERA 8 BB 84 K
Clark is a power pitcher with a 92-94 MPH fastball and a curve, slider and a developing forkball. All 4 pitches project to be better then MLB average. He has a little trouble with command at times and tends to over throw when he gets into trouble. He is a tough sign for anyone who drafts him as he is supposedly very interested in pursuing the NCAA route and there are no shortage of teams lined up for his services. At the MLB level he is probably a good middle to back end of the rotation arm. 

9. SP Jorge Rodriguez 21, RHP - San Diego State University, NCAA 
5-3 1.52 ERA 15 BB 129 K
Rodriguez has a big arm and he gets his fastball in the 97-99 MPH range. He  compliments that with a slider, changeup and splitter. He is a big durable body at 6'4" and 200 lbs and is an imposing figure out on the mound. He does struggle with command and control of his pitches, especially his fastball and tends to get a little wild when he over throws. He has lots of movement on his stuff and when he is on its nasty. A three time NCAA Division 1 All Star he should hear his name called very early on draft day.

10. LF Orlando Castillo 19, RHB - San Francisco High School - USHSBA
.393 27 HR 55 RBI
This kid is a thumper. He has tremendous power in his bat and is a two time USHSBA batting champion. He has a decent approach at the plate and despite all his power does work the count and is not afraid to take a walk. Defensively he is a mess. Below average in left field with an average arm. His offensive upside more then outweighs any defensive concerns and a move to first base or DH at the MLB level is not out of the question. Most scouts agree that he will be passable in left field and could be an all star with the bat.

Previous Blue Jays Picks

2020 - 20th Overall 
2B Tim Miller 
.359 0 HR 21 RBI (2020 Short Season A Vancouver)
.277 1 HR 15 RBI (2021 Advanced A Dunedin Florida State League)
Miller had a great pro debut in 2020 with the Vancouver Canadiens and was promoted to full season ball in the Florida State League to start the 2021 season. He has had a little trouble adjusting to the better level of pitching in the Florida State League but seems to be heating up. He is on track to be promoted to AA New Hampshire by seasons end and should see AAA at some point next seasons. He is still looked at as the Jays second baseman of the future and could take that role as early as 2023. 

Up Next: 2021 First Year Player Draft


#30

ryan008
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2021 First Year Player Draft
 
June 6th, 2021

The 2021 First Year Player Draft is in the books and the Kansas City Royals held the first overall pick. They made a bit of a surprise selection going out of the Baseball America Top 10 Rankings and selecting 21 year old righty SP Stu Spears out of the University of West Virginia in the NCAA. Spears is a big young man standing 6'5" and weighing in at 215 lbs. He features a 96-98 MPH sinker as well as a slider curveball and forkball. He has very good command of all of his pitches and they all have the potential to be plus pitches at the MLB level. In 2021 he was 8-2 with a 0.82 ERA with 21 walks against 96 strikeouts. He is a shoe in for the Rodger Clemens Award as the best pitcher in the NCAA and is a 3 time NCAA All Star. He is looking for a signing bonus in the $8,000,000 range but could sign and move through the system quickly. He has top of the rotation potential but a questionable work ethic and thats why he was ranked out of the BA Top 10.

Blue Jays Draft

GM Ryan Stewart and the Jays had a tonne of picks in this years draft as they lost a number of compensation eligible free agents in the off season. In all they managed to make 4 picks in the first 30 and GM Ryan Stewart feels that they were able to add a lot of high end talent to an already well ranked minor league system."We know the best way to compete on a consistent basis is to have a farm system that is continually supplying talent to the Major League team. We want to establish a pipeline of young players that we can either use as pieces in trades or who can step in and make an impact on our roster. With the extra selections this year we added a number of very talented players, especially pitchers who we think will be a big part of the future moving forward.The next task will be to get everyone signed and into the hands of our player development people so we can teach them the "Blue Jay Way".

First Round - 24th Overall

With their first selection in the draft the Jays took SP Dave Winters a 21 year old right handed starter out of the University of Virginia in the NCAA. Winters is an imposing figure on the mound standing 6'6" and weighing in at 220 lbs. He has a big arm to match his big frame and can run his cut fastball up in the 95-97 MPH range. He also has a curve ball, slider, changeup and splitter. He has very good command and polish and was 3-3 with a 4.32 ERA with 17 walks and 72 strikeouts in 2021. He scouts as a #2-3 starter at the MLB level and is pretty advanced already so he could move through the system quickly. His rumored bonus demand is in the $1,600,000 range and the #24 pick comes with a slot value of $1,200,000. The Jays may have to spend a little over slot to get him to sign but he is listed as an easy sign for the Jays.

Supplemental First Round 25th Overall - For the loss of MR Paco Rodriguez

With the first of three supplemental first round selections the Jays took 19 year old SP Josh Britton out of Colorado Springs High School in the USHSBA. Britton is a lanky 6'4" 185 lb right handed starter who features a 91-93 MPH fastball and he compliments that with a curve, changeup and splitter. He was 3-1 with a 2.88 ERA with 4 walks and 65 strikeouts as a senior in 2021. His biggest asset is his pin point control. He rarely walked anyone and is able to locate his pitches to both sides of the plate. The Jays scouting staff believe he will add some more velocity as he matures and he could sit in the mid to upper 90's by the time he is done filling out. He was not facing the highest level of competition in high school in Colorado so he may take some time to adjust to pitching in pro ball. He is looking for a slot signing bonus of $1,200,000 but seems eager to get his pro career started with the Jays. 
 
Supplemental First Round 27th Overall - For the loss of SS Xander Boegaerts

The Jays used their second supplemental first round pick to select another pitcher this time heading back to the collage ranks to select 21 year old SP Bernie Cantrell out of the University of Minnesota. Cantrell is a fireballer with a 97-99 MPH cut fastball that he compliments with a slider, curve and forkball. He was 4-4 with a 1.61 ERA walking 20 and striking out 90 in 2021. He isn't the biggest pitcher out there standing just 6'0" and weighing in at 175 lbs but he gets the most out of his frame and he definitely has big league stuff. The biggest knock against him is that he doesn't have the best control and his pitches have a tendency to flatten out when he over throws. He will take some seasoning in the minors but the Jays see him as a middle of the rotation arm who is durable and reliable and can be counted on for 200 innings a season. 
 
Supplemental First Round 30th Overall - For the loss of 1B Anthony Rizzo

With their final supplemental first round pick the Jays took their first position player of the draft selecting 22 year old C Steve Reed out of the University of South Carolina in the NCAA. Reed had a great season for the Gamecocks in 2021 hitting .324 with 7 HR and 24 RBI and was selected to the 2021 NCAA All Star Game. He is a well rounded catching prospect who is good with the bat and the glove. He is an excellent game caller and receiver and has a strong accurate arm behind the plate. Offensively he is more of a gap hitter then a power bat but he does have some pop and will go yard on occasion. He should be an easy sign for the Jays and with his advanced approach at the plate he will most likely start the season in short season A ball with Vancouver. 

Second Round 64th Overall

Int he second round the Blue Jays went right back to the University of South Carolina to select 21 year old SP Steve McKee. McKee is the battery mate of the Jays 30th overall pick C Steve Reed. McKee has drawn a lot of comparisons to former Jays SP Marcus Stroman. McKee stands just 5'9" tall and weighs in at 165 lbs but has a big fastball that sits int he 94-96 MPH range. He also features a curveball and changeup. He was 6-3 with a 2.32 ERA walking 8 and striking out 75 in 2021. He probably isn't going to be a top of the rotation arm but is a guy that the Jays believe will give them solid innings in the middle to back end of the rotation. He is an advanced arm already and very polished so he could move through the system quickly. He is looking for a slot signing bonus of $370,000 and should be an easy sign for the Jays.

Third Round 95th Overall

With the 95th overall pick the Jays selected 21 year old 1B Cesar Garza out of the University of New Mexico in the NCAA. Garza is a pure power hitting and has a power hitters frame standing 6'5" tall and tipping the scale at 220 lbs. He hit .254 with 9 HR and 36 RBI in 2021 but missed a month of the season with a twisted knee. Garza is all bat, he is well below average defensively and many scouts question if he should not be moved to DH immediately. He is a free swinger and really doesn't walk a lot so he will pile up the strikeouts. His best attribute is his ability to hit homeruns and he has perhaps the most power of any prospect in the draft. If he can work on his ability to make contact and to be a little more selective at the plate in the minors he could be a very dangerous MLB hitter. He is looking for a slot bonus of $250,000 and is well worth the risk for the Jays especially in the 3rd round.

Fourth Round 125th Overall

The Jays took a big time filer in the 4th round selecting a 21 year old RF Dave Smith out of the University of Mississippi in the NCAA with the 125th overall selection. Smith had a huge season for the Rebels in 2021 hitting .364 with 21 HR and driving in 44 runs. He is a 3 time NCAA All Star and took home the Batter of the Year Award fir the NCAA's best hitter in 2021. He is a 5 tool prospect who could have gone much higher but wants to finish his senior season in the NCAA and try and win a college world series with Mississippi in 2022. He is looking for a signing bonus in the $5.5 - 6,000,000 range and is not willing to take less to forgo his final year of eligibility. We believed that he was worth the risk and will attempt to get him to sign. He could be a huge steal at this point in the draft if the Jays are able to get him signed.

Fifth Round 155th Overall

With their 5th round selection the Jays took prep C Billy Dunbar out of Chesapeke High School in the USHSBA. Dunbar hit .324 with 6 HR and 32 RBI in his senior season in high school and is a highly recruited NCAA prospect. He is a good all around catcher who doesn't excel in any one area but can do just about everything well.  He is eager to get his pro career started and should be no problem for the Jays to sign. He is asking for a slot signing bonus of $150,000. His future is most likely that of a back up at the LB level but he is just 19 years old so he has some time to mature and could blossom in the minor leagues. 

Blue Jays Picks rounds 6 through 30:

6. SS Sam Waters - 22, RHB - University of Portland, NCAA
7. CL Tim Bauer d - 22, RHP - University of San Francisco, NCAA
8. SP Billy Weidmeyer - 19, RHP - North Las Vegas High School, USHSBA *Impossible sign
9. CL Jeff McGinnis  - 21, RHP San Diego State University, NCAA
10. CL Robinson Espinoza  - 21, RHP - Boise State University, NCAA
11. 2B Pat Sanders  - 22, RHB - Georgia Tech, NCAA
12. SS Mike Day - 21, LHB - UNLV, NCAA
13. C Eddie Lopez  - 21, S - University of Florida, NCAA
14. SP Dan McDowell - 19, RHP - Rockford High School, USHSBA
15. 1B Jim Lewis - 19, LHB - Santa Ana High School, USHSBA
16. SP Chris Titus - 19, LHP - Stockton High School, USHSBA
17. CF Ed Graves  - 21, RHB - University of Texas, NCAA
18. SP Billy Hicks - 19, RHP - Lincoln High School, USHSBA
19. SS Bob Clark - 21, RHB - St. John's University, NCAA *Impossible sign
20. SP Juan Alvarez - 19, RHP - Louisville High School, USHSBA
21. LF Chuck O'Ryan - 21, RHB - University of Miami, NCAA
22. LF Chris Satterley  - 22, RHP - University of Arizona, NCAA
23. CF Eric Olson - 21, RHB - University of San Diego, NCAA
24. CF Tommy Dukes - 21, S - Louisiana Tech University, NCAA
25. RF Juan Estrada - 22, LHB - University of South Florida, NCAA
26. RF Clint Brown - 21, S - New Mexico State University, NCAA
27. SP Phil Paul - 19, RHP - Baton Rouge High School, USHSBA *$1,900,000 bonus demand
28. LF Gary Franklin - 21, LHB  - Baylor University, NCAA
29. MR Micah Black - 22, RHP - University of Hartford, NCAA
30. SP Zach Rogan - 19, LHP - Anchorage High School, USHSBA

Up Next: June Update


#31

ryan008
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June is a Busy Month for the Jays
 
June 1st, 2021

June was an exceptionally busy month for the Jays as the First Year Player Draft came and went and GM Ryan Stewart and his management team had a lot of negotiations to attend to with the goal of inking every one of their draft picks and getting them into the system. Unfortunately for the Jays they were not able to get everyone under contract but still came away with a very impressive haul. GM Ryan Stewart was also busy working on the MLB roster inking SP Gerrit Cole to a 3 year $37,000,000 contract extension. On the field the Jays would post a record of 20-8 but still find themselves in second place in the American League East Division trailing the Yankees by just 1/2 game. The Yankees continue to be red hot and are currently the best team in baseball. The Blue Jays are the second best team and have a 3 game lead in the American League Wild Card Standings over the Detroit Tigers. The New York Mets have over taken the Boston Red Sox as the worst team in the Majors and they have struggled to a record of 25-46 so far this season.

AL East Standings - June 1st

New York Yankees - 48-26
Toronto Blue Jays -  47-26  (1/2 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 35-37 (12 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 31-40 (15 1/2 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 29-43 (18 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings
 
Toronto Blue Jays - 47-26
Chicago White Sox - 41-32
Detroit Tigers - 38-35 (3 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 35-37 (5 1/2 GB)
Oakland Athletics - 35-37 (5 1/2 GB)
 
June's Hot Players
 
SP Nathan Kirby - 4-0 3.67 ERA
SP Gerrit Cole - 3-1 3.69 ERA
SP Jamie Cox - 3-1 2.29 ERA
MR Jarred Cosart -  2-0 0.79 ERA
MR Kevin Chapman - 0-0 1.74 ERA
CL Rex brothers - 1-0 11 SV 0.66 ERA
CF Albert Almora - .435 1 HR 10 RBI
C Wyatt Cross - .361 3 HR 10 RBI
LF Justin Williams - .277 6 HR 19 RBI

June's Cold Players
 
1B Josh Donaldson - .191 0 HR 10 RBI
2B Kolten Wong - .216 0 HR 8 RBI
CF Colin Bray - .234 1 HR 7 RBI

June News & Notes

Injuries

The injury bug continued to plague the Blue Jays in the month of June and this month they lost two key starters to long term injuries. The first to go down was RF Oswaldo Arcia who suffered a herniated disk in his back and he is expected to miss the next 5 weeks. Arcia is hitting .265 with 4 HR and 12 RBI and is in the midst of an injury prone first season with the Jays. He was once again placed on the 15 day disabled list and the Jays recalled veteran RF Desmond Jennings who is hitting .281 with 1 HR and 9 RBI for AAA Buffalo.
The Jays then lost C Max Pentecost who suffered a strained groin muscle and is expected to miss 3-4 weeks. Pentecost, the reigning American League MVP is hitting .370 with 10 HR and 29 RBI and was leading the league in batting average at the time of the injury. He was placed on the 15 day disabled list and the Jays recalled veteran C Sandy Leon. Leon was signed to a minor league contract in the off season and was hitting .295 with 4 HR and 17 RBI in AAA Buffalo at the time of his recall.

Awards

CL Mike McNeal (5th round pick 154th overall in 2020) was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Month for June after going 3-0 with a 2.13 ERA with 9 Saves for the FSL Blue Jays.
 
 1B Tim Nelson (17th round pick 506th overall in 2018) was named the Midwestern League Batter of the Month for June after hitting .388 with 11 HR and driving in 25 runs.
 
First Year Player Draft
 
The Blue Jays managed to sign all but four of their picks this year. The only players not to sign were 4th round pick 125th overall RF Dave Smith who elected to return for his senior season at the University of Mississippi. The 2021 NCAA Golden Spikes Award winner as the best hitter in the NCAA turned down a reported $2.5 mil bonus offer from the Jays. He will be eligible for the draft again next season. The Jays also failed to sign 8th round pick 245th overall SP Billy Weidmeyer who elected to attend San Jose State University. He will be draft eligible again in 2024. They also missed out on 19th round pick SS Bob Clark who returned to the St. john's Red Storm for his senior season. He turned down a 6 figure bonus offer in order t play out his last NCAA season. The only other player that the Jays did not sign from their 2021 draft class was 26th round pick SP Phil Paul. Paul's bonus demands were in the $2,000,000 dollar range and the Jays were hoping to sign him away from San Jose State University. GM Ryan Stewart was not able to persuade him to forgo his NCAA commitment and he will join fellow Jays pick SP Billy Weidmeyer with the Spartans in 2022. He will also be eligible for the 2024 first year player draft. 
 
Jays signs:
 
1st Round (24th Overall) SP Dave Winters - $1,600,000 (slot = $1,200,000)
Supplemental 1st Round (25th Overall) - SP Josh Britton - $1,200,000 (Slot)
Supplemental 1st Round (27th Overall) - SP Bernie Cantrell - $1,080,000 (Slot)
Supplemental 1st Round (30th Overall) - C Steve Reed - $930,000 (Slot)
2nd Round (64th Overall) - SP Steve McKee - $550,000 (Slot)
3rd Round (95th Overall) - 1B Cesar Garza - $240,000 (Slot)
5th round (155th Overall) - C Billy Dunbar - $270,000 (Slot = $150,000)
 
Contract Extension
The Blue Jays were happy to announce that the team has come to terms on a 3 year $37,500,000 extension with 30 year oldrighty SP Gerrit Cole. Cole was originally drafted 1st overall by the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011 and was dealt to the Blue Jays in 2016 in exchange for C Gary Sanchez. In 2021 he has gone 6-5 with a 4.10 ERA walking 23 and striking out 91. The two time American League All Star is a career 114-80 with a 3.59 ERA and 1471 strikeouts and is a two time American League Cy Young Award runner ul.
 
Around the Majors
 
CL Sergio Romo of the Baltimore Orioles earned career save #300 in a 2-1 victory over the Miami Marlins. The 38 year old is 2-1 with 14 saves and has a 3.81 ERA for Baltimore this season. In his career he is 59-49 with 300 saves and has a 2.75 ERA.

Up Next: July Update


#32

ryan008
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July is in the Books, Jays Make a Deal at the Deadline
 
August 1st, 2021
 
The summer is quickly coming to an end and the Toronto Blue Jays have managed to finally pass the New York Yankees and take the top spot in the American League East Division. The Jays didn't have the best month in July posting a 15-10 record but it was a four game sweep of the Yankees at the Rogers Center that allowed the Jays to move ahead of their AL East counter part. The Jays have a slim 1/2 game lead on the Yankees in the east and will be looking to cushion that lead with the dog days of summer ahead. The good news for Jays fans is that the AL East division has essentially become a two horse race between the Yankees and Blue Jays, with the rest of the division over 12.5 games back at this point. The lowly Boston Red Sox are struggling mightily and are currently sitting with the worst record in baseball at 38-59. July was a busy month for GM Ryan Stewart as the Jays made a splash on the international Amateur Free Agent front inking four players to contracts as well as the trade deadline where the Jays and Rangers hooked up for the only deal the Jays would make on deadline day.

AL East Standings - August 1st
Toronto Blue Jays - 62-36
New York Yankees - 62-37 (1/2 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 49-48 (12 1/2 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 46-51 (15 1/2 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 38-59 (33 1/2 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings
New York Yankees - 62-37
Chicago White Sox - 61-38
Detroit Tigers - 49-48 (11 GB)
Tampa Bay rays - 49-48 (11 GB)
Oakland Athletics - 46-51 (14 GB)
 
July's Hot Players
 
SP Jamie Cox - 3-1 3.58 ERA
SP Gerrit Cole - 3-0 3.34 ERA
MR Kevin Chapman - 1-0 1 SV 0.00 ERA
CL Rex Brothers - 1-1 8 SV 2.38 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .387 3 HR 5 RBI
3B Stu Daniels - .270 4 HR 15 RBI

July's Cold Players

SP Jake Godfrey - 1-3 3.93 ERA
SP Nathan Kirby - 1-1 3.36 ERA
MR Tony Boone - 0-1 1 SV 11.18 ERA
MR Mark Montgomery - 1-1 9.00 ERA
1B A.J. Reed - .185 4 HR 16 RBI
2B Kolten Wong - .250 1 HR 7 RBI

July News & Notes

Injuries

The Jays injury woes continued in July (and that was a major reason for the deal we made at the deadline) as they would lose yet another outfielder this time CF Andrew Alpin went down with a strained forearm and is expected to be on the shelf for the next 5 weeks. Alpin was hitting .275 with 1 HR and 17 RBI for the Jays  and was placed on the 15 day disabled list. The Jays once again recalled veteran LF Desmond Jennings who was hitting .296 with 7 HR and driving in 30 runs in AAA Buffalo.
 
International Amateur Free Agents
 
July 1st is a key date in the baseball calender as a new crop of International Free Agents becomes eligible to be signed by Major League Teams. Each team has $3,500,000 available to them to spend without penalty, anything over that amount is subject to a tax and the loss of the ability to sign players to contracts in the next signing period. This year the Jays managed to ink four players including two of the top 3 available. GM Ryan Stewart and the jays spent a total of $9,200,000 way over spending their allowable amount. By spending so much this season the Jays will not be able to sign anyone for more than $250,000 in the 2022 signing period. The four players the Jays signed were:
 
SP Gavin Bricknell - A 16 year old right hander out of Australia. The 6'0" 170 lb righty features an 89-90 MPH sinking fastball as well as a curveball and forkball. He has very good control and can throw all of his pitches for strikes. The Jays believe he has the ceiling of a #2 starter and that he should gain some velocity on his fastball as he fills out. He was the #2 rated prospect and top rated pitcher in the class this season and was inked to a $3,500,000 signing bonus.
 
SP Manny Diaz - A 17 year old righty who hails from Venezuela. He features an 89-90 MPH fastball as well as a curve, change up, splitter and forkball. He is a pretty big kid standing 6'2" and weighing it at 185 lbs already and is another project-able arm that should add some velocity as he grows and fills out. He is most likely a back end of the rotation type arm or could be a power arm out of the bullpen. He signed for $350,000. 
 
SP Gilberto Cruz - A hard throwing 16 year old out of Venezuela. Cruz stands 6'0" tall and weighs in at 170 lbs. He is a lanky kid that can bring his fastball in the 91-93 MPH range already and he should add more velocity as well. My scouts believe he could end up with plus plus velocity by the time he is finished developing. HE compliments his fastball with a very good slider and change up and is developing a splitter that is well below MLB average at the moment. He projects as a middle of the rotation arm but will have to overcome some wildness issues in order to reach that ceiling. He also inked a $350,000 signing bonus. 
 
SS Alfredo Fernandez - The Jays other big signing this period. Fernandez is a 16 yer old slugger out of the Dominican Republic. He is all about the bat and he has a ton of pop in it even for a 16 year old. He can hit the ball with power to all fields and some scouts believe he is ready to play ball in North America right now. Defensively he is underwhelming at short but has a strong arm. His most likely position would be a move to third or first. He has a tremendous work ethic and could be moved to the Jays affiliate in the Dominican Summer League as a 17 year old as early as 2022. He inked a huge $5,000,000 signing bonus that was eclipsed only by the $10,600,000 that was given to 1B Cesar Duarte by the Boston Red Sox. Duarte was the top ranked international available this period and he turned down an offer from the Jays to sign with the Red Sox. 
 
2021 All Stars
the Jays sent 3 representatives to the 2021 All Star Game. SP Jamie Cox (12-2 2.00 ERA), CL Rex Brothers (3-3 26 SV 1.66 ERA) and C Max Pentecost (.372 11 HR 32 RBI). Of the three only Cox and Pentecost saw any game action. Cox started the game for the American League and went two scoreless innings allowing a single and striking out 4. Pentecost got the nod as the starting catcher and he was 1-3 with an RBI double as the American League routed the National League 14-3. 
 
2021 Trade Deadline
 
GM Ryan Stewart made a single deal at the deadline this year and it was aimed at bringing in some help in the outfield. The Jays have been decimated with injuries to their outfield all season long and have been relying on call ups from AAA Buffalo for long stretches this season. The Jays would up hooking up with the Texas Rangers sending SP Cisco Ramos to the lone star state in exchange for CF Rick Allen.
 
Players to Texas
 
SP Cisco Ramos is a 23 year old lefty who was signed by the Jays as an International Free Agent in 2014 out of Columbia by the Padres and was traded to Toronto in 2018. He spent the entire 2021 season in AAA Buffalo where he was 8-7 with a 3.76 ERA walking 21 and striking out 131. He features a 95-97 MPH fastball as well as a curve, slider and forkball. He can throw all his pitches for strikes but does tend to get a little wild at times. He was the 2019 International League Pitcher of the Year and was out of minor league options.
 
Players to Toronto
 
CF Rick Allen is a 24 year old left handed batter who was selected by the Rangers in the 1st round 22nd overall in 2017 out of Seattle High School in the USHSBA. He is hitting .39 with 19 HR and 62 RBI so far this season and is making the league minimum $500,000. Allen is a very good all around player. He should hit for a decent average although he has struggled to hit consistently this season and he has some good pop in his bat belting 19 homeruns for the Rangers. The plan for Allen is to have him as a 4th outfielder and primary designated hitter as DH Josh Donaldson just isn't contributing enough hitting just .205 with 8 HR to this point. 

Awards

SS Wilmer Flores (Signed as minor league FA in 2021) hit .380 with 5 HR and drove in 25 runs and was named the International League Batter of the Month for AAA Buffalo.
SP Erik Black (1st Round Pick 27th overall in 2017) was named the International League Pitcher of the Month after going 6-0 with a 1.80 ERA for AAA Buffalo.
SP Tim Brown ( 9th round pick 266th overall in 2018) was named the Midwestern League Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 0.63 ERA for the Lansing Lugnuts.
1B Alex Murphy (17th round pick 514th overall in 2017) was named the Northwestern League Batter of the Month after hitting .333 with 7 HR and driving in 29 runs for the Vancouver Canadiens.
3B Joe Montalvo (9th round pick 273rd overall in 2015) was named the GCL Batter of the Month for the GCL Blue Jays after hitting .416 with 12 HR and driving in 34 rins.
SP Norberto Perez (International Free Agent Signing out of Cuba in 2017) was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Month after going 6-0 with a 1.15 ERA for the Bluefield Blue Jays.
SP Jorge Amoras (International Free Agent Signing out of Cuba in 2017) was named the Dominican Summer League Pitcher of the Month after posting a 6-0 record with a 1.69 ERA for the DSL Blue Jays. 
 
Around the Majors
 
SP Dan Mullins a former 1st overall pick of the Kansas City Royals back in 2016 tossed the first no hitter of the season for the New York Mets as they defeated the Milwaukee Brewers 3-0. He walked just 1 batter and struck out 6 in the victory. The 26 year old is 8-7 with a 3.52 ERA for the Mets in 2021.

Up Next: August Update


#33

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September is Here, Regular Season is Winding Down
 
September 1st, 2021
 
August has come to a close and with the end of the regular baseball season drawing closer and closer the Blue Jays continue to pad their lead in the American League East with the hopes of winning a birth in the 2021 Playoffs.  The Blue Jays would go 18-10 and were red hot in August, despite their record they only managed to improve their AL East lead over the Yankees to 2.5 games. The Jays have all but assured themselves a spot in the playoffs however as their record is the best in baseball and if they were to be over taken by the Yankees they would still be sitting comfortably in a wild card spot. Having a strangle hold on a playoff spot is a good position for the Jays to be in. GM Ryan Stewart and the Jays development staff have recalled a number of players from AAA Buffalo and they will make sure to utilize them to rest the regulars and to give the starters and bullpen a few extra days rest.

AL East Standings - September 1st
 
Toronto Blue Jays - 80-46
New York Yankees - 77-48 (2 1/2 GB)
Tampa Bay Rays - 64-61 (15 1/2 GB)
Baltimore Orioles - 60-65 (19 1/2 GB)
Boston Red Sox - 50-75 (33 1/2 GB)

AL Wild Card Standings
 
New York Yankees - 77-48
Cleveland Indians - 74-51
Chicago White Sox - 75-51 
Tampa Bay Rays - 64-61 (10 GB)
Texas Rangers - 62-36  (12 GB)
 
August's Hot Players
 
SP Kohl Stewart - 5-0 2.97 ERA
SP Jamie Cox - 4-0 2.28 ERA
SP Gerrit Cole - 3-1 4.50 ERA
MR Tony Boone - 2-1 1.46 ERA
MR Mark Montgomery - 1-0 1.69 ERA
C Max Pentecost - .393 7 HR 17 RBI
SS Carlos Correa - .348 5 HR 20 RBI
CF Albert Almora - .333 4 HR 31 RBI
1B A.J. Reed - .278 11 HR 30 RBI

August's Cold Players

SP Jake Godfrey - 0-3 6.67 ERA
MR Kevin Chapman - 0-2 8.44 ERA
CF Rick Allen - .245 5 HR 16 RBI
LF Justin Williams - .250 5 HR 17 RBI

August News & Notes

Injuries
Another month and more injuries for the Jays, thankfully this time it wasn't to one of their outfielders as their outfield depth has been tasked and tested to the max this season. This time it was 2B Kolten Wong who suffered an injury. He went down with a sprained knee and is expected to be out for the next 5 weeks. He was hitting .255 with 3 HR and 42 RBI att the time of the injury and was placed on the 15 day disabled list. The Jays recalled 3B Jeimer Candelario from AAA Buffalo where he was hitting .253 with 12 HR and 65 RBI.
 
2021 First Year Player Draft Update
 
With the summer leagues winding down its a good time to check on how the 2021 crop of draftees have made out in their first season of pro ball. The Jays managed to ink all but 3 of their picks this season and the highest not to sign was their 4th rounder. The rest of their top 5 picks all signed and all got assigned to minor league teams.
 
1st Round - SP Dave Winters - 5-3 2.45 WERA 17 BB 116 K (S.A. Vancouver)
Supplemental 1st Round - SP Josh Britton - 4-5 6.34 ERA 19 BB 36 K (Bluefield)
Supplemental 1st Round - SP Bernie Cantrell - 2-2 3.88 ERA 23 BB 41 K (GCL Blue Jays)
Supplemental 1st Round - C Steve Reed -  .360 0 HR 9 RBI (GCL Blue Jays) *Missed 4 weeks with back issue
2nd Round - SP Steve McKee - 3-6 5.42 ERA 30 BB 50 K (S.A. Vancouver)
3rd Round - 1B Cesar Garza - .227 12 HR 41 RBI (S.A. Vancouver)
5th Round - C Billy Dunbar - .281 6 HR 28 RBI (Bluefield)
 
Awards
 
C Max Pentecost was named the American League Batter of the Month after hitting .393 with 7 HR and driving in 17.
SP Jamie Cox was named the American League Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 2.28 ERA
LF Jud Raylor (5th Round Pick 153rd overall in 2015) was named the International League Batter of the Month after hitting .348 with 7 HR and 18 RBI for AAA Buffalo.
3B Shane Martinez (20th round pick 600th overall in 2016) was named the GCL Batter of the Month after hitting .335 with 5 HR and 18 RBI for the GCL Blue Jays.
SP Chandler Eden (8th round pick 240th overall in 2016) was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Month after going 4-0 with a 1.29 ERA for the Dunedin Blue Jays.
SP Sam Kyte (6th Round Pick 180th overall in 2016) was named the Midwestern League Pitcher of the Month after going 5-0 with a 1.64 ERA for the Lansing Lugnuts.
 
Up Next: End of the 2021 Season Wrap Up


#34

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2021 Regular Season is in the Books, Jays are Baseball's Best During Regular Season
 
October 6th, 2021
 
The 2021 Regular Season is now officially over and the Toronto Blue Jays finished with the best record in baseball at 108-54. They ran away with the American League East in the final month of the season. The Jays started September with a slim 2.5 game lead over the Yankees and by the time the dust settled and the season was over the Jays had opened up an 18 game lead over the second place Yankees. With the victory the Jays have clinched their 4th consecutive AL East Title and 4th consecutive playoff birth. The Jays will have to wait to see who they will face in the American League Division Series as they will play the winner of the AL Wild Card Game between the Cleveland Indians (96-66) and the New York Yankees (90-72). The news was not all good for the Jays in the final month of the season as they were hit with a rash of injuries just as the season was winding down. They would end up losing C Max Pentecost (out 3 weeks with hamstring tendinitis), RF Oswaldo Arcia (out 4 weeks with a separated shoulder) and 3B Stu Daniels (out 7 weeks with a fractured finger). Pentecost and Arcia should only miss the start of the ALDS but Danies is defiantly going to be out for the entire ALDS.
 
Minor League Awards
The 2021 season has wrapped up in the minor leagues as well and the Jays minor league affiliates boasted 11 MVP or Pitcher of the Year Award winners. GM Ryan Stewart "We couldn't be happier with the progress that our development and coaching staffs have made with our minor league system this season. We have put a big emphasis on building a sustainable pipeline of minor league talent that we draft and develop up through the system and that we can use on the MLB roster or as potential trade pieces to help fill gaps in our talent base. I can't praise our coaching and development people enough they did a fantastic job this season and were excited to see what they will be able to accomplish next year"
 
AAA Buffalo
SP Erik Black (1st Round Pick 27th Overall in 2017) was named the International League Pitcher of the Year after going 20-3 with a 2.35 ERA.
SS Wilmer Flores (Signed as a minor league free agent in 2021) was named the International League MVP after hitting .350 with 14 HR and 75 RBI.
 
Advanced A Dunedin
CL Mike McNeal (5th round Pick 154th overall in 2020) was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Year after going 8-3 with 40 Saves and a 1.61 ERA.
 
Low A Lansing
SP Sam Kyte (6th Round Pick 180th Overall in 2016) was named the Midwestern League Pitcher of the Year after going 18-2 with a 2.27 ERA.
1B Tim Nelson (17th round Pick 506th Overall in 2018) was named the Midwestern League MVP after hitting .327 with 33 HR and 103 RBI.
 
Short Season A Vancouver
 
SP Tristan Polley (18th Round Pick 536th Overall in 2018) was named the Northwest League Pitcher of the Year after he went 10-3 with a 3.86 ERA.
1B Alex Murphy (17th round pick 514th overall in 2017) was named the Northwest League MVP after hitting .300 with 23 Hr and 63 RBI.
 
RL Bluefield Blue Jays
SP Norberto Perez (International Free Agent Signing in 2017 out of Cuba) was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year after going 10-0 with a 1.16 ERA. 
 
Gulf Coast League
SP Jose DeJesus (3rd Round Pick 94th Overall in 2020) was named the GCL Pitcher of the Year after he went 13-0 with a 2.50 ERA
CF Nate Wells (12th Round Pick 360th Overall in 2016) was named the GCL MVP after he hit .389 with 19 HR and 69 RBI.
 
Dominican Summer League
SP Jorge Amoras (International Free Agent Signing in 2017 out of Venezuela) was named the DSL Pitcher of the Year after he went 9-0 with a 1.47 ERA.
 
Around the Majors
 
RF Carlos Gonzalez of the Washington Nationals belted his 300th career homerun in a 5-3 loss to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The 35 year old veteran is hitting .236 with 20 HR and 58 RBI for the Nats this season and has a career line of .286 with 300 HR and 1005 RBI in 1656 career games.
 
1B Miguel Cabrerra of the Detroit Tigers joined elite company as he hit his 600th career homerun in a 6-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox. The 38 year old slugger hit .276 with 27 HR and drove in 95 runs for the Tigers this season. He owns a career batting average of .311 with 600 homeruns 2019 RBI and 3428 hits.  He ranks 6th all time in hits and is 9th on the all time homerun list.
 
SP Zach Greinke of the St. Louis Cardinals earned career victory #200 in a 4-1 triumph over the San Diego Padres. The 37 year old is 6-8 with a 4.54 ERA this season and has struggled with a number of injuries that has really limited his playing time. He owns a career record of 200-153 with a 3.55 ERA and 2716 strikeouts.
 
Up Next: 2021 ALDS Recap
 
 
 
 
 
 


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Blue Jays Fall to Yankees in 5 in ALDS

 

October 14th, 2021

 
The 2021 season has come to a close for the Toronto Blue Jays. A battered Jays squad was beaten by the New York Yankees in 5 games as they failed to get out of the ALDS for the second consecutive season. The Jays came into the series without three key players: C Max Pentecost, RF Oswaldo Arcia and 3B Stu Daniels. Pentecost and Arcia both returned to game action in time for game #3 but Daniels missed the entire series and still has another 10 days left before he is 100%. GM Ryan Stewart was disappointed in the loss but thinks the Jays are headed in the right direction "We are a very good well rounded baseball club that just ran into a hot Yankees club that was peaking at the right time. Add to that a number of key injuries and we just had nothing left to get us over the hump and into the ALCS. Now that the off-season is here we are going to our evaluations and see what direction were going to head this offseason".
 
ALDS Game #1 - New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays
SP Jake Odorizzi (5-4 3.49 ERA) vx
SP Jamie Cox (20-2 2.14 ERA)
2021%20ALDS%20GM1_zpslunpo3fu.png
W: SP Jame Cox (1-0) 9.0 IP 9 H 1 BB 4 K
L: SP Jake Odorizzi (0-1) 7.1 IP 8 H 5 R 1 BB 4 K
Recap: SP Jame Cox was lights out going the distance on a complete game shut out. He allowed 8 hits but was never really in trouble and gave the Jays an early 1-0 lead in the best of 5 series. C Wyatt Cross (in for the injured C Max Pentecost) and IB A.J. Reed both had solo home runs and SS Carlos Correa, CF Albert Almora and LF Justin Williams chipped in with RBIs to pace the Jays to the 5-0 victory.
 

ALDS Game #2 - Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees
SP Jake Godfrey (9-14 4.66 ERA) vs
SP Wes Summers (14-7 4.15 ERA)
2021%20ALDS%203_zpsyjvdhwjt.png
W: SP Ian Clarkin (1-0) 7.1 IP 2 H 1 R 4 BB 6 K
L: SP Gerrit Cole (0-1) 7.1 IP 5 H 5 R 3 BB 4 K
S: CL Cole Sands (1)
Recap: SP Ian Clarkin was on his game for the Yankees and he tossed a gem. He lasted into the 8th inning allowing just 2 hits and a single run. Jays starter SP Gerrit Cole was also pitching well into the 8th inning before LF Brett Cabrerra belted a 3 run homerun off the young right hander and that ended his night. The Yankees would also get RBI's from RF Brennon Lund, 2B Jud Oliver and SS Cam Sheppard as they tallied 6 runs to take game #2 and tie the series at 1. Offensively there wasn't much to speak of for the Jays as 1B A.J. Reed had a pair of RBIs and CF Albert Almora added the other in a losing effort.
 

ALDS Game #3 - Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees

SP Jake Godfrey (9-14 4.66 ERA) vs
SP Wes Summers (14-7 4.15 ERA)
2021%20ALDS%203_zpsyjvdhwjt.png
W: SP Wes Summers (2-0) 7.0 IP 6 H 0 R 1 BB 8 K 
L: SP Jake Godfrey (0-1) 7.1 IP 7 H 4 R 1 BB 5 K

Recap: The Yankees went with their ace in game #3 as Summers started their pivotal wild card game against the Cleveland Indians and would go onto toss a complete game 4 hitter versus the Tribe. He was just about as dominant against the Jays going 7 innings and striking out 8 Jays batters. The Jays got both C Max Pentecost and RD Oswaldo Arcia back for game #3 and despite Pentecost going 2-4 with 2 RBI the Jays couldn't get much going against the Yankees starter. The Yankees jumped on the board early as 3B Louis Ramos belted the first pitch of the game into the left field seats and the Jays played from behind for the rest of the ball game. The Yankees would get 3 RBI's from SS Cam Sheppard as the Yankees pounded the Jays in game #3 and put them on the verge of elimination.
 
ALDS Game #4 - Toronto Blue Jays @ New York Yankees

SP Jamie Cox (1-0 0.00 ERA ERA) vs
SP SP Jake Odorizzi (0-1 6.14 ERA)
2021%20ALDS%20GM4_zpsxtuszicp.png

W: SP Jamie Cox (2-0) 6.1 IP 3 H 1 R 3 BB 6 K 
L: SP Jake Odorizzi (0-2) 6.2 IP 5 H 5 R 6 BB 5 K



Recap: Toronto handed the ball to their Ace with the season on the line and SP Jamie Cox didn't disappoint lasting into the 7th inning and allowing the Yankees a single run. Offensively the Jays bats beat up on SP Jake Odorizzi touching him for 5 runs and working him for 6 walks. SS Carlos Correa had a pair of RBI's and was 2-2 and C Max Pentecost in his second game back added another two RBIs. DH Rick Allen and 2B Kolten Wong added the other runs as the Jays bounced back with a 6-1 victory and sent the series to a deciding 5th game back in Toronto.
 

ALDS Game #5 - New York Yankees @ Toronto Blue Jays

SP Ian Clarkin (1-0 1.23 ERA ERA) vs
SP SP Gerrit Cole (0-1 6.14 ERA)
2021%20ALDS%20GM5_zpsbtixtras.png

W: SP Ian Clarkin (2-0) 7.0 IP 8 H 2 R 1 BB 4 K 
L: SP Gerrit Cole (0-2) 7.1 IP 4 H 3 R 3 BB 7 K
S: CL Cole Sands (2)



Recap: Well game #5 turned out to be a pitchers duel and the Jays ended up with the short end of the stick as SP Ian Clarkin was masterful holding the Jays to just 2 runs through 7 innings of work. The Jays got off to a great start with a 1B A.J. Reed  2 run homerun in the bottom of the first inning but that was all they would get as they were shut out the rest of the game. LF Brett Cabrerra and 3B Luis Ramos both had RBI singles that tied the game at 2 and 2B Jud Oliver had a go ahead RBI double in the top of the 8th inning and that gave the Yankees the lead. CL Cole Sands came on in the bottom of the 9th and got the Jays in order ending the Jays season.
 
Up Next: 2021 World Series Champ Reveled

 



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New York Yankees are Baseball's Best in 2022

November 6th, 2022

The New York Yankees got hot at the right time and rode that momentum all the way to the World Series. New York finished second in the American League East behind the Blue Jays and would take home the 2nd American League Wild Card. The Yankees path to the World Series took them through Cleveland in the AL Wild Card Game, and then a 3-2 series victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in the ALDS and a 4-1 series win over the Chicago White Sox in the ALCS. In the World Series the Yankees would square off with the National League Champion Arizona Diamondbacks and they would dispatch of them easily in 5 games. This World Series Title is the Yankees 28th all time and their first one since 2009. It also marks the first time that the Yankees have made the Playoffs since the 2014 season. 

New York has built their team up through very good drafting and for years boasted a top ranked farm system. OF the 25 men on their roster 15 are homegrown talents and all have come up through their minor league system. The Yankees are no longer the trade away young players and sign free agents to huge deals (although they still have the budget to be able to do the latter), they have a big time emphasis on player selection and development and it could pay off. The Yankees are still a young team and this could be the beginning of a new dynasty in the Bronx.

Up Next: 2022 Award Winners and Minor League POTY's



#37

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2021 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.

2021 AL Gold Gloves

P Madison Bumgarner (Chicago White Sox)
C Austin Hedges (New York Yankees)
1B Wil Benson (New York Yankees)
2B Riley Unroe (Tampa Bay)
3B Mason Templet (Detroit Tigers)
SS Andrelton Simmons (Boston Red Sox)
LF Ron Mitchell (Chocago White Sox)
CF Albert Almora (Toronto Blue Jays)
RF Bryce Harper (Cleveland Indians)

2021 NL Gold Gloves

P Alex Wood (Cincinnati Reds)
C Reese McGuire (Pittsburgh Pirates)
1B Justin Bellanger (Chicago Cubs)
2B Shane Mardirosian (Milwaukee Brewers) 
3B Brett Lawrie (Los Angeles Dodgers)
SS Parker Kelly (Chicago Cubs)
LF Monte Harrison (Pittsburgh Pirates)
CF Austin Meadows (Pittsburgh Pirates)
RF Stephen Piscotty (Pittsburgh Pirates)

2021 American League Rookie of the Year
1B Daniel Perez (21 yrs old) (Seattle Mariners)
Signed as an International Free Agent in 2016 out of the Dominican Republic for $2,160,000
.300 22 HR 80 RBI

2021 National League Rookie of the Year
1B Chris Daniel (23 yrs old) (Cincinnati Reds)Laredo High School, USHSBA)
.272 27 HR 86 RBI

2021 American League Cy Young Award
SP Jamie Cox (Toronto Blue Jays)
1st Round Pick 9th Overall by Toronto in 2014 (Michigan State, NCAA)
20-2 2.14 ERA 60 BB 298 K

2021 National League Cy Young Award
SP Brady Aiken (Pittsburgh Pirates)
1st Round Pick 26th Overall in 2014
18-8 2.37 ERA 31 BB 263 K

2021 American League MVP Award
C Max Pentecost (Toronto Blue Jays)
1st Round Pick 11th Overall in 2014
.375 22 HR 89 RBI

2021 National League MVP Award
LF Dazmon Cameron (San Diego Padres)
1st ROund Pick 14th Overall in 2015 by St. Louis (Eagles Landing Christian Academy)
.318 27 HR 91 RBI

2021 Blue Jays Minor League Players of the Year

AAA Buffalo Bisons - 88-56 1st in North Division
SP Erik Balck
26, LHP, V:96-98 MPH
Acquired: 1st Round Pick 27th Overall in 2017 by Toronto (University of Hawaii, NCA)
2021 Stats: 20-3 2.35 ERA 43 BB 207 K
GM's Comments: A former 1st round pick who has moves slowly up through the Jays minor league system and who really found a great deal of success in AAA this season. He was a 2021 International League All Star and the 2021 International League Pitcher of the Year.
Outlook/ETA: Black has nothing left to prove in the minors and he will compete for a spot in the Jays starting rotation in 2022. 

AA New Hampshire Fishercats - 65-77 Last in Northern Division
C Jesus Lopez
23, RHB
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2016 out of Venezuela.
2021 Stats: .300 22 HR 83 RBI
GM's Comments: An International Free Agent signing back in 2016 he has risen steadily through the ranks of the minor league system. He is our #1 catching prospect and is on the cusp of making his MLB debut. He has a decent bat with a little bit of power but his real strength is catching. He has a cannon for an arm and is a great game caller. An All Star in the Eastern League in 2021 he was easily the best player on a disappointing New Hampshire squad. 
Outlook/ETA: He is probably not going to be an everyday catcher at the MLB level and will likely find his niche as a backup who can come off the bench as a defensive replacement late in the game or who your not afraid to give your #1 a day off here and there. He will start the season in AAA but could see time in the majors with injuries this season or for sure as a September call up.

High A Dunedin Blue Jays - 91-49 1st in North Division
SP John Wesley Ray
26, RHP, V:94-96 MPH
Acquired: 4th Round Pick 120th Overall in 2016 by Toronto (Wake Forest, NCAA)
2021 Stats: 16-6 3.43 ERA 52 BB 156 K
GM's Comments: Ray was a guy that we weren't really expecting much out of. He was a 4th round pick way back in 2016 but had never pitched about Short Season A. The 26 year old was assigned to the Florida State League in a make or break year for him and he was very good leading the team in just about every pitching category. He made his first All Star game in 2021 and would end up being the #1 starter in Dunedin. 
Outlook/ETA: At 26 years old Ray is not really considered much of a prospect and he really doesn't project to be much more than an emergency starter/bullpen guy at this point. He is headed to AAA Buffalo and depending on what happens this season he could be an option if the Jays run into injury troubles.

Low A Lansing Lugnuts - 95-45 1st in Eastern Division & Mid Western League Champs
1B Tim Nelson
24, LHB
Acquired: 17th Round Pick 506th Overall in 2018 by Toronto (Wake Forest, NCAA)
2021 Stats: .327 33 HR 103 RBI
GM's Comments: Nelson has done nothing but hit at every level that he has been placed at since being taken with the 506th overall pick in 2018. He was a Midwestern League All Star and took home the MVP award in 2021. 
Outlook/ETA: A huge surprise taken so late in the draft he continues to turn heads. He is going to get a bit of a tougher test this season however as he is ticketed for AA New Hampshire to start the season. If the 24 year old can hit there he could see AAA by the end of the 2022 season and could even be on the radar for a call up this September.

Short Season A Vancouver Canadians - 44-32 1st in West Division & Northwest League Champs
SP Dave Winters
21, LHP, V:95-97 MPH
Acquired: 1st Round Pick 24th Overall in 2021 (University of Virginia, NCAA)
2021 Stats: 6-3 2.27 ERA 18 BB 125 K
GM's Comments:The Jays first round pick this past season stepped right into pro ball and didn't miss a beat. He lead the team in wins, ERA, strikeouts and innings pitched and gave the Jays everything they expected when they took him with the 24th overall pick this year. 
Outlook/ETA: Our development people do not want to rush Winters as they believe he is something special. 2022 will be a big year for the soon to be 22 year old as he will get his first taste of full season professional ball. He will be a non roster invitee to Spring Training this year and will then be assigned to either Dunedin or Lansing. He has advanced stuff and a great feel for pitching so there is a chance he could see AA by seasons end. In terms of breaking the Major League roster a realistic time table is sometime in 2024.

Bluefield Blue Jays - 47-21 1st in East Division
SP Norberto Perez
21, LHP, V:91-93
Acquired: Signed as an International Free Agent in 2017 out of Cuba for $122,000.
2021 Stats: 10-0 1.16 ERA 21 BB 82 K
GM's Comments: Perez might have had the best season of any Jays minor league pitchers and he made huge strides after 2 seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He showed no issues adjusting to baseball in North America and would take home the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year Award. 
Outlook/ETA: The Jays think they could have something special with this 21 year old and they have no intentions on rushing him. His next big challenge will be a full season of pro ball and he will likely get that chance with Lansing next season. A MLB ETA is hard to predict as he is still quite a ways away but 2025 is a realistic target.

GCL Blue Jays - 54-6 1st in North West Division & 2020 GCL Champs
3B Shane Martinez
23, RHB
Acquired:20th Round Pick 600th Overall in 2016 (Smith Falls High School, USHSBA)
2021 Stats: .425 19 HR 48 RBI
GM's Comments: Another late round pick that had a huge season. Martinez has spent the last 3 years in the GCL and 2021 was his breakout season. He was an All Star and if you can believe it was 2nd in MVP voting. At 23 years old he was playing against much younger competition and my scouts don't really think he will amount to much more then minor league filler.
Outlook/ETA: He is probably never going to make it to the MLB but he could be a valuable minor league piece if he can continue to hit the way he did this year. He is ticketed for the Dunedin Blue Jays as we want to challenge him a little to see if this season was a fluke or if he is a late bloomer and might have some value.

Dominican Summer League Blue Jays - 45-20 1st in San Pedro De Marcois Division
SP Jorge Amoras
20, RHP, V:95-97 MPH
Acquired: Signed as an International Amateur in 2017 out of Venezuela for $900,000
2021 Stats: 9-0 1.47 ERA 22 BB 72 K
GM's Comments: A highly touted signing back in 2017 the Jays spent $900,000 to bring the then 16 year old into the fold. His first season in the DSL he was dynamite and would end up being the teams #1 starter. He took home the DSL Pitcher of the Year Award as well. He still scouts as a middle of the rotation arm and with some refinement of his control could even better that projection.
Outlook/ETA: The 20 year old is still very raw and has yet to make his pro debut in North America. His next step will be to start the season in extended spring training before being assigned to one of the Jays rookie league teams in either Bluefield or the GCL. Its hard to predict when a player this young could debut in the majors and we have no intentions on rushing him. Our current timetable would have him make his MLB debut in September of 2027.

Up Next: Salary Arbitration



#38

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The Hall of Fame has opened its doors and two new players will be joining its ranks in 2022. New York Yankees legendary SS Derek Jeter and long time Seattle Mariner Ichiro Suzuki have both been unanimously voted into the hall and both on their first ballot. 

SS Derek Jeter was initially drafted with the 6th overall pick in the 1992 First Year Player Draft by the Yankees and he would debut with the team in 1996 taking home the American League Rookie of the Year Award. His career would span 21 seasons all with the Yankees. He last played in the Majors in 2014 and would retire from Baseball in 2017. Jeter owns a career .311 batting average with 3407 hits 264 HR 1304 RBI in 2701 games with the Yankees. He was a 13 time All Star and a 5 time gold glove award winner. He ranks 8th on the All Time hits list.

SS Ichiro Suzuki originally signed with the Seattle Mariners as an International Free Agent in 2001 and would go on to win the American League Rookie of the Year Award and the American League MVP award that season. He spent 14 seasons in the Majors and would rack up a career .317 batting average with 2774 hits 114 HR and 1278 runs scored with the Mariners and Yankees. He is a 10 time gold glove award winner and a 10 time American League All Star. 

Up Next: Salary Arbitration, Rule V draft and 2021 Off Season



#39

ryan008
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2021 Salary Arbitration Cases & Possible Free Agents

GM Ryan Stewart is going to be quite busy this salary arbitration season as the Jays have 13 players who are up for arbitration. The list includes some big name players as well: C Max PentecostSP Jamie Cox and 1B A.J. Reed are all entering their final year of arbitration. GM Ryan Stewart "One of our primary goals this season will be to get all three of those players to sign long term deals to stay here in Toronto. We have a great working relationship with all of them and we think they all want to stay in Toronto".

Free Agents

There were a few players who were not offered salary arbitration or whom were unwilling to sign minor league contracts with the Jays so they will be free agents and will be free to sign with other teams come July first. This list includes MR Kevin ChapmanMR Jarred CosartLF Desmond JenningsC Sandy LeonMR Aaron Crow and SS Wilmer Flores. Of all of these players I tried to resign Flores the most. He had a really good season in AAA taking home the International League MVP Award and provided great depth and leadership in Buffalo. He is looking to get back into the Majors and a minor league deal was not something that he was willing to accept.

Salary Arbitration Cases

The Jays 13 Salary Arbitration Cases went as follows:

C Max Pentecost - $13,781,250
RF Justin Williams - $12,500,000
SP Kohl Stewart - $9,000,000
LF Randal Girchuk - $1,500,000
MR Chris Richardson - $900,000
2B Gotsuke Katoh - $900,000
SP Jamie Cox - $13,781,250
MR Tony Boone - $1,690,000
1B A.J. Reed - $13,781,250
2B Gotsuke Katoh - $800,000
SP Nathan Kirby - $5,785,000
CF Andrew Alpin - $900,000
CF Colin Bray - $840,000
SP Carson Fulmer - $1,250,000

2022 Operating Budget

The Blue Jays announced that their Operating Budget for the 2022 season is $196,000,000. This is up from $178,000,000 from last season. Our $196,000,000 budget is second only to the Los Angeles Dodgers who have eclipsed the $200,000,000 mark. We have $136,689,750 committed to salaries at the start of the 2022 season and when including our player development costs ($18,000,000), scouting budget ($18,000,000) and First Year Player Draft Budget ($7,500,000) we have a little more then $11,000,000 of free payroll space that could come in handy down the line. We also have a number of players that we want to get under long term contract so that's going to eat into what we are able to do down the road.

GM Ryan Stewart's Off Season Wish List

The off season is just about upon us and my wish list for the off season includes:

1. Full time Designated Hitter
We have tried a number of different options here over the past few seasons and this position really hasn't been settles since 1B Anthony Rizzo departed following the 2020 season. Last year we brought in 3B Josh Donaldson and he was abysmal in the role and was replaced at the deadline with CF Rick Allen. I'd like to utilize Allen in the outfield much more this season and this creates an opening at the DH position. We will evaluate the free agent market as well as possible trades to see what we can do to bring up out offence a little more.

2. Make room in the starting rotation for SP Erik Black
SP Erik Black is ready down in AAA and I would like to get him into the majors full time this season. It will mean trading one of my current starters. Moving one of my starters should help us in acquiring a piece that we can use elsewhere and should save us some money. The most likely trade candidates are SP Nathan KirbySP Kohl Stewart or SP Jake Godfrey.

Resign Scouting Director Brian Parker
This one is a big one for me. Parker has been the Jays Director of Amateur Scouting since 2015 and has been one of the best talent evaluators in baseball. The 51 year old is responsible for draft picks like SP Jamie Cox and C Max Pentecost and has been instrumental in pushing spending on the International Amateur Free Agent Market. We have offered him a 5 year extension and are hoping we can get it signed sooner rather then later.

Up Next: 2021 Off Season Transactions Report



#40

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Blue Jays Off Season Report

The off season was a busy and productive one for GM Ryan Stewart and the Toronto Blue Jays, for the most part they stayed away from many of the big name free agents. There were a number of high profile players available on the market this year including stars like 3B Miguel SanoSP Julio TehranSP Mike Minor and C Reese McGuire. They all fell well out of the Jays price range so GM Ryan Stewart looked to improve the team in other ways. 

Blue Jays Off Season:

Heading into the off season GM Ryan Stewart identified three main goals that he wanted to address prior to the start of Spring Training. "We wanted to make sure that we addressed all of our goals before our players started reporting for spring workouts. We managed to upgrade our team in a number of areas and even managed to make some upgrades in other areas that we weren't expecting. Overall we had a productive off season and we are excited to get everyone into camp and to get ready for the 2022 season".

1. Full Time Designated Hitter

This was the number one priority this off season after getting dismal production out of the DH spot last season. CF Rick Allen and 1B Josh Donaldson manned the position last year and didn't produce the numbers that one would expect out of the DH in an AL East lineup. To address the issue the Jays made a deal with their division rivals the New York Yankees. The Jays agreed to send SP Kohl Stewart to the Bronx in exchange for 1B Casey Gillaspie and minor league MR Steve O'Quinn

Players to New York Yankees

SP Kohl Stewart is a 27 year old right hander who was a 1st round pick 4th overall in 2013 by the Minnesota Twins out of St. Pius X High School in the USHSBA. He was dealt to the Blue Jays in 2016 in exchange for SP Gabriel Ynoa. Stewart was 14-6 with a 4.27 ERA walking 60 and striking out 171 in 32 starts for the Jays last season. In 5 seasons with the Jays he was 65-45 with a 4.17 ERA. He earns $9,000,000 salary this season and has one more year of arbitration eligibility.

Players to Toronto 

1B Casey Gillaspie was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the second round 38th overall in 2014 out of Wichita State and was traded to the Yankees in 2019. He hit .259 with 26 HR and drove in 80 runs for the Yankees in 2021. Gillaspie is set to earn $3,800,000 this year and still has another year of arbitration eligibility left. 

MR Steve O'Quinn is a 23 year old righty who features a 93-95 MPH fast ball as well as a slider and a changeup. He was 15th round pick of the Washington Nationals 436th overall in 2018 out of High School but chose not to sign and then was drafted in the 2nd round of the 2020 draft 60th overall out of Wake Forest in the NCAA by the Tampa Bay Rays. He was traded to the Yankees in 2021 and spent the entire 2021 season in A Chattanooga where he was 5-7 with a 4.27 ERA walking 32 and striking out 58. 

GM's Comments: This was a good deal for both sides as both us and the Yankees addressed weaknesses. We add a power bat thats a switch hitter and who is defensively sound at first base so we can give 1B A.J. Reed days off here and there. He will be a presence in the middle of the lineup and should take some pressure off some of our other big bats. We also pick up a talented young arm in O'Quinn who has closer type stuff. He struggled as a 23 year old in A ball this season but its only his second season of pro ball. He will get an invitation to Spring Training and his minor league assignment will depend on his performance. It was tough to part with Stewart in this deal he is a dependable young arm who is just coming into his prime but the old saying goes you have to give up something to get something and unfortunately Stewart was the price.

2. Make Room For SP Erik Black

The deal with the Yankees effectively killed two birds with one stone as the Jays had to utilize one of their young rotation arms to bring in a new designated hitter. With the deal the Jays have opened a spot in the starting rotation and we will give Black every opportunity to win that job in Spring Training. Right now he is the front runner and the job is his to lose.

3. Resign Scouting Director Brian Parker

Perhaps the most pressing issue on the off season checklist was to get the Jays Director of Scouting resigned. Brian Parker was in the last season of his contract and it was imperative that GM Ryan Stewart get him locked up long term. The Jays were able to sign Parker to a 5 year extension worth a total of $950,000. The deal will keep Parker heading up the scouting department for the Jays until the end of the 2028 season. 

Other Transactions

Free Agent Signing

GM Ryan Stewart did make a notable free agent signing this off season agreeing to a 1 year deal with former Seattle Mariners C Mike Zunino Zunino was a former 1st round pick 3rd overall in 2012 by the Mariners. He hit .282 with 3 HR and 13 RBI in just 72 games for the Mariners in 2021. He missed the majority of the season after suffering a knee injury in early May. He agreed to a 1 year deal worth a total of $4,490,000 and was signed to be the back up catcher in Toronto. He has a decent bad and is a terrific defensive catcher. He should be a nice addition with C Max Pentecost and will give the Jays some options behind the plate.

Minor League Signing

The Jays inked 23 year old MR Luis Vargas to a minor league contract and have extended him an invitation to Spring training. Vargas is a 6'7" lefty who features a 91-93 MPH fastball and a very good slider. He defected from Cuba and has yet to pitch in pro baseball. My scouts think he has back end of the bullpen potential but is very raw and is still a few years away from making an impact on the MLB roster.

Trade #2

With the addition of C Mike Zunino the Jays had an extra catcher and one who was out of options in C Wyatt Cross. He was out of options and was not likely to clear waivers for an assignment to AAA Buffalo. We shopped him around and Arizona was interested. We managed to work out a deal that sent C Wyatt Cross to the Diamondbacks in exchange for CL Saturnino Santa Cruz.

Players to Arizona

C Wyatt Cross was a 2nd round pick 63rd overall by the Jays back in 2015. He broke onto the major league roster full time in 2021 and hit a respectable .266 with 12 HR and 42 RBI. He hit over .300 in the playoffs for the Jays as well filling in for the injured C Max Pentecost. Cross is 24 years old and was set to earn $950,000 this season.

Players to Toronto

CL Saturnino Santa Cruz is a 25 year old righty who was a Supplemental 1st Round pick 31st overall in 2015 by the Diamondbacks. He was 3-11 with 35 saves and a 2.13 ERA with 14 walks and 54 strikeouts for the Dbacks last season. He is set to earn $2,600,000 this season and is still arbitration eligible. There is a little bit of tension with Santa Cruz ans he expects to be the teams closer but that role is already filled by CL Rex Brothers, the plan is to use him as the 8th inning man during the Spring and see how the rest of the bullpen shakes out. 

2021 Major League Free Agent Signings 

LF Yasmani Tomas - 2 years $6,600,000 (San Francisco Giants)
CF George Springer - 1 year $5,500,000 (Los Angeles Dodgers)
SS Jurickson Profar - 2 years $22,200,000 (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
1B Dominic Smith - 3 years $41,000,000 (Boston Red Sox)
SP Zach Wheeler - 6 years $108,000,000 (New York Mets)
RF Giancarlo Stanton - 3 years $66,400,000 (Boston Red Sox)
SS Francisco Lindor - 4 years $86,000,000 (New York Yankees)
3B Miguel Sano - 4 years $90,000,000 (Boston Red Sox)
2B Hideto Asamula - 4 years $78,000,000 (San Francisco Giants)
SP Julio Tehran - 2 years $45,600,000 (Chicago Cubs)
SP Jake Odorizzi - 2 years $39,000,000 (Boston Red Sox)
SP Dylan Bundy - 3 years $9,860,000 (New York Yankees)
SP Masahiro Tanaka - 4 years $12,160,000 (Pittsburgh Pirates)
CL Jonathan Papelbon - 1 year $7,200,000 (San Francisco Giants)
SP Mike Minor - 3 years $79,200,000 (Texas Rangers)
2B Colin Moran - 6 years $125,800,000 (Chicago Cubs)
LF Oscar Tavares - 5 eyars $137,900,000 (New York Yankees)
1B Freddi Freeman - 5 years $117,800,000 (Baltimore Orioles)
SP Jordan Zimmerman - 3 years $38,700,000 (Cincinnati Reds)
RF Stephen Piscotty - 2 years $24,200,000 (Tampa Bay Rays)
CL Sergio Romo - 2 years $26,900,000 (Philadelphia Phillies)
SP Zach Greinke - 1 year $5,900,000 (Chicago White Sox)
C Reese McGuire - 3 years $69,750,000 (New York Yankees)

Up Next Spring Training 2022






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