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The 2020 Toronto Blue Jays [OOTP15]

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2025 Salary Arbitration Cases & Possible Free Agents

The 2025 off season is going to be a very busy one for GM Ryan Stewart and the Blue Jays front office. In addition to having 10 players eligible for salary arbitration the Jays will have three compensation eligible free agents as 3B Stu Daniels1B Cesar Melendez and 2B Chris Goodwin will all be free agents after failing to sign extensions with the Jays this of season. The Jays 10 salary arbitration cases and the results of the hearings were:

1B Chris Daniels - $1,250,000
LF Don Bergeron - $5,250,000
SP Jose Cerventes - $7,500,000
MR Phil Jones - $1,500,000
MR Rodrigo Rivera - $1,600,000
C Jesus Lopez - $2,500,000
SP Erik Black - $7,500,000
MR Nick Kennedy - $1,600,000
MR Jose Miranda - $2,035,750

2026 Operating Budget

The Blue Jays 2026 Operating Budget has been set at $204,000,000 this season which represents a meager increase of just $4,000,000 over the 2025 season. Toronto's $204 million dollar budget is the 7th largest in the majors trailing the New York Yankees ($296 million) and the Boston Red Sox ($276 million) by significant amounts. When you factor in coaching expenses, draft estimates ($10 million), player payroll ($135,800,000), Scouting ($18 million) and development ($18 million) the Jays have approximately $35 million in payroll space to be utilized this off season. There are a lot of holes to fill so that $35 million needs to go a long way this off season.

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

1. First Base

The loss of 1B Cesar Melendez to free agency has created a huge hole at first base. We have a couple of options in house in 1B Chris Daniels (.219/.300/.351 with 10 HR and 28 RBI in 2025 with the Jays) and 1B Pat Olson (.276/.351/.378 5 HR 60 RBI in AAA Buffalo) but neither has the offensive abilities that we lost in Melendez. There are a couple of options out there in free agency but no one who really blows my socks off. This is a hole that will most likely be filled via trade.

2. Third Base
3B Stu Daniels rejected extension talks that went right down to the wire and elected to see what his options were in free agency. The 29 year old was a Rule V pick up by the Jays back in 2019 from Arizona and has turned into an All Star. He hit .317/.342/.452 with 10 HR and 78 RBI for the Jays last season. I'm hoping that 2B Jesus Valdez who is a 24 year old former International Free Agent signing out of Venezuela back in 2018 can make the transition over to third. He hit .380/.420/.560 with 3 HR and 16 RBI for the Jays in 2025 but in just 35 games. I would like to find someone who has a little more experience to provide some depth and backup in case Valdez struggles. 

3. Second Base
2B Chris Goodwin who has spent 4 seasons with the Jays after being acquired from the Kansas City Royals for SP Nathan Kirby elected to test free agency as well. This is a position that will be filled in house. We have tremendous depth at second base with former first round pick 2B Tim Miller (..321/.364/.384 0 HR 71 RBI with Toronto), 2B Luis Hernandez (.259/.357/.397 12 HR 67 RBI with AAA Buffalo) and 2B Chad Flannery (.313/.340/.400 2 HR 52 RBI with A Dunedin). Of the three its most likely that Miller and Hernandez will battle for the starting job while Flannery will head to AAA Buffalo to start the season.

4. Assistant GM
the Jays Assistant GM Jim Duquette retired after spending just one season as the Jays Assistant GM. We wish Jim all the best and will start interviewing for his replacement immediately.

Up Next: 2025 Off Season Transactions Report

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Blue Jays 2025 Off Season Report

The memory of yet another early playoff exit at the hands of the hated New York Yankees is still fresh in the minds of most Jays fans as the team gathers in Florida with Spring Training about to commence. The 2026 Blue Jays are going to have a very different look this year as a number of faces have departed as free agents and some new blood has been brought in. The Jays starting infield was pretty much decimated by free agency as 1B Cesar Melendez signed in Boston for 5 years and $99,500,000, 2B Chris Goodwin inked a 4 year deal worth $69,600,000 with the San Francisco Giants and 3B Stu Daniels signed a 5 year deal with $109,400,000 deal with the Atlanta Braves. With their departures the Jays had a shoping list heading into the off season and GM Ryan Stewart was quite pleased with how things turned out.

Blue Jays Off Season:

1. First Base

The Blue Jays would fill the hole at first base by agreeing to a trade with the Oakland Athletics. The trade would see SP Gus Price dealt to Oakland in exchange for 1B Dave Johnson.

Players to Oakland

SP Gus Price is a 25 year old right handed pitcher who was a former supplemental 1st round pick of the Houston Astros back in 2020 out of Denver High School in the USHSBA. He was traded to the Blue Jays in 2023 by the Miami Marlins in exchange for SP Steve Sampson. Price was 3-10 with a 4.49 ERA with 47 BB and 89 strikeouts for AAA Buffalo in 2025. He has yet to live up to his billing as a possible middle of the rotation arm at the major league level and a change of scenery should do him a lot of good. 

Players to Toronto

1B Dave Johnson is a 26 year old former 3rd round pick 79th overall by the Oakland A's out of Georgetown University in the NCAA. He hit .438 with 1 HR and 6 RBI in AAA for the A's this season but struggled in 100 games with the A's hitting just .212 with 4 HR and 19 RBI. Johnson didn't get a lot of regular playing time and most of his at bats came as a pinch hitter. The Jays are hoping that with regular at bats he can put up some better numbers at the MLB level.

2. Third Base

The Jays made a bit of a splash during free agency landing 3B Bo Bichette to a 7 year deal worth $75,000,000. Bichette isn't an All star by any means and did struggle last season with Pittsburgh (.221/.335/.328 with 12 HR and 55 RBI) but did produce a WAR of 3.7. He also led the majors with 94 walks last season and is a gold glove caliber defender. He was signed as insurance and will likely split time at third with 3B Jesus Valdez unless one of the two absolutely runs away with the position to start the season. 

3. Second Base

The Jays were quiet on this front during free agency. We like our depth and will give them a chance to show what they can do during the Spring. 

4. Assistant GM

We have a contract offer on the table for a new Assistant GM but as of the start of Spring Training nothing has been finalized as of yet. 

5. Other Moves

GM Ryan Stewart was quite happy to add MR Dylan Bundy on a 1 year $1,300,000 contract. The 33 year old is coming off a down season where he suffered through injuries with the Pittsburgh Pirates and was only able to pitch to a 5-4 record with 1 save and a 5.98 ERA with 30 walks and 69 strikeouts. He still has great stuff with a 93-95 MPH fastball and he was brought in to add a veteran presence and is a great bounce back candidate. He has not won 10 games in the majors since 2023 with the Nationals but GM Ryan Stewart believes this could be a major steal for relatively no cost. 

The Jays also added another power arm that is a reclamation project in MR Jacob Bukauskas who signed a 1 year deal worth $1,000,000. The 29 year old can top triple digits with a 99-101 MPH fastball but has struggled a ton with command. He was 4-10 with a 7.14 ERA walking 61 and striking out 101 in 103.1 IP with the Texas Rangers last season. He made 16 starts for the Rangers last year and we intend to have him pitch out of the bullpen where his stuff can be a very dangerous weapon.

Rule V Draft

The Jays 40 man roster is full so they were unable to select anyone in the Rule V draft but they did lost a pair of players in 1B Cesar Garza and CL Jesus Sosa.

1B Cesar Garza is a 26 year old former 3rd round pick 95th overall out of the University of New Mexico back in 2021. He hit .322/.385/.527 with 23 HR and 114 RBI with AA New Hampshire last season. I am really kicking myself for not protecting him and was hoping that he could sneak through but he was nabbed by San Diego with the 6th pick in the 1st round.

CL Jesus Sosa is a 24 year old righty who was signed as an International Free Agent out of the Dominican Republic for $750,000 back in 2018. He was 11-8 with a 2.50 ERA walking 28 and striking out 138 for Advanced A Dunedin. The 24 year old has a big arm with a fastball that can touch 96-98 MPH.

Waiver Claim

The Jays would lose 1B Chris Daniels on waivers when he was claimed by the Kansas City Royals. Daniels was placed on waivers to make room for newly acquired 1B Dave Johnson. With the aquisition of Johnson Daniels slid down to #3 on the depth chart and we thought we might be able to slide him through waivers and stash him in AAA.

2025 Major Free Agent Signings

SP Alex Wood - 2 years $36,500,000 (Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim)
3B Chris Goodwin - 4 years $69,600,000 (San Francisco Giants)*
3B Bo Bichette - 7 years $75,000,000 (Toronto Blue Jays)
1B Cesar Melendez - 5 years $99,400,000 (Boston Red Sox)
3B Manny Machado - 2 years $28,000,000 (Arizona Diamondbacks)
SP Shelby Miller - 2 years $55,200,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)
RF Derek Fisher - 4 years $13,280,000 (Baltimore Orioles)
1B Will Benson - 6 years $199,200,000 (New York Yankees) Extension
SP Jim Meltron - 5 years $78,700,000 (Atlanta Braves)
SP Dan Mullen - 7 years $155,200,000 (New York Yankees)
CL Christopher Machamer - 3 years $37,300,000 (Boston Red Sox)
CF Jesus Rivera - 2 years $15,800,000 (Boston Red Sox)
1B J.P. Crawford - 4 years $35,600,000 (Baltimore Orioles)
SS Hideto Asamura - 1 year $12,600,000 (San Francisco Giants)
SP Rob Waller - 5 years $111,000,000 (Colorado Rockies)
SP Mike Sanford - 5 years $111,800,000 (Detroit Tigers)
3B Miguel Sano - 5 years $71,600,000 (Chicago White Sox)
C Travis D'Arnaud - 1 year $15,400,000 (Boston Red Sox)
SP Max Kranick - 5 years $42,100,000 (Kansas City Royals)
SP Noah Syndergaard - 2 years $38,800,000 (St. Louis Cardinals)
SP Jose Marquez - 7 years $163,200,000 (Boston Red Sox)
SP Carlos Rodon - 4 years $72,800,000 (Milwaukee Brewers)
3B Stu Daniels - 5 years $109,400,000 (Atlanta Braves)
SP Archie Bradley - 1 year $17,000,000 (Boston Red Sox)
SP Jameison Taillon -2 years $29,600,000 (New York Yankees)

*Blue Jays will receive supplemental 1st round picks for Daniels, Goodwin and Melendez in the 2026 First Year Player Draft.

Up Next: Spring Training 2026

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2026 Regular Season is Ready to get Rolling!

The Toronto Blue Jays wrapped up their Spring Schedule with a 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros that dropped them into a tie for the second best record in the spring with the Boston Red Sox at 18-8. The surprising Baltimore Orioles were the hottest team this spring leading the Grapefruit League with a record of 19-7. 

2026 Spring Training Standings


Spring Training Statistics

Starting Pitchers



SP Jamie Cox had a fantastic spring not allowing a run in 15.1 innings of work and notching 23 strikeouts vs just 3 walks. Almost all of the Jays starters were really good this spring with SP Tyler Ivey (1.13 ERA), SP Erik Black (1.13 ERA) and SP Dave Winters (1.62 ERA) leading the way. Winters will start the season as the #1 starter in AAA and is on the short list to be called up should the Jays have any issues in the rotation this season. 


SP Bernie Cantrell, a former 1st round pick 27th overall back in 2021 out of the University of Minnesota struggled a lot this spring. He was 1-1 with a 12.96 ERA in 8.1 innings of work. Cantrell is the Jays top pitching prospect and will start the season in AAA Buffalo.

Spring Training Statistics




MR Jorge Miranda who has been a stalwart in the Jays bullpen since 2023 suffered a Torn Flexor Tendon in his elbow and is going to miss the next 6 months. Just as Spring Training was getting under way the Kansas City Royals approached us with a deal that landed us 27 year old MR Greg Taylor in exchange for MR Bob Townsend and SS Shane Benes. Taylor was the 16th overall pick by the Royals back in 2018 and was billed as a potential top of the rotation arm, two arm injuries later and he is no longer considered a front line starter but my scouts believe he could be a dominant set up/back of the rotation arm that cost us virtually nothing. He had a great spring with the Jays pitching to a 1.29 ERA in 7 innings of work and has earned himself a spot in the Jays bullpen to start the season. 


None really, we were quite happy with the performance of our relievers in camp and it made it really hard to pick just 7 to make up the opening day bullpen. If I had to pick one person that was a little disappointing it would be free agent acquisition MR Dylan Bundy who was 0-0 with 2 saves and a 4.50 ERA in 10 innings of work. 

Spring Training Statistics




None really, Jays fans have come to expect C Max Pentecost to be a leader offensively and this spring was no different. Pentecost was very good putting up a line of .376/.455/.541 with 2 HR and 11 RBI and was out-shown by C Arturo Lugo who was dynamite this spring slashing .304/.400/.571 with 4 HR and 7 RBI and easily won the back up catcher's job to start the season. 



Spring Training Statistics




SS Carlos Correa was a beast this spring putting up video game like numbers. He slashed .397/.518/.721 with 5 HR and 11 RBI and looks like he is ready to try for yet another American League MVP title this season. 


The rest of the Blue Jays infielders were pretty much just average. We lost 2B Luis Hernandez to a fractured thumb and he missed 4 weeks during the Spring, essentially handing the starting second base job to 2B Tim Miller1B Dave Johnson (.242/.316/.399 2 HR 11 RBI), 3B Bo Bichette (.225/.320/.326 1 HR 9 RBI) and 3B Jesus Valdez (.230/.287/.279 0 HR and 7 RBI) were not that great but weren't terrible either. Hopefully they can pick up their numbers as the regular season begins. 

Spring Training Statistics




Nothing really earth shattering here. We had a couple of minor injuries that sidelined CF Dan Mitchell and LF Abel Black but both players would be ready for the regular season. 


CF Cesar Gutierrez who was picked up in a trade with the San Francisco Giants back in 2022 was a little bit of a disappointment as we were hoping for a bit of a breakout from the 26 year old. He would hit just .217/.339/.326 with 1 HR and 6 RBI and didn't really make enough of an impression to stick on the opening day 25 man roster. He was sent back to AAA Buffalo.


SP Jamie Cox
SP Jose Cerventes
SP Vic Johnson
SP Erik Black
SP Tyler Ivey

MR Phil Jones
MR Nick Kennedy
MR Sam Turner
MR Mike McNeal
MR Rodrigo Rivera
MR Jorge Miranda
CL Dave Davis

C Max Pentecost
1B Cesar Melendez
2B Chris Goodwin
3B Stu Daniels
SS Carlos Correa
LF Abel Black
CF Albert Almora
RF Isaac Green

C Jesus Lopez
INF Shane Benes
INF Tim Miller
OF Don Bergeron
1B/DH Pat Olson

Pre-Season Predictions


Financial Information

The Blue Jays start play in 202 with the 11th highest payroll in the Majors at $142,037,000 but its a far cry from the New York Yankees ($271,990,000), Boston Red Sox ($253,250,000) and the surprising Milwaukee Brewers ($197,450,000). The Jays are in tough in the AL East and are expected to finish in 3rd place in the division behind New York and Boston if you believe the pre-season predictions. 

Top Prospects and Farm Systems

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


The Blue Jays farm system got some great reviews by Baseball America and would end up with three players ranked in the top 10 opening day prospects list. It comes as no surprise that with three prospects ranked in the top 10 the Jays have the #1 rated farm system for the first time under GM Ryan Stewart. The Boston Red Sox have the #1 rated prospect and the #2 rated farm and the Miami Marlins come in with the #3 ranked farm system.

Up Next: April Review as Opening Day is here

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Blue Jays Hanging Tough in the East, Injuries Beginning to Pile Up

May 1st, 2026

April started off really well for the Jays as they swept the opening 3 game series at home against their division rivals the Baltimore Orioles and they would ride the momentum of that series win to a 16-7 record during the month. Toronto finds itself tied atop the AL East with the New York Yankees (15-6) and three games up on the third place Boston Red Sox (13-10). The best teams record wise in the Majors to start the season were the Colorado Rockies and the Chicago Cubs both 17-5 and the lowly Pittsburgh Pirates (4-17) are by far the worst team in the Majors. 

The Blue Jays have also announced that they are bringing back a familiar face to the Jays front office. Former General Manager Alex Anthopolous has agreed to a 3 year contract to become the teams Assistant General Manager. Anthopolous left the Jays and would spend 3 seasons in Los Angeles with the Dodgers and has been out of baseball since 2024. GM Ryan Stewart is happy to have him on board and is looking forward working together "Alex is a great baseball mind and we plan on having him focus mostly on our minor league development. He was great at churning out talent that helped sustain the big club and were hoping that he can reprise that role with us now".

AL East Standings - May 1st


AL Wild Card Standings


April Pitching Statistics


April Batting Statistics


April's Hot Players

To no ones surprise SP Jamie Cox was one of the Jays hottest pitchers to start the season going 3-1 with a 1.78 ERA. SP Vic Johnson was also very good going a perfect 3-0 with a 3.34 ERA. Offensively C Max Pentecost has been a man on a mission tearing up opposing pitchers to the tune of a .451 batting average with 2 HR and 14 RBI. Newly acquired 1B Dave Johnson has also been very good in his first month with the team hitting .347 with no homeruns but driving in 9. LF Abel Black has also gotten off to a great start hitting .386 with 5 HR and 14 RBI.

April's Cold Players

For the most part our pitching has been very good the lone exception has been SP Erik Black who is 0-2 with a 4.72 ERA out of the gate. His last two starts have been better despite not getting a decision in either and I think it is just a matter of time before he heats up. MR Dylan Bundy is also on a short leash as his 12+ ERA is alarming and it seems like he is not adapting well to his new role as a reliever. He may find himself moved to another team or even down to AAA if he can't pick up his play.

April News & Notes


The injury bug got the Jays pretty hard at the end of the month as two of their three starting outfielders would require a trip to the disabled list. CF Albert Almora (.329 2 HR 18 RBI) is going to miss the next 2-3 months with a bruised knee cap and RF Isaac Green (.276 6 HR 20 RBI) is out for 3 weeks with back soreness. The Jays recalled CF Cesar Gutierrez (.250 0 HR 0 RBI in AAA) and CF Jerry Irwin (No Stats) to fill in while Black and Green are down with injuries.


Majors - SS Carlos Correa was named the American League Batter of the Month after hitting .323 with 8 HR 18 RBI.

Majors - 3B Jesus Valdez was named the American League Rookie of the Month after hitting .323 with 1 HR and 14 RBI.

Lansing - SP Gilberto Cruz (International free agent signing in 2021 out of Venezuela for $350,000) was named the Midwestern League Batter of the Month after going 3-0 with a 1.99 ERA for the Lugnuts.

Around the Majors

3B Pablo Sandoval of the Cleveland Indians hit his 300th career homerun in a 4-0 victory over the Minnesota Twins. The veteran 39 year old is hitting .306 with 3 HR and 5 RBI this season. For his career he is hitting .286 with 2517 hits 300 HR and 1189 RBI in 2343 games with the Giants, Baltimore Orioles, Angels, Braves and Indians.

CL Aroldis Chapman of the Milwaukee Brewers earned career save in a Brewers 2-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals. The 38 year old is 2-0 with 7 saves and a 1.50 ERA this season. For his career he is 66-72 with 400 saves and 1326 career strikeouts in 924.2 innings with the Reds, Orioles, Cardinals and Brewers.

Up Next: May 2026 Update

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Blue Jays Drop out of Top Spot in AL East, Trail the Yankees by 1/2 Game

June 1st, 2026

May wasn't he best month for the Jays as they would go 15-10 and would be caught and passed by the New York Yankees for top spot in the American League East. The Jays currently occupy the top wildcard spot with a game and a half cushion over the Chicago White Sox and a 4 game lead over the Boston Red Sox. Much of the Jays recent struggles can be traced back to the starting rotation. With the exception of SP Jamie Cox who had a stellar month going 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA, SP Jose Cerventes (0-3 4.74 ERA) and SP Vic Johnson (0-4 9.57 ERA) were awful and if they don't have there performance pick up there are a couple of guys knocking at the door in AAA who are chomping at the bit to get into the big league rotation.

AL East Standings - June 1st


AL Wild Card Standings


May Pitching Statistics


May Batting Statistics


May's Hot Players

SP Jamie Cox was by far the Jays best player in May going 5-1 with a 1.90 ERA. MR Jacob Bukauskas was also very good not allowing a run with 14 strikeouts in 9.2 innings of work. MR Greg Taylor also had a great month going 2-0 with a 1.72 ERA. Offensively SS Carlos Correa continues his torrid pace hitting .327 with 5 HR and 17 RBI, 2B Tim Miller (.325 0 HR 10 RBI) and C Max Pentecost who is returning from injury hit .322 with 4 HR and 10 RBI. 

May's Cold Players

SP Jose Cerventes (0-3 4.74 ERA) and SP Vic Johnson (0-4 9.57 ERA) had just dreadful months of May and didn't produce a victory between them. MR Rodrigo Rivera also struggled in May posting a 1-0 record but a 6.75 ERA. On the offensive side of things the Jays got almost nothing out of the third base position 3B Bo Bichette (.163 1 HR 7 RBI) and 3B Jesus Valdez (.213 3 HR 17 RBI) both players struggled considerably. 2B Luis Hernandez is off to a good start in AAA nad could replace either Bichette or Valdez in the Majors if their production doesn't increase. 

May News & Notes


The Jays lost yet another outfielder this month as LF Abel Black suffered a torn ligament in his thumb and is expected to miss the next 3 months. He was one of the Jays best offensive contributors this year hitting .390 with 9 HR and 22 RBI. The Jays recalled CF Cesar Gutierrez who was hitting .188 with 0 HR and 0 RBI for AAA Buffalo this season. 


AA New Hampshire - RF Tommy Rodriguez (18th round pick 544th overall in 2020 by the Blue Jays out of Washington High school in the USHSBA), hit .366 with 5 HR and 28 RBI to take home the Eastern League Batter of the Month Award. 

Low A Lansing - LF Ron Ortega (5th round pick 157th overall in 2022 by Toronto out of Memphis High School in the USHSBA), hit .374 with 2 HR and 23 RBI and was named the Midwestern League Batter of the Month. 

Low A Lansing - SP Dan Shannon (4th round pick 127th overall in 2024 out of the University of Mississippi in the NCAA by Toronto), went 5-1 with a 1.47 ERA with 42 K's in 36.2 innings of work to take home the Midwestern League Pitcher of the Month Award. 

Around the Majors

CF Andrew McCutchen of the Pittsburgh Pirates got career hit #2000 in a 4-3 victory over the Atlanta Braves. The 39 year old McCutchen is hitting just .241 with 2 HR and 6 RBI so far in 2026 and carries a career line of .282 batting average with 2000 hits, 246 home runs, 915 RBI and 1036 runs scored in 2017 career games all with the Pirates. He is a 5 time NL All Star and was the 2013 NL MVP winner. 

RF Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees got career hit #2000 in a 9-4 Yankees victory over the Chicago White Sox. The 36 year old is hitting .241 with 9 HR and 29 RBI for the Yanks in 2026 and carries a career line of .257 BA with 2000 hits, 453 HR, 1289 RBI in 2115 games between the Marlins, Phillies, Red Sox and Yankees. He is a 3 time All Star. 

3B Kris Bryant of the Los Angeles of Anaheim belted career home run #300 in a 8-4 victory over the New York Yankees. The 34 year old Bryant is hitting .206 with 7 HR and 27 RBI this season for the Angels. For his career the veteran 3B is hitting .249 with 1496 hits, 300 HR , 937 RBI and scored 789 runs in 1574 games with the Cubs, Nationals, Red Sox, Yankees and Angels. 

Up Next: 2026 First Year Player Draft Preview

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