In competitive market, Blue Jays pitch to FAs could be the difference
With a limited pool of desirable free-agent starters, getting someone to sign with a rebuilding Toronto Blue Jays club in the American League East won’t be an easy task. The post In competitive market, Blue Jays pitch to FAs could be the difference appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.As such, the beginning of the General Managers Meetings at the Omni Scottsdale Resort and Spa didn’t represent any type of “a crescendo” in the ongoing discussions, according to Ross Atkins, but rather an important in-person touchpoint.
TORONTO – In a way, the Blue Jays began their off-season roster management a couple months back, when they promoted Anthony Kay and T.J. Zeuch to the big-league roster.
At the time, the Blue Jays needed innings and wanted the two young pitchers to get some big-league exposure. But there was also an awareness that Kay and Zeuch would be Rule 5 eligible unless they were added to the 40-man roster by November 20. With that in mind, the Blue Jays promoted them both in early September.
Now, Kay and Zeuch have spots on the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster. By Wednesday evening’s 8 p.m. ET deadline, at least one more prospect will likely join them – potentially more. But since the Blue Jays’ 40-man roster is full, each addition will force the front office to part with someone.
Interest in Cherington adds wrinkle to Blue Jays’ off-season planning
Ben Cherington, the former GM of the Boston Red Sox who’s now a key part of the Toronto Blue Jays’ decision making team, is a candidate for the vacant Pittsburgh Pirates GM job. In fact, some outside executives see him as the leading candidate to succeed Neal Huntington in Pittsburgh. The post Andrew Raycroft on Leafs cutting bait on Michael Hutchinson, being a backup appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.In subtle ways, the Pirates’ search has already impacted the Toronto Blue Jays. Depending on how it ends, those repercussions could be felt more intensely within the coming weeks.
As last call to protect players from next month’s Rule 5 Draft approaches, teams around baseball will be forced to make some difficult decisions (college picks from 2016 are eligible as are high school players from 2015). At the very least, some intriguing players will be left exposed. And as last year’s Trent Thornton for Aledmys Diaz deal showed, this deadline can also drive trade discussions for teams overflowing with talent.
With all of that in mind, here’s a closer look at the Blue Jays’ upcoming decisions…
Long shots to be added
RHP Bryan Baker | 24 | 3.17 ERA | 54 innings | 36 walks | 71 strikeouts | reached AAA
RHP Zach Jackson | 24 | 3.97 ERA | 68 innings | 34 walks | 68 strikeouts | reached AAA
RHP Dany Jimenez | 25 | 2.59 ERA | 59 innings | 21 walks | 93 strikeouts | reached AA
Blue Jays trade reliever Justin Shafer to Reds for cash considerations
TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays traded right-handed pitcher Justin Shafer to the Cincinnati Reds on Monday in exchange for cash considerations. Shafer posted a 3.86 earned-run average in 34 relief appearances with the Blue Jays last season, striking out 39 batters in 39 2/3 innings. The 27-year-old also made 24 appearances for triple-A Buffalo in 2019, holding a 3.52 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP while converting 7-of-8 save opportunities. Shafer wasShafer posted a 3.86 earned-run average in 34 relief appearances with the Blue Jays last season, striking out 39 batters in 39 2/3 innings.
RHP Jackson McClelland | 25 | 3.77 ERA | 57.1 innings | 32 walks | 56 strikeouts | reached AAA
LHP Kirby Snead | 25 | 3.45 ERA | 62.2 innings | 19 walks | 68 strikeouts | reached AAA
Considering the shortage of lefty relief on the Blue Jays’ roster, they’ll have to at least consider adding Snead, their 10th-round pick in 2016. And Jimenez is intriguing from the right side after posting some impressive strikeout rates on his way to double-A. Even so, it’d be a surprise if any of these five has a roster spot by Wednesday evening.
Exposing Jordan Romano and Travis Bergen didn’t ultimately cost the Blue Jays last winter, as both were selected in the Rule 5 Draft but ultimately returned. One year later, rival teams will be able to choose from some more Toronto arms.
Note: Nate Pearson, a 2017 draft pick, does not have to be added to the 40-man this winter.
Candidates to be added
IF Santiago Espinal | 25 | 122 games | 7 HR | 27 2B | 12/13 SB | .287/.347/.393 | reached AAA
Blue Jays trade pitcher Justin Shafer to Reds for cash considerations
The Toronto Blue Jays have traded right-handed pitcher Justin Shafer to the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for cash considerations, the team announced Monday. The post Nov. 26: The Raptors defense is too much for Philly appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.OFFICIAL: We've traded RHP Justin Shafer to the @Reds in exchange for cash considerations.
OF Josh Palacios | 24 | 82 games | 7 HR | 18 2B | 15/20 SB | .266/.371/.416 | reached AA
OF Forrest Wall | 24 on Wednesday | 123 games | 11 HR | 30 2B | 14/22 SB | .268/.351/.422 | reached AAA
All three of these players have gotten serious consideration for 40-man spots in recent months, but it’s not clear if any are locks ahead of Wednesday’s deadline. Of all the decisions facing the Blue Jays front office, these three cases are most likely to be real challenges.
Wall, a former first-round pick who came to Toronto in the Seung-hwan Oh trade, had a solid but unspectacular season in which he reached triple-A. But his double-A teammate, Palacios, is also in the mix for a roster spot after posting a .371 on-base percentage in 82 games with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats.
If the Blue Jays add one position player, it seems likely to be Espinal, who they obtained for 2018 World Series MVP Steve Pearce. Listed at 5-foot-10 and 175 Lbs., Espinal doesn’t hit for much power, but he projects as a capable backup whose bat-to-ball skills give him a lifetime .285 average in the minors.
Palacios and Espinal as players who could draw interest if left unprotected.
Lots of scenarios in play for Blue Jays with tender deadline nearing
In Toronto, the Blue Jays started their off-season early by removing Devon Travis, Ryan Tepera and Ryan Dull from the 40-man roster long before Monday’s tender deadline. That leaves five eligible players, only one of whom should be considered a lock to be tendered a deal. The post Canadiens place backup goalie Keith Kinkaid on waivers appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.A few years back, before baseball’s new reality set in, this would have been surprising. But if the last two winters are any indication, the likes of Cole and Rendon could be out there for months to come. At times, the pace of the baseball off-season can make the games seem quick.
Likely to be added
RHP Thomas Hatch | 25 | 4.12 ERA | 135.1 innings | 39 walks | 127 strikeouts | reached AA
The David Phelps trade looks like a good one for the Blue Jays thanks to Hatch, who posted a 2.80 ERA in six starts with the Fisher Cats late last summer. His final outing of the year was his best: a seven-inning effort in which he struck out 11 and walked none.
Expect the Blue Jays to keep stretching Hatch out in 2020, but some believe he could also be a shutdown late-inning reliever. Either way, he should be on the roster by Wednesday evening.
Blue Jays tender Matt Shoemaker, non-tender three players .
The Toronto Blue Jays tendered a contract to starting pitcher Matt Shoemaker and non-tendered three plaeyrs reliever Derek Law on Monday. The post Dec. 3: Leafs take a trip to the City of Brotherly Love appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.#BlueJays did tender Matt Shoemaker, per source