If rival clubs move slowly, Blue Jays can gain edge by being proactive
While another sleepy off-season might be ahead, the Blue Jays appear to be one of “those four, five organizations who are coming out of hibernation.” The post MLB Awards: Yelich vies to defend MVP, Bregman caps off historic season appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.General managers will talk a good game – not only with the public, but also behind the scenes in their meetings with agents. ‘We really like your player. Maybe there’s a fit here. We’ll definitely keep in touch.
TORONTO – The Toronto Blue Jays wanted Kyle Gibson, tabling the right-hander an offer of some sort well before he agreed to a $30-million, three-year deal with the Texas Rangers. It wasn’t enough, obviously, and after not buying Jake Odorizzi out of accepting a $17.8-million qualifying offer from the Minnesota Twins earlier this month, two of their preferred pitching options from the free-agent market are gone, their rotation still largely unbuilt.
So, as American Thanksgiving arrived Thursday, about a month into free agency, with back-end starter Chase Anderson the only addition to the major-league roster thus far, the Blue Jays must pivot.
Report: Odorizzi strongly considering accepting Twins' qualifying offer
Jake Odorizzi is strongly considering accepting the one-year, $17.8-million qualifying offer tendered to him by the Minnesota Twins, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic. Odorizzi is one of ten MLB players who've been tendered qualifying offers this winter. He has until Thursday at 5 p.m. ET to make a decision. Any player who accepts a qualifying offer is ineligible to receive another the following year. If Odorizzi accepts the one-year deal to stay with Minnesota, he'd join a free-agent class led by starters Trevor Bauer, Robbie Ray, and James Paxton next offseason.
To what plan, and to which targets? Good question.
Still, he’s a worthwhile bet when you factor in his clubhouse presence and professionalism, and would leave the Blue Jays looking to fill two more rotation spots, where GM Ross Atkins and the front office are going to make or break their off-season.
To, at minimum, inject more innings to the rotation and protect the system’s young arms from overexposure, they’ll need to sign at least one innings-eater type of pitcher, someone in the Tanner Roark/Jordan Lyles/Wade Miley/Alex Wood vein.
Doing that would then allow them to hunt for some more impact, someone like Zack Wheeler or Hyun-Jin Ryu at the upper end of the spectrum, to the Dallas Keuchel/Michael Pineda types at the other end.
To get anything done, however, the Blue Jays are going to have to overpay and a question for them to wrestle with is whether it’s better to spend big on someone who could make a significant difference or to limit risk overpaying a smaller amount on someone with less upside.
Blue Jays buy insurance with Shoemaker as off-season to-do list grows
By no means is this off-season doomed. But as options continue to come off the board, the home run scenario of adding established and productive players to contribute in 2020, and into the competitive window beyond, is becoming harder to pull off. The post Five-goal first period leads Sabres to win over Devils appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Still, it’s hard to shake the sense that, so far at least, this winter isn’t unfolding particularly well for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Even in this era of stifled free agency, the words of Andrew Friedman, the Los Angeles Dodgers president of baseball operations, during the 2016 winter meetings ring true: “If you’re always rational about every free agent, you will finish third on every free agent.”
The reality for the Blue Jays is that as a rebuilding club in the American League East, there’s a premium to get an in-demand free agent to choose them. Toronto is a world-class city that deserves better, but some players still need to be enticed to move across the border. From a competitiveness standpoint, few are willing to slog it out with kids on the make when they can join a winner for similar money.
That means the Blue Jays will have to push out of their comfort zone, and accept the potential of bad money at the end of the deal as a cost of doing business.
Of course, if they’re unwilling to overpay in dollars, they can always use some of their prospect capital, a possibility that’s slightly increased now, too.
Sanders’ departure creates questions for Blue Jays ahead of crucial draft
The Toronto Blue Jays have the fifth overall pick in next year’s draft, underscoring the importance for the Blue Jays to find the right successor for departing amateur scouting director Steve Sanders. The post Tuch scores two early, Golden Knights beat Rangers appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.As first reported by ESPN’s Jeff Passan and since confirmed by an industry source to Sportsnet, Blue Jays amateur scouting director Steve Sanders – considered by some a future GM – will be leaving the Blue Jays. His next job will be with Ben Cherington, the former Blue Jays executive who replaced Neal Huntington as Pittsburgh’s baseball ops leader last month.
The Blue Jays have already explored the markets for catchers Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire, as well as left-fielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., and surely some of their other young big-leaguers, too, as a matter of due diligence.
But present-day big-league value is as expensive in trade as it is in free agency and will likely require an overpay of some sort. As former Boston Red Sox president of baseball operations David Dombrowski told me in July while referencing his costly acquisition of Chris Sale, “When you trade upside minor-league players, there’s no value that is going to give the weight needed to make that deal in a positive fashion.”
“Analytics is going to come back and say, ‘Well, this really isn’t a good trade,’” Dombrowski continued. “However, you also know that you’re picking up one of the best pitchers in the game of baseball, so you’re willing to sacrifice some of that future potential for now. And even the good analytical people will say, ‘Yeah, that’s understandable.’ But if you were just saying value for value, you would not be able to make a trade like that.”
One way or another, the Blue Jays are going to have pay more than they would like if they’re intent on adding impact to their rotation, rather than calculated/volatile dice-rolls. You can make a case for not spending on Odorizzi, or Gibson, or someone else what it would have taken to get them here, but there’s always a reason to not sign a player or not make a deal.
Thus far, the Blue Jays have stayed true to both their player valuations and walkaway points. With two of their targets now off the board and Plan B or C now in play, they’d do well stretching for the player they really want than overspending on one they’re settling for.
Shapiro aims to prop up Blue Jays’ outlook in uncomfortable market .
It’s Mark Shapiro’s effort to prop up expectations and seemingly create some urgency that’s especially noteworthy. But failure to follow through would erode credibility on multiple fronts. The post Shapiro aims to prop up Blue Jays’ outlook in uncomfortable market appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Take this one from the wild portion of the spectrum – Jose Bautista is thinking about representing the Dominican Republic in next spring’s Americas Olympic qualifier, as a position player who maybe pitches a bit, too. Word is the Toronto Blue Jays icon, who briefly served as a closer during his days at Chipola College, has touched 94 m.p.h. during his workouts.