Sports Shapiro aims to prop up Blue Jays’ outlook in uncomfortable market

15:16  11 december  2019
15:16  11 december  2019 Source:   sportsnet.ca

Sanders’ departure creates questions for Blue Jays ahead of crucial draft

  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.

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July 14, 2009. It’s hard to understand markets emotionally sometimes. When volume is low, it’s easy to push things around for those who can. I don’t see any vast conspiracy as some have suggested I do, just the facts. Whether the financial media has the guts to call things like they are or not is another story.

a man wearing sunglasses: Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, left, talks with Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro, right, during baseball spring training in Dunedin, Fla., on Friday, February 24, 2017. (Nathan Denette/CP)© Nathan Denette/CP Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins, left, talks with Blue Jays President Mark Shapiro, right, during baseball spring training in Dunedin, Fla., on Friday, February 24, 2017. (Nathan Denette/CP)

SAN DIEGO – You can hear some pretty interesting and juicy things in the hallways during baseball’s winter meetings, ranging from the obvious to the absurd, from fact to fiction.

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.

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  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

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That so needs to happen.

Then there’s chatter such as this, that the Blue Jays, struck by a market-induced epiphany, have realized any free-agency spends they make will have to be uncomfortable, and they must now decide is the degree of discomfort they’ll endure to land some arms in a pitching bull market.

Fact? Fiction? We’re going to find out.

“We need to get better. We need to add. We need to strike,” president and CEO Mark Shapiro said Tuesday while subbing in for GM Ross Atkins during the club’s daily media briefing. “There are different degrees, some may not be how you define that or someone else defines that, but we clearly need to add. We can’t just roll the same club out again as it sits there today.”

We’ll skip parsing the words there, especially on the mandatory caveat. Their degree isn’t the same as the New York Yankees’ degree, which is the kind that drops $324 million over nine years to land all-world right-hander Gerrit Cole. Their degree this winter has been unable to land options well down the food chain, with right-hander Kevin Gausman, joining the San Francisco Giants for $9 million, and shortstop Didi Gregorius, who took $14 million from the Philadelphia Phillies, becoming the latest players they engaged with to sign elsewhere.

Gurriel Jr. named Blue Jays player of the year, most improved player

  Gurriel Jr. named Blue Jays player of the year, most improved player Lourdes Gurriel Jr.’s breakout 2019 season earned him both Blue Jays player of the year and most improved player honours in annual club award voting by the Toronto chapter of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America. The post Gurriel Jr. named Blue Jays player of the year, most improved player appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Although he played in only 84 games, the 25-year-old led the team in batting average (.277), slugging percentage (.541) and OPS (.869) among players with more than 250 plate appearances, while his 20 home runs were fifth. As calculated by Fangraphs, his 1.8 WAR ranked fifth on the club.

View Jay Shapiro ’s profile on LinkedIn, the world's largest professional community. Previously, Jay founded the digital marketing agency " BLUE " in Singapore in 1999, growing the business from startup into a global powerhouse, the 4th largest digital agency in the world and voted Marketing Magazine's

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Given that, it’s Shapiro’s effort to prop up expectations and seemingly create some urgency that’s especially noteworthy. There’s risk in re-upping on that front, especially as after initial optimism about a step forward was dashed when Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson, Jordan Lyles and Mike Moustakas all signed elsewhere.

They can’t dash hopes again with late-market, value-rebuild adds, and that applies not only to their fans, but also within the industry, as well, since in their talks with agents, the Blue Jays have been saying their plans include signing two or three starting pitchers.

A failure to follow through erodes credibility on multiple fronts.

To that end, the Blue Jays continue to pursue Tanner Roark and they appear to have some interest in Rick Porcello, as well. A reunion with Edwin Encarnacion is possible – a budget of 50 games at first base for the slugger makes sense, and means he won’t totally tie up the DH spot – as is bringing back Justin Smoak.

With critical draft ahead, Blue Jays motivated to make new hire soon

  With critical draft ahead, Blue Jays motivated to make new hire soon If your people are in demand, you’re doing something right. However, Cherington and Sanders were among the Blue Jays’ most trusted decision makers. Replacing them wouldn’t be easy under any circumstances. The post Tyler Ennis, Senators needed bounce back game and got one against Oilers appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.On the one hand, it’s encouraging that the Pittsburgh Pirates would choose Cherington, a former Blue Jays VP, to run their baseball operations department, and that Cherington would want Sanders, Toronto’s former amateur scouting director, as his assistant GM. If your people are in demand, you’re doing something right.

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Hyun-Jin Ryu remains the big prize – they dreamt about a Cole scenario that was never going to happen – and a tweet from Ken Rosenthal indicating the Los Angeles Dodgers will now pivot to Madison Bumgarner perhaps helps the Blue Jays on that front.

Action, though, not words is what matters and the Blue Jays will need to ante up to land Ryu, who, like Cole, Moustakas, Stephen Strasburg, Anthony Rendon and Dallas Keuchel, is a client of Scott Boras, who has a shot at a billion dollars in negotiated contracts this winter.

No one’s winning this winter quite like the super-agent.

The Blue Jays certainly have the financial ability to get Ryu, as Shapiro once again touted the club’s flexibility as a key asset that’s “among the best in the game.”

“We’re very well positioned,” he added. “The combination of young talent along with the lack of future commitments, it will never be this again. It’s just for this moment.”

Cole’s record deal may be trouble for Blue Jays on multiple levels

  Cole’s record deal may be trouble for Blue Jays on multiple levels To state the obvious, it’s bad news when the best pitcher in baseball signs in your division. The post Dec. 11: Tavares Scores Twice vs. Vancouver appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Yet in the aftermath of Gerrit Cole’s record-setting, nine-year, $324-million contract with the New York Yankees, that’s the reality facing the Toronto Blue Jays. Now, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette & Co. can look forward to facing Cole four or five times a year for the next decade, and the Yankees – already a 103-win team – become that much harder to unseat atop the AL East.

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That’s why the Blue Jays need to be careful with any contract they sign – every move they make now cuts them off from potential moves down the road, especially the particularly high-leverage ones like signing a Cole type when their situation is more appealing.

But their financial flexibility won’t disappear in a year or two, either, since changes to the way the Blue Jays operate on the business side means they should be able to spend beyond the club record payrolls in the $160 million range if they are contending again.

“We’re positioned extremely well from a business perspective and I think the ceiling would be higher than it was in ‘15 and ’16,” said Shapiro “We’re positioned well on the business side for us to take advantage of that opportunity and that will be deployed in player payroll.”

As for what that payroll number looks like in 2020, Shapiro was evasive on that front, not wanting to divulge to agents precisely how much money Atkins has to work with.

The expectation is that their attendance next year will be similar to this one, when they ranked 21st in the majors after drawing 1,750,144 fans, extending the startling decline from consecutive seasons of three-million-plus fans in 2016-17. Remaining in that range means that 2020 revenues will also be similar to the 2019 numbers, and suggests that the payroll will remain in the $100 million range, too.

“I think that’s reasonable but not necessarily the case,” said Shapiro. “There are still some variables, there are still some situations that would lead to a payroll being bigger and there are some variables that if we don’t feel the right moves are out there that would lead to the payroll being lower. We’re not going to spend it just to spend it, but there’s certainly opportunity to go beyond last year in the right circumstance, as well. It’s not a static number.”

It’s certainly not a static market, either, as after duds the past three years, industry-shifting moves are back at the winter meetings. The Blue Jays have come to understand things have changed dramatically beneath their feet, and the test is in whether they can adjust in time to successfully reposition themselves for 2020, and ideally beyond.

Blue Jays’ four-year deal with Hyun-Jin Ryu a game-changer on many levels .
The path from rebuilding team to contender includes countless steps, most of which occur with little fanfare behind the scenes. And then there are the decisions that catch everyone’s attention. The post Leclerc signs new contract with Ferrari through 2024 appeared first on Sportsnet.ca.Late Sunday night, the Blue Jays made one of those moves, agreeing to terms with last year’s National League ERA leader in a bold deal that now ranks among the largest in franchise history. The Blue Jays are in agreement with Hyun-Jin Ryu on a four-year, $80 million deal, Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported first.

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