Montreal Threat: Jays vs. Red Sox

Andrew Stoeten
April 01 2016 05:10PM

Russell Martin and Denis Coderre
Photo Credit: Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

The novelty has worn a little on these now annual trips by the Blue Jays to Montreal, I think. Or at least it has, speaking strictly anecdotally, among those of us here in southern Ontario. Maybe it’s just me, but I just haven’t felt the same swell of excitement about the enterprise as in the previous two iterations.

We’ve done the excitement about bringing big league baseball back Montreal. We’ve seen Russell Martin don the jersey of his new Canadian team, on Canadian soil, in his hometown, with his father in tow and playing the national anthem. And we all know that there’s so much to see and do in that incredible city that you don’t really need a couple of baseball games to justify the trip.

“What’s left for us?” one might wonder. But that’s exactly it. This isn’t about us.

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Game Of Risk: Big Bucks On The Line For Blue Jays' Bash Brothers

Andrew Stoeten
April 01 2016 03:30PM

Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista
Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

In Toronto, much has been made during the offseason about the Blue Jays' unwillingness, or inability, to extend the contracts of their electrifying sluggers, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion, both of whom will reach free agency at the end of the 2016 season. Considerably less has been made about those players' unwillingness to more seriously explore taking whatever money might be on the table for them as this campaign begins.

Perhaps that's understandable, given the incredible consistency the two players have produced with over the last several years—the most striking example of which is Edwin Encarnacion's wRC+ ("weighted runs created plus," a single value, league- and park-neutral indicator of a player's offensive performance relative to league average), which for the four seasons since his 2012 breakout has been 150, 146, 151, and 150.

Not only is it remarkable that those numbers are so similar, it's remarkable that they're so high; only superstars Mike Trout, Miguel Cabrera, Joey Votto, Andrew McCutchen, Giancarlo Stanton, and Paul Goldschmidt have produced a better wRC+ than Edwin's 149 mark over that span. Just behind him—and Jose Abreu and Bryce Harper—is Jose Bautista at 146 (league average is 100).

Those numbers are truly elite. Those two deserve to be paid. Hitters like that simply don't hit the market often, and the two should be helped by the fact that next winter's is a particularly weak free-agent class. We all know this.


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Birds All Day Podcast - Episode 54

Andrew Stoeten
March 31 2016 11:07PM

Birds All Day

Alright! It's episode 54 of Birds All Day! Featuring a look at this week's roster news, thoughts about the upcoming season, a game of True Or False, and so much more!

While you're listening, give a like to Birds All Day on Facebook! Also, please note that, as always, this episode of the Birds All Day podcast is made possible by those who've chosen to support us through our Patreon campaign -- an ingenious type of crowdfunding that allows you to invest in creators of the content you value with a small, recurring, monthly contribution that individually you’ll barely notice, but for us helps immensely. We can’t thank you all enough for your support. Now enjoy the episode...

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In Former Quebec Capitales Catcher Josue Peley, The Blue Jays Are Getting Much More Than Just A Translator

John Lott
March 31 2016 05:04PM

Josue Peley
Photo Credit: John Lott

When the Blue Jays needed a Spanish-to-English translator, it made perfect sense to look in a place where the official language is French.

Conducting the search was a Jays official whose first language is English. He called an old friend and teammate in Quebec City whose first language is French. They both agreed the man for the job was Josue Peley, whose first language is Spanish, but who spent his formative years in Montreal and also speaks fluent French and English.

Now the Jays now have a trilingual translator who also was a professional catcher for nine seasons, including the past four for the Quebec Capitales of the independent Can-Am League.

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Heyman: Bautista Would Consider Four-Year, $120-Million Deal

Andrew Stoeten
March 30 2016 03:39PM

Jose Bautista
Photo Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Hey, here’s a pot that hasn’t been stirred in a few days: the Jose Bautista contract situation. But don’t worry! Jon Heyman of CBS Sports is on it. He’ll make sure nothing in there just yet stagnates!

Phew! That was a close one!

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