Shapiro Speaks!: On Encarnación, Bautista, the Bullpen, and the Big Picture

Andrew Stoeten
January 13 2017 05:36PM

Mark Shapiro
Photo Credit: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Shapiro spoke with Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt for twenty minutes Friday morning on Blair’s Fan 590 show, and while the Blue Jays president and CEO didn’t do much to tip his hand as far as where the club’s still-evolving off-season is going, there was a whole lot that he said that I think is worth examining.

There was the obvious -- saying, “I would encourage you not to think this body of work is done,” about the off-season, for example -- and a bunch of Bautista and Encarnación stuff that will certainly be what most fans are curious to hear. But there were some big picture things that were rather fascinating, as well.

Of course, we’ll start with the juiciest bits:

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Ezequiel Carrera Avoids Arbitration, Raises Questions

Andrew Stoeten
January 12 2017 07:10PM

Ezequiel Carrera
Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Following the lead of Darwin Barney, who agreed to terms with the Blue Jays earlier on Thursday, outfielder Ezequiel Carrera has avoided arbitration by signing a one-year deal for $1,162,500 with the club.

Zeke's Thunder!

That's a nice little payday for a player who maybe even earned every penny of that salary with his playoff performances alone. But... uh... before we cheers to his nifty raise, just how exactly does he fit here?

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Daily Duce: Thursday, January 12th

Andrew Stoeten
January 12 2017 03:40PM



Fascinating stuff at FanGraphs from Dave Cameron, who writes about how the market for power -- at least when it comes from 1B/DH/OF types who don't have much defensive value -- has maybe already overcorrected. "If Rasmus can only get $5 million, and no one would take Seth Smith at $7 million, how does Brandon Moss ask for significantly more? What kind of offers are Carter and Pedro Alvarez going to get in a world where similar hitters with better defensive abilities are settling for cut-rate contracts just to land a job," he asks. This is rather good news for the Blue Jays, because despite having misread this market badly on Edwin Encarnación, they're now very well positioned to find some bargains. And while you might be thinking that they don't need bargains so much as they need talent, what these prices mean is that they've probably got the budget to add a couple more pieces. A Bautista and a legit platoon partner for Melvin Upton may well be doable within their budget. That's obviously far better than one or the other. (And, in fact, the dirty little secret of the Jays' offseason is this: they're gonna be fine.)

Speaking of power bats, Keegan Matheson does some great work at Jays Journal looking into what the move to Rogers Centre could mean for Kendrys Morales. There is reason for optimism because of both the move to a more hitter-friendly park and the exit velocities Morales posted last year. Doesn't make the contract look much better, but it's likely not going to look awful, either. Especially if fans will ever let him be Kendrys and non "Not Edwin."

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Steve Phillips Says José Bautista Is Now Atop a Thoroughly Uninspiring List of Outfield Options for the Jays

Andrew Stoeten
January 11 2017 02:43PM

José Bautista
Photo Credit: Bill Striecher-USA TODAY Sports

Over at, Steve Phillips has a thing, and because it's January and nothing else is going on, I'm going to point you in the direction of Steve Phillips' thing (something he'd normally do himself -- HEYO!). 

In the piece he tells us that José Bautista has worked his way back into being the Blue Jays' top choice on the outfield trade and free agent markets. OK, then!

But let's not make this about Bautista, since I feel like that's been talked to death. Lets look at some of the other names on what Phillips says is the Jays' list of alternatives. Because... yeesh. Sorta.

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Something Is Cooking With the Blue Jays, But Do We Like What We're Smelling?

Andrew Stoeten
January 10 2017 02:56PM

Jose Bautista
Photo Credit: Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

Over at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian picked up on a couple of tiny nuggets of Jays information from the radio that -- as he rightly points out -- qualify as discussion-worthy given the lack of anything else to talk about at the moment.

Let's dive in! Here’s what he gives us:

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