February 02 2017 07:32PM
Roy Halladay will be inducted into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame in St. Mary's this summer, along with Vladimir Guerrero, along with "past Baseball Canada president Ray Carter, the 2015 Canadian men's team that won gold at the Pan-Am Games and umpire Doug Hudlin, who will be inducted posthumously." That list is from Ben Nicholson-Smith's piece at Sportsnet, which focusses on Doc -- who says he's got plans to get back into the game in some capacity, and admits that he's talked to the Blue Jays about it.
"Minor league instructor Roy Halladay: 'run stairs until your spine is dust. Throw 95 with three pitches, develop a + change on whim'," tweets our pal @DrewGROF.
John Lott of the Athletic writes about Halladay and the "boot-camp makeover" that led him to the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame (and, soon enough, to the other one under the sea).
February 02 2017 01:23PM
Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Late on Wednesday night, news broke that Carlos Martinez has agreed to a five-year, $51 million extension with the St. Louis Cardinals. It’s a deal that looks like a steal for that club, as it buys out his three arbitration years, then two years of free agency, for just $10.2 million per season -- an average annual value considerably below market rate on the back end, though a bit hefty on the front.
Martinez and the Cardinals recently filed arbitration numbers of $4.25 million and $3.9 million respectively, so the AAV is a little high for right now, and probably next year as well -- assuming he stays healthy and continues to perform at the level he’s shown so far in his career. St. Louis, then, is betting on his durability and performance, and Martinez is taking a whack of guaranteed money on the chances that those slip.
Why am I telling you all this? Because the Cards’ deal with Martinez provides an interesting framework for a pair of Blue Jays pitchers with strong parallels to him: Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman.
January 31 2017 04:41PM
Whoooooaaaa, did the Blue Jays just sign me, brah? Photo Credit: Gary A. Vazquez-USA TODAY Sports
You haven't heard J.P. Howell's name this winter nearly as much as your probably have Boone Logan's or Jerry Blevins's or... a bunch of other nondescript left-handed relievers' names. But you probably should have, because as nondescript lefty relievers go, he's certainly one of them.
Now he's the Blue Jays' nondescript lefty reliever, as Buster Olney tweeted tonight that the club has signed him to a one-year contract! And it is, in fact, a major league deal.
Funny how the front office isn't quite so completely derelict in their duty sometimes, isn't it? And while the only lefty relief that should be on anyone's mind right now is bringing refreshments to those on the front lines of protest -- HEYO! -- let's see what we got and then (I assume) have me tell you to piss off for whining that it's not Nondescript Lefty Reliever B, C, or F, shall we?
January 31 2017 03:39PM
The Jays have signed infielder Jonathan Diaz to a minor league deal, bringing him back to the organization that drafted him in 2006 after a year spent in Triple-A with the Yankees. What's perhaps interesting about this how Diaz might be viewed as insurance for the potential loss of Ryan Goins on waivers, should it come to that this spring. Goins is out of options, and Diaz is... a poor man's Ryan Goins. Translation: be sure to get a fried bologna sandwich when you're watching him in Buffalo. (Diaz also spent a year in the Red Sox organization in 2013, so this his his third stint with the Jays. Also also: Uh... the Yankees' Triple-A affiliate hasn't been Columbus since 2009??!?!?).
Barry Davis tweets that he's no longer going to be broadcasting Jays games, and he's scrubbed the Sportsnet references from his Twitter handle and bio. Sorry to hear that, even if I must admit missed the vast majority of his work because I watch almost always via MLB.tv. (Which is my chickenshit way of trying to avoid saying that he big-timed Parkes out of an interview with a player years ago and didn't exactly grow in my esteem after that either. Not sure why I'd take it easy on him after being such a dick about Jamie Campbell -- who it turns out is super cool! -- for so long way back. Guess I'm just goin' soft. Or I know now how it sucks to lose a job.)
January 31 2017 01:12PM
Photo Credit: Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports
We're on the cusp of February, which means that though we're nearly through the long cold desert that is winter. We'll soon have warm thoughts and warm reports and warm images from the Grapefruit League to get us dreaming again about those days when we'll actually want to leave the house.
Thing is, though, the opening of Spring Training is inevitably more exciting in concept than it is in practice. It's a mirage -- an illusion we let ourselves be tricked by. "Oh look, guys dicking around a baseball field." The reality is that Spring Training is painfully dull, and even by the time pitchers and catchers report, we'll still have several weeks of shitty, bloody, blood-shitty winter to endure.
But the other thing is... maybe not this year?