Gideon Turk of BP Toronto has a source with some insight into the Jays’ internal logic on the Melvin Upton decision, and as always, it makes a whole lot more sense than the pissy, reductive reaction you’ll hear from a lot of fans. Money quote that I’m going to paste a liiiiiittle too much of: “The Blue Jays were listening to trade offers on both Upton and Goins recently, trying to gauge the market for the two players they needed to choose from for the last roster spot. While the market for Upton was non-existent, the market for Goins was actually pretty decent, with multiple teams making offers for the 29-year-old utility man. One American League team was even intent on trading for Goins and giving him a short term starting role before settling him into their utility role once their club returned to health. However, despite multiple names being tossed around, the two clubs were not able to come to agreement that the Blue Jays liked. So, the Blue Jays decided to release Melvin Upton, and hold on to Goins, knowing that a lot of teams won’t even want to pick up Upton for the remainder of his 2017 contract, and there is a good chance that he re-signs with the club and heads to the minors. For Goins on the other hand, the interest in him is still viable, and even though he secured his spot on the Blue Jays opening day roster, he may still be traded.”
Rather than being quite that explicit, Ross Atkins told Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com that it was Goins’ “versatility” and the years of control still left that won him the spot over Melvin Upton.
FanGraphs has published their list of the Blue Jays’ top prospects — 17 of them in all — which, naturally, is must read stuff. A particular “highlight” is the stuff on Rowdy Tellez (their eighth best prospect) and his “visual red flags” and “quad-A traits.” These are balanced with a bunch of positives, too, it should be noted, but still. Fingers crossed that he isn’t a guy who has to cheat on fastballs because velocity eats him up, or who looks like a good all-fields hitter because he often doesn’t get the barrel around in time to pull the ball, but… uh… yeah. There’s good news, though! Tellez, with a little help, has put us in a win-win situation: either he turns out viable and fine or Mike Wilner’s scoffing at the notion that Eric Hosmer hits more home runs this year than Tellez does in his career ends up looking quite hilarious. I can live with that! (Of course, even Travis Snider *COUGH* has 54 big league home runs to his name, so Tellez will probably get enough opportunity to beat that prediction, even if he turns out to be bad. And yeah, no offence to Wilner, but clearly I’m still firmly on team let’s pump the fucking brakes here just a little goddamn bit on this one.)
Holy shit, Stephen Brunt wrote a thing! And, as you’d expect from a writer as talented as he is, it’s damned good. In Origin Story we’re taken to somewhere around Barstow,
on the edge of the desert, where the drugs began to take hold the hometown of Aaron Sanchez, and learn all about the young hurler’s life and path to the big leagues. Read it.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Jeff Blair looks at glass half empty and half full scenarios for each of the teams in the AL East.
Hey look! It’s our friend Stacey May Fowles in the Globe and Mail, writing about going to the ballpark alone, and seeking solitude in what’s an abundantly social sport. Great stuff!
Over at the Toronto Star, somebody keeps letting Rosie DiManno write columns. Meanwhile, Laura Armstrong takes a great look at the growing ranks of top prospects in the Jays’ farm system, Mark Zwolinski talks to Josh Donaldson, who sees great Jays ahead (see what their headline writer did?), and Richard Griffin talks to Jason Grilli, who won’t dwell on one pitch (or, y’know, however many it was that he hung to Mark Trumbo before Baltimore’s Opening Day walk-off (to his credit he looked pretty good up to that point, at least)).
“Just watch us” said Aaron Sanchez to Rob Longley of the Toronto Sun in response to a question about
just how far the Jays’ rotation would go in the suspension of civil liberties to maintain order during the FLQ crisis those who feel that the Jays’ rotation is due to regress.
This isn’t 100% Jays-related, but it’s 33% Jays-related, as the great Jonah Birenbaum of something called theScore looks back on three Opening Day truisms, one of which is José Bautista finding new and creative ways of trolling the Orioles — like making a fuckin’ epic five star catch.
The Buffalo Bisons are having a meet and greet tonight — meet the players and such. Do it, Buffalos!
Will Joey Votto grow old before the Reds grow up? That’s the question asked by Zach Buchanan of the Cincinnati Enquirer. The answer is, of course, yes.
More non-Jays stuff as we go back to FanGraphs, where Travis Sawchik looks at how Brian Cashman sold the Yankees’ rebuild, and Jeff Sullivan looks at the incredible spiking velocity of our old friend Kendall Graveman, who we all would still absolutely trade in a fuckin’ heartbeat given that he went to Oakland in the package for Josh Donaldson. Good on him, tho.
Somewhere below an annoying-as-fuck autoplay video, Jays Journal looks at the sneaky-good pickup that was the Jays’ acquisition of Chris Coghlan — pointing us to Jon Heyman’s note at Fan Rag about just why Coghlan left the Phillies in the first place: he “was released after he declined to sign the 45-day advance consent form which allows teams to release players for any reason.” (In other words: the contract would have remained non-guaranteed if he signed. Some background on the advance consent clause here from MLBTR — with some lolz at Jack Z in there for good measure).
Both Teams Play Hard looks at the Jays’ biggest strength, their rotation. Also: columns!
South of the Six offers up some Opening Day takeaways.
Same Page Team explores the Melvin Upton issue.
LATE ADDITION: Zach Britton talks to Jayson Stark of ESPN.com about finally getting into a game against the Blue Jays and the “smartass comments” his friends were texting him when it did finally happen.
LATE ADDITION THE SECOND: Joanna over at Hum and Chuck translates some great stuff from Russell Martin for us.
I prefer to say that the Jays have the *most experienced* Opening Day roster:
Lastly, PLAY BALL! (NO MLB.tv BLACKOUTS)