“Marcus Stroman would have cost them a player off their major league roster,” writes Peter Gammons (Peter Gammons, Peter Gammon, Peter Gammons, Gammmmmons, Gammmmmons, Gammons Gammons Gammons Gammons, etc.) on how well the Cubs’ checking-in on Stroman before they dealt for José Quintana went. There are some pretty damned good players on that roster, so… sure. I mean, don’t do it, but… sure.
Over at FanGraphs, Paul Swydan makes the case to believe in the jays I mentioned this one in my piece on Dee Gordon and second base (a piece in which I didn’t mention the possibility of Lourdes Gurriel getting a look there, if not this year then very possibly next year), but it’s worth an inclusion here, especially for those who didn’t see it. GENUINE OBJECTIVE OPTIMISM. Eat that shit, shit-eaters.
Elsewhere at FanGraphs, Travis Sawchik looks into the expansion candidate cities that commissioner Rob Manfred made reference to during the All-Star break, and says that Montréal sure seems like a front runner. Meanwhile, in case you missed it last week, Jeff Sullivan wrote about how Roberto Osuna is just about perfect. Which… well… he is.
Another thing I missed in my piece on second base: the possibility that the Jays could be looking to acquire Dee Gordon like they did Francisco Liriano, receiving a couple prospects in the deal in exchange for taking on all of Gordon’s salary (plus whatever’s going the other way). Uh… maybe? I’d be surprised to see them bet that heavily on a guy who genuinely seems so bad at hitting, but if they’re essentially just buying prospects and a placeholder/insurance, that’s a lot easier to stomach — provided it doesn’t take away from other things they want to do next winter (and if they got back a 0-3 guy who they could plug into their rotation spot and forgo having to find one on the free agent market… maybe it would?).
Speaking of the Jays and their timeline, Jeff Blair of Sportsnet writes a little bit about J.A. Happ, who could certainly fetch a nice return in trade this month, but isn’t going to be easily replaced on a 2018 Blue Jays roster that all signs suggest will merely be retooled. “Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins seem to view the contractual status of Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman and Roberto Osuna as constituting a window that runs through 2020 and any move they make needs to bring in assets that dove-tail with those three as much as possible,” he says, which… yep. I think that’s about where they’re at. Plans could change next July — when all three will likely still hold a ton of value, as will Happ, Donaldson, and possibly even Smoak, Martin, Travis, Pillar, etc. ONE MORE YEAR! ONE MORE YEAR!
On the other hand, Cole Nefsky has a *wank-off motion* of a piece over at BP Toronto on “why” the Jays ought to be gearing up a giant fire sale this month. “I get that this team really is talented enough to be an 85 game winner over the course of any given season, but it’s not talented enough to beat the Red Sox, Yankees, Indians, Astros or Dodgers in a playoff series,” he explains, completely failing to understand how short series baseball actually works. Surely there is a case to be made, or at least attempted, that the best thing for the Jays is to blow it up, sell it all, then give it a couple years — clinging to Wild Card hope isn’t exactly compelling, especially when it’s not even all that much hope! But this ain’t it.
Great stuff, as always, from John Lott over at the Athletic, as he talks to Ryan Borucki, who may now be the Jays’ best pitching prospect (that’s how well Green, Harris, and Reid-Foley are doing in New Hampshire this year!), and who is modelling himself after Mark Buehrle — which is damned awesome.
Elsewhere at the Athletic, our friend Stacey May Fowles takes a look at the inner workings of the Jays’ fan engagement team, while Israel Fehr looks at how it’s up to the Jays’ stars to turn their seasons around and give the club hope.
An interesting write-up on Richard Ureña in the Monday Morning Ten Pack at Baseball Prospectus, which focuses on how talented, but inconsistent, the Jays’ shortstop prospect has been. “Urena should eventually have an opportunity to become the Jays’ starting shortstop,” writes Eric Rothmann. “But he has a long way to go.”
Back to Sportsnet, where the Tao of Stieb looks at how August trades may be more suited to the Jays this season.
Laura Armstrong of the Toronto Star visits Buffalo, and reliever J.P. Howell in particular, as the veteran is on a rehab assignment, trying to salvage what’s been a terrible season for the late-signing free agent.
Scott Mitchell of TSN.ca looks at five trade chips the Jays have that we might see move this month.
Steve Simmons shovels some red meat to the dumb-shits with a little apologia for Alex Anthopoulos in the Toronto Sun.
Shaun Doyle writes for Blue Jays from Away about the real truth of the second half of the team’s season: their fortunes will be dictated by Josh Donaldson.
Big League Stew passes on a gem of a softball home run celebration from Vlad Guerrero — the older one!
Tim and Sid’s twitter account asked fans who they think is to blame for the Blue Jays’ season, and holy shit, some of the replies are an absolute fucking tire fire.
Lastly, we talked about this on the most recent Birds All Day podcast, but here’s the piece at the Blue Jay Hunter in which Ian talks about the Jays considering (read: surveying season ticket holders) about moving their Saturday afternoon games back to 4 PM. “We didn’t need to consider alternatives because I like barbecuing on Saturday nights, and if you play on Saturday nights, you can’t barbecue,” said Paul Beeston last year about the Jays’ unique start times (the Yankees are the only other team that do it) under his watch. Ian politely suggests Beeston is maybe being facetious here, but let’s be fucking serious, that’s the reason.
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