Over the weekend, the Jays missed out on a pair of interesting starting pitching options, as CC Sabathia — who it seemed the Jays had genuine interest in — re-upped with the Yankees, while Matt Moore was traded to the Rangers. Cue “DO SOMETHING!” dopes who criticized the Jays for rushing the market last winter criticizing them for moving too slowly this year! But really: meh. Yes, if the Jays are going to make good on their insistence on competing — and the keeping Josh Donaldson that entails — they are very obviously are going to have do something to get themselves up closer to the level of the much-improved Angels. But that “something” not being Sabathia or Moore — who has never delivered on the promise of his early years in Tampa Bay, and pitched to a 5.52 ERA for the Giants over 31 starts in 2017 — is very much OK. There are other options out there. We’ll see where it goes…
A tremendous one from Michael Grange over at Sportsnet, as he talks extensively with umpire Dale Scott, who of course was behind the plate for Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS. Scott has lots to say about that, and a whole bunch of other Jays-related stuff, in this insightful chat. Definitely worth your time!
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, David Singh looks at the Jays’ treasure trove of cheap relievers with years of control still left, and examines what those types of players have brought back in trade in recent years — as it looks rather likely that the Jays are going to try to use a Tepera, Leone, or Barnes in order to find pieces to upgrade their roster elsewhere.
One more from Sportsnet, as Shi Davidi reports that Nikki Huffman, who last year served as the Jays’ head physical therapist, has been named the club’s new head athletic trainer. She takes over the job previously held by George Poulis, who recently was poached by Alex Anthopoulos and the Atlanta #bAArves. Congrats Nikki!
Speaking of medical stuff, Blake Murphy has an outstanding piece for VICE Sports on Ricky Romero, who refuses to give up on his dream of pitching again in the big leagues. Go read this! You can’t not root for the guy — especially after reading that his alarm clock is a recording of himself saying “I will pitch in the big leagues in 2018.”
Over at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, we’re told about the emphasis on analytics that Anthopoulos is going to bring to the #bAArves from Los Angeles. “’It was eye-opening for me,’ Anthopoulos said of the Dodgers’ use of analytics and as much data as available, boiled down for players to consume if they so chose.” Hmmm.
Interesting stuff from Andrew Munn over at BP Toronto, as he tries to figure out a way that the Jays could trade Kendrys Morales this winter. Yeah, I’m not sure Ian Desmond or Alex Gordon really do it for me.
Elsewhere at BP Toronto, Elie Waitzer attempts to do what the Blue Jays and the rest of the AL East are going to have to do over the coming several months: figure out how to pitch to Giancarlo Stanton.
Lisa Winston of 2080 Baseball looks at MLB’s recently named Scouts of the Year — a group that includes the Jays’ own Ross Bove!
Always worth a read, over at BlueJays.com, it’s Gregor Chisholm’s latest Inbox.
And over at MiLB.com, Kelsie Heneghan goes through the Jays’ minor league affiliates to give us the organization’s 2017 All-Stars at every position.
MLBTR tells us that the Phillies asked the Jays about trading for Marcus Stroman. Good luck with that one, Philadelphia. *wank-off motion*
Speaking of *wank-off motion*, Jays Journal goes all Cathal Kelly (plus SEO) with Blue Jays: Are management playing us for a fool, and Blue Jays: Still time, but the offseason has been a disaster so far. I mean… come on. I’ll give them one, though, as there’s an interesting idea (I think?) that hasn’t been much talked-about in Blue Jays: Trade interest may push Donaldson away from extension talks. The piece isn’t really about this, and I don’t think that the Jays are in a we-must-either-re-sign-him-or-trade-him sort of place when it comes to Donaldson — at least not publicly. But what if they were! If that was the case, maybe Josh wouldn’t want to put pen to paper, given that he has the opportunity to go to somewhere better positioned to contend. I’d imagine that money talks here, and a proper guaranteed, multi-year offer ought to get the job done, but I dunno! Something to think about? Maybe?
Lastly, over at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian tries to answer the question that’s been on all of our minds of late: if Josh Donaldson isn’t for sale, why do the St. Louis Cardinals keep calling?