MLB Notebook: More Rogers Centre renovations revealed, veteran pitcher Jake Odorizzi trying to make a comeback, and more

Photo credit:Wikimedia commons
Brett Holden
2 months ago
The Rogers Centre’s infield renovations continue as the Jays undergo their second consecutive year of construction in their home stadium. 
Cup holders, the newest feature added to the 100 level of the stadium, are only one of the many things added and redeveloped in the plan. Along with the cupholders, a closer backstop will be installed, along with shallow foul lines will be added to the diamond this season
The Blue Jays claim the new renovations are “designed for baseball” as all of the seats will point towards the infield with “improved sightlines, closer to the action.” 
The Blue Jays will start their season on a ten-game road trip as crews finish up the final touches on phase two of the renovations. (Phase one being the outfield redevelopments last winter). The first time we will be able to see the new renovations will be April 8th, as the Seattle Mariners will be the first visitors to the remodelled stadium. 
Phase one of the renovations were a massive success amongst the fans. The Outfield District introduced numerous new bars, restaurants, and seats, allowing for a much more of an event-type vibe to the stadium than before. Schneiders Porch, TD Park Social, Corona Rooftop Patio, and The Catch Bar allowed for more places to watch the game in a more social environment. Plus, the West Jet Flight Deck even received some upgrades. 
On top of the new social areas, new seating areas in the outfield and a standing area by the opposition’s bullpen gave a brand new experience for fans to be more interactive during the game and with the other team. While the obvious function of the intimate access to the opposing team’s bullpen is to set a home-field advantage, it also allows for fans and players/coaches to interact with each other even more and create new memories at the ballgame. 
Tickets to the Outfield District are also very accessible. For only $20, you can gain access to all of the different features around the new area, while experiencing the game in a new way each inning. 
While the new infield redevelopments are more seating-related and not so much entertainment-related, the new seats should allow for an awesome experience no matter where you sit at the Rogers Centre. 

Jake Odorizzi throwing without restrictions

Jake Odorizzi, who missed the entirety of the 2023 season after undergoing an arthroscopic procedure on his shoulder in April last year, has been throwing off a mound with no restrictions.
Odorizzi last pitched for the Atlanta Braves in 2022 and is currently receiving interest from numerous teams. Earlier this offseason, Odorizzi threw off the mound in front of evaluators from 10 to 12 teams, according to Jon Morosi. 
Similar to Odorizzi, Ken Giles was also eyeing an MLB return after not throwing in the MLB since 2020. Giles signed a contract earlier this month with the Atlanta Braves, inking a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training.
While Odorizzi is looking to get a new deal, it would likely be similar to Giles in some ways, but they do pitch in separate situations. Giles, a shutdown relief pitcher, received the minor league deal, while Odorizzi, who is a starter, would likely net a one-year contract. However, if teams are not confident in Odorizzi’s development and recovery, he may warrant a “show me” minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, just like Giles. 

Quick Notes:

  • Minnesota Twins trade Nick Gordon to the Marlins. The Twins will receive RP Steven Okert for the former fifth overall pick in 2014. 
  • Yasmani Grandal signs with the Pittsburgh Pirates. The one-year deal shores up the Pirates’ catching spot as they lost their catcher, Endy Rodriguez, to UCL surgery in December. 
  • San Diego Padres re-sign Jurickson Profar. Profar’s contract will see him make $1 million next season, plus $1.5 million in plate appearance-based incentives. 
  • Spencer Turnbull agrees to deal with the Philadelphia Phillies. Turnbull, who was non-tendered by the Tigers back in November, will sign a one-year, $2 million deal with the Phillies, and could make $2 million more in performance bonuses. 


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