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Toronto Blue Jays targets Andrew Heaney, Cody Bellinger sign elsewhere and the latest on Toronto Blue Jays payroll

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Photo credit:Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
A few free-agent targets have signed elsewhere.
Left-handed pitcher Andrew Heaney, who was linked to the Jays a day ago, inked a two-year, $25-million deal with the Texas Rangers. The deal also carries an opt-out that could increase it to $37-million.
Outfielder Cody Bellinger, meanwhile, inked a one-year, $17.5-million deal with the Chicago Cubs. The slugger reportedly was looking for a one-year reset type of deal and now, he’s got it.
Here’s some of what Thomas Hall had to say about how Heaney made sense as a Blue Jays target:
Toronto heavily pursued Heaney last off-season before he ultimately signed a one-year, $8.5-million contract with Los Angeles, marking his second tenure with the franchise after being briefly acquired from the Miami Marlins in 2014. And their interest level has undoubtedly increased even further following his bounce-back 2022 performance.
After a disappointing 2021 campaign, where the left-hander posted a 5.83 ERA over 129.2 innings split between the Los Angeles Angels and New York Yankees, he underwent some key mechanical adjustments that allowed him to enjoy a much-needed reset. As a result, the 6-foot-2 hurler finished with a 3.10 ERA, 3.39 xERA, 3.75 FIP and a .213 OPP AVG across 14 starts and two relief appearances with the Dodgers.
Heaney also dramatically enhanced his swing-and-miss ability, registering career bests regarding his strikeout rate (35.5 per cent) and strikeout-to-walk rate difference (29.4 per cent), with his punchout percentage ranking in the 97th percentile. His whiff (35.8 per cent) and chase rates (36.4 per cent) also placed in the 96th, respectively.
The Oklahoma City, OKC., native is much improved from the pitcher that most Blue Jays fans remember from his brief tenure with the Yankees. He is still prone to allowing hard contact (47.1 per cent in 2022) and home runs (17.9 per cent HR/FB ratio), but those concerns have been mitigated by his encouraging strikeout and walk totals.

Money Talks

The Toronto Blue Jays appear ready to front the costs of making some big moves in the near future.
Jays president Mark Shapiro said Tuesday that the club has the capacity to raise payroll now and into the future, and that the CBT is “not an obstacle.”
This, according to Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith.
The news is obviously significant. We shouldn’t be surprised the Jays are willing to front more money. The club will need to extend Bo Bichette and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the not-so-distant future and they’ve still got holes to fill on their roster.
The Athletic’s Gregor Chisholm added this on Twitter:

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