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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Grantland: 2015 AL East Preview

Welcome to Grantland’s 2015 MLB division previews. From now through next week, Jonah Keri and I will analyze each team in each division, focusing on offseason triumphs and failures, roster strengths and weaknesses, telling projections, revealing stats, and off-field story lines, and wrapping up with our over/under verdicts on each team’s projected record. As always, all overly pessimistic opinions should be blamed on the well-known grudge we bear your team, and only your team, because of that thing it did to us that one time that we’re still extremely bitter about.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 26, 2015 at 12:23 PM | 53 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Daniel Norris looking like Blue Jays’ fifth starter

After an off-season in which he became a viral sensation for his bushy beard, cerebral surfer persona and his habit of living in his van, Daniel Norris is ready to bring the focus back to his work on the mound.

The media requests — from The Atlantic magazine to NBC — are still pouring in for the man ESPN dubbed “The Most Interesting Pitcher in Baseball,” but the 21-year-old is turning them all down now.

The rookie left-hander, considered among the Blue Jays’ top prospects, is technically still vying with veteran swingman Marco Estrada for the fifth spot in the team’s starting rotation. But it’s hard to see Norris losing the job at this point.

Win Big Stein's Money Posted: March 22, 2015 at 09:05 PM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, daniel norris, van down by the river

Tuesday, March 10, 2015


Saturday, February 28, 2015

Blue Jays expect Saunders back early in season - Sportsnet.ca

Michael Saunders should be ready to rejoin the Toronto Blue Jays by mid-April rather than around the all-star break after the left-fielder had 60 percent of the meniscus removed from his left knee during surgery Friday.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 08:22 PM | 6 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Baseball Prospectus | Prospectus Feature: A.J. Preller’s Offseason and the Toronto Precedent

Put me in the camp of those who think the Padres won’t compete in the NL West in 2015. They will be better than they were in 2014 but not good enough.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 28, 2015 at 08:47 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, marlins, padres

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Johan Santana gets another chance, signs with Blue Jays

Santana has agreed to join the Blue Jays on a minor-league deal with an invite to major-league spring training. It’s the first step in either a feel-good comeback story or another stalled attempt by Santana to reclaim his MLB glory.

Santana, 35, didn’t pitch in the big leagues in 2013 and 2014, but not for lack of trying. Shoulder surgery prevented him from taking the field in 2013 with the New York Mets. He signed a one-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles last year, but tore his Achilles tendon in June when the O’s assigned him to extended spring training. Santana also missed the 2011 season because of shoulder surgery. He returned to pitch with the Mets in 2012, throwing a no-hitter but posting a 4.85 ERA in 29 starts.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 26, 2015 at 10:12 PM | 30 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, johan santana

Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders injured, out until all-star break

The Blue Jays announced early Thursday morning that left-fielder Michael Saunders suffered a torn meniscus in his left knee in a freak accident at the Mattick Training Centre on Wednesday.

Saunders, a native of Victoria B.C., stepped on an exposed sprinkler head in the outfield during batting practice and heard a pop.

Bad luck for Saunders and the Jays. Not much left in free agency - maybe Andy Dirks would make sense?


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Donaldson already proving great fit with Blue Jays | MLB.com

“I have a pretty good relationship with [A’s GM] Billy Beane,” Anthopoulos said. “We’ve done a bunch of small deals. The one thing about Billy, he’s always open-minded and you can never offend him; you can ask about anybody at any time to make a deal.

“[Donaldson] is somebody we asked about right at the end of the season. We were adamantly told, ‘He’s not going to be moved.’ Then we asked about him a little later. [Beane] was still adamant that [Donaldson] was not going to be moved. Then I guess, about a week before we did the deal, we asked about him again in a conversation, he again said he wouldn’t move him, but it seemed in passing that one of the issues was they wanted to win this year. They might retool, but they weren’t going to tear it down.

“[Beane] wasn’t going to leave a hole at third base. I’m the one who introduced Lawrie at that point. We weren’t going to trade Lawrie, but I wasn’t getting anywhere with trying to get Donaldson. Once I introduced Lawrie to fill that hole for him, he seemed a little bit more open-minded and we took it from there. That was the only way I think things could get off the ground, because [Beane] still had every intention to win.”

Jim Furtado Posted: February 25, 2015 at 05:52 AM | 4 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Blue Jays 1st rounder Pentecost undergoes surgery - Sportsnet.ca

That’s not good.

Max Pentecost recently underwent shoulder surgery in an operation that will delay the 2015 debut of the Toronto Blue Jays’ 2014 first rounder, sources told Sportsnet.

Dr. James Andrews performed the operation, a scope intended to clean out the shoulder joint of the top catching prospect’s throwing arm. Pentecost previously had a shoulder cleanup after the 2014 season, but the operation didn’t work as well as initially hoped.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 21, 2015 at 10:28 AM | 5 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, max pentecost

Friday, February 20, 2015

Posnanski: The Pat Tabler Experience

Tabs was clutch man.

I think about Tabler now because of an email sent by Tom Tango referencing a contradiction in my Strat-O-Matic post. On the one hand, I say I don’t like the horseshoes on Strat-O cards that reference a players ability to hit in the clutch (I have been told by several people that these were actually added to regulate a player’s RBI totals so that they somewhat mirror what happened during the season but it’s the same general thing). On the other hand, I say that I did like the fact that Statis Pro gave Matt Alexander a ridiculously awesome card in 1979 when he only had a few plate appearances. “Pick your poison,” Tom writes. “Do you want to reflect that card relative to what we observed? Or do you want to reflect the card after removing the ESTIMATED random variation?”

I told Tango that I fully embrace that I’m being inconsistent … but it’s mainly because I was 11 years old when I loved the Matt Alexander card. I think that card was ridiculous but wonderful at that point in my life.

In any case, Tango brought up Pat Tabler and I thought back to a question: How much of what Pat Tabler did those three years was luck and random variation? When I was a kid, I was pretty confident that NONE OF IT was luck. The guy was Mr. Clutch. It said so right on his card. Something came over him when the bases were loaded. True, the year the card came out he hit .200 with the bases loaded, which I recall was talked about quite a bit. It’s also true that in 1989, he went 1-for-11 with two double play grounders — and it seemed that whenever he came up with the bases loaded that year, the radio announcers talked about how he was Mr. Clutch which just accentuated the disappointment.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 20, 2015 at 04:24 PM | 24 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cubs, indians, joe posnanski, pat tabler, royals

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Gregg Zaun: “If I had a dollar for every time Cal worked me over, physically, I’d be a pretty wealthy guy.”

With Ornette, Charlie Haden, & Billy Higgins…

...all of a sudden I had what was called “the posse” all over me. Cal Ripken, Ben McDonald, Brady Anderson, Chris Hoiles, all of the above. They beat me on my ribcage, physically abused me on my way to the training table. They taped me spread-eagle to the training table, they wrote “rookie” on my forehead with pink methylate, and they shoved a bucket of ice down my shorts. I missed the entire batting practice, and you know what? Phil Regan, the manager of the Baltimore Orioles, he did not care, because he knew that what those guys were doing was ‘educating me.’

'Spos hits refresh, waits for spring Posted: February 19, 2015 at 04:03 PM | 34 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, old school, stupid ideas

Monday, February 16, 2015

Munenori Kawasaki on mission in Blue Jays return

The always quotable Munenori Kawasaki had an interview in the Star today.  Highlights:

“I’ve been really working on my lower body — not my butt, but the area around my hips and hip joints. The idea is to increase the range of motion so I have the foundation to make better plays on defence and take better at-bats. The result might be a bigger looking butt, but you should stop looking there and watch the way I am moving now.”

[...]

“No one in Japan has ever heard of Indianapolis, but to me it’s a great city because that is where I did it: I threw a guy out at first base on a running, backhanded play in the hole at shortstop, where I jumped and twisted my body in mid-air and was able to throw the ball underhanded all the way to first.  Until then I never had the confidence to try such a thing in a game. I love Toronto, but now I love Indianapolis, too.”

[...]

“In terms of what I want, the Blue Jays offered me the most magnificent deal in the history of baseball.”


Monday, February 09, 2015

THE TOP 10 MLB LINEUPS FOR 2015

2. Blue Jays: Were Dalton Pompey more established, Michael Saunders and Justin Smoak more reliable and second base not such a worry, I’d strongly consider the Blue Jays for the top spot on this list. Alas, those are, of course, all big questions.

Still, there is a lot to like about a lineup that begins with Jose Reyes, Russell Martin, Jose Bautista, Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion. Those are five steady on-base presences and a middle of the order that can straight-up mash.

There are big questions to be answered in Toronto, but you’d be hard-pressed to find (on paper, at least) a lineup with a better top five.


Monday, January 26, 2015

Blue Jays end negotiations for Orioles’ Duquette - Sportsnet.ca

Things have to be uncomfortable in the Orioles front office right now.

Negotiations for Dan Duquette are over after the Toronto Blue Jays refused to consider the Baltimore Orioles’ demands for promising right-hander Jeff Hoffman and two other top prospects as compensation for the executive.
...
Beyond Hoffman, the ninth overall pick in last year’s draft, the Orioles are also believed to have been seeking catcher Max Pentecost, the 11th overall pick in 2014, infielder Mitch Nay and more, demands that the Blue Jays at no point contemplated because of how steep they were.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 26, 2015 at 08:25 AM | 27 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dan duquette, orioles

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Ted Lilly Charged With Felony Insurance Fraud

Flo from Progressive is not going to like this.

The Tribune in San Luis Obispo (Ca.) reports that Lilly was charged back in October with three felony counts of “filing a false insurance claim, filing a false statement in connection with an insurance claim, and concealing a material fact in connection with an insurance claim,” and faces five years in jail.

According to the Department of Insurance, the uninsured Lilly got an estimate for damage on his motor home, bought insurance five days later, and then claimed the damage four days after that…

According to Kincaid, many body shops enter repair estimates into a database accessible by insurance companies. Lilly was caught in a sting that has netted at least 200 people who bought or enhanced their coverage after an accident occurred.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: January 24, 2015 at 10:30 PM | 29 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, cubs, police blotter, ted lilly

Friday, January 23, 2015

Updated thoughts on the Dan Duquette situation - Baltimore Sun

For a long time Dan Duquette was a pariah in baseball. Peter Angelos took a chance and brought him back. Although I understand Angelos’ desire to either keep Duquette in Baltimore or get significant return from the Blue Jays to let him go, I can’t see how forcing Duquette to stay in Baltimore will turn out to be a good outcome.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 23, 2015 at 09:26 AM | 15 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, dan duquette, orioles

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Has Josh Donaldson reached his peak? - SweetSpot Blog - ESPN

David Schoenfield takes a look.

Jim Furtado Posted: January 10, 2015 at 11:00 AM | 17 comment(s)
  Beats: athletics, blue jays, josh donaldson

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects for 2015 - Minor League Ball

The John Sickels Top 20.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 30, 2014 at 08:46 AM | 0 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, prospects

Monday, December 29, 2014

Nine possible spots for Max Scherzer: Star FA without a team, or a rumor - CBSSports.com

Will Boras really be able to convince a team to go $200 million on Scherzer?

9. Yankees: Hal Steinbrenner has been weighing Scherzer for weeks, but in recent days indications are Steinbrenner still isn’t ready to dive in, and they’ve said as much. Many rotation question questions carry over from last season, and it appears that for now at least, talented youngster Nate Eovaldi is the answer to McCarthy’s departure. Their starting group could be very good, but there’s a lot of uncertainty, from Mashiro Tanaka’s elbow to CC Sabathia’s knee to Ivan Nova’s elbow to Michael Pineda’s ability to continue to perform. The issue is this: With a 50 percent tax for them, a $28 million salary for Scherzer would cost them $42 million, steep even by Yankees standards.


Sunday, December 28, 2014

Despite losses, Orioles still perched on top in AL East - Sports - The Boston Globe

No excuse? How about if the price tags on the available starters are unreasonable? Don’t get me wrong. Getting an ace would be great. Getting an ace at the expense of too much talent, though, is a price they shouldn’t be willing to pay. That’s especially true if you believe having the ace will only get the team to 84-88 wins.

To do: Find an ace. The Red Sox have no excuse for leaving themselves short in this area. They have player and financial resources to obtain free agents such as Max Scherzer or James Shields, and trade for Cole Hamels, David Price, or Jordan Zimmermann. John Henry said the team can go over the $189 million luxury tax threshold for a year. And they need another lefty in the bullpen.

Ugh.

5. As fun as it is to pore over some sabermetric stats, batting average, home runs, and RBIs pretty much tell the story of a hitter. For a top-of-the-order speed guy, walks, on-base percentage, and stolen bases do the same.

Backup job at DH?

8. Ryan Lavarnway, C, Orioles — The Orioles were the fourth team Lavarnway ended up with in December, when he was passed around on waivers from Boston to the Dodgers to the Cubs and now to the Orioles. Lavarnway could compete for a backup job at DH.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 02:50 PM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, orioles, rays, red sox, yankees

Blue Jays await Takashi Toritani decision | Toronto Star

[Takashi] Toritani, who hired notorious baseball agent Scott Boras to guide his transition to the big leagues, is currently mulling offers from the Jays and San Diego Padres, according to Japanese news reports. The Padres are believed to be offering a chance to play shortstop, while in Toronto Toritani would be moved to second, where he played at the 2013 World Baseball Classic. Given his age, Toritani is likely to sign a short-term deal of just one or two years. Since he is a free agent, no posting fee is required to sign him.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 28, 2014 at 08:39 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, japanese baseball, padres, rumors, takashi toritani

Monday, December 15, 2014

Toronto Blue Jays eye Washington Nationals’ Mike Rizzo as CEO replacement - ESPN

The Toronto Blue Jays have expressed interest in Mike Rizzo, the Washington Nationals president of baseball operations and general manager, as a candidate to replace Paul Beeston as team president and CEO, two industry sources told ESPN.com.

Rizzo joins Baltimore’s Dan Duquette, Minnesota’s Terry Ryan and Kenny Williams of the Chicago White Sox as the latest baseball executive to be mentioned as a possibility to succeed Beeston, whose future with the Toronto organization has been shrouded in mystery of late.

Jim Furtado Posted: December 15, 2014 at 06:34 AM | 1 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Brett Lawrie Surprises Little Girl Who Cried Over His Trade From The Blue Jays

Brett Lawrie = good dude

The Toronto Blue Jays recently acquired third baseman Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics in exchange for infielder Brett Lawrie and a few other players. While many Blue Jays fans would agree that the trade helped the team, one six-year-old fan was heartbroken over losing her precious Lawrie.

Lawrie deserves the good guy award. He tracked down his heartbroken fan named Ameilia and spent some time with her, hanging out and grabbing some pizza.

eddieot Posted: December 14, 2014 at 09:13 AM | 7 comment(s)
  Beats: blue jays, brett lawrie, oakland a's

Sunday, December 07, 2014

2014 Toronto Blue Jays Holiday Special

From the YouTube account that brought you recaps of Blue Jays seasons in the style of classic RPG games, it’s the 2014 Blue Jays Holiday Special!  Features Brett Lawrie, Alex Anthopoulos, Jose Bautista, Fergie Oliver, catcher of the future Max Pencarnacion and a special guest appearance by Bob McCown.


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