Blue Jays Morning Brew: Comparing Contracts, AFL Updates and the Anthopoulos Era


Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Josh Johnson (55) delivers a pitch against the Boston Red Sox at Rogers Centre. Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Thanksgiving fellow Canucks!

With the Canadian long weekend already in full swing there hasn’t been much written about the Toronto Blue Jays lately. However, that won’t stop us from digging deep into the cupboards for a turkey-day appetizer. Bon appetit!

We covered this briefly during Thursday’s Morning Brew but I wanted to throw in my two cents. Richard Griffin at the Toronto Star says that the Blue Jays may not be done with pitcher Josh Johnson . Griff writes “even if the Jays don’t make that qualifying offer, they still may want to be the team from which Johnson attempts to relaunch his career.” Apparently the fact that Johnson will throw off a mound again and AA has stated that he’s looking to bring in a “comeback pitcher who unexpectedly contributes.” Griffin compares the contract given to Scott Kazmir by the Cleveland Indians ($1M guaranteed, $1.75M with performance bonuses) and insinuates the Jays could try a similar type of contract with Johnson.

Let’s take a step back for a minute. Yes, Josh Johnson was really, really bad this year. But Kazmir was really, really bad for nearly four years. He wound up playing in the independent Atlantic League in 2012, which for reference is the same league that Ryan Langerhans played in before the Blue Jays signed him. It’s a big stretch to compare Johnson’s potential worth to a player that wasn’t even playing at the MLB level the year before he signed such a bargain of a contract. Teams will most likely stay away from any long-term commitments but with decent peripherals I wouldn’t be shocked if Johnson receives an offer that is substantially better than Kazmir’s.

Clint from Bluebird Banter provides us with an update on a few of the Toronto Blue Jays top prospects. He includes a promising projection for outfielder Kevin Pillar along with Ryan Goins/John McDonald comparisons from a recent Baseball America chat. He also has updates on Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez and Kenny Wilson from the Arizona Fall League.

Jay Blue also provides us with his Arizona Fall League updates at Blue Jays From Away plus a report on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats hitters in 2013.

500 Level Fan takes a critical look at the Alex Anthopoulos era in Toronto but overall I think there is still a lot to like about the young GM’s tenure in Toronto.