Blue Jays Morning Brew: Arbitration, Kershaw, Morrow, Mechanics and More


Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher

Brandon Morrow

pronating his right arm. Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Blue Jays News and Rumours

Today at 1:00 PM is the deadline for arbitration eligible players and their clubs to exchange salary figures. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet provides us with a quick primer, which includes salary predictions for the three tendered Blue Jays Colby Rasmus, Brett Cecil and Esmil Rogers.

Now that Clayton Kershaw has agreed to a seven-year $215 million extension with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet explains the Blue Jays options in the “post-Kershaw” market and how it may affect their strategy. Firstly, Davidi writes, it “should increase their reluctance to trade from their stable of young arms on the verge of breaking through.” Secondly, he states “they should now have more incentive to sign one of Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez and Matt Garza.” Although Max Scherzer, Homer Bailey, James Shields and Jon Lester could all become free agents after the 2014 season, Davidi reminds us the cost of “acquiring mid-to-upper range arms isn’t getting cheaper” and Masahiro Tanaka, even at $100 million, “may end up below market rather quickly if he fulfills that potential.”

Shi later added via Twitter that Blue Jays’ GM Alex Anthopoulos still feels that the acquisition cost is too high for free agent pitchers and trade targets. And in another piece, he writes that AA “continues to approach the off-season like a bargain-hunter patiently awaiting a Boxing Day blowout, a tactic that could land him pitching help at a discount or leave him empty-handed once the rush comes.”

Gregor Chisholm at writes that Brandon Morrow “projects to become the club’s biggest wild card” but could give the Blue Jays a big lift in 2014 if he’s healthy. Morrow says he doesn’t feel any added pressure going into this season and has always viewed himself as a top three starter. Chisholm adds that Morrow’s “forearm issues are now ancient history”, which is an excellent segue to our next piece.

Chris Sherwin tackles Morrow’s mechanics in an outstanding piece of work at Blue Jays Plus. Chris identified that Morrow’s forced supination, along with his lack of pronation, may very well be leading to the irritation of the radial nerve he experienced. Anthopoulos originally linked Morrow’s usage of his cutter as a correlating factor with the injury. However Sherwin sees a different picture and says “instead it is unhealthy mechanics and years of nerve irritation that have finally caught up to Brandon Morrow.” It’s a fascinating read that my brief summary doesn’t do justice to. Hopefully the Blue Jays will hop aboard the biomechanics bandwagon before it’s too late.

Even Morrow admitted he doesn’t think the injury came from the cutter, as John Lott of the National Post shared from the Bisons’ Luncheon yesterday. He says he doesn’t know what caused it but feels confident that he is fully back after experiencing no problems or soreness during the rehab process. It sounds like good news but I was hoping someone would ask if he plans on pronating more in 2014.

Minor Leaguer from Bluebird Banter was at the Buffalo Bisons Hot Stove Luncheon and shares updates from the annual affair. Most notably, Anthopoulos mentioned that he expects J.A. Happ to be in the starting rotation for 2014 but as ML reminds us AA also said last year he expected Happ to be the Bisons’ opening day starter, which obviously didn’t happen after Ricky Romero struggled in spring training. Other items discussed include the possibility of grass at Rogers Centre, adjustments made to the strength and conditioning program and of course, Star Wars night.