View of the under construction Rogers Centre turf at the Blue Jays’ State of the Franchise address. Credit: Michael Wray
Toronto Blue Jays News & Rumours
At last week’s State of the Franchise address, Toronto Blue Jays’ president Paul Beeston announced that it was the team’s goal to have grass installed at Rogers Centre for the 2018 season. It hasn’t been confirmed that the changeover will actually happen yet but with the Toronto Argos leaving the dome by December 31, 2017 (or earlier) the possibility seems more than realistic.
However what are the Blue Jays planning to do about their awful turf in the meantime? Ian Hunter of The Blue Jay Hunter wrote on Monday that he was told by a truly “anonymous” source that the Jays would be making improvements to the current AstroTurf for the 2014 baseball season.
Minor Leaguer of Bluebird Banter dug a little deeper into the story and contacted Stephen Brooks, who is the Blue Jays’ senior vice-president of baseball operations. Brooks told him that the current turf infill, which is currently mostly made up of sand, will be replaced with a higher content of rubber, or ideally, all rubber. ML does a great job explaining everything so go ahead and give it a read if you haven’t already.
Michael Grange of Sportsnet looks at the effect of the dropping Canadian dollar on sports franchises north of the 49th. Hopefully concerns over a fluctuating currency aren’t holding the Blue Jays back from acquiring additional contract commitments this off-season. Beeston says the Blue Jays are already “locked and loaded” when it comes to payroll but doesn’t really say if it would affect future acquisitions or are simply committed to the contracts they already have on the books.
Jeff Baker would have been an excellent, cheap addition for the Blue Jays but he ended up agreeing to a two-year deal with the Miami Marlins earlier this week. As Andrew Stoeten explains at DJF, whether it was concerns over Baker’s personality or an unwillingness to deal with his agent Scott Boras, neither is a good excuse for the Jays’ failure to land the veteran lefty masher. Florida is a tax-free state, which means it would have likely taken more total dollars to bring him to Toronto but it’s tough to watch a seemingly perfect fit for the Jays sign with another team.
Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted that Ervin Santana‘s price has dropped significantly and might be down to a three-year deal… USA Today names the Blue Jays as one of the off-season’s biggest losers… Robert Emrich of MiLB.com has a Q&A with Marcus Stroman.