Blue Jays Weekend Brew: Lawrie starts rehab, Osuna, Graveman promoted, trade deadline discussion


It’s Friday before the long weekend for those of us here in Canada and we’ve had about 24 hours to digest what happened at this year’s ludicrous MLB Trade Deadline: Non-Waiver Edition. The Toronto Blue Jays’ front office sat on the sidelines while the action took place, with every other team in the AL East making a move.

Whether or not that ends up being the correct decision remains to be seen. As it stands now, things look good. The Jays are riding a six-game winning streak and sit just one and a half games back of the Baltimore Orioles for first place in the division. They are also three games clear of the Seattle Mariners for the second wild card spot and according to FanGraphs projections have a 62.6% chance of making the playoffs and rather decent shot at the division crown at 39.8%.

At least for now, as a team without a clear path to a division title, it’s understandable why the Blue Jays didn’t go for broke at the non-waiver trade deadline. I’m not so sure they’ll be able to add another piece or two before the waiver trade deadline but as it stands now, at the very least, we should have some exciting baseball on our hands for the next two (hopefully plus) months and if a few positional players can be added to the grapevine of young pitching talent, for the next several years as well.

Here are your latest news and rumours about the Toronto Blue Jays:

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star writes that the Toronto Blue Jays improved their playoff chances by doing nothing at the non-waiver trade deadline. Now that David Price and Jon Lester have been shipped out of the division, the Jays will avoid facing either lefty stud as often from now until the rest of the season. The Blue Jays have three series remaining versus the Rays and two against the Red Sox while they only face Detroit once and won’t see the A’s for the rest of the regular season.

However, as Sportsnet shares, the Blue Jays lost the trade deadline WAR. The Yankees improved their team by 3.1 wins above replacement with Chase Headley, Brandon McCarthy, Martin Prado and Stephen Drew while the Orioles gained a win and a half with the acquisition of Andrew Miller alone. The Mariners also added about a win above replacement Austin Jackson, Chris Denorfia and Kendrys Morales. The Blue Jays addition of Danny Valencia adds basically nil projected value (0.2 fWAR) to the Blue Jays’ win total and has been exactly replacement level this season.

In an excellent piece at DJF, Andrew Stoeten takes the time to think (and write) about what happened at the trade deadline. Other than what the Yankees were able to land for next to nothing, it’s reasonable enough to believe there weren’t any deals available that were to the Blue Jays liking. It’s seems like Prado going to the Yankees was the hardest pill for the Jays’ players to swallow but he’ll come at quite a cost over the next two seasons and, as Stoeten mentions, this team might already be tight for payroll next year with Melky Cabrera still playing without an extension.

Over at Tip of the Tower, Chris Okrainetz looks at the Blue Jays’ all-time best trade deadline trades.

In good news, Brett Lawrie will begin his rehab assignment tonight and will suit up at second base according to the Dunedin Blue Jays twitter account.

In not so good news, Deck McGuire pitched six scoreless innings in his first start with his new club, the Oakland Athletics’ Triple-A affiliate Sacramento River Cats. Deck started strong with the Bisons before fading fast but there’s a part of me that still wishes the Jays didn’t give up on him quite so fast.

Right-handed pitcher Kendall Graveman has been promoted to the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons after making just one start at Double-A. The 2013 eighth round draft pick has climbed four levels this year alone after starting the season in Low-A Lansing.

Roberto Osuna has also been promoted and will make his first start at High-A with the Dunedin Blue Jays this evening. Osuna hasn’t pitched since July 8th so people were starting to worry but it appears he’s in good health and ready for the challenge of Advanced Class-A just 30 days past his 19th birthday.

There’s been a tonne of movement to the Blue Jays minor league system today and a few more interesting promotions. RHP Taylor Cole has been promoted to Double-A New Hamsphire, RHP Jeremy Gabryszwski has been promoted to High-A Dunedin and Miguel Castro has been promoted to Low-A Lansing. You can keep up-to-date with all of the Blue Jays minor league move through the unofficial @BlueJaysMoves on Twitter.

And closing out, Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter looks at what Juan Francisco has done in 0-2 counts. Spoiler Alert: It’s not pretty.