Blue Jays Morning Brew: Bullpen, Ben Zobrist & More

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Well, this is the last Blue Jays Morning Brew of 2014. It’s been an up and down year that has ended with a relatively quiet month of December. Here’s what’s been going around to wrap up 2014.

Tim Boyle at Call to the Pen discusses how Josh Donaldson may have a career year after being traded to the Blue Jays. Boyle cites the breakouts of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion after being dealt to Toronto. He forgot to mention, though that Encarnacion had a rough patch in Toronto that saw the club toss him aside before his real breakout. But, belting 112 Hr since 2012 will make anyone forget about that.

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Greg Warren of TheScore gives us the projected lineups and rotations for each team in the AL East. Of course, there is still some time for things to change, but I actually like the chances of the Blue Jays in this division. Some will say that Baltimore is still the top team, but their rotation leaves a lot to be desired. We might be coming in to a very exciting 2015 season. I can’t wait.

At Sportsnet.ca, Ben Nicholson-Smith gives us a rundown of what has been spent thus far this winter in the AL East ($362.5M). But as Nicholson-Smith also points out, there is much more work to be done. He points out what many have been discussing: that New York has been relatively quiet and guys like James Shields and Max Scherzer are still out there. 

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  • At the star, Richard Griffin tells us that Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos is taking a big risk by waiting for the right deal to fall into his lap as he tries to address the bullpen. We’ve always been told that the bullpen is the easiest area to address, but thsi winter it seems like it is the most difficult. Griffin says that AA seems to be looking for a very specific type of reliever- one that is under 31 yrs of age. But, that is not the most interesting part. No, Griffin figures that the Blue Jays are working with just $9M left to spend to accomplish the improvements needed.

    Switching gears, John Sickels lists his Top 20 Blue Jays prospects for 2015. He gives each player a letter grade along with their ranking. It may surprise some to see that Daniel Norris holds the top spot followed by Aaron Sanchez and Dalton Pompey. This may seem debatable to lots of folks. In fact, there will be lots of prospects lists, including ours, so stay tuned.

    RaysIndex.com says now that the Rays have signed Asdrubal Cabrera, Ben Zobrist is the odd man out. You would think that the Rays could move him to the outfield, but that is not an option due to how many outfielders they already possess. Rays Index suggests the giants may be the likely landing spot for Zobrist, but I am sure there are many Blue Jays fans who would love to see him come North.

    To further the Ben Zobrist train a little bit, Matt Snyder of CBSSports.com points out the super versatility Zobrist brings to any club. Snyder lists several clubs and why Zobrist would be a good pick up for them. When he gets to the Blue Jays, he says this: “The current setup has Michael Saunders in left, Dalton Pompey in center and Maicer Izturis at second.” Now, Ryan Goins may end up getting the nod at second, but that doesn’t take away from the unsettling feeling the above sentence brings. If anything it adds more uneasiness. Previously, fans may have been happy with the moves the Blue Jays have made. But seeing the faith being put into Saunders, Pompey and Izturis/Goins suddenly makes Zobrist that much more of a ‘must have’.