Blue Jays Morning Brew: It’s deadline week, so buckle up


It’s going to be a long day in Blue Jays land. Their crippling defeat in extra innings will linger through the entire off day, leaving the runway clear for fans to question John Gibbons, Aaron Loup and their personal choice in sports teams. The 3-3 road trip stings, but for the Blue Jays, life marches on. The direction of the march has yet to be determined, though, with the MLB trade deadline looming on Friday.

The Blue Jays continue to float in the middle, just disappointing enough for many to cry for a sell-off. That’s clearly a bit excessive with this offense, but if you’re Alex Anthopoulos, a loss like last night’s in Seattle does not make your job any easier. Ahead, we look at the weekend of stories around your Blue Jays, both trade-related and otherwise.

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Reds asked for Stroman?!  –  Shi Davidi of Sportnet pulls back the curtain on any negotiations held between the Cincinnati Royals and Toronto Blue Jays regarding Johnny Cueto. The ace was dealt on Sunday to the Kansas City Royals for a package including young pitcher Brandon Finnegan. According to Davidi, the Reds were eyeing Marcus Stroman as part of a Jays package.

Not just that, Cincy was after “Stroman plus other prospects”. Considering that Cueto would be a straight rental in a market like Toronto, it was wise of the Blue Jays to have a nice chuckle and walk away. It’s also important to remember that other teams do not value Toronto’s prospects like we do. Some may ranker higher, some lower. Many draw the quick comparison of “Daniel Norris is a better prospect than Finnegan”, but the only opinion that matters in that situation is the one of Cincinnati.

The Bringer of Game  –  Sportsnet’s Arden Zwelling brings us a fantastic “Big Read” on third baseman Josh Donaldson, examining how he has impacted the team both on and off the field. This is a must-read, and helps to make some sense of the “culture change” that we hear of often, but rarely see in a concrete form.

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Zwelling details the split personality of Donaldson, a fun-loving free spirit off the baseball diamond, but an uber-focused student of the game in between the white lines. His impact on Devon Travis was especially impressive, and proves just how quickly the All Star has taken control of the locker room.

“But JD, man, that’s my guy. That’s my dude. From spring training on, he’s given me such a boost, always coming to me, helping me out. I’ll be 0-for-4, in a little rut, and he’s bringing me my glove, being like, ‘You’re doing good, man—keep going. It’ll come.’ And that’s an all-star right there saying that. I don’t know where I’d be without the guy.”

Pompey continues to rake  –  Blue Jays outfield prospect Dalton Pompey had another monster day at the plate on Saturday, collecting five hits and falling just a home run shy of hitting for the cycle. While his potential of being recalled to the Major League club remains uncertain in the short-term, Pompey is conquering AAA pitching in his second stint, and that adjustment is encouraging. Kelsie Heneghan of spoke with the Canadian, who seems to see the game slowing down.

“Ever since I left Double-A, I just felt really good. I don’t think anything is different with me moreso mentally, it’s just preparing myself and doing the same things every day, focusing on the five at-bats or so in the game and on defense and that’s it. And whatever happens, happens,” he said. “Right now, a lot of good things are happening, so I can’t complain.”

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