Blue Jays Podcast: New President & Shane Dawson!


Episode #45 of the Jays’ Nest Podcast brings you our reactions to the presser that introduced Mark Shapiro to Blue Jays Land as the new club president. He met with the media today and said his “Hellos”. We found some pretty key messages in what he had to say. From the new GM to the manager, from free agency to possible trades, some messages were more clear than others. We break it down. We then sit down for a chat with Canadian prospect, Shane Dawson, who just had a great 2015 season between Lansing and Dunedin.


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After a few days of speculating and grumbling over the loss of GM, Alex Anthopoulos, Blue Jays fans were anxiously awaiting the press conference that would give us our first look at new president Mark Shapiro. Up until this point, opinions ranged from “This guy drove AA out and therefore is evil” to “Let’s wait and see what he has to say” to “Let’s wait and see what he actually does”.

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Some of the messages we took away from his conference were that Tony LaCava will step in as interim GM and John Gibbons would return as manager. While the former decision wasn’t all that surprising, the latter should not have been. For some reason people always forget that Gibby has the clever clause in his contract that means he’ll be around for one more year. If they fire him now, they’d still need to pay him for 2016. And, considering his handling of such a highly talented roster and the fact that he won the AL East, it wouldn’t really be good optics to can him right now.

Oddly, what people really wanted to know was how this club will proceed with regards to picking up club options on R.A. Dickey, Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. While he referred to those decisions as “easy”, the reasoning behind them might not be so welcoming. Those players would be under contract on very club friendly terms. Should Shapiro look to regain some prospect capital, these guys might be the pieces required to do so. That is not to say the Blue Jays will or should look to trade any of these guys. But, Shapiro’s trade history might indicate he’d consider it.

Some other news of note is that Shapiro seems to be in favor of signing long term contracts beyond the prohibitive 5 Yr limit the Blue Jays operated under in the past. This is good news when you consider whether they will make a run at free agent, David Price. Shapiro was very clear to point out that he doesn’t agree with making hard and fast, blanket rules, opting for a more case by case approach. His press conference left us feeling various levels of confidence depending upon how much you read between the lines, which can always be a bad habit.

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

To wrap up the show, we sat down with Shane Dawson who threw in two levels of the Blue Jays system: Lansing and Dunedin. The 22 year old lefty from Alberta enjoyed quite the breakout season in 2015. He threw a career high 127 innings over the two levels. We asked him about how his shoulder was holding up with such a workload since he is missing the infraspinatus muscle in his left throwing shoulder. 

We also asked him how he was able to collect such a high number of strikeouts (120) without lighting up the radar gun. Indeed, you would think that a guy with that many strikeouts would be just blowing the ball by hitters. That is not the case with Dawson. Instead, he relies on keeping batters off balance through a careful game plan that he establishes with his catchers and coaches, to whom he extends a great deal of credit and respect.

Next: Pt 3 of Our Wrap of the Blue Jays 2015 Draft Class

Dawson feels comfortable in building on the year that he had in 2015 and is home in Alberta looking ahead to a 2016 season where he has his sights set on possibly reaching AA New Hampshire. While some prospects get hurried through the system with their lightning arms, Dawson just might attain his goal through grit and determination, which is a large part of the scouting report he gave us on himself.