***Updated up to January 5th, 2016***
The Toronto Blue Jays are officially in offseason mode, and here at Jays Journal, we’ve got you covered. Along with individual coverage of all free agent targets, trade speculation and Blue Jays rumors, we’ll also be running this official offseason tracker as your go-to hub for the latest rumors and news.
Rumors, signings and trades will be updated in real time under several sub-headers to bring you the most comprehensive look possible at the Blue Jays offseason. Anything whispered or tweeted from a reliable source within Major League Baseball, you’ll find it here. So bookmark this page and check back in often. You won’t miss a thing.
Additionally, treat this page as a blank canvas for any general free agent and offseason discussion you’d like to have in the coming weeks. Think the Houston Astros made a great move or the Kansas City Royals overpaid? Let’s hear about it. Think the Blue Jays should be targeting an outside-the-box player that nobody has mentioned yet? The floor is yours.
- September 28th, Doug Fister – One big reach back for this one, as we explored a Jeff Blair report that the Jays would “make a play” for Fister. That’s pre-Shapiro era, of course.
- November 6th, Chris Davis – Ken Rosenthal lists the Blue Jays as a fit for Davis. Some have taken this to mean club interest, but it’s far from concrete.
- November 8th, Byung-Ho Park – Blue Jays do not win bidding for Korean slugger. Interesting wording from Heyman, though, as it suggests Toronto had a bid on the table.
- November 10th, Aroldis Chapman – Jon Heyman reports the star close is available in trade talks, and that the Blue Jays discussed him ahead of the 2015 deadline.
- November 11th, Zack Greinke – Blue Jays rumored to be considering a contract offer.
- November 12th, Marco Estrada – Reportedly negotiating a multi-year deal ahead of the deadline for Estrada to decide on qualifying offer. **Later Update: Estrada and Blue Jays rumored to be close on two year deal worth $24-$29 million.
- November 18th, Cleveland Indians – Toronto reportedly one of three teams in preliminary trade talks to acquire a starting pitcher for an “everyday” outfielder.
- November 23rd, David Price – David Kaplan suggests Price might be headed back to Toronto, but as of November 23rd, we’re not close to buying it.
- November 29th, Ryan Madson – Jerry Crasnick suggests the Jays are looking for relievers with closing experience, and that Madson is on their list.
- December 2nd – According to a Jerry Crasnick report, the Blue Jays are trying to add an impactful bullpen arm on “dollar store” prices.
- December 7th, Chris Davis – A rumor emered that Davis and the Jays were in a “serious contract dance” though it was swiftly discounted.
- December 8th, Brewers – The Jays reportedly held talks with Milwaukee. Though names weren’t released, Wily Peralta or bullpen help could both be possible targets.
- December 8th, Craig Stammen – Jays in talks with 31-year old reliever as rebound target.
- December 9th, Yusmeiro Petit – The former Giants reliever continues to surface in talks.
- December 17th, Cory Luebke – Reported interest in the former Padres pitcher.
- November 3rd – Blue Jays exercise club options on Jose Bautista at $14 million, Edwin Encarnacion at $10 million and R.A. Dickey at $12 million.
- November 6th – Club extends $15.8 million qualifying offer to Marco Estrada.
- November 13th – Marco Estrada signs two-year, $26 million contract.
- November 20th – Humberto Quintero signs MiLB deal with spring training invite.
- November 20th – Liam Hendriks traded to Oakland Athletics for Jesse Chavez.
- November 23rd – Casey Kotchman, David Adams and Jiovanni Mier signed to MiLB deals including an invitation to spring training.
- November 24th – RHP Murphy Smith signs MiLB deal (spent 2015 with Hi-A Dunedin)
- November 24th – LHP Scott Diamond signs MiLB deal
- November 27th – J.A. Happ signs 3-year, $36 million free agent contract.
- December 2nd (Internal) – Jays tender contracts to nine of ten arbitration eligible players, excluding Thole. Justin Smoak signs one-year, $3.9 million contract. Thole would later be re-signed on a one-year, $800,000 contract.
- December 9th – Darwin Barney returns on a one-year Major League contract.
- December 10th – RHP Joe Biagini drafted from Giants organization in MLB Rule 5 Draft.
- December 17th – Wade LeBlanc signed to minor league contract.
- December 17th – Brad Penny signs minor league deal with opt-out clause.
- December 18th – Junior Lake claimed off waivers from the Baltimore Orioles.
- December 18th – Roberto Hernandez, Pat McCoy, Scott Copeland sign minor league deals.
- December 28th – Brandon Bixler and Gabe Noyalis sign minor league deals.
Confirmed Prominent Additions:
- October 15th – Pat Venditte, an ambidextrous relief pitcher, was claimed off waivers from the Oakland Athletics.
- November 13th – Marco Estrada (Free agent signing)
- November 20th – Humberto Quintero (MiLB free agent signing)
- November 20th – Jesse Chavez (Trade)
- November 23rd – Casey Kotchman (MiLB free agent signing)
- November 23rd – David Adams (MiLB free agent signing)
- November 23rd – Jiovanni Mier (MiLB free agent signing)
- November 24th – Scott Diamond (MiLB free agent signing)
- November 27th – J.A. Happ (Free agent signing)
- December 9th – Darwin Barney (Free agent signing)
- December 10th – Joe Biagini (Rule 5 Draft pick)
- December 17th – Wade LeBlanc (MiLB free agent signing)
- December 17th – Brad Penny (MiLB free agent signing)
- December 18th – Junior Lake (Waiver claim)
- December 18th – Roberto Hernandez (MiLB free agent signing)
- December 18th – Pat McCoy (MiLB free agent signing)
- December 18th – Scott Copeland (MiLB free agent signing)
Confirmed MLB Subtractions:
Note: Any player with an MLB appearance in 2015 will be considered in this category
- October 5th – Steven Tolleson and Todd Redmond elect free agency.
October 22nd– Darwin Barney elects free agency.
- November 2nd – David Price, Mark Buehrle, Marco Estrada, LaTroy Hawkins, Mark Lowe, Dioner Navarro, Munenori Kawasaki, Cliff Pennington and Jeff Francis elect free agency.
- November 3rd – Maicer Izturis (2016 team option declined, granting Izturis free agency)
- November 4th – Jonathan Diaz elects free agency from AAA.
- November 6th –
Scott CopelandAndrew Albers, and Colt Hynes elect free agency from AAA.
- November 20th – Liam Hendriks (Trade)
- November 24th – Matt Hague released from AAA Buffalo.
Prominent Minor League Subtractions:
Note: Players will be referenced by the team they were with at the time of transaction
- October 14th – Donn Roach elects free agency from AAA.
- November 2nd – Boomer Collins, Griffin Murphy, Christian Vazquez and Arik Sikula released from Hi-A. Sean Hurley, Kevin Garcia, Michael Kraft and Bob Wheatley released from A (Vancouver). John Kravetz, Joe Claver, Dean Bell released from rookie ball (Bluefield). Wilmin Lara, Jean Almanzar, Jose Acosta and Guillermo De La Cruz released from DSL.
- November 6th – Chris Dickerson, Ryan Schimpf, Danny Dorn, Greg Burke, John Anderson, Caleb Gindl, Brad Glenn, Alex Hassan, Bobby Korecky and George Kottaras elect free agency from AAA. Cory Burns, Dustin Antolin, Cole Garner, Greg Infante, Austin Bibens-Dirkx and Scott Barnes elect free agency from AA. Lendy Castillo elects free agency from Hi-A. Carlos Ramirez elects free agency from Single-A.
- November 7th – Ty Kelly elects free agency from AAA. Michael Lee elects free agency from AA.
- November 23rd – Brandon Hinkle released from A (Vancouver)
- November 9th – Scout Ismael Cruz signed away from the Blue Jays by the Los Angeles Dodgers. Cruz discovered and signed Miguel Castro, played a prominent role in signing Vladdy Guerrero Jr. and helped to head up the Latin America scouting operations under Anthopoulos.
- November 10th – A Rick Westhead report suggests that management will have a payroll of $140 million from Rogers ownership with the potential for more if the right situation arises.
- November 10th – Tony LaCava given a longterm extension by the Blue Jays. At the time of signing, LaCava remains under the “interim” tag at GM. Contract is not role-specific.
- November 18th – Brady Dragmire and Blake McFarland added to 40-man roster.
- November 19th – Josh Donaldson named American League Most Valuable Player.
- November 20th – Longtime Blue Jays scout Mike Mangan leaves to take job as Pittsburgh Pirates assistant scouting director.
- November 27th – Blue Jays reportedly interview Rene Francisco for GM position.
- December 1st – Blue Jays reportedly interested in former Indians and Mariners manager Eric Wedge for a position within the organization.
- December 3rd – Ross Atkins named general manager, Tony LaCava receives new title.
- December 7th – Edwin Encarnacion has reportedly set a negotiating deadline of Spring Training as he enters his free agent walk year.
- December 9th – President Mark Shapiro insists that the budget is due to increase from 2015’s.