Blue Jays Morning News: Shapiro, AA & Tulo


The Blue Jays offseason has been slowly simmering. Jays Journal looks at some news and links regarding Mark Shapiro, Tulo and Alex Anthopoulos.

This offseason for the Blue Jays is looking to be much different than the last one. Rather than big splashes, it looks like the Mark Shapiro Blue Jays are going to make smaller, quiet moves like the Jesse Chavez trade of a few days ago. Whatever is cooking, seems to be happening in an Easy Bake Oven.

Remember, we’ll keep you up to date with our Blue Jays Offseason Tracker!

Those Poor Yankees– Ken Davidoff of the New York Post writes that the Blue Jays are in a position that is unique: they have their offense fully in tact heading into 2016. It is the same offense that led the planet in scoring. The Yankees? Well, they are not so fortunate. Depending on what the Blue Jays do, the Yankees could very well be in tough against the reigning division champions(!).

Toronto Blue Jays
Toronto Blue Jays /

Toronto Blue Jays

Davidoff highlights the challenges that loom for the new leader of Canada’s only team. Specifically, Shapiro talks about the disadvantage the Blue Jays face when competing with Yankee (and Red Sox) dollars. His analytics tell him that it is a 4-10 win deficit that faces his club based on spending. Many were interested in the financial differences between running the Cleveland Indians and the Blue Jays.

This disadvantage is actually familiar territory for Shapiro: “…we still have to be finite with our resources. We still have to manage risk. We still have to find competitive advantages and bridge big resource gaps. That’s familiar to me.” Just what that means for the Blue Jays and their offseason is yet unknown. But, if Shapiro can figure it out, the Yankees are in trouble for 2016.

Shapiro the Trader– At The Star, Richard Griffin outlines the trades that Shapiro has been responsible for during his time in Cleveland. He uses those as evidence that trades will be important for the Blue Jays moving forward. He also opines that the Chavez trade doesn’t do a whole lot to help the rotation concerns. Griffin puts it nicely when he says that it raises the floor of the rotation, but not the ceiling. It certainly is not the kind of trade we may have seen under Alex Anthopoulos.

But, what is a more interesting point in Griffin’s post his thoughts on the departure of Latin American scouting director, Ismael Cruz. Many were seeing this as a sign of organizational staff bolting under new management and feared its impact on obtaining players from Latin America. But, as Griffin points out Shapiro has done a good job gathering talent from this area: “The Indians system Sharpiro left has third baseman Jose Ramirez and starting pitcher Danny Salazar at the major-league level, plus 17 of the Indians’ most highly regarded prospects signed via international scouting, with seven of those labelled as Top 30 prospects in the last Baseball America pre-season handbook.” Still worried?

More from Jays Journal

AA to the NHL? Over at The Sun, Steve Simmons says he has two sources telling him that Alex Anthopoulos is being wooed by the Pheonix (I can still say Pheonix, right?) Coyotes, of the N-H-L! Apparently, the call came rather shortly after he walked away from the Blue Jays job. It is an interesting study to see if management abilities can transfer from sport to sport. In theory, it makes sense in that the analysis and valuing process could compare once you learn the nuances of the sport. Or, maybe there is no transfer at all. Would anyone be comfortable with Brian Burke taking a shot at running the Blue Jays?

Tulo to First? You may have heard that there’s been a lot of chatter lately about the possibility of moving short stop, Troy Tulowitzki to 1B. While this idea is not the greatest, there has been more talk about it than, perhaps,  we realize. It certainly is not a new idea. In fact, back in mid-August, 2014, Mark Kiszla of the Denver Post discusses the very idea. At the time, Tulo was sounding off on the Rockies need to make changes. Kiszla argued that ones of those changes should have been Tulo moving. “It is time for Tulo to swallow his pride, admit his physical limitations and swap his gold glove at shortstop for a first baseman’s mitt.”

The argument was simple: Tulo missed (at that point) 46% of his games since 2012. Citing hip issues as the reason for concern, the argument is that his bat can play in any position, but the physical wear and tear of playing SS is too much for Tulo. It was a difficult conversation then given that he was the best at his position. But, the injury left visible limitations in his movement. Here we are looking ahead to 2016 and we saw no limitations in his mobility playing in Rogers Centre. If the club didn’t move Jose Reyes, do we really think they’ll look to move Tulo?! This is especially perplexing given the number of bodies they have to play 1B.

Next: How to Get Kevin Pillar Out!

Donaldson, The Human Highlight Reel– Finally, over at Tip of the Tower, Chris Okrainetz brings you his choices for the Top 5 Josh Donaldson plays from 2015 in honour of his MVP selection. Whether you agree with the choices or not, it is a fun way to spend a few minutes. Personally, the tag and run home on a pop up to the infield is one of the better plays from the Bringer of Rain. Top 3, definitely.