The MLB Winter Meetings are happening in Tennessee and there is bound to be a lot of rumors, hot takes and deals coming out of the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center. Whenever something breaks for the Blue Jays, we’ll bring it to you. Remember that you can stay up to date with our Blue Jays Offseason Tracker! For now, let’s get to a few rumblings from the past weekend.
Toronto Blue Jays
Soria a Fit?– Over at Digital Journal, Larry Seely uses Bleacher Report’s mammoth piece on every team’s potential “big splash” at the Winter Meetings to suggest that the Blue Jays actually need Joakim Soria. While Bleacher Report says that adding Soria would be easier because of the opportunity to win the club presents and that it would allow Aaron Sanchez to slide into a starting role, Seely suggests that Soria would be the difference between “making another run at the playoffs or floundering in the middle of the pack in the American League next season”.
This seems a bit of a stretch. Is Soria the kind of guy who will tip the balance for the Blue Jays? He started out 2015 closing for the Tigers and moved to a set up role for the Pirates. He certainly has the experience to help. His time with the Royals from 2007 through 2011 make him an interesting candidate. But, this ignores a couple factors: 1) Soria is seeking a BIG deal. According to MLBTR, he’s after 3 yrs/ $27M. That alone calls into the Blue Jays’ potential interest. 2) Will the club be looking to thrust Sanchez into a starting role so quickly after throwing just 92 innings in 2015.
—— Update at 8:00 ET: According to Jerry Crasnick, Soria has reached a three-year agreement with the Kansas City Royals worth $25 million.
No Sure Bets in AL East– Christian Red of the New York Daily News brings us an interesting conversation with Josh Donaldson and Adam Jones. Both are key players for the respective teams. Donaldson helped the Blue Jays reach the post season for the first time in 22 years and Jones saw his Orioles win the division the year before. Both stars talked about how the AL East is always up for grabs.
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No team can dominate this division consistently anymore. There is so much balance. And, depending on what happens over the winter, 2016 should be no different. But, each player feels his team has a chance to compete. Donaldson also talked about the departure (not the HBO kind) of David Price and how it impacts his club. Jones talked about the potential of him going to New York or Boston when his deal is done.
While each team may have different approaches, perhaps Jones best summed up how things will be moving forward: “At the end of the day you have to do it between the lines. I don’t really care what any other team does, we’re going to be competitive. It’s no going back to Walmart steak. We’re a Whole Foods type of organization. We want to win.” Is it Spring yet?
Josh Donladson, Cover Boy– For the first time, a Toronto Blue Jay will grace the Canadian AND US cover of MLB: The Show for Sony’s Playstation 3 & 4. Obviously, his popularity is sky high after winning the AL MVP Award last month. It is nice to see some Blue Jays love not just North of the Border. It will be interesting to see if his video game numbers can match his real life numbers from 2015, which resembled playing the PlayStation on easy mode. CBC tells us that The Bringer of Rain is “honored and excited” to be the cover boy.
Blue Jays Popularity Online– Donaldson’s popularity has an impact on more than just video games. He and Price brought more internet attention to the Blue Jays. According to TechVibes.com, the Blue Jays increased their popularity in the search engine, “Bing”. In 2014, no Blue Jays were even in the Top 10 most searched athletes in Canada. That changed in 2015 when the two stars both were present.
Ignoring the fact that this puts the two players in the company of both Justin Bieber and Taylor Swift, these results speak to the growing popularity and reach of the Blue Jays across Canada. Perhaps, this popularity is why there has been so much disappointment with the lack luster offseason moves to date. Fans might have been expecting some big splashes to follow up such a resurgence from their club.