Blue Jays Morning Brew: Fare thee well, January


The Blue Jays can tear another page off the calendar as they move closer and closer to pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training in Dunedin

Why can’t we be friends?  –  Interesting stuff here from Joshua Clipperton of CBC Sports, where Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins speaks on the upcoming contract situations of Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Most of the organization lines have come from team president Mark Shapiro up until this point.

“They earn their money, but it is a significant undertaking when you talk about extensions and it takes time. We don’t have relationships with these guys, so we’re focused on the relationship first,” Atkins told Clipperton.

He also says that the club has met with Bautista in person recently.

More from Toronto Blue Jays News

Breakout candidate  –  Blue Jays left-handed pitching prospect Travis Bergen will be a name to watch in 2016, says Jays From the Couch’s prospect guru Ryan Mueller. A 2015 draft pick, Bergen threw just a handful of innings for the Vancouver Canadians this past year after putting in a heavy workload at Kennesaw State.

He should have the ability to chew through some serious innings if he sticks as a starter, but his lefty attribute could also make him a very intriguing bullpen option.

“Travis could soar through the system if Toronto decides to put him in the bullpen. A move to the bullpen could benefit the lefty by potentially adding some velocity to his fastball, making him a dangerous LOOGY in the mold of Aaron Loup.”

Re-upping with Vancouver  –  Great news here from Joshua Howsam at Blue Jays Plus that Toronto has extended their association with the Vancouver Canadians affiliate through the 2018 season. Thats a big plus for baseball in Canada.

Fun with lineups  –  Do you like the Toronto Blue Jays? Do you also like anagrams? Then, my goodness, this is the article for you. (From Dayn Perry at CBS Sports)

Bobbleheads!  –  The Blue Jays have announced their bobblehead selections for 2016 in Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki and Kevin Pillar. After the 2015 season he just had, Pillar may be the most bobblehead-worthy player on the roster.

Next: Could the Blue Jays pull off a six-man rotation?

Eyes on Hutchison  –  Some words of optimism here from Blue Jays pitching coach Pete Walker on Drew Hutchison, whose success in 2016 could catapult the Blue Jays rotation. He spoke with Jeff Blair on The Fan 590 recently, and Ben Nicholson-Smith brings the story.

“We know he’s going to have a bounce-back year as far as I’m concerned. I think he’s going to get right back to where he was and take off again potentially.”

He also offered some insight into what went sideways in 2015. “I think the season unraveled a little bit at times for him. It got to where he just didn’t know what the heck was going on and why it was happening.”