The Blue Jays buzz is building as we enter February, and as always, the Morning Brew is here to round up everything you need to start your day
It’s Wednesday. Regardless of where you are in Canada, chances are it’s cold, grey, or both. But there, tiptoeing over the horizon with arms outstretched, is the Major League Baseball season.
Past the news of a minor deal with the New York Mets on Tuesday in which the Blue Jays acquired outfielder Darrell Ceciliani, here are the other stories making headlines that you need to know.
Papa Buehrle lives – Mark Buehrle tells Jerry Crasnick that he’s “not planning to sign, but not officially retiring.” This seems to leave the door open for a mid-season signing should a contending team be hit with injuries to their starting rotation, which seems ideal for Buehrle at this point in his career. While he did fade down the stretch last season, he’s still capable of spinning together his annual stretch of six brilliant weeks.
Shapiro in retrospect – An interesting look at Jays president Mark Shapiro here from Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com, as the former Indians GM discusses the trade of Robbie Alomar and how the club could have yielded a better return at the time.
“Had we been more firmly committed in one direction — either contending or rebuilding — we would have made a trade that netted a better return. We learned from that experience and adjusted to make better trades with Bartolo Colon and those that followed him, providing us a core of talent that formed the teams of 2005-07.”
Staying Colabello – Some great analysis here from Sportsnet’s Nick Ashbourne, where he looks at the upcoming season for Chris Colabello. Commonly pegged as a regression candidate due to his massive BABIP in 2015, Ashbourne argues that his unpredictability and ability to hit the first pitch could keep him above water.
Smoak’s breakout – Over at Jays From the Couch, Jason Pepper looks at Justin Smoak as a candidate for the Blue Jays breakout player of 2016. He’s got all the makings of a breakout player, too: a talented yet slightly-flawed player with a great deal of opportunity waiting for him. If Colabello fails to steal the lion’s share of the first base reps, Smoak could quietly stack up some numbers.
Update your resume – Here’s your chance, armchair GM’s. The Toronto Blue Jays are hiring a Manager of Baseball Analytics.
“The primary focus of this position will be to learn how decisions are made in all areas of Baseball Operations, develop a familiarity with those processes and then develop tools and conduct research to incorporate data into the decision making process.”