Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays Morning Brew: Biagini, Dickey, pending free agents

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Sep 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) is tagged out at third base by Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Sep 9, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) is tagged out at third base by Toronto Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson (20) in the second inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports /
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With the Toronto Blue Jays in the home stretch of the A.L. East playoff race, it’s time to catch up on the week that was and what you might have missed

Shapiro speaks on upcoming free agents 
Speaking with Jeff Blair and Stephen Brunt on The Fan 590 on Friday, Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro gave an honest — and likely accurate — opinion on Toronto’s pending free agents.

“I don’t like to speak in absolutes but I think that’s probably the most likely scenario,” Shapiro said when asked about Bautista, Encarnacion, Saunders, and others hitting the open market.

If done correctly, there can even be a strategic advantage to allowing players to hit free agency. Someone like Encarnacion will have no trouble finding the money he’s worth, but for a player like Bautista, a soft market and low offers from other teams could be their greatest bargaining chip (assuming they want to bargain at all).

Liriano lining up for a start?
Francisco Liriano is under consideration for Monday’s start according to Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com. Liriano was temporarily moved to the bullpen, but manager John Gibbons made a point of saying at the time that he would be making starts before the end of the season.

Liriano did flash some reasons for optimism in the bullpen despite his rocky first outing, and unless another left-handed option steps forward in the final three weeks, the veteran starter could still emerge as the Blue Jays’ best option behind Brett Cecil on the playoff roster.

Jays Nest Podcast, Ep. 89
If you missed the most recent episode of The Jays Nest Podcast, catch up here on R.A. Dickey, Josh Donaldson‘s MVP case, and much more:


The Jays’ Nest Podcast- Talking Toronto Blue Jays – Jays Nest #89- Blue Jays Pitching, Woes & More!

On Dickey, the bullpen, and context
Sportnet’s Mike Wilner recently addressed the R.A. Dickey situation in a Frequently Asked Questions piece for Sportsnet that is recommended reading for those who bemoan the knuckleballer’s starts.

While the Blue Jays would surely like a stronger number five starter (or is it number six?) than Dickey, the reality of MLB pitching is that many teams have one or more starters who hold a similar value in their rotations. It’s not as simple as moving Dickey to the bullpen, though, as his style can lend itself to home runs, passed balls, and catcher changes. That’s not exactly ideal for the 7th inning of a baseball game.

Checking in on AA
Alex Anthopoulos news is still Toronto Blue Jays news, and it may always be. The current vice president of baseball operations for the Los Angeles Dodgers was rumoured to be in consideration for the Minnesota Twins’ general manager job, but threw some water on that fire recently when speaking with Jeff Blair.

“I’m not the type to want to jump around my family all the time,” Anthopoulos said on The Fan 590. “Otherwise if we thought L.A. was going to be a place-holder or be in a holding pattern, we would have stayed in Toronto and just waited around for other opportunities. But that’s not what the plan was.”

Next: Front office deserves credit despite recent struggles

Joe Biagini’s role in 2017 and beyond
Joshua Howsam makes the convincing argument for Joe Biagini to be used as a starting pitcher in 2017 and beyond for Baseball Prospectus Toronto, which you can read here. He’s been brilliant coming out of the bullpen this year, but with his starting experience — not to mention his ability to be a low-cost rotation asset — he could be far more valuable to the Blue Jays in the rotation.

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