Toronto Blue Jays and MLB off-season notes for November 29th
All is quiet on the northern front of the MLB off-season with the Toronto Blue Jays. Granted, it’s quiet on nearly every front as teams await clarity with the ongoing CBA negotiations to make any significant moves.
The Blue Jays did make it official with RHP Jarrett Grube on Monday. It’s likely that the veteran journeyman plugs a hole with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons.
Elsewhere in the AL East, the New York Yankees released a couple of interesting arms to the market yesterday:
Eovaldi is a well-known name due to his velocity alone, but the right-hander struggled to translate that talent directly to results consistently. He is expected to miss the entire 2017 season after undergoing Tommy John and flexor tendon surgeries.
Mantiply is a name that could catch the Blue Jays’ eye due to his potential as a low-cost left-hander out of the bullpen.
The 25-year-old was recently claimed by the Yankees from Detroit, where he’d quickly risen through the minor-league ranks after being drafted in 2013. In each of the last two seasons, Mantiply has spent the bulk of the year at double-A with a handful of triple-A appearances.
Last season he held left-handed hitters to a .168 average and .419 OPS, using a moderately deceptive delivery and strong changeup to support his ~90 MPH fastball. In 2015, lefties posted a .545 OPS against Mantiply.
This doesn’t necessarily represent an upgrade from the group of Aaron Loup, Chad Girodo, and Matt Dermody, but quantity could be the Blue Jays’ friend in this market. If free agents like Jerry Blevins and Boone Logan are priced out of Toronto’s comfort zone, there’s value in having a broader base of competition among the left-handers.
Davidi on Fowler, draft pick compensation
The draft pick attached to Dexter Fowler in free agency “wouldn’t stop” the Blue Jays from making a play for him, Shi Davidi writes in his latest for Sportsnet. He also lists Jay Bruce as a name to continue monitoring for the Blue Jays, especially if the New York Mets re-sign Yoenis Cespedes. In that situation, Bruce’s $13 million salary is likelier to be moved.
Updates on CBA Negotiations:
The latest from Ken Rosenthal:
These negotiations continue to be the elephant in the room that people are nervous to talk about. These reports from Rosenthal are important, however, in that they show there is some form of movement.
Many teams are evidently waiting on these negotiations so that they understand the landscape of the league (finances, transactions, etc.) going forward.
Stay tuned to Jays Journal throughout the winter meetings for news, reports, and analysis.