Toronto Blue Jays and MLB off-season notes for the afternoon of Thursday, December 1st
The Toronto Blue Jays signed Lourdes Gurriel Jr. just in time.
Under the new CBA that Major League Baseball and the MLBPA reached last night in Dallas, Cuban players will now be exempt from team’s international signing pools if they are 25 years old with six years of professional experience.
This new rule would have impacted Gurriel for two more years. Under the old CBA (which Gurriel signed under), any player over 23 with six six years of pro experience is exempt from bonus pool limits. Gurriel waited until after his 23rd birthday, which was on October 19th, to avoid that limiting variable.
One major hiccup with this change could be the case of Japanese superstar Shohei Otani. With Otani still just 22, this new rule delays the arrival of the most talented player outside of Major League Baseball. Otani, a two-way phenom, posted an OPS of 1.004 as a hitter last year in the Japan Pacific League while posting a 1.86 ERA over 140.0 innings on the mound.
Price check on Andrew McCutchen:
The Pittsburgh Pirates are reportedly pushing to move outfielder — and former NL MVP — Andrew McCutchen. Toronto has been tossed around as a potential trade partner given the Blue Jays’ outfield needs, but earlier today Ken Rosenthal reported that the Nationals were a target team for the trade.
Robles is listed by MLB.com as the Nationals’ No. 2 prospect and was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 13 prospect league-wide at the mid-season point. The Blue Jays would be very hard-pressed to put together a similar package, especially if the “more” is anything substantial.
As Stark reports above, the December 2nd non-tender deadline is also playing a hand in these negotiations. The Nationals would be able to move Trea Turner back to shortstop with the acquisition of McCutchen, thus allowing them to non-tender Danny Espinosa.