Toronto Blue Jays news and notes for Wednesday, December 14th
The MLB off-season has quieted since last week’s winter meetings wrapped up in Maryland, though the Blue Jays did make two minor-league additions yesterday.
Read more here on the report regarding LHP T.J. House, and here for the reported signing of C Alex Monsalve. Both players come from the Cleveland Indians organization and should offer the Blue Jays needed depth in the upper-minors.
Out of options
Five Blue Jays will enter spring training out of options with a realistic shot of being on the bubble, including Ryan Goins, Mike Bolsinger, A.J. Jimenez, Ezequiel Carrera, and Bo Schultz. Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com breaks down their individual situations here.
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These five are positions that are surprisingly similar, where the Blue Jays’ next MLB-level move could eventually be the one that bumps them from the 25-man roster. Bolsinger’s case will be especially interesting as he would make for valuable starting rotation depth, but barring an injury, would need to stick as a long reliever. As it stands, Ryan Goins may be facing the most uphill battle following a 2016 in which he hit just .186.
Jays Nest Podcast: Bo Bichette episode
In case you missed the Monday release, get caught up with the most recent episode of the Jays Nest Podcast. On this episode, we’re joined by the Blue Jays’ 2nd-round draft pick from 2016, Bo Bichette.
Still just 18, Bichette tore the cover off the ball in his brief debut with Toronto’s Gulf Coast League affiliate and profiles as an exciting middle-infield bat. He tells us about his unique draft day experience, and why the Blue Jays were a team that he was willing to sign with after turning down offers from elsewhere.
Special bonuses for listening: You’ll learn what type of car Bo is driving this off-season, and what hidden talent he’d be pursuing if baseball wasn’t in the cards.
We also break down the winter meetings that were, with a special focus on Dexter Fowler and whether or not the past two weeks have truly been disappointing. Subscribe using the links below to get a hot new episode (well, at least a very warm one) each week. Last week’s 100th episode featured top prospects Anthony Alford and Ryan Borucki, so why not double dip!
Derek Shelton has been brought on as the Blue Jays’ new quality control coach, which begs the question: what’s that?
I wrote the following for Sportsnet on Tuesday to clarify his role, and as Shelton told Ben Ennis on Sportsnet 590 The FAN, he will work to bring together coaching and advanced scouting to best benefit each player on a specific and individual level.
Despite the current state of the Blue Jays’ outfield, they do still have plenty of options should the front office choose to make a move on one, as Andrew Stoeten breaks down here for Blue Jays Nation. He also looks at both sides of the Brandon Moss argument, who is the epitome of an outfield option that you’ll either love or… not love.
Encarnacion and Cleveland note
This morning, Ken Rosenthal writes that Cleveland isn’t looking like an easy fit for Edwin Encarnacion unless it comes on a one-year deal, but even then, sacrificing a draft pick wouldn’t be appealing. There was some thought that Cleveland might change their business model and begin to spend more freely, but it doesn’t appear that’s the case.
Minor-league outfielder Andrew Guillotte is looking like a fine piece of depth for the Blue Jays’ system, and Brian Crawford of Jays Prospects recently caught up with him to discuss his playing style here.
“I’m an aggressive guy that’s a bit of a pest,” Guillotte said. “I guess being a little guy that comes with the territory. If one of the first few pitches are there, I’m going to go for it.”