Toronto Blue Jays news and notes for December 28th
Atkins on Bautista
The Jose Bautista talk isn’t going to go away until he signs somewhere. Call it Encarnacion, Part Deux.
General manager Ross Atkins was on High Heat yesterday and addressed Bautista in regards to the Blue Jays.
“There’s a reason there’s a draft pick attached to him, and it’s because he’s a very good player,” Atkins said. “We made the offer that he turned down. He is a proven, proven force in a lineup so he’s obviously still an alternative for us and we’re glad that he is. I think that we’ll do everything we can to improve out team and that is one avenue that could be.”
That draft pick continues to be a huge stumbling block for the Jays — or any team, for that matter — as its value must be considered on top of the salary paid to him.
Sanchez getting some love
Prior to the Christmas break, the MLB Tonight crew looked at some 2017 World Series contenders (outside of Chicago and Cleveland, who are both a strong bet to return).
Dan Plesac, who pitched parts of five seasons with the Blue Jays, was particularly high on Aaron Sanchez and his old team.
“I’m a huge Aaron Sanchez fan,” Plesac said. “I think in the next two to three years he has the chance to win the Cy Young. Marco Estrada, Aaron Sanchez [and] J.A. Happ. You look at this rotation, it’s good. Francisco Liriano was good towards the end of the year. I think the Blue Jays pitching, they’re gonna have to get some offence if they can’t get Edwin Encarnacion or [Jose] Bautista back. I love the Blue Jays.”
AL games of the year
The Blue Jays make five appearances on Doug Miller’s list of the top American League games from 2016, which you can read in full here.
This includes everything from the highs of playoff wins to the lows of the Rougned Odor game, which spawned some of the year’s most insufferable narrative and coverage from the ol’-school baseball crowd.
At Blue Bird Banter, Kevin Papetti looks at a handful of remaining outfield options that might intrigue the Blue Jays including Brandon Moss, Colby Rasmus, and the New York Mets’ trade options.
Buffalo Bisons’ outfield
At Jays From the Couch, Ryan Mueller offers his analysis on how the Blue Jays should manage their triple-A outfield this coming season now that some of the organization’s in-house talent has risen to the upper-minors.
Assuming at least one of Ceciliani and Pompey are sent to Buffalo, there will still be plenty of room for Harold Ramirez, Dwight Smith Jr., and Roemon Fields to compete for a triple-A job. Fields is a particularly interesting piece in the minors, because despite struggling consistently at the plate, he has plus defensive potential and the speed to steal 50+ bases.