Your Toronto Blue Jays news and notes for Feb 17th, 2017.
Blue Jays sign Rafael Lopez to MiLb deal
The Blue Jays signed Rafael Lopez to add to catching depth, making the announcement on Thursday. Lopez, 29, agreed to a minor league deal and will likely join the catching depth in Triple A Buffalo this season.
He was drafted by the Cubs in the 16th round of the 2011 amateur draft, and appeared in 7 games with the Cubs in 2014, and 8 games with the Reds last season, but has otherwise spent his career in the minor leagues.
More on Mat Latos
We learned more details about Mat Latos‘ contract on Thursday. @ChrisCotillo gives us the run down on his unique contract.
Latos has negotiated 2 separate opt-outs into his contract, seemingly wanting to make sure he’s being used in a favourable role. It’s probable he’s open to being assigned to the bullpen, or he likely wouldn’t have signed in Toronto, who returns 5 strong options in their rotation.
When asked about their newest acquisition, Blue Jays’ manager John Gibbons seemed to be open to using him however it makes the most sense.
Still just 29, it’s possible Latos could turn his career around in the bullpen, or jump into the rotation in the event of an injury. He actually reported to camp on Thursday, just a day after his agreement was announced, so he’s obviously anxious to prove that he’s got plenty left to offer an MLB roster.
Adding more catching depth to MLB camp
In addition to bringing in Rafael Lopez, the Blue Jays brought another catcher into their MLB camp, 21 year old Danny Jansen.
Jansen played 54 games at A+ Dunedin last season, and still has plenty of time to develop at just 21 years old. He’ll have a chance to move up in the organization, and help replace the depth lost after the Jays released A.J. Jimenez last week.
Sanchez asked about relationship with Stroman… again
The Blue Jays have worked very hard on building a unified clubhouse, often citing the culture as an important facet to their success in 2015-16. For that reason, several fans have expressed concern over the relationship between Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, which has been a nagging story in recent weeks.
When asked, Sanchez did his part to shoot it down.
"“You guys like to take things and blow them up. He had his arbitration case that he had to take care of, so we’re at a different place in life where he was doing his thing and I was doing my thing. Nothing has changed. We’re still teammates and it’s all good”."
Ideally you’d like to hear Sanchez say something like “we’re still good friends”, but at the very least it appears they’re taking a professional approach to any issue there may be. Teammates certainly don’t have to be close friends off the field in order to succeed, but hopefully this narrative will go away, sooner than later.
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