Toronto Blue Jays News

Toronto Blue Jays: Players that the club lost for nothing

Toronto Blue Jays' coach Buck Martinez (L) relieves pitcher Chris Carpenter during fifth inning of play against the Seattle Mariners in Toronto, Canada, 12 May, 2001. The Mariners beat the Jays 11-7. AFP PHOTO/Aaron HARRIS (Photo by AARON HARRIS / AFP) (Photo by AARON HARRIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Toronto Blue Jays' coach Buck Martinez (L) relieves pitcher Chris Carpenter during fifth inning of play against the Seattle Mariners in Toronto, Canada, 12 May, 2001. The Mariners beat the Jays 11-7. AFP PHOTO/Aaron HARRIS (Photo by AARON HARRIS / AFP) (Photo by AARON HARRIS/AFP via Getty Images) /
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KANSAS CITY, MO – MAY 31: Casey Blake of the Cleveland Indians runs to first base after hitting the ball during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on May 31, 2008. The Royals defeated the Indians 4-2. (Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
KANSAS CITY, MO – MAY 31: Casey Blake of the Cleveland Indians runs to first base after hitting the ball during the game against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri on May 31, 2008. The Royals defeated the Indians 4-2. (Photo by John Williamson/MLB Photos via Getty Images) /

Casey Blake

The Blue Jays weren’t the only team to lose out on Casey Blake, but they were the first.  Prior to being selected in the seventh round of the 1996 MLB Amateur Draft, Blake had been selected twice previously in prior drafts.  In the Blue Jays organization, Blake started to show a solid bat, especially in 1998 when he hit a combined 43 doubles, 18 home runs and 103 RBI while posting a slash line of .357/.421/.574 over two levels.

In 1999, Blake hit 22 home runs in 110 games at Triple-A which led to a September call-up. Blake went 10 for 39 (.256) with one home run, however without being given an opportunity in 2000, the club put him on waivers early into the season and he was picked up by the Minnesota Twins.

Over the next two and a half years, Blake would be claimed on waivers by the Baltimore Orioles, then again the Minnesota Twins and then released by the Twins at the end of the 2002 campaign. It was the Cleveland Indians (Guardians) that would end up giving him a chance and signed him for the 2003 season.

Over five and a half seasons with Cleveland, Blake crushed 183 doubles and 116 home runs.  During the 2008 Trade Deadline, the Indians were out of the playoff race and Blake was one of the top names in trade talks.  Cleveland moved Blake to the Los Angeles Dodgers for Jon Meloan and 22-year old prospect Carlos Santana.

Blake would become an everyday major leaguer for the next nine seasons, playing third base for the Indians and the Los Angeles Dodgers, which included three consecutive trips to the American League and National League Championship Series.  Blake would finish his career averaging 34 doubles and 21 home runs over a 162 game season, including posting a career WAR of 24.9.

Next. Former Blue Jays pitchers on the market. dark

Do you remember any of these players as Blue Jays?  How did you feel at the time when the club let them go for nothing?

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