Jay Bird Watching Podcast Recap: Ready for arbitration battle?

Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two
Toronto Blue Jays v Baltimore Orioles - Game Two / G Fiume/GettyImages

This is a recap of the Jay Bird Watching Podcast featuring Craig Borden, Ken Alfred, and Jason Lyons.

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Jano #NextLevel

The guys kicked off this week’s episode by discussing Danny Jansen and his new swing after some videos surfaced in recent days of “Jano” hitting off of a tee. They also looked at some advanced numbers and talked about how those could project to the upcoming season. 

Thank you, Mr. Phelps

The show moved on to some breaking news when they chatted about David Phelps, who has decided to retire after a ten-year MLB career. The conversation moved on to the fact that the team currently does not have a bullpen coach and wondered if Phelps could possibly fill that role.

Ken then asked a question many baseball fans have wondered, what exactly does a bullpen coach do? Jason explained some of these duties and that if this job is done well, it could lead to a bigger role like a pitching coach. 


This week it was revealed that the Blue Jays were heavily involved in the Xander Bogaerts sweepstakes, which came as a big surprise to baseball fans everywhere. 

The fact that the Jays are very likely to exceed the luxury tax threshold was bantered about too. 

Arbitration Battle

With the tasty appetizers out of the way, the crew began dishing on the main topic of the week, and the show, the brewing arbitration battle between the Jays and Bo Bichette

The two sides have yet to come to an agreement and any deal would have to be consummated at another time. Craig mentioned that it’s been reported that Bichette and the team are only a few million dollars apart and how frustrating that is for both sides and the fanbase.

Jason talked about how a player can be in arbitration and have an advantage or it can be a detriment and the team wondered if the apparent pursuit of Bogaerts has affected this developing story and what Bichette’s mindset will be entering the season. 

The chat moved to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., who recently signed a one-year, $14.5M contract in arbitration, and how that sets the bar fairly high for him in 2023. Player WAR and how it equates to salaries was brought up as well as the risks associated with signing a player to a long-term, big-money deal.

International Signing Recap

The Jays made a splash by signing Emanuel Bonilla who has big power and discuss what the best option for him is in the near future. 

Welcome to the Neighborhood

The guys took a look at some pictures of the newly renovated Rogers Centre and some of the progress that has been made including “The Park”, the Corona rooftop patio, and more. 

The crew wraps things up by discussing their plans to see some live baseball games next season. before signing off with the customary two claps and a Woo!

Next. Blue Jays hire Ashley Stephenson as High-A Vancouver coach. dark