You can take a player to Toronto but you can't make him play
Interesting note on Swisher, sources indicate that he can block trades to only one team: the #BlueJays.— Chris Cotillo (@ChrisCotillo) November 19, 2014
Of course he does. Why wouldn't he? I am not privy to the no-trade lists of every major league player who has that clause in his contract, but it seems that a good 90-95% of them include Toronto. Thus I challenge you, Bluebird Banter readers, to find a current player who has a no-trade clause that excludes the Blue Jays.
Hell, I found out that even I have the Blue Jays in my contract with SB Nation--it just comes by default, apparently.
Pitchers don't want to come to Toronto because of the difficulties of pitching in the AL East and the hitter-friendly home stadium, position players don't want to come to Toronto because of the artificial surface that causes knees to explode. And of course there's this whole issue with playing in Canada, a frikkin' monarchy headed by a queen that lives in another country, taxes, the LCBO, roaming charges, et cetera.
Putting my proud Torontonian ego aside, the appearance of Toronto on so many no-trade lists is a challenge that the Blue Jays front office would have to face when roster-building. (Not that I would want to see Swisher in a Jays uniform--this time it's not just about his face, he also just came off of a pretty awful age-33 season.) When the Jays' plans to acquire Koji Uehara and Ian Kinsler were vetoed, the team not only lost the two players but also the time and opportunity costs associated with hammering out the trades with the Rangers' front office. But it is part of being the only major league ballclub outside of the United States; the Blue Jays will just have to live with it. Until they start contending, of course, a strong team with a strong chance to get deep in the playoffs would be quite an incentive for these players to start waiving their right to block trades.
You can shoot all the Blue Jays you want but it is a sin to kill a Wyvern
This is slightly stale news but former Blue Jays fan-favourite pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes is in some trouble out in South Korea for desecrating the logo of the SK Wyverns of Incheon at a shooting range.
MyKBO received the following statement from former SK pitcher Jo-Jo Reyes about an incident w/ his Instagram account pic.twitter.com/SXSWQdKisg— Dan (@MyKBO) November 4, 2014
Unfortunately, the video has been deleted from his Instagram account but I'm sure no real video would be better than he one I've created for myself in my mind.
Reyes, who is somehow just 29, spent some time with the Orioles and Pirates after his illustrious period in Toronto (in which he broke a personal 28-start winless streak) before signing with the Wyverns of the KBO for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. Despite putting up some pretty horrible numbers this season in Korea, the Phillies (of course) invited him back stateside mid-summer to pitch for their triple-A club before releasing him a month later.
Just like seeing old high school classmates, It's always nice to hear how ex-Jays are doing, no matter what stupid thing they have done lately.