It's the All-Star Break so there isn't much news coming from Blue Jays land, just a lot of rumours and trade speculations involving names we've all heard before. I am not particularly interested in drawing conclusions from reports of Blue Jays scouts showing up at this or that game, or another organization's scout watching a Blue Jays minor league game or other ambiguous comments but here is a quick summary of the latest whispers in our annual trade deadline segment, Tradewatch.
- The Reds, hosts of the All-Star Game, will lose their main excuse for not doing anything after tonight, so they are very likely to make moves very soon, according to Bob Nightengale. The most significant move will probably be around moving Johnny Cueto, who will be a free agent following this season. Nightengale added that the Blue Jays are one of three three (sic) teams who have been most "aggressive in pursuit," of the starting pitcher whatever that means. Alex Anthopoulos loves control so he probably isn't going to be the general manager who "sells the farm" for a player on an expiring contract.
- Jonathan Papelbon, who is not one of my favourite baseball players, wants to get the hell out of Philadelphia like any other sane player. He basically told Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. to trade him, and mentioned that he'd be "a good fit" for the Blue Jays while answering a leading question (warning: video features Papelbon as well as Tim & Sid). It's nothing new, it seems like he's been namedropping Toronto since the offseason. Amaro Jr. responded to the comments today, acknowledging that there are "live discussions" surrounding Papelbon but that they are holding out for a larger return.
- Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin also gave helpful advice to Alex Anthopoulos during their trip to Cincinnati.
- In a piece by Shi Davidi, it was revealed that the Jays have around $5-6 million of payroll left to play with.
- The Blue Jays have also been linked to the Marlins' Steve Cishek, according to Nick Cafardo.
Now that we're done with Tradewatch here is a nice piece of news courtesy of Blue Jays Plus's Gideon Turk, who initially spotted a tweet from East Carolina University's Dan Roszel, confirms that ECU alum Jeff Hoffman has been promoted to double-A New Hampshire and will be starting on Friday.
Can confirm that Jeff Hoffman has been called up to New Hampshire and will be starting for the Fisher Cats this Friday night.— Gideon Turk (@gideonturk) July 14, 2015
The FIsher Cats-Sea Dogs game starts at 7:05 Eastern and you will be able to watch it on MiLB.tv if you've got a subscription. I am sure Hoffman will be a topic of conversation on this week's Around The Nest podcast. Speaking of which, I completely forgot to post the link to it last Friday (much apologies).
Josh Howsam, also of BJP, has been dealing out a solid hand of ace-level posts on the various starters the Blue Jays have been linked to.
Shi Davidi provides us with the weather outlook in Cincinnati prior to the All-Star Game tonight:
And it's POURING in Cincy— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 14, 2015
Now the sun is out. Cincy weather, you so cray— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) July 14, 2015
Tonight's Canada-Cuba baseball action at the Pan Am Games may also be affected by rain, according to a CityTV weather forecast radar (the Ajax ballpark is the red dot).
Lastly, a human-built spacecraft has reached Pluto and for the first time in human history we are seeing what the former planet looks like up close, which is really friggin' incredible.