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Notes from the end of season press conference

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Ross Atkins answered questions from the media today

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Tampa Bay Rays Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Ross Atkins had a end of season press conference. He managed to get through it without telling us anything we didn’t know.

  • Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista will both get qualifying offers. Yeah, that was a tough decision.
  • Jason Grilli will have his option picked up, as Ross said it was a ‘no-brainer’.
  • They are preparing to take a proposal to Rogers stating what they think they will need for a budget next year. He says it will include an increased payroll for next year. Not a surprise.
  • He said that our minor league system is in better shape than it was a year ago, but didn’t suggest who might come out of the system that might be helpful next year.
  • John Gibbons will be manager next year and Atkins said that Gibby kept a sturdy hand, that they have been ‘in contact’ every day since Atkins took this job and that Gibby impressed him.
  • Whether Joaquin Benoit is back or not depends on a lot of things, including whether Benoit wants to be back and what other options there are.
  • They started things off with a soft ball question, from Mike Wilner, asking what he thought about Canadian baseball fans. Surprisingly enough he loves us. He was surprised by the how much we cared and how great we were. He mentioned the number of Blue Jays fans there were at Seattle and Cleveland.

So really little that we didn’t know. There was a question asking him how important team defense was.....and surprise, he said it was important and that we had good team defense.

He was also asked how much longer Jose Bautista could be a viable outfielder. He said that Jose has good instincts in the outfield (I agree) and, without the injuries from this year, he could play outfield for years to come. Course, he and I and you know that the injuries came from playing outfield. There is little doubt in my mind that he thinks, much the same as we do, that Jose would be a better part of the team if he spends less time in the outfield.

And he said that with the starting staff that will return pretty much intact and Josh Donaldson, Troy Tulowitzki, Roberto Osuna and Russell Martin, that the team won’t be ‘rebuilding’, that we should continue to be a team that expects to be in the playoff race. He talked about ‘bringing a champion’ back to Canada, a lot.

I would have asked about Brett Cecil, but I didn’t hear him mentioned.

All in all, no surprises.