News! We have news! Here’s the latest from Blue Jay land:
The Blue Jays signed Joe Smith to a one year, major league deal last night, per Ken Rosenthal. The deal, expected to become official later today, has no price tag on it yet. Smith’s a right handed 32-year-old who split time between the Angels and Cubs last season, collecting a 3.46 ERA. However, his FIP was 4.99, which may be a cause of concern.
Source: #BlueJays in agreement with free-agent reliever Joe Smith on one-year, major-league contract.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) February 5, 2017
No matter how good or bad the Toronto front office projects Smith to be, this likely signifies the Blue Jays last acquisition of the offseason (I feel like I say this every time, but it must be true now). Ken Rosenthal reported in late January that the Blue Jays were looking to add two relievers, one lefty and one righty, and Toronto has done so with Howell and now Smith. Additionally, there are just nine days until pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training.
Shi Davidi recently wrote a piece on the argument for extending Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman, one that many fans will likely agree with. He cites Cleveland's history of extending players before they reach free agency, with perhaps Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins bringing over a similar culture to Toronto.
“But if [Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman] and the Blue Jays can find common ground on a way to fairly share the risk, Stroman and Sanchez could protect themselves financially from the consequences of a potential injury, while the team can gain some cost certainty and extend contractual control of the players.”
Elie Waitzer of Baseball Prospectus wrote Friday on Kendrys Morales and the defensive shift. In a very compelling piece, Waitzer shared that Morales has been damaged considerably by the shift (as in, fifth worst in baseball against the shift), but that Morales may also be making counter adjustments to better hit against the shift.