The hot stove in March? I’m liking it for the second consecutive day. Here’s the latest:
Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports reports that Jose Bautista received contract offers “well over $50M in guaranteed money.” Additionally, Passan notes, Bautista received a three year offer, as two industry sources confirmed to Yahoo! Sports. He ended up signing a one year, $18.5M deal with the Blue Jays, which, if Passan’s report is substantiated, means Bautista took a huge pay cut in order to return to a familiar market.
“You look at the factors - loving the city you play in, marketplace, a chance to win, taxes, endorsements - in a balance and make the decision you think is best for you. And understanding I came off a tough year, where I necessarily didn’t have the most fun I had playing in the big leagues, this was the best place.”
John Lott at The Athletic has put together a masterpiece on recently acquired Blue Jay Lourdes Gurriel. Signing a seven year, $22M deal with Toronto on November 12th, Gurriel has quickly become one of the most highly touted prospects in the organization. Prior to that, however, Gurriel had immigrate from Cuba, a long and treacherous task that included more than a month spent watching Netflix.
If you read one thing this week, read this.
After an off day yesterday, the Blue Jays play today - although not in their regular fashion. With J.A. Happ pitching, Toronto will suit up against Team Canada in an exhibition game at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. Starting at 1:07 ET, the game will be available on Sportsnet, MLB Network and MLB.com (radio). I’m uncertain whether today’s game will be extremely riveting - pitting one of the 30 best clubs in the world against a team that is, in the simplest sense, less than that - or beyond boring, for the exact same reason.
Speaking of either extremely riveting or beyond boring games, the World Baseball Classic kicked off yesterday in Seoul, South Korea with a game pitting Team Israel against Team Korea. In the end, Israel won in an entertaining, ten inning affair. Team Canada starts their journey at the classic on Thursday, starting at 6:00 PM ET. Against the Dominican Republic, it seems unlikely that Canada will win. Still, at least we get to see Dalton Pompey and Jose Bautista - apparently the same person - face off against each other.
For the fifth consecutive season, the Buffalo Bisons, Toronto’s triple-A affiliate, will accept “accept Canadian cash ‘at par’ at the Coca-Cola Field Box Office, at Pettibones Grille and for ballpark concessions through the month of April.” Although proof of Canadian residency is required, the publicity stunt must be working. And what would be a good promotion without capitalization from none other than the Bisons general manager, Mike Buczkowski.
“We appreciate and value the great support we’ve received from Canadian baseball fans over the years and recognize that the currency exchange rate is a hurdle to contend with when they come to Buffalo. Our offer helps to level the playing field and expand on the outstanding value of the Bisons Baseball Experience.”