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Sunday Bantering: Melvin Upton Jr. to be Moved by Opening Day

Your morning update for everything Blue Jays.

Division Series - Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays - Game Three Photo by Vaughn Ridley/Getty Images

According to Buster Olney of ESPN, the Blue Jays are expected to move Melvin Upton Jr. by Opening Day. “The Jays are looking at alternatives to Melvin Upton, Jr. for their roster, although they have not made a final decision,” Olney tweeted last night. “Bottom line: Melvin Upton, Jr. won’t be with the Jays for Opening Day.” Jon Heyman confirmed this report, tweeting that the Blue Jays are listening to offers. Heyman initially mentioned the Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Tampa Bay Rays and San Francisco Giants as teams who could have interest, but later ruled out the Tigers and Orioles.

Its difficult to fathom the Blue Jays selecting Upton over Ryan Goins in the battle for the final roster spot. Although the battle is seemingly close, Upton hit 20 home runs and stole 27 bases last season, all while collapsing in the second half. If he can continue his success through the entire season, he becomes a viable starting or platoon option in left field, which as of now, is the most dire positional club need.

Goins, on the other hand, is last in the league in wRC+ since 2013. Even if it’s difficult to see him depart from the team he was drafted by in 2009, his net WAR of -0.3 in the 2016 season is hard to defend. Goins, behind Darwin Barney, is a redundancy, and Upton is a needed commodity and better player. It seems foolish that the Blue Jays would choose Goins over Upton.


Should the Blue Jays move Melvin Upton, Jr?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Yes. He was awful with the Blue Jays and he will be awful in the future. Goins is better.
    (584 votes)
  • 8%
    Keep both Goins and Upton. Get rid of someone else (comment below).
    (117 votes)
  • 46%
    No. The first half of 2016 shows how good he can be. Move Goins instead.
    (621 votes)
1322 votes total Vote Now

The Blue Jays placed Mike Bolsinger on waivers yesterday, likely meaning that Ryan Tepera has made the major league club. Bolsinger allowed three runs in just 0.1 inning at Olympic Stadium yesterday, which concluded an off-and-on spring for the 29-year-old. Bolsinger began spring with two straight scoreless appearances, but subsequently allowed nine earned runs in his next seven appearances. Over that span, he walked seven batters and struck out 14.

Chris Coghlan and the Blue Jays agreed to a minor league deal, first reported by Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet. Coghlan, set to begin the season with the triple-A Buffalo Bisons, had exactly 300 plate appearances in 2016, split between the Oakland Athletics and Chicago Cubs. He posted a .188 batting average but more hopeful .290 OBP while primarily playing left field, although he did see playing time in the infield at first and third base.

The Blue Jays officially announced John Gibbons extension, adding two more guaranteed years onto the manager’s contract with a 2020 team option, prior to the game yesterday. By the end of the contract, “I’ll consider myself somewhat a Canadian,” Gibbons told Sportsnet.

This new deal guarantees nothing. “Oh yeah, it does... Money,” Gibbons interrupts.

The Blue Jays beat the Pirates by a final score of 6-4 in Montreal yesterday, ending spring training on a high note. Francisco Liriano started the game and wasn’t as sharp as he has been previously, but was still pretty darn good. In 3.2 innings, he gave up one run, struck out four and walked two. Kendrys Morales doubled in what would have been a home run at Rogers centre for the second run of the game. Melvin Upton, Jr., solidifying his already-explained case at the final roster spot, hit a two run home run while Rowdy Tellez capped off an already impressive spring with a solo home run in the seventh inning. Read our full recap of the game here.

The Blue Jays don’t play today, but the first game of the baseball season will be played at 1:10 between the Yankees and Rays. The triple-headed Opening Day continues at 4:10, as the Giants and D-Backs face each other, and concludes at 8:35 with the classic between the Cubs and Cardinals.

Some interesting tweets about Ross Atkins and the front office:

Follow Mark Colley on Instagram and Twitter at @360BlueJayNews and @MarkColley.