Just a few snippets from the Blue Jays and MLB in general.
The Reds are sniffing round Marcus Stroman, which isnt massive suprise as they are very keen to add pitching this winter. But its not clear how serious their interest is and moving Stroman now would definitely be selling low. Coming off back-to-back 200-inning efforts in 2016 and 2017, Marcus sadly only managed 102 1/3 innings last year, with 6.8 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a 5.54 ERA in nineteen starts. He twice went on the DL, including a six-week stint for shoulder fatigue in May.
The Jays have interest in Nathan Eovaldi. But then who doesn’t? The Jays will have to take a ticket and form an orderly queue with the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, Angels, White Sox, Giants, Padres and of course the Red Sox.
Its no surprise there is keen interest in Eovaldi; across 21 starts last years he pitched to a solid 3.81 ERA/3.60 FIP with 8.19 K/9, 1.62 BB/9 and a 45.6 percent groundball rate. Then he upped his game in the postseason by only giving up four earned runs in 22 1/3 postseason innings. Rumours suggest he will land a 4 year $60m deal, which is probably $55m more than our front office is prepared to spend...
And to end on a very important note, the new MLB shoe policy will come as welcome news to Blue Jay players. Because obviously shoe colour is the most pressing need facing baseball right now...
Naturally some of the big free agent names continue to make headlines:
Fancy a ‘buy one get one free’ deal? Maybe ask Arizona. The Diamondbacks might package Zack Greinke and Paul Goldschmidt together if you hand over enough shiny coins. St Louis might be a logical landing place for them both.
Marwin Gonzalez could sign for anyone, because every team needs him.
Thought not as versatile as Gonzalez, Micheal Brantley is the best contact hitter available.
The Phillies have been eyeing up both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. The reason is they have ample cash to spend and they are champing at the bit to spend it as reinforced by this epic quote from their owner John Middleton:
We’re going into this expecting to spend money. And maybe even be a little bit stupid about it. ... We just prefer not to be completely stupid.
No matter what happens with the team over the next year- expect those words to resurface frequently.
The Phillies rank 19th in projected payroll for 2019 at $68.9 million, per Spotrac. By comparison, their Opening Day payroll in 2008, when they most recently won the World Series, was $98.3 million. Between their financial flexibility, their needs at shortstop and in right field and Middleton’s latest comments, the Harper and Machado hype train might end up stopping in Philly.
In a vain attempt to distract supporters from the fact that their ‘baseball’ team is an abomination, the Marlins have unveiled some snazzy new uniforms:
Grant Bisbee says to understand the new ones, you have to go back and look at the old ones (which were fugly).
And Happy Birthday to ex Blue Jay, Michael Saunders aka Condor. Here’s hoping you don’t tread on a sprinkler head! To celebrate his special day, here is his best Blue Jay moment; his hat trick of homers in a 13-3 win over the OriLOLes.
Video link here.