After the seven-year, $181,000 naming rights deal with Florida Auto Exchange expired on October 1, 2017, the city of Dunedin has renamed the home of the Dunedin Blue Jays and spring training home of the Toronto Blue Jays as “Dunedin Stadium,” returning to the name that graced the building from 1990 to 2003.
Tom Young of Sportsnet 590 The Fan gave us a look at the new branding on Tuesday, one day after Toronto’s first full-squad workout of spring training.
I’m here in Dunedin & I might be last person to know this but #BlueJays S.T. Stadium is no longer named Florida Auto Exchange! Guess I missed the memo! Take a look!! Meantime gathering #Jays radio gear to be in place & ready to go later this Friday webcast @Fan590 pic.twitter.com/oSxnKPuzHa— Tomyoung590 (@tomyoung590) February 19, 2018
The ballpark rests on the site of Toronto’s first spring training home, Grant Field, which was first used in 1930 before its demolition in 1989. Dunedin Stadium, as the park was then called, was built at the site of Grant Field in time for the 1990 spring training.
From 2004 to 2008, the park was known as Knology Park in a deal for naming rights with the entertainment and communications company. For the 2009 and 2010 minor-league seasons, the park returned to the name of Dunedin Stadium, before Florida Auto Exchange purchased naming rights after the 2010 season.
Interestingly, Florida Auto Exchange’s first proposal for the stadium name was Dr. Credit Stadium, as indicated in the official paperwork released by the city of Dunedin.
Josh Donaldson commented on the status of his contract extension talks with the Blue Jays publicly yesterday, telling the assembled media that two two parties aren’t seeing “eye-to-eye.”
“We’re not at the same type of area, the same ballpark, to make a discussion moving forward,” Donaldson told Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet. “I’m extremely happy with what’s transpired throughout this time. Mark [Shapiro] and Ross [Atkins] have been very upfront with me throughout this entire process.”
When asked if he expects to become a free agent at the end of this season, Donaldson said that he did. Additionally, he said that he wouldn’t discuss his contract with the Blue Jays or the media during the season, as to focus on baseball.
“Long term contracts [are] kind of a distant memory for me right now,” Donaldson told Steve Buffery of the Toronto Sun. “I just kind of want to move forward past that and . . . really focus on winning games, because ultimately our goal is to win a World Series and I do not want to hinder that at all.”
- J.D. Martinez signed a five-year, $110 million deal with the Boston Red Sox yesterday. The front-loaded contract includes a player opt-out after two years. Tom fully covered what the signing means for the Blue Jays in his post, which you can read here.
- MLB announced that there would be no pitch clock for the 2018 season, but that a maximum of six mound visits per nine innings would be instituted. Still, as Joel Sherman reports, it doesn’t seem like there is much of a penalty for visiting the mound a seventh time.
Find Mark on Twitter @MarkColley. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.