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Saturday Bantering: International Signings and Some Retirements

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Toronto Blue Jays v Tampa Bay Rays Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images

Good Morning. There is some actual Blue Jays news this morning.

The Jays signed International Free Agent Luis Meza for $2.25 million. Meza is Venezuelan, plays catcher. has a bit of a scouting report:

Meza shows lots of potential, especially on defense, with emerging catch-and-throw skills along with signs of above-average receiving and blocking abilities. He’s a gamer and his high baseball IQ allows him to make an impact on both sides of the ball.

At the plate, he has shown an ability to barrel up balls and use the entire field in showcases and games. Physically, he has a broad frame and there is still room to grow and develop strength. Meza trains with Kander De Pablos and Reynaldo Gonzalez at the KPL Academy in Venezuela.

He was 33rd on MLB Pipeline’s ranking of top international prospects.

The Jays have $4.644 million to spend in the international market, losing $500,000 for signing George Springer.

Shi Davidi says the Jays will also be signing Dominicans Railan Tejada ($600,000) and Jean Carlo Joseph ($450,000). They are both outfielders.

Former Blue Jays prospect and outfielder Travis Snider announced his retirement. Snider played parts of eight seasons in the MLB, hitting .244/.311/.399 with 54 home runs in 630 games (more games than I thought)/

242 of those games were with the Jays, hitting .248/.306/.429 with 31 home runs.

Travis was our top prospect at one time but never grabbed on to a full-time role. In 2009 he was number 6 on Baseball America’s top prospects list. HE was one of those guys who never got hot at the right time.

Good luck to you in retirement Travis.

Melky Cabrera also announced his retirement.

Cabrera, 37, played 15 seasons in the MLB, 2 of them with the Blue Jays. His first season with the Jays was a bit of a disappointment, he hit .279/.322/.360, in 88 games, and his range in the outfield was roughly the length of his arm. After the season it was learned that he had a benign tumour wrapped around his spine. In the off-season he had it removed.

His 2014 season, not surprisingly, was much better, hitting .301/.351/.458 with 16 home runs also looking better in the field.

Career, he played 1887 games, hit .285/.334/.417 with 144 home runs.

Good luck to you in retirement Melky.

And former Expos TV play-by-play man Dave Van Horne is retiring. Van Horne has been doing Marlins games for the past 20 years.

He started with the Expos in 1969 stayed with the team until 2000 (doing games online when the Expos cancelled their radio and TV broadcasts in an effort to kill off the franchise).

Van Horne is on the list of people to whom I owe my love of baseball. He, at least in the opinion of a much younger me, was very good at the job. Teamed up with Duke Snider (and later Ken Singleton) he helped get me interested in the game. I’m sure you can find his call of Dennis Martinez’s perfect game on YouTube. His “El Presidente, El Perfecto” is one of those lines I’ll never forget.

Dave is 82 now and has called over 8000 games, he received the Ford Frick Award from the Baseball Hall of Fame back in 2011, so I think he has earned his retirement.

Good luck in retirement and thank you Dave. I listened to a few Marlins games, over the past few years, just to hear that voice that introduced me to baseball again.

We didn’t talk about the Owner’s new proposal to the Players yet. It is barely different than what they offered before the Lockout. I hope that talks continue, but I’m not feeling confident that an agreement will be happening soon.

Evan Drellich has a good breakdown here.