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J.A. Happ is back with the Blue Jays after signing a three-year deal for $36 million in free agency.

J.A. Happ pitched against the Blue Jays for the first time in Seattle July 25 after being traded to the Mariners for outfielder Michael Saunders last off-season.
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New thread time.

The Oakland Aís traded for Jed Lowrie, just 11 months after he signed a 3-year contract with the Houston Astros, and he may become the teamís new shortstop given Marcus Semienís defensive problems last year.

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Interim GM Tony LaCava has made his first trade, which is also the first trade of Mark Shapiro's tenure as President. The Jays have acquired Jesse Chavez from the Oakland Athletics. Liam Hendriks, Toronto's favourite Aussie, is headed to Oakland.
Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson is the winner of the 2015 American League Most Valuable Player award.

Josh Donaldson is the second Blue Jay to capture the AL MVP award after George Bell won it in 1987.
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Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet says the Blue Jays will be without second baseman Devon Travis for the first part of the 2016 season after undergoing shoulder surgery.

Devon Travis batted .304 with eight home runs and 35 runs batted in over 217 at-bats with Toronto in 2015.
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For 2016 I think we all want to see the Jays with guys at every position who could be the best in the game at that position. Especially with the pitching issues. So where do we see it and where could the Jays use a Tulo upgrade?
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So a few things have happened...
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Some Arizona Fall League notes and other happenings on the farm.

Rowdy Tellez belted his fourth home run of the season in the AFL earlier this week. (Image from
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Not a shock to anyone, but David Price is one of 3 finalists for the Cy Young and Josh Donaldson is one of the top 3 for MVP.
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Traditional winter activities have always included arguing about the Hall of Fame.
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The Blue Jays are willing to hand over $15.8 million to Marco Estrada for 2016 by giving him a qualifying offer.

Marco Estrada posted a record of 13-8 with a 3.13 earned run average in 2015 for Toronto. He also went 2-1 with a 3.20 ERA in the playoffs. (Image from Toronto Sun).
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The National Post spoke to Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro about his desire to upgrade the team's spring training facilities. The team's lease with Dunedin expires at the end of 2017.

Dunedin has been the Blue Jays spring training home since its expansion year of 1977. (Image from @diamondperday)
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The Arizona Fall League is holding its Fall Stars Game this Saturday. One Blue Jays prospect is in the game and you can help another get there as well.

Rowdy Tellez is hoping Jays fans step up and get him to the Arizona Fall League's Fall Stars Game. (Image from
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The new boss at his introductory presser. Items of interest: 1) Tony LaCava is the interim GM; 2) he's not wedded to the five-year limit, says he can envisage longer deals for a player in the right circumstances. Doesn't believe in absolutes.

Said all the right things, as you'd expect from an experienced pro, and expressed a lot of enthusiasm.

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So here's what happened...

We have a once-proud franchise, one that had been scuffling on the margins of irrelevance for more than a decade despite the presence on their playing roster of some truly outstanding players. All else having failed, team ownership decided to entrust the team to a hometown boy. It's an internal promotion - the new guy had been an assistant to the outgoing general manager. The new GM slowly assembles the talent required to make this team a contender. There are setbacks along the way - it took a few years to find the right manager, there were some trades that didn't work out, there were some unique issues with team ownership. Eventually, however, in his sixth year on the job - thanks in large part to a key trade and fuelled by a remarkable second half hot streak - it all came together in a 93 win season that ended, alas, with a memorable showdown against the eventual World Series champs.

Naturally, said GM isn't going to see a seventh year on the job.
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