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The Minors are now set for a decade. No worries about the Jays ending up in Vegas again.

Triple-A East is the new league for the Bisons who signed a 10 year agreement with MLB to be an affiliate of the Blue Jays. They will play in the Northeast Division with with Rochester, Syracuse, Lehigh Valley, Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and Worcester.

New Hampshire remains here for a decade too. Their league is renamed "Double-A Northeast".

Vancouver also signed a 10 year deal. They are in the new High-A West League. The six-team league will include the Eugene Emeralds (San Francisco Giants), Everett AquaSox (Seattle Mariners), Hillsboro Hops (Arizona Diamondbacks), Tri-City Dust Devils (Los Angeles Angels), and Spokane Indians (Colorado Rockies). They will play 132 games a season and should see most of the best prospects now instead of college 'might be' guys.

Dunedin of course is sticking here. They are still in the Florida State League but it is now a Low A league (like Vancouver was but full season now). I expect it to see mostly high schoolers and college kids getting their feet wet in pro ball.

A nice thing is player salary increases ranging from 38-72% for the 2021 season across the minors. For the non-bonus babies that is critical. I'm glad to see it.

Also of note is most minor league lists are now made.
  • No Batters Box top 30 this year as we tend to use stats a lot and there wasn't much interest in doing 90% guesswork on the guys.
  • I have 8 lists right now compiled (don't have a Baseball Prospectus subscription so I can't get theirs - sorry budget already blown) and 8 guys are on all of them (some top 10's some top 50's).
  • No surprise Nate Pearson is #1 on 7 of those 8 lists, with Austin Martin #1 on the other. 7 are in the top 5 of at least one list: Austin Martin (all), Nate Pearson (all), Jordan Groshans (7), Simeon Woods Richardson (6), Orelvis Martinez (4), Alek Manoah (3), Alejandro Kirk (4).
More on the lists when I have more of them and time to properly format them.
Minor Leagues Set for 10 Years | 103 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
Cynicalguy - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 05:41 AM EST (#394479) #
My guesses for the notable names on each team to begin the year

SP Thomas Hatch
SP Anthony Kay
SP Julian Merryweather
SP Patrick Murphy
SP Joey Murray
SP T.J Zeuch

SS Austin Martin
C Alejandro Kirk
C Riley Adams
OF Josh Palacios

SP Simeon Woods Richardson
SP Alek Manoah
SP Elvis Luciano

SS Jordan Groshans
C Gabriel Moreno
2B Otto Lopez

SP Adam Kloffenstein
SP Eric Pardinho
SP C.J Van Eyk
SP Justin Maese

3B Miguel Hiraldo
SS Leonardo Jimenez
C Philip Clarke

SP Yosver Zulueta
SP Sem Robberse
SP Edisson Gonzalez

SS Orelvis Martinez
CF Dasan Brown
scottt - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 07:19 AM EST (#394480) #
They need to keep focusing on Martin as a super utility, playing 3B/CF mostly.

Thomas - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 12:57 PM EST (#394489) #
I hadn't seen that news about minor league salaries. Thanks for the update, John.

Long overdue.
Shoeless Joe - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 02:34 PM EST (#394492) #
Yosver Zulueta might be the single biggest sleeper in the organization.
PeterG - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 02:41 PM EST (#394493) #
I agree on Zulueta. Don't think Martin ready for AAA or Groshans for AA. I also believe that Merryweather and Murphy are just as likely to be in the big league pen as to be starting in AAA.
scottt - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 03:33 PM EST (#394495) #
I don't know. If Kirk was ready for MLB, those 2 could should up very fast.

There' s not much room left in the big league pen.
Guys without options will take the first shot at it.

PeterG - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 03:53 PM EST (#394497) #
You need guys with options in the big league pen or you can't move players back and forth.

Kirk has a unique talent. Although he is a big league hitter, his game calling skills need more development in AAA if he is to be useful as a catcher and not just A DH.
Cynicalguy - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 06:00 PM EST (#394498) #
Even with the new MILB salary increase, it's not that much money.

Interesting article comparing the salaries of different leagues, one thing to keep in mind, each team in baseball has way more players in the minors than other sports.
Thomas - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 08:16 PM EST (#394500) #
I agree CynicalGuy, that even with this raise, minor leaguers should be paid more (and be supported with better per diems, etc...). I didn't intend my comment to suggest that I thought the new salaries were necessarily sufficient.

Even with the number of players in the minors, I don't think that changes the fact they should be paid more.
Cynicalguy - Saturday, February 13 2021 @ 11:27 PM EST (#394505) #
Thomas, my initial comment wasn't intended as a reply to your post, I was just stating my opinion.

And the number of players reference wasn't meant as an excuse for MLB, but rather that other leagues aren't necessarily being generous since the number of players in their minor leagues mean the total cost for salaries is small even though the per player salary is higher.
John Northey - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 10:48 AM EST (#394508) #
With the pen and having it full right now of guys without options - I wouldn't worry about it - the nature of pitching dictates that someone will go on the IL sooner or later then the option guys get put into play. If the Jays hit a point where they risk loosing a guy due to it that will be good as it means they have 7 or 8 effective pitchers in the pen in the majors and more in the minors.

Options in brackets
ML Pen: Yates (0), Romano (2), Dolis (0), Borucki (1), Phelps (0), Stripling (2), Chatwood (0), Liriano (0)
AAA (some will be starters): Kay (3), Merryweather, Payamps (1), Waguespack (2), Murphy (1), Zeuch (2), Hatch (3), Thornton (3), Luciano (3), Tice (3), Cole (0 - NRI so only lose if called up), Mayza (2)

Phew, lots of guys in AAA. 8 listed for the majors who I can't see sent down to start, 12 for AAA (didn't list any guys who hadn't reached the majors yet). I suspect Luciano will be in AA but the rest should be in AAA. Jays running out of room - which is a good thing. When you start needing to release decent guys due to a lack of roster space that is when you know you are set. Ideally all 4 minor league teams would be full before the draft, requiring guys to be let go who you don't want to let go to make room.
bpoz - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 11:07 AM EST (#394509) #
Of the total of B type veteran SPs around quite a lot will not be good due to injury or poor performance. May as well say good/ok/bad. We have 4 veteran SPs. Maybe 2 will be good. Last year T Walker was the SP that performed V well and was signed for only $2 mil. Roark was bad. So you cannot really predict IMO.

I fully expect some of the young SPs (not counting Pearson)to outperform the veteran SPs on the staff. Again hard to predict.
Cynicalguy - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 11:26 AM EST (#394510) #
The 40 man roster is pretty tight with the release of Fisher and Yamaguchi. In the past there were always like 5-6 relievers who can be removed without a worry, not so anymore.

If roster spots are required, following would be the order I would think players are removed. Maybe a trade or two are required to clear some of the log jam and get some players a few years away from the 40 man roster requirement.

Reese McGuire
Joel Payamps
Jacob Waguespack
Tanner Roark
scottt - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 01:36 PM EST (#394511) #
Maybe Payamps or Waguespack before McGuire if there's a need to add someone before Kirk is ready.
Adding Panik to the starting roster, for example.

Notables who need to be added next December:
Miguel Hiraldo, Leonardo Jimenez and Joey Murray.

Free agents at the end of the year:
Semien, Roark, Ray, Yates, Chatwood, Phelps, Dolis and Matz.

bpoz - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 01:50 PM EST (#394512) #
There are opinions that Kirk is ready now or will be soon. Btw he used to be a pitcher I think.

McGuire has value as a backup. He may hit more and become a regular.

Adams and Moreno have 3 option years to fully develop. Tough becoming a good catcher.
John Northey - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 03:38 PM EST (#394513) #
I'd be shocked if McGuire is dumped. He is basically a AAAA guy at a young age - useful defensive catcher who can't hit. Dime a dozen. But you need them on your 40 man so they can be used. If the Jays feel Kirk is fully ready and sign a AAAA guy for backup in the minors then you can dump him, otherwise there really isn't much point to it.

The challenge is the 5 catcher situation right now. 2 are too low in the minors to be useful yet except as trade pieces. Jansen is the #1 in the majors, Kirk might take over if his defense is good enough. McGuire is the backup if Kirk needs AAA time or an injury happens.

Pitching is where more 40 man slots need to be made right now. I'd say new guy Joel Payamps is on the short list of potential removal, Jacob Waguespack, and Ty Tice might both be on the short list. Trent Thornton I'm sure the Jays are close to dumping (inning eater but never going to be a #1/2 guy on a contender) but hope to find a taker in a trade (figure he has some value but not much).
ISLAND BOY - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 04:02 PM EST (#394514) #
I kind of disagree on your bullpen take, John. It seems to me that teams prefer to have one or two option guys in the pen just so they can be interchanged with other option pitchers from AAA when the bullpen is overtaxed. This seems to happen more frequently these days when starters often don't last even 5 innings. If there is a double header and then a few poor starts then the relievers are running on fumes pretty quickly.

I know you meant the Jays bullpen might start the season without any option guys, but I'd be surprised if there isn't one. The starting rotation doesn't inspire confidence in me.
John Northey - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 05:21 PM EST (#394515) #
My main point is that they have 8 guys who won't be optioned (some could be but Romano and Borucki are the only one who might be) but injuries happen - I'd be shocked if the Jays don't have someone on the IL to start the season. Plus, of course, some of these guys are good for more than 1 inning (Liriano, Borucki, Stripling, Chatwood) with Stripling being a starter who is forced to the pen by the numbers game. This isn't an 8 1 inning guy pen, no LOOGY or ROOGY's to be found. If Walker is signed to start then someone else gets shifted (or Roark dumped).
scottt - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 08:34 PM EST (#394516) #
Kirk and Adams should both start at AAA.
Kirk is ahead with the bat. Adams is said to have the most power in the Jays system.
Adams could burn all his options while seeing limited MLB actions.

McGuire will turn 26 during spring training.
Jansen will turn 26 within a couple of weeks of opening day.
Adams will turn 25 in June.
Kirk will be 22 until the winter.
Moreno just turned 21 today.

scottt - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 08:37 PM EST (#394517) #
It's worth noting that if there is an outbreak, guys will be added to the 40 roster and outrighted back without using an option of going on waivers.
John Northey - Sunday, February 14 2021 @ 11:20 PM EST (#394518) #
Good points there Scottt - Adams is hitting his end for minor league time as he is in his age 25 season. He needs to reach the majors this year to have any real shot at being a starter in the majors. Very few make their debuts past that age and become successful beyond backup roles (yes, there are a couple of HOF'ers but that is very, very rare). In half a AA season (81 games) he hit 258/349/439 in 2019. So he certain could be ready. Maybe he gets a shot while Kirk gets AAA time to build up his calling/receiving skills. Plus Adams played a game at 1B in the minors and a game there and in LF in NCAA. So he has the potential to be more than 'just' a catcher which is something the Jays always like. I wouldn't be shocked if he earns a spot in spring, especially if McGuire keeps hitting below his weight and if Kirk has a poor spring. If not then he will be splitting duties in AAA with Kirk and getting games at 1B/LF as well so his flexibility can be expanded.

Checking 2019 I don't see anyone in the system who is at 1B who could be called a strong prospect. Only Yorman Rodriguez (in A-/A - now with San Diego lost on a waiver claim) and Spencer Horwitz (rk/A- age 23) had an 800 OPS+ or better (outside of Tellez). So getting guys time at 1B should be easy. Wouldn't be shocked to see Kirk get some time there in AAA too just to see if he can handle it but at 5'8" I doubt he'll do well (too many throws out of reach I suspect). So who else goes to 1B for the Jays in AAA? I expect a rotation there and at DH with OF's and CA's - expand their positional flexibility slightly. As Vlad showed you can't just drop a guy into 1B without issues.
bpoz - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 10:52 AM EST (#394519) #
I expect the Jays to get better over the next 3 years.

1) V good FA signings: Ryu, Springer, Semien and add each year. Hoping for a good SP next year.

2) The young core will be getting more ML playing time. Add ABs to Jansen 546, Bichette 319, Biggio 574, Vlad 685 etc...

3) Pitching: The pen can add the likes of Yates & Cole. Romano and other young bullpen parts will develop. Long quality relievers are easy to get Stripling, Thornton, Chatwood and Matz. The good SP additions come from FA signings and if the farm can produce them.

4) On the farm cream will rise to the top. A Martin, Groshans, Kloff, Manoah etc ... There are also unexpected surprises like Kirk looking V good. Maybe K Smith or J Murray may become useful. So disappointments and unexpected surprises like Pillar.
scottt - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 11:07 AM EST (#394520) #
Do the Jays want their catchers to be more versatile?
I'm not sure.
There was a think with Russel Martin, but that was mostly about the lack of back up who could hit.
I do think the Jays like having 3 catchers in September, but the new 28 rosters might complicate that a bit.  
There's a need for a back at AAA and that can't be McGuire who is out of options.
Moreno appears to be at least a year away.

PeterG - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 11:50 AM EST (#394521) #
A catcher needs to be signed to a minor league deal to either be on major league taxi squad or to back up at AAA.
mendocino - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 12:21 PM EST (#394522) #
just checked my 2019 Jays minor league stats and of all catchers still in organization only Ryan Gold played another position (10 games at 1st base) all took turns at DH but thats it.
85bluejay - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 12:58 PM EST (#394523) #
I think I read somewhere last year that Catcher Hagen Danner (2017 2nd rd.) was transitioning to the mound but of course probably hasn't pitched in an actual game because of the lost season.
John Northey - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 01:39 PM EST (#394524) #
Logically it is useful if guys can play more than 1 position. Catchers are often the exception due to the difficulty of catching but ideally you'd have a 3rd guy on the roster who can catch but also plays at other positions thus can be used as needed. Martin was fantastic that way, and would be great to bring back if the Jays didn't have so many options as is. As a 3rd catcher/backup 3B & 1B he'd be useful, plus could teach the kids how to better catch. He didn't play in 2020 but was down to a 79 OPS+ in 2019, still a +0.7 WAR though thanks to his defense. Heck, he even pitched in 2019 4 times, 4 IP 2 H 0 BB 2 K's. The ultimate utility player - can catch, has played 2B/3B/SS/LF/RF in the majors and can pitch in an emergency. I'd reach out and see if he is interested at least - he'd be a playing coach basically. Keep guys like Espinal & Davis (both have an option left) in AAA playing everyday so they are ready in the event of an injury to a regular. Biggio can cover anywhere depending who is playing for at least a game or two if needed, Martin as a backup anywhere while he helps the catching core learn more and fills in on the mound when a blowout happens. I like the idea.
scottt - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 06:36 PM EST (#394526) #
Adams and Kirk should be getting all the catching AB in buffalo.
However, I believe they still need a catcher for the taxi squad.

The taxi squad is disbanded when at home, however, Buffalo is pretty far from Dunedin.
I don' think all these guys will be traveling back to Buffalo.
Some might just sit in the stands and watch the games.

BTW, they've split the Grapefruit pods further.
The Jays will play 7 games against the Yankees. That's going to be interesting.
2 games against Pittsburgh, 8 against Philadelphia, 8 against Detroit, 3 against Baltimore.

John Northey - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 06:46 PM EST (#394527) #
Makes sense - no need to play a dozen different team in spring. Always felt that spring wasn't set up efficiently. Should be as regionalized as possible. 2 or 3 teams are all a club needs to play against as they are trying to see if their players are ready for the regular season, not trying to win games or a division.
Magpie - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 08:48 PM EST (#394532) #
Derek Fisher traded to Milwaukee for cash considerations ("I'll get this coffee") and a PTBNL.
hypobole - Monday, February 15 2021 @ 08:51 PM EST (#394533) #
Jays found a team that thinks they can teach a guy how to catch a ball.
scottt - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 07:40 AM EST (#394539) #
Pillar is a Mets. Shoemaker is a Twins.
I think Jays fans will keep good memories of both.

It seems like Boras is asking too much for JBJ.

Jonny German - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 08:20 AM EST (#394541) #
Top Pillar memories:
1) The career-changing catch
2) Breaking Tulowitzki with his chin
hypobole - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 01:44 PM EST (#394548) #
From 1960 to 2020 the worst hitter in MLB with at least 3000 career PA's has been signed once again. This time though, it's a minor league deal.
Magpie - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 02:43 PM EST (#394550) #
Are you making fun of an old Blue Jay, newly signed by the Phillies? Just because he's now up to 3,006 generally futile career PApps? Because he's still my guy and I won't stand for it. I won't!
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 02:45 PM EST (#394551) #
Not to mention the not-so-important part of the Mauer and Mathis vs. Quiroz and Navarro trade.  It's kind of funny that both Mathis and Navarro ended up playing for the Blue Jays and Quiroz did not.
Mike Green - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 02:48 PM EST (#394552) #
Funny is the wrong word.  Odd, not haha funny.  It was sad that Guillermo Quiroz's career did not take off. 

Also wrong in fact.  Quiroz did get into 29 games as a Blue Jay.
hypobole - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 03:24 PM EST (#394553) #
Not to mention the not-so-important part of the Mauer and Mathis vs. Quiroz and Navarro trade.

Mike, could you explain this? I have no idea.
grjas - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 03:32 PM EST (#394554) #
Latest on Walker.
Chuck - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 03:34 PM EST (#394555) #
Are you making fun of an old Blue Jay, newly signed by the Phillies?

I can imagine the interview.

"These photos are interesting, Jeff. Let me ask you, do you have similarly incriminating photos for all of the league's GMs, present and past for the last 15 years?"
"Yes I do. Where's my contract?"

Mike Green - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 03:35 PM EST (#394556) #
It was a bet, not a trade.  Aaron Gleeman took Mauer and Mathis for 5 year WAR; I took Quiroz and Navarro. They were the hot catching prospects in the AL at the time.  I learned that catching prospects have a lower success rate than other positions because of (mostly) injury rate.

Aaron cleaned my clock, and I happily sponsored Mauer's BBRef page for a while. 
John Northey - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 04:29 PM EST (#394557) #
Funny - Mathis was last a Jay in 2012. Still active from that team other than Mathis - Encarnacion is hunting for a contract, Eric Thames signed with the Giants (Yomiuri Giants of the Nippon Professional Baseball), Adeiny Hechavarría is a free agent, Yan Gomes is with Washington ($6 mil), J.A. Happ is making $8 mil from the Twins, Aaron Loup signed with the Mets, and I think that is it. So 7 guys left from that team, 1 a free agent, 2 with guaranteed contracts, and Mathis also kicking. Go figure. Long gone are guys who were in their early 20's that most were high on like Travis Snider (release last August), Kyle Drabek, Drew Hutchison (age 21), Anthony Gose (age 21), and Brett Lawrie (age 22).
hypobole - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 05:09 PM EST (#394558) #
John, got one for you. One of the players you mentioned didn't do this once in 2012, but since then is the MLB leader at his position.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 05:25 PM EST (#394559) #
Gomes hitting home runs as a catcher maybe? Just checked and in 2012 he didn't hit any while catching so it is possible (his 4 were at 2 at 1B and 1 each as a 3B and PH). What a shame the Jays dumped him for Esmil Rogers.
hypobole - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 05:45 PM EST (#394560) #
Gomes is top 10 (#8), 1 ahead of Russ Martin. Anyone else hazard a guess?
Eephus - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 08:03 PM EST (#394561) #
I wonder if it's something weird like "most innings pitched" as a position player/catcher or something, which could be Mathis.
Eephus - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 08:04 PM EST (#394562) #
Darn, looked it up and Mathis pitched two innings as a Blue Jay anyhow. Must've been what put the idea in my head.
Cracka - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 08:12 PM EST (#394563) #
Anthony Gose has been invited back to Cleveland's spring training, as a non-roster pitcher. Last spring, he touched 100 mph on the radar gun. He's beginning his third season in the Cleveland org and his fifth season as a pitcher. Based on their continued interest, I think he has a decent chance of making it back to the majors at some point.
hypobole - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 08:31 PM EST (#394564) #
In his 2012 rookie season, he threw 30.2 innings without hitting a batter. Since then he's plunked 36 to lead all relievers in that category. Andrew Miller and the just-retired Jared Hughes have 35, no other reliever more than 31.
Four Seamer - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 08:39 PM EST (#394565) #
Wow, that's a great stat Hypobole. I don't know what I'm more surprised by - that Aaron Loup somehow made it through 30.2 innings without plunking a batter, or that he's only hit 36 in the 8 years since. It sure seemed like he was good for one an inning.
hypobole - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 09:26 PM EST (#394566) #
Loup is actually over 1 per 9 innings. He hasn't been a workhorse. 70 relievers threw more than Loup's 320.1 IP 2013-2020.

One other thing I noticed when looking it up. Even the best relievers spouses should have "I'm With Fungible --->" T-shirts. 58 relievers have thrown 334 IP in that span. Kenley Jansen and Pedro Baez are the only 2 who've done it all for one team.
John Northey - Tuesday, February 16 2021 @ 10:19 PM EST (#394567) #
Wow, never thought of that one. Cool. The weird things in baseball eh? Of course hit by pitch makes me think of Dave Stieb (led the league 5 times - he was nasty) and Ron Hunt (led 7 times, peaking at 50 one year, over 20 5 other times).
John Northey - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 12:07 AM EST (#394568) #
Weird - an old Minor League rosters post on the side from 2009, I clicked and shot to the end thinking it was a recent comment but was just the old one sneaking back up. Final bit was about Matt Bush being released by the Jays after breaking the Jays 'no tolerance' policy. He was convicted for assault and spent 3 1/2 years in jail it seems after that and finally got to the majors in 2016 and spent 3 years with the Rangers and now is back in their camp, recovered from an arm injury. Weird career for a 1st overall pick in 2004 (as a shortstop). Jays got him for cash, released him, went to the Rays for a couple of years, they released him, then the Rangers signed him and he made it, then got hurt, resigned with them and now is going to spring training. Amazing how many chances you get if you have a live arm.
StephenT - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 02:12 AM EST (#394569) #
Received the Baseball Prospectus 2021 book from this past day.  For JohnN: AMartin 22, NPearson 35, JGroshans 41, AKirk 101.
Paul D - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 10:14 AM EST (#394570) #
Bit of a hi-jack.... I got my mlb.tb renewal notice yesterday, and I'm not sure if I want to renew. How do cord cutters access Jays games? Looking for non-VPN/piracy solutions as a first choice.
Steve02 - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 10:45 AM EST (#394571) #
Paul: The most direct way is subscribing to Sportsnet now. You don't need their Plus version for the Jays. I used this last season here's what I thought (personal opinion):
+You get access to all the sportsnet channels so you don't have to worry about the Jays game being kicked to sn360 or something, you have it.
+You also get other select mlb games and all the playoffs as sportsnet shows them.
+You also get other sports shown on sportsnet if that is a plus for you
+I got it on a sale. I am patiently waiting if another sale is presented. The last sale was boxing day.
+ Quality and app I don't think was quite as good as but adequate
- Miss seeing other mlb games included in the product. Though the free game of the day still should work.
- It doesn't work on as many devices as I had a tv where I could use it with my xbox (extra launch step for me) but I wasn't able to play it on another TV without potentially buying another streaming box.
- No alternate audio feeds
hypobole - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 11:17 AM EST (#394572) #
Fangraphs with their top 100:

Pearson #10
Martin #44
SWR #72
Kirk #74
Groshans #77
Orelvis #89
Moreno #93
Kasi - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 11:29 AM EST (#394573) #
Are they still going to call a farm system with 7 of the top 100 a bottom 5/10 system I wonder?
John Northey - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 11:29 AM EST (#394574) #
Paul - I subscribed to Sportsnet for Jay games as I also enjoy Raptor ones. They have pretty much every Jay game live, and on tape later. A fair number of Raptor ones as well. A bit more expensive than but I haven't hit a blackout issue yet.
Dewey - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 11:47 AM EST (#394575) #
I got a similar notice from MLB-TV recently. Since the ‘home’ games are in Florida, why are Jays’ games blacked out in Toronto? Or, if Covid protocols greatly reduce attendance, why black out the games? Is this Rogers or MLB doing? Can't make sense of it.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 12:15 PM EST (#394576) #
They are blacked out from in order to protect Rogers' interest in Sportsnet. 
Dewey - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 12:30 PM EST (#394577) #
Thanks, Mike.

I keep forgetting that greed (or maybe blacking-out) is the watchword of our times.
Paul D - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 12:33 PM EST (#394578) #
Shapiro said last year that the blackout decision was made by MLB, not Rogers. (Although I'd agree that this sounds weird).
Dewey - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 12:34 PM EST (#394579) #
Oops. The joys of syntax!

Should read: I keep forgetting (or maybe blacking-out) that greed is the watchword of our times.

All a-blush.
Mike Green - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 02:44 PM EST (#394581) #
Eric Longerhangen in Fangraphs likes J.J. Bleday a little more than Austin Martin, and gives him a current higher grade for hit and fielding tool.  They played on the same Vanderbilt club and I'll venture that you'd find few observers who would agree with the hit tool and fielding grades. and a definite minority who agree with the overall assessment.   

The nice thing, assuming COVID doesn't wipe out another minor league season, is that we'll get to see for ourselves.
SK in NJ - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 03:48 PM EST (#394582) #
I believe blackouts are due to the RSN/cable deals, not attending games. In my area, I can't get Yankees or Mets games on because of the YES Network and SNY. Jays games will likely be blacked out in Canada because they want you to watch on Sportsnet. It sucks, but until the cable bubble completely bursts, this is what fans have to deal with. The NBA does the same thing for NBA League Pass.
uglyone - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 04:01 PM EST (#394583) #
7 top 100 prospects (and imo a couple in the lower end there who could easily be rated in the top 50 to boot), from the same source that calls the system thin and well below average.
PeterG - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 04:56 PM EST (#394586) #
Taijuan Walker is in serious talks with Mets according to Andy Martino via MLBTR.
krose - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 05:42 PM EST (#394588) #
Have been following the hand wringing regarding the starting rotation. Don’t we already have another couple front end starters who are booked for AAA. Merryweather, Murphy, Hatch, Kay....We’d really only need one.
PeterG - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 05:58 PM EST (#394589) #
I am thinking that Merryweather is more likely to be in the big league pen and perhaps Murphy at some point as well. Need some relievers with options as well as guys who can do multiple innings that can be moved back and forth if necessary.
krose - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 06:12 PM EST (#394590) #
Ryu, Pearson, Ray, Roark, Matz, Stripling, Thornton to begin the year. The problem with that lineup is really the inconsistency of Ray and Matz. But those two could be front of the rotation starters. Roark has a decent chance to be an innings eater again. I dunno. Lots could go wrong, but hopefully not everything. And then there are some some solid prospects backing up that group.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 06:47 PM EST (#394591) #
Well said Krose. I agree with the ranking as well Ryu followed by Pearson (high potential). After that the veterans and prospects will establish where they rank.

Looks like 162 game schedule and 5 playoff teams. Every AL team has only 1 #1 type SP. Verlander/Cole/Bieber etc... except for Houston with Greinke.

I feel 2021 is a transition year for the Jays. Their position core is still in the learning phase. Their pitching has only 1 SP that can be considered reliable. The pen has enough quality arms, but they could be overused over a full season if the rotation cannot go fairly deep into games.
krose - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 06:54 PM EST (#394592) #
bpoz: With Stripling, Chatwood and Borucki in the pen, there could be 3 potential long men. So lots of innings available. All this is quite speculative and there will probably some changes in personnel during ST.
krose - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 07:02 PM EST (#394593) #
The bullpen could have; Yates, Romano, Dolis, Phelps, Borucki, Lariano, Chatwood, Stripling. That would leave a possible AAA rotation of; Hatch, Murphy, Kay, Merryweather, Thornton?, Zeuch, Waguespack. AAA bullpen; Cole, Castro, Payamps, Snead, Tice...

I like that AAA rotation as much as some years of the Jays SP.
bpoz - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 08:42 PM EST (#394594) #
I too love the AAA rotation. So Buffalo games will be interesting especially if the AAA rotation rakes and the ML rotation does not.

I enjoyed the 2010 Jays rotation of Romero, Morrow, Cecil and Marcum. Litsch and Zep were injured but potential for the next year. May as well throw in some other names like McGowan and Drabec.

That is a lot of names but not so good SP results. I would not have wanted to trade any of them because of the immense potential I thought they had. So then our current vast amount of young pitchers can also vanish to little.
BlueJayWay - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 08:58 PM EST (#394595) #
The Jays are officially starting the season in Dunedin, per BNS on Sportsnet
John Northey - Wednesday, February 17 2021 @ 09:09 PM EST (#394596) #
Makes a ton of sense. Dunedin has the facilities to make it work smoothly, while Buffalo can have the AAA team play. Given both are in the US odds are high crowds will be allowed to some degree. The big question is if/when the Jays can come home. Maybe after the All-Star Break by which time most of the US and Canada should be vaccinated.
85bluejay - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 07:01 AM EST (#394598) #
Here's hoping that Fernando Tatis Jr. new contract act as a kick in the butt to Vlad Guerrero Jr. - I expect he's envious.
scottt - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 08:01 AM EST (#394600) #
I'm expecting to see every pitcher on the 40 roster--and more--get into MLB action this year.
Except maybe Elvis, but even him got a shot.
That's why I don't fault them for not spending more on pitching.
Odorozzi wants a multi-year contract and apparently so does Walker.
Both of these guys would have been signed a long time ago if they entertained 1-year contracts.

Semien actually played a fair amount of 2B in Oakland by way of the shift.
That's why he wanted to play there, instead of 3B.

dalimon5 - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 09:50 AM EST (#394602) #
Like I said 2 years ago, Tatis is a much better overall player than Vlad and it's not even close. He steals bases, plays good or better defense and will continue to improve. He plays a key position. Vlad is out of shape and if he gets in shape will still be limited to an elite bat with no baserunning, defensive or positional assets to bring to the table. That's like really good swiss cheese the way front offices are evaluating players nowadays.

The same "new evaluation" approach that makes Biggio more valuable than his numbers suggest takes away from players like Rowdy and Vlad.
scottt - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 11:18 AM EST (#394604) #
Sure, but the ceiling for Vladdy is to be the best hitter in the league.
It's not like guys like Stanton and J.D. Martinez are not getting paid.

bpoz - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 11:38 AM EST (#394606) #
Tatis was signed by CWS and traded to SD for James Shields who was a great SP. Shields threw 200+ IP almost every year in a long 13 year career.
John Northey - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 12:03 PM EST (#394608) #
Yes, Tatis is a better player to have than Vlad. But it isn't like the Jays had a choice there. Getting Vlad as an amateur free agent was a big win. Now in July 2015 it would've been super-sweet for the Jays to have signed Tatis - he went for just $700,000 to the White Sox. Vlad was a $3.9 million deal. But back then the Jays were, like most teams, petrified of going over the IFA cap - those who did were virtually unable to sign anyone the next year. After signing Vlad the Jays were at the edge of penalties and iirc traded for more cap space to make it work. Funny thing is Vlad was ranked 7th and Tatis 30th by MLB's system. Yadier Alvarez was ranked #1 (signed by LA - now 25 hasn't reached the majors, peak in AA where he walked 4 in 3 2/3 IP in 2019 and hasn't pitched since. Vladimir Gutierrez was 2nd (6.04 ERA in AAA hasn't reached majors), Yusniel Diaz 3rd (RF/CF last seen in AA), Alfredo Rodriguez (no idea - reported to sign for $6 mil but never played), Eddie Martinez (same as last guy but $3 mil), Lucius Fox (sub 700 OPS in minors, not reached majors), were all ranked ahead of Vlad and all failed. Other interesting notes: Gregory Guerrero (cousin of Vlad) was signed but flopped (615 OPS over 3 seasons in minors), Ronny Brito (22 now, in Jays system but first signed by LA SS/2B/3B 717 OPS in minors - part of the Russell Martin trade), and Juan Soto who led the NL in OPS+ last year (212 OPS+ while playing SS - wow!) - he signed for $1.5 mil with Washington.

So 2 guys after Vlad who were 'wow' signings in the end. Soto and Tatis. Lots of flops too in the 6 before Vlad and many after. Just a shame as given the Jays addiction to kids of ML'ers you'd think they were in on Tatis but such is life. At least they got one of the 3 who are useful out of those 30 instead of, say, any of the 6 ranked ahead of Vlad back then.
John Northey - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 12:11 PM EST (#394610) #
The ChiSox really messed up there - Shields was great but that year was showing signs of trouble. 95 ERA+ the year before, 93 to that point of 2016. His BB/9 jumped in 2015 and stayed high in 2016. Good to get, sure, but not at the price of a potential star prospect. Will go down as one of the worst trades ever. Shields only produced 0.1 WAR the rest of his career, Tatis might be a HOF'er. The Bagwell for Anderson deal is the only one that immediately comes to mind for comparison for terrible deals (Anderson was a reliever, Boston in a playoff push grabbed him and got 1.2 WAR in just 22 IP (wow) to sneak into the playoffs. So at least they got something useful.
mendocino - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 12:16 PM EST (#394611) #
and the following year with not being able to sign anyone over $300k they came away with Kirk, Moreno and Otto. Bravo scouts.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 12:23 PM EST (#394613) #
I'm not quite as high as the crowd on Tatis Jr.  The power is obviously there, and he's working on his plate control.  I'm also not convinced that he's going to be a good defender when he's 30.  I can easily see this contract ending up as a millstone- in the sense that Tatis' best 5 years are, in my view, as likely as not to be the next 5 which the Padres have on the cheap anyways.  On the other side, he has a record of growth that is pretty impressive for such a young player and speaks to his ability to learn.

mathesond - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 12:27 PM EST (#394614) #
Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman could wind up being another lopsided trade.
Gerry - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 12:33 PM EST (#394616) #
Minor league schedules are being released today and they look different from previous years.

Triple A starts April 6th. Each week has Monday off, followed by a six game series. The six game series will be interesting for the first starting pitcher of the series. They will face the opponent on a Tuesday and the same opponent on the Sunday.

Teams also play a limited number of opponents to reduce travel and COVID exposures. As far as I can tell, the Bisons play just five other teams over 142 games. 23 series of six games each, one of 4 games for the all-star break. The Bisons play Syracuse and Rochester 36 times. Those teams will be sick of playing each other before the end of the season.

Its a similar but shorter season for AA. They play 120 game and dont start until May 4th. AAA starts earlier as those players will be in major league camp. Minor league spring training won't start until the major league camp is over.

The AA schedule is similar to the AAA schedule. Mondays off and six game series against a limited number of teams. New Hampshire play Portland, the Red Sox affiliate, 36 times. Most other teams are around half that number.

There are no playoffs in 2021. The season will continue until mid-September and the league winner will be the champion.
hypobole - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 12:41 PM EST (#394617) #
Remember Marco Paddy? Hired by JPR in 2007 and ran the Jays Latin American scouting system through 2012. Left for a job with the White Sox. He was the guy who signed Tatis jr.
hypobole - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 12:54 PM EST (#394618) #
Yeah, the Jays did get a one year penalty, but avoided the 2 year penalty by trading DeJong and Locastro to the Dodgers for extra pool space. And getting what they did from a penalty year is outstanding.
mendocino - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 01:25 PM EST (#394621) #
Atkins promoted present director Sandy Rosario in Feb 2016 taking over for AA's guy Ismael Cruz (VGJ) who left for the Dodgers Nov 2015.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 02:19 PM EST (#394622) #
It's not a question of Vladdy vs Tatis, which one should the Jays have gotten. My comparison with them came on the heels of 85BlueJays comment that Tatis' monster contract would some how  motivate Vlad to do better so he could get that type of deal.
It's like saying "Matt Shoemaker should hopefully get in better shape to get the type of contract Aaron Sanchez just signed." Sanzhez signed for $4 million vs Shoe at $2 million but it's apples to oranges. One throws 98MPH in his last show case, the other tops out at 91, end of discussion, not related. One will always be worth more because of his ability to pitch as a starter with upside gamble or long man or relief, all based on the very rare skill of throwing heat.
dalimon5 - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 02:24 PM EST (#394623) #
"Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman could wind up being another lopsided trade."
This should read "Gleyber Torres for Aroldis Chapman and first World Series in 108 years." Big difference.
John Northey - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 02:33 PM EST (#394624) #
For a World Series win you generally accept anything. I hated seeing Jeff Kent go in 1992 but David Cone was a critical piece for that first ever World Series. 1.6 WAR that year plus 22 innings in the playoffs was well worth the lost 50+ WAR that Kent had left (only 13 would've been a lock before free agency hit).

Context matters. The White Sox in 2016 were a sub 500 team who were 29-27 at the time of the trade, 2 games back in the central behind 2 teams (KC & Cleveland) and in overall standings were behind the Jays by 1/2 a game as well as many other teams. IE: in eyeshot of playoffs but it was early and they finished the year before 10 games out so they weren't exactly seen as contenders. The royally sucked the next 3 years too (89+ losses each year).
Mike Green - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 02:57 PM EST (#394626) #
The (White Sox) royally sucked

Only Kansas City can do that. 
hypobole - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 04:11 PM EST (#394627) #
The (White Sox) royally sucked

Only Kansas City can do that.

A certain NBA team that's on pace for it's 15th consecutive losing season would very much beg to differ.
Mike Green - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 04:20 PM EST (#394628) #
Bill Simmons tweeted in 2015: "Sources: The Kings have filed papers with the NBA to officially change their name to the Sacramento Kings of Comedy."  First tragedy, then farce, then boredom.

I don't think the Leafs have come close to 15 losing seasons in a row...
John Northey - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 05:58 PM EST (#394629) #
Leafs did do 10 straight under Ballard from 79-80 to 88-89 then were 500 on the nose in 89-90 before 2 more losing seasons. What an ugly stretch - right when the Jays went from hopeless to perpetual contenders. Using hockey-references SRS system (factors in strength of schedule and other stuff to make it more even) you get negatives from 79-80 to 91-92 (13 years). Yeah, they came close but didn't quite make it. The Devil Rays were sub 500 their first 10 seasons then changed to 'Rays' and became a contender year in year out (just 3 sub 500 seasons from 2008 to today, Boston has 4 in that stretch).

But for pure ugly you get the Pirates, They had a super-ugly stretch from 1993-2012 of being sub 500 every year after 3 straight playoff appearances (what you get for letting Bonds go to SF I guess). 20 straight years of sub 500 ball. Ugh. Includes a 7 year stretch of 90+ losses. At roughly the same time (1995-2012) the Royals were also sub 500 every year (18 years) with a 3 year stretch of 100+ losses at one point. Ugly.

A close but no cigar goes to the Tigers of 1994 to 2005 (12 years) which included their infamous 119 loss season which had a 2 game winning streak at the end to avoid joining the '62 Mets as the only 120 game losers outside of the 1899 Spiders who lost 134.

On the flip side the last time the Yankees were sub 500 was 1992 with Don Mattingly at 1B, Jesse Barfield in RF, Tanner Roark - the oldest current Jay - was only 5 years old that season (turned 6 in the playoffs). Jonathan Davis & Teoscar Hernandez were both born that year. 25 guys on the Jays 40 man roster weren't born yet the last time the Yankees were sub 500. Wow.
John Northey - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 06:05 PM EST (#394630) #
Just remembered one more of note...
The A's - from 1950 (Connie Mack's last year) to 1967 (when a hotshot rookie broke in named Reggie Jackson) they were sub 500, and that included 2 moves. From Philly to KC, then from KC to Oakland after the '67 season. They went over 500 year one in Oakland. Poor KC, all those years with ML baseball and their team couldn't have one 500 season.
mathesond - Thursday, February 18 2021 @ 07:37 PM EST (#394631) #
To be fair, the Kansas City A's were basically a Yankees farm team.
Magpie - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 10:19 AM EST (#394651) #
The Devil Rays were sub 500 their first 10 seasons

A little disrespect, please. They weren't just sub 500 in those seasons. No 80-82 campaigns for them. The Devil Fishies lost at least 90 games in each of those first ten seasons, a non-accomplishment matched by just one other team in history (the 1936-45 Phillies.)
Magpie - Friday, February 19 2021 @ 10:30 AM EST (#394655) #
Checking a few historical details. The Cardinals haven't lost 90 games since 1990, the longest current streak in the majors. And while the Devil Rays and Phillies have the longest run of years losing 90 or more games, the longest streak without losing 90 games is an impressive 61 years. This was accomplished by the Cubs - yes, the Cubs - from 1886 (when they won 90 games while two other teams were becoming the first 90 game losers) to 1948.
John Northey - Saturday, February 20 2021 @ 02:47 PM EST (#394688) #
Quite the streak there Magpie.

What about the 100 game loss/won (Jays never won 100, last lost 100 in 1979) so on a 41 year streak

Checking the AL East...
  • The Yankees last lost 100 in 1912 as the NY Highlanders - so a LOT longer than the Jays. Last 100 game wins was 2019. So the Jays have lost 100 more than the Yankees all-time. 2 times for the Yankees (1908 also), 3 times for the Jays (77-79)
  • Did you know the Red Sox only won 100 4 times ever? 2018, 1946, 1915, 1912. Wow. 1965 was their last time losing 100 (Yaz had 5 WAR that year - pretty ugly outside of him).
  • Rays lost 100 3 times (2001, 2002, 2006) but never won 100.
  • Baltimore 12 times lost 100 (4 in Baltimore, rest in St Louis), 2018/19 their last times. 5 times winning 100 (last 1979/80, also 1969/70/71) all with Earl Weaver as manager. Next best was 98 wins (they fired the manager after that and the GM quit a year later followed by 14 years of sub 500 ball which I'd say they deserved).
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