TORONTO -- With a name like the Blue Jays, it makes perfect sense that Toronto would pick the coldest weekend of the year to migrate south.
The Blue Jays held their annual Truck Day on Thursday morning to pack up all of the gear that will be required during a six-week stay in Dunedin, Fla. The weather outside might suggest otherwise, but Spring Training is right around the corner.
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays were not going to downplay the accomplishments of Josh Donaldson, but now that the arbitration process has been avoided, the risk of upsetting their star player is no longer a concern.
Toronto officially signed the reigning American League MVP Award winner to a two-year contract worth $28.65 million on Wednesday. Donaldson is set to make $11.65 million in 2016 and $17 million in '17, then he will have one final year of arbitration in '18.
TORONTO -- Construction has begun, and the Blue Jays are well on their way to having an all-dirt infield installed at Rogers Centre in time for the start of the 2016 season.
The work began Monday morning and will continue until the end of March. That will give the grounds crew a full week to groom, treat and monitor the conditions in preparation for the home opener against Boston on April 8.
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays entered the offseason knowing they would retain one of the best lineups in baseball, but there were plenty of question marks about whether there will be enough pitching to repeat as American League East champions.
No. 1 starter David Price is gone, but his departure created just one of several holes on the pitching staff that needed to be filled. The club had to get better not only in the starting rotation, but also in the bullpen. After several moves, the Blue Jays feel the mission was accomplished.
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have an opening at the top of their lineup, and Kevin Pillar strongly believes that he is the man for the job.
Pillar made his case to be named the club's leadoff hitter while in Toronto last week to attend an annual event for season-ticket holders. The departure of Ben Revere created a void at the top of the order, and Pillar wants a shot at being named the replacement.
TORONTO -- The official start of Spring Training is almost here. Now it's time to start taking a closer look at the Blue Jays' roster in preparation for Feb. 22, when pitchers and catchers go through their first workout.
Toronto will have approximately six weeks to get ready for the start of the season as the club attempts to defend its American League East title. It won't be easy, but the task will become a bit more manageable if several players on the roster bounce back from disappointing 2015 seasons.
Metrics illustrate how late-blooming slugger has joined Hall of Fame company
By Roger Schlueter
Josh Donaldson is once again in the news. The 2015 American League MVP Award winner has reportedly agreed to a two-year, $29 million deal with the Blue Jays, which will effectively buy out his first two years of arbitration. This is a very lucrative deal for someone reaching arbitration for the first time, but Donaldson isn't just any other player. He's been a top-10 finisher in the AL MVP Award voting three years running, and his unusual career arc makes him arguably the most impressive late-bloomer in baseball history.
There are 24 position players since 1901 who accumulated a WAR of at least 23.0 for their age-27 through age-29 seasons. Of the two dozen, 19 are in the Hall of Fame, with the only exceptions being Barry Bonds and a quartet of active players: Albert Pujols, Alex Rodriguez, Chase Utley and Donaldson. This collection of ballplayers -- led by Babe Ruth -- finds Donaldson occupying the 19th slot, in between arguably the game's greatest second baseman, Joe Morgan, and two of its absolute top-of-the-line center fielders, Tris Speaker and Mickey Mantle. For this age, Donaldson rubs shoulders with players like Lou Gehrig and Hank Aaron, Duke Snider and Willie Mays, Ty Cobb and Mel Ott.
Roger Schlueter is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Donaldson, Harper have MVP hair flip-off on Twitter
By Matt Monagan |
Josh Donaldson, perhaps reacting to his two-year deal with the Blue Jays on Monday, decided to tweet a picture of himself flipping his flowing locks into the air. Or perhaps he just tweeted the picture of himself flipping his flowing locks into the air because he wanted to tweet a picture of himself flipping his flowing locks into the air. Either way, here it is below:
Perhaps the best part of the Super Bowl is getting to watch it with all your friends, ideally while eating enough food to make you immobile for days. Of course, after you've consumed your first mountain of wings, you want to be comfortable.
That's why Marcus Stroman and his Blue Jays crew clearly had the best Super Bowl party idea of all time
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays officially agreed to terms with right-hander Gavin Floyd by signing the veteran right-hander to a Major League deal worth $1 million.
News of the signing was reported earlier this week but wasn't made offical until Saturday afternoon. Floyd secured a guaranteed deal and likely has a strong shot of beginning the year in Toronto's bullpen.
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays added another voice to their expanding front office by officially hiring former Major League manager Eric Wedge as a player development adviser on Saturday afternoon.
According to a team statement, Wedge will work closely with president Mark Shapiro, general manager Ross Atkins and player development director Gil Kim on "strategies to enhance the player development system."
TORONTO -- The success of 2015 apparently has earned Blue Jays manager John Gibbons some goodwill in Toronto, as he was treated to a standing ovation at Thursday night's annual season-ticket holder event, The Leadoff.
"What a difference a year makes," Gibbons said in his typical sense of humor.
Veteran reliever pitched in 33 games for Atlanta last season
The Blue Jays signed free-agent right-hander David Aardsma to a Minor League contract with an invite to Major League Spring Training on Friday.
Aardsma, 34, appeared in 33 games, all in relief, for the Braves last season, going 1-1 with a 4.70 ERA. The Denver, Colo., native is a veteran of nine Major league seasons, posting a 16-18 record with 69 saves and a 4.27 ERA in 331 games for eight different clubs.
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays still don't have natural grass at Rogers Centre, and whether they ever will remains a highly debated topic, but the installation of a dirt infield is at least a first step.
Toronto announced this week that a dirt infield will be installed in time for the 2016 season. Work is scheduled to begin Monday, and it will involve the excavation of the concrete Rogers Centre floor around the entire infield area.
TORONTO -- Rogers Centre will have a different look this season, as the Blue Jays announced on Wednesday that they are installing a traditional dirt infield for the 2016 campaign.
Work is scheduled to begin on Monday, and the field will be ready for the start of the regular season in April. The process involves excavation of the cement floor at Rogers Centre and then layering the affected areas with gravel, sand and clay.
Martinez, Hentgen lead 2016 Canadian Hall of Fame class
Former pitching greats to be joined by four other inductees
By Tom Singer
Former pitching greats Dennis Martinez of the Expos and Pat Hentgen of the Blue Jays headline the 2016 class of inductees into the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame.
Martinez, who spent the middle part of his 23-year career recording 100 wins in Montreal, and Hentgen, the 1996 winner of the American League Cy Young Award for his 20-10 season with the Blue Jays, will be inducted on June 18 in St. Marys, Ontario.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Blue Jays strike deal with Mets, get Ceciliani
By Cash Kruth
The Blue Jays on Tuesday acquired outfielder Darrell Ceciliani from the Mets for a player to be named.
Ceciliani, 25, hit .345 with 19 doubles and nine home runs in 70 games at Triple-A Las Vegas in 2015, while batting .206 in 39 games with the Mets.
TORONTO -- Everybody wants at least one do over in life, and Groundhog Day just happens to be an occasion when we can fantasize about what changes would be made if there was an opportunity to re-live a particular moment.
In celebration of this annual event, MLB.com asked front-office executives from around the league one simple question: "What was the worst trade you ever made and what did you learn from it?"
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have several intriguing roster decisions to make when Spring Training gets under way later this month, but perhaps the most interesting one of all will take place at the back end of the bullpen.
The Blue Jays' roster from last season has remained mostly intact, but one of the major additions was right-hander Drew Storen, and now the club must decide how to use him. He has proven ninth-inning experience, but Roberto Osuna did just fine as last season's closer, and the risk here is messing with a recipe that works.
TORONTO -- Anthony Alford's decision to pass on football and pursue a full-time career in baseball seems to be paying off as the promising outfielder has cracked MLBPipeline.com's Top 100 Prospects list.
The Blue Jays' lone representative, Alford is ranked No. 42 overall. The former University of Mississippi defensive back didn't crack the preseason rankings a year ago, but his soaring stock can be tied to the fact he is now focused solely on baseball.
Veteran infielder returns to club with invite to Spring Training
By Jamal Collier
The Blue Jays signed infielder Maicer Izturis on Friday to a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Izturis, 35, has not appeared in a Major League game since April 13, 2014, while recovering from left knee surgery and then right shoulder surgery in June 2015. He has been with the Blue Jays organization since '13 after signing a three-year, $10 million contract that offseason.
Jamal Collier is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Stroman serenades Colabello's dog
By Chris Landers |
The stars of MLB have spent the winter going to extraordinary, tire-flipping lengths to get into shape for the upcoming season. But the question must be asked: What about their dogs? 162 games of traveling and chasing ballpark foodstuffs is pretty exhausting work for them too, after all -- who will make sure they're prepared for the grind of a long season?
Marcus Stroman, that's who. He even took time out of his workout on Friday to inspire Chris Colabello's dog, while introducing it to the finer points of dabbing.
TORONTO -- Blue Jays fans will be able to watch 10 Spring Training games and listen to all 30 games on Sportsnet 590 The Fan and MLB.com when Grapefruit League action gets underway in March.
Sportsnet is set to broadcast 10 games, with the first taking place on March 4 when the Blue Jays host the Orioles in a 1:07 p.m. ET start time at Florida Auto Exchange Stadium. The television schedule also includes the two-game exhibition series in Montreal against the Red Sox on April 1-2.
TORONTO -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons hasn't made anything official, but it certainly appears as though Toronto will give Troy Tulowitzki another crack at being the leadoff hitter for one of the best lineups in baseball.
Toronto experimented with Tulowitzki in the top spot after he arrived last year in a midseason trade with Colorado, but the move proved to be short-lived. The star shortstop hit leadoff for 26 games before giving way to Ben Revere and returning to the middle of the order.