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.
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.
Bautista, Encarnacion contracts are high priority for club
By Gregor Chisholm
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays have a lot of heavy lifting to do this spring and most of the action will be taking place away from the field, in contract negotiations with Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.
Toronto president Mark Shapiro went on record Thursday night to confirm contract talks with two sluggers will take place during Spring Training. First things first, the Blue Jays need to settle Josh Donaldson's arbitration case but the focus will shift quickly after that.
TORONTO -- The clock is ticking, but the Blue Jays apparently have not abandoned hope that 2015 American League MVP Award winner Josh Donaldson can be signed to a multiyear contract extension before his arbitration case is heard later this month.
Arbitration dates are expected to remain confidential until a ruling is announced, but Donaldson's case will be heard on Feb. 15, according to a report by FoxSports.com. That leaves little time for Toronto and Donaldson to reach an agreement, but the sides are talking.
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.
TORONTO -- Dalton Pompey is aware of the opportunity that exists in left field, but unlike a year ago, he's not going to get carried away with the possibility of being an everyday player in the Major Leagues.
Pompey is set to arrive at Spring Training next month in Dunedin, Fla., with an opportunity to compete for the starting job in left, and he will face some stiff competition from Michael Saunders.
'I was able to feed off them every day,' Blue Jays 3B says at BBWAA ceremony
By Chad Thornburg
In the eyes of Josh Donaldson, his blossoming Major League success can be traced back to one player in particular -- former A's and Giants pitcher Barry Zito.
"[I] looked up at the scoreboard in 2012, and he was hitting about 40 points higher than I was, and it made me realize I needed to change a few things," Donaldson said. "I've got to thank Barry for showing up that year and bringing the stick."
Chad Thornburg is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Amazing images from Donaldson's 'Vikings' appearance
By Matt Monagan |
We mentioned last week that reigning AL MVP Josh Donaldson would be appearing on this season of History Channel's "Vikings." The actual episode won't air for at least another month, but on Monday, we were gifted with some photos from the shoot. And honestly, Josh Donaldson might actually be a Viking.
The Blue Jays said they want to move Aaron Sanchez to the rotation because the longer pitchers stay there, the less success they have becoming starters later in their career. Why doesn't that same argument apply to Roberto Osuna?
-- Sean H., Scarborough, Ontario
The same argument does apply, but the Blue Jays have to balance contending in 2016 with keeping an eye on the future. If Toronto was rebuilding, the decision to start Sanchez and Osuna would be a no-brainer.
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' clubhouse lost one of its biggest personalities this week as veteran infielder and fan favorite Munenori Kawasaki signed a Minor League deal with the Cubs.
Kawasaki's departure hardly comes as a surprise, but it does put an end to an eventful three-year tenure with the club. He didn't play a lot, but his impact was felt elsewhere because of his colorful personality and quirky mannerisms.