Jays From the Couch brings you the latest Toronto Blue Jays News & Links. This time: Arbitration deals and Prospects!
Well, some Toronto Blue Jays signings took place. They might not be the ones you’d been hoping for, but they are a necessary part of January in baseball. Arbitration figures and contracts get sorted out at this time of year and the Blue Jays dealt with a pair of them on Thursday night. We bring you this and the latest on the farm system in your Morning News.
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*Darwin Barney will be back with the Blue Jays for a reasonable price. His agreement with the club on a 2017 salary came on Thursday night:
blue jays, darwin barney settle at $2.8875M
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 12, 2017
And, in all reality, this might be more than we had thought in our Arbitration Over/Under post, but it still works out to quite a deal for the (can we say?)super utility player. His defensive flexibility and aptitude put his 2016 value at well over $11M, according to Fangraphs. The fact that he can play all over the diamond, and quite well, makes him a steal. He lives up to the adage that, as a bench guy, you just need to be a solid glove and anything you chip in with the bat is extra. As it turns out, he was a bit of a surprise in that regard, at times.
Ezequiel Carrera has also come to terms with the Blue Jays. The 4th outfielder, who looks to be in position to figure prominantly in the 2017 outfield situation will make just over a million:
Ezequiel Carrera, blue Jays settle at $1,162,500
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 13, 2017
If you look at things as they stand right now, this deal with Carrera figures to be quite good for the Blue Jays. That is, if you accept that right now, he figures to see a healthy number of at bats this coming season. OF course, you don’t have to accept it. You can choose to ignore the way t hings are for the way things should/could/would be, but that won’t help you much these days. In fact, right now, Carrera looks to be a rather large part of an idea of moving toward run prevention, rather than mashing the ball, which I explained HERE.
*Barry Davis had a chance to talk to Anthony Alford and kicked off with the very personal story of the Alford home burning to the ground. Alford credits the Blue Jays organization and its fans for helping out in his time of need. It is interesting to listen to Alford talk about the love he received from his fellow Blue Jays, who we can’t really call teammates since he is a couple of years away from playing on the same field as him. But, the sense of “family” as Alford refers to it is actually really refreshing.
It is especially interesting to listen to all of this because if the Blue Jays are going to pull off some kind of deal to land big league talent in the outfield, like, say Andrew McCutchen, they’ll need to part with a prospect like Alford, who has lots of talent and is getting closer to seeing big league action. Not that the business side of baseball should interfere with this story.
Alford also talked about his readiness for the big league season and his recovery from injuries in 2016, which can also be found in his Jays Nest Podcast interview from the beginning of December, which also featured Ryan Borucki.
*If you would like some more Barry in your life, here is his chat with Shi Davidi about the Blue Jays farm system and how we should be excited about the youngsters coming up. To the casual fan, that might come as some form of comfort. But, to those who follow the team closely and are somewhat familiar with the system, this is not surprising at all. This system has some very good talent in it. The issue is that it is further away from the big league stage than we would like.
But, here’s the thing…it isn’t as far away as all that. Remember back just a few weeks ago when Blue Jays management said that the farm system isn’t all that great and we shouldn’t expect any deals to materialize? Well, I’m not so sure that is 100% accurate. Toronto may need to pay more in prospect capital to get a deal done- the right deal, that is- but that doesn’t mean that other teams don’t value their prospects. Think Rowdy Tellez, Alford, Sean Reid-Foley, Conner Greene or Vlad Jr don’t appeal to other organizations? Please.
*Finally, Jays From the Couch will have media access to the Edmonton stop of the Blue Jays Winter Tour on Friday. Our Dustin Reddon will be there to scrum it up with Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis, Marco Estrada and Aaron Sanchez. Despite the many criticisms the Winter Tour faces in their efforts to reach an entire country, the events are always a good time and we’re happy to have been granted media access.
Speaking of which, we aren’t stopping there! Our Catherine Stem and Wade Black will also have media access to the Prospect Showcase taking place in Buffalo over the weekend.
Yup, Jays From the Couch will be mic’d up and ready to share photos, etc from the two events. So, be sure to stay tuned for all of our coverage on Twitter @JaysFromCouch and make sure you check back as we bring you all the excitement!
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Shaun Doyle is a long time Blue Jays fan and writer! He decided to put those things together and create Jays From the Couch. Shaun is the host of Jays From the Couch Radio, which is highly ranked in iTunes, and he has appeared on TV and radio spots.