Jays From the Couch brings you the latest Toronto Blue Jays news & links. This edition: the aftermath of the Jose Bautista signing & more!
Well, that is more like it! Tuesday was a day we’d all been hoping for all off season. The Toronto Blue Jays agreed to bring back a franchise icon in Jose Bautista. We look at the aftermath of this announcement and a few more things that are floating around in Blue Jays Land. Let’s go!
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*At FanRag Sports, Jesse Spector was quick to post one of the first Hot Takes of the post-Bautista signing. He says that the Blue Jays signed the wrong outfielder but agreeing to terms with Bautista instead of Michael Saunders. Just for sheer entertainment value, I checked out the logic behind this argument. Aside from the value of the click, there has to be some, right?
Essentially, Spector says that Saunders was better in 2016 (maybe Mr Spector didn’t follow the second half of Saunders’ season), he cost less (he signed with the Phillies for $9M and an option for the following season for ~$11M) and he would not have cost a draft pick. The problem with all of that is that we’re talking about JOSE FREAKING BAUTISTA. We’re talking about the guy who very well could take over top spot on the team’s HR list in the next few years. We’re talking about the Flipper of Bats. We’re talking about the on-base machine. And then, we’re talking about a lefty bat that strikes out a lot; the guy who doesn’t really add much to the Phillies. Hmmm….maybe not all Hot Takes need to be so quick.
*At The Ringer, Ben Lindbergh argues that Bautista is a victim of poor timing. Now, considering his eye at the plate and his ability to turn on mistake pitches, this would sound silly at first. But, the timing Lindbergh refers to is beyond Jose’s control. The reality is that Bautista hit free agency in a time when people aren’t getting those $100M deals, at least not guys who have a resumé like his. As Lindbergh points out, Bautista’s performance(s) over his career have actually been more like a half career of a Hall of Famer. And, yet, here he is signing for what could be a total of $60M over 3 yrs…maybe. It’s rather interesting to think that even just a few years ago, Bautista very well could have seen much more money. Of course, that also means that he would be calling another dressing room “home”.
*At Fangraphs, Travis Sawchik wonders if the Blue Jays very well could have signed Bautista to their second team-friendly deal. You’ll recall that the previous deal appeared to be a risk by former GM, Alex Anthopoulos, but turned out to be a major “home town discount”, as Bautista has declared. Well, thanks to his training practices and obsession with his health, the Blue Jays very well could strike gold twice as Sawchik explores the idea of Bautista defying that aging curve. By Fangraphs’ own figures, Bautista’s 2016 was worth $10.9M. Considering the injuries, etc that have been made quite famous by now, it wouldn’t be too difficult to see him outperforming this value. His OBP, bat speed, etc all point to a guy who could live up to his reputation, old, or not.
*At Sportsnet, we learn that Super Agent, Scott Boras has already started his work for his new client, Aaron Sanchez. Keegan Matheson shares the comments from Boras, who appeared on Prime Time Sports on Monday. Boras flat out says Sanchez “has the tools to be someone who can be one of the most prominent Blue Jays in history”.
While the initial news of Sanchez joining Boras didn’t really seem to have an impact, the fact is that we are just getting a small sample of what is to come. We’ll get a steady diet of these kind of comments form Boras over the next few years. Sanchez won’t be a free agent until 2021, but you can bet that every chance to spout the value of his client will be seized by Boras, who is always angling for a big payday.
*The Edmonton Journal presents us with a little photo gallery of the Blue Jays Winter Tour stop in Edmonton. As always, it is really cool to see all the folks line up and meet the players. They always have such smiles on their faces, even if they did wait forever. Speaking of the Edmonton stop, our Dustin Reddon was there for the media session and had some gems to relay to us from Sanchez, Marco Estrada and Kevin Pillar.
And, in case you missed it, you can find our interview with Blue Jays Prospect, Conner Greene HERE:
Around the League
*While the Toronto Blue Jays bullpen is still trying to figure out its lefty reliever situation, there is a team out there that actually has too many of them. Matt Shetler of Pirates Breakdown brings us the story of the embarrassment of riches in which the Pirates currently find themselves. They look to head into the 2017 4 lefties in their bullpen. It would be interesting to see the printout of phone records between these two clubs, because they seem to line up almost perfectly. And, while some deals might be too crazy to accept, there very well could be one to be made between these two clubs.
*At Baseball Ranks, Alex Giobbi presents a mock 2017 MLB Draft. He has the Twins selecting first and going with J.B. Bukauskas. With the 22nd pick, he has the Blue Jays selecting Nick Pratto, a lefty hitter who can pitch AND play the field. Giobbi describes Pratto as a good contact hitter with average power, who could be a back-end starter, or a first baseman. Obviously, a lot can change between now and the draft, and no one really knows how a team will pick, let alone all 30 of them. But, these mock-ups are always fun.
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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.