Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins had to hit the ground running after joining club president Mark Shapiro in moving from Cleveland to Toronto. He gave an interesting interview with Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star about the transition. Among other things, Atkins says he has been impressed with the level of minor league talent still in place despite the significant trades swung by former GM Alex Anthopoulos.
Here’s more out of Toronto:
- It doesn’t appear that the Blue Jays have any further extension talks lined up with slugger Edwin Encarnacion during the final days of camp, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports on Twitter. That’s not terribly surprising, given that all indications are the sides were not able to gain much ground earlier in the spring. Still, it’s worth noting that many extension — particularly of pending free agents — come together just before the season opens.
- Roberto Osuna will open the year as the closer for the Jays, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets, meaning that the recently acquired Drew Storen will operate in the 8th inning. As Nicholson-Smith notes (also via Twitter), the Opening Day pen will include four other new additions: Gavin Floyd, Jesse Chavez, Arnold Leon, and Rule 5 pick Joe Biagini.
- Meanwhile, Toronto has settled upon Ezequiel Carrera as the team’s fourth outfielder to open the season, as MLB.com’s Gregor Chisholm tweets. He had been competing for the job with players like Darrell Ceciliani, Junior Lake, and Domonic Brown. Carrera, 28, owns a .259./.309/.349 slash with 27 stolen bases over 670 plate appearances spread over five MLB campaigns.