Here’s the latest from Toronto…
- The Blue Jays made their latest move to conserve Aaron Sanchez’s innings when they optioned the young righty to Single-A Dunedin today, a move Sanchez and GM Ross Atkins discussed with reporters (including Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi). The plan to send Sanchez to Dunedin came up a few weeks ago, and Atkins said it hinged on Sanchez’s agreement. The right-hander had no issue, noting that “if I’m just going to be sitting here knowing that they’re going to skip my start, why don’t we bring somebody up to help continue to win ballgames.” The ten-day demotion will cost Sanchez some salary, which Davidi figures the club will make up when renewing Sanchez’s contract for the 2017 season.
- With so many key players owed raises in 2017 or headed to free agency, Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun opines that Jays ownership should raise payroll into the $165-$170MM range in order to keep the team competitive. This would represent a sizable increase in spending (the Jays’ Opening Day payroll stood just over $136.7MM, according to Cot’s Baseball Contracts) though it’s an increase the club should be able to afford, given that TV ratings and attendance have risen so sharply over the last year.
- In another piece from Davidi, Atkins discussed the Jays’ changes in the scouting and player development departments from earlier this week. The club hopes to have a new scouting director and “someone in a similar capacity to” the national crosschecker job in place within the next month, according to Atkins. Several names from the MLB Scouting Bureau and from the front offices of the Pirates, Indians, Mets and Athletics are reportedly under consideration for the two jobs, according to Davidi.