The Blue Jays are planning extensive renovations at Rogers Centre, as Venues Now’s Don Muret reports that the club will spend $200-$250MM in upgrades to the ballpark. The specifics of the renovations aren’t known, though Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi reports that the work is “likely to include a redesign of the stadium’s lower bowl.” Given the potential scale of the redesigns, Davidi speculates that the renovations may slowly take place over the next few years, with work restricted to the offseason so fans or team personnel won’t be impacted during regular-season games.
Rogers Centre (which opened in 1989) is the seventh-oldest of all active Major League ballparks, and while the Jays were known to be exploring their options for building a new stadium near the current property or perhaps elsewhere in Toronto, the pandemic seems to have changed the team’s plans. Renovating Rogers Centre now seems like the preferred and simpler route for the Blue Jays, rather than spend years finding and developing a new site.
More from both the AL and NL East divisions…
- The Marlins have hired Roman Ocumarez as the team’s new international director, according to ESPN.com’s Enrique Rojas (Twitter link). Ocumarez comes to Miami from the Astros, where he worked as a scout and most recently as an international scouting supervisor. Framber Valdez, Cristian Javier, and Luis Garcia are just a few of the notable signings credited to Ocumarez, with that particular trio already providing a huge return on the Astros’ total investment of $40K in bonus money. The Marlins will look for Ocumarez to continue that success at finding hidden gems, and carrying on the Marlins’ own history of finding and developing quality international prospects.
- Christian Vazquez has begun playing winter ball in Puerto Rico, as The Boston Globe’s Alex Speier writes that Vazquez feels the extra work will help him bounce back from a disappointing year at the plate. The Red Sox catcher hit only .258/.308/.352 in 498 plate appearances, and he is now in the final year of his contract after Boston exercised its $7MM club option on Vazquez’s services for 2022. Obviously, better numbers will help re-establish Vazquez as a reliable starting catcher and line him up for his next deal, whether that contract could come with the Sox or another team. There has already been an indication that the Red Sox are looking beyond Vazquez, as the team was reportedly close to acquiring Jacob Stallings from the Pirates before Pittsburgh ultimately dealt the catcher to the Marlins. Speier observes that Vazquez decided to play winter ball of his own volition, as the Red Sox aren’t allowed to be in contact with players due to the lockout, and might well have not permitted the veteran backstop to participate under normal circumstances.
- Relief pitching has been an issue for the Nationals for years, and in looking ahead to next season, the Nats have already acquired Francisco Perez from the Guardians and added three relievers in the minor league Rule 5 Draft. As The Washington Post’s Jesse Dougherty notes, this can help the Nationals augment a bullpen that has already parted ways with several members of its 2021 relief corps, and is lacking in homegrown minor league relievers who could provide immediate help.