Toronto Blue Jays – MLB Trade Rumors https://www.mlbtraderumors.com Wed, 12 Dec 2018 14:03:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8.7 Blue Jays Have High Asking Prices For Stroman, Sanchez https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/fatrade-rumors-kinsler-jays-yanks-indians-miller-allen-miley.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/fatrade-rumors-kinsler-jays-yanks-indians-miller-allen-miley.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 06:00:02 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140124
  • Blue Jays right-handers Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez have been mentioned in trade rumors this offseason, though teams are finding it especially difficult to pry them loose. Per Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, interested clubs have found the Jays’ asking price for both pitchers to be “uncomfortably high.” Because Stroman and Sanchez each have two years of control left, Nicholson-Smith suggests the Jays are holding out for a return similar to the one the Mariners received from the Yankees for James Paxton. That doesn’t seem realistic on Toronto’s part, however, as both Stroman and Sanchez struggled through injury-limited seasons in 2018.
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    Latest On J.A. Happ, Lance Lynn https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/j-a-happ-rumors-tuesday.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/j-a-happ-rumors-tuesday.html#comments Wed, 12 Dec 2018 01:41:20 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140001 7:41pm: Both Happ and former teammate Lance Lynn are “engaged with” the Astros, Yankees, Reds, Rangers and Blue Jays, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com tweets. Happ’s also continuing to draw the attention of the Phillies, while Lynn has received interest from the White Sox, according to Feinsand.

    9:53am: It has seemed for the past few days that veteran lefty J.A. Happ could be the next domino to fall in the starting pitching market, and there are signs this morning that talks are advancing. Bob Nightengale of USA Today tweets that Happ’s market is “heating up,” while Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports on Twitter that Happ is sitting on multiple two-year offers.

    The key question remains whether Happ will secure a guaranteed third season. Passan says that he has yet to receive such an offer. Happ’s representatives have “indicated he’ll sign with the first” team that meets that asking price, however, so it seems possible that something could come together swiftly.

    Entering the offseason, MLBTR predicted that Happ would indeed secure that third season in a new deal, riding his solid recent track record to a $48MM guarantee. There certainly seems to be sufficient interest to support such an outcome, though organizations are understandably hesitant to commit to Happ through his age-38 campaign.

    To this point, the Phillies, Braves, Yankees, Brewers, Reds, Angels, Astros, Twins, Blue Jays, and White Sox have all been connected to Happ. It’s certainly not impossible to imagine a few other organizations with possible interest as well, though at present it’s tough to gauge the likeliest landing spots.

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    Blue Jays Release Troy Tulowitzki https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/blue-jays-release-troy-tulowitzki.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/blue-jays-release-troy-tulowitzki.html#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 20:01:37 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140035 The Blue Jays announced today that they have released veteran shortstop Troy Tulowitzki. The Toronto organization will remain obligated to pay him the remaining $38MM in guaranteed money on his contract (including a buyout of a 2021 option).

    Tulowitzki, 34, missed all of the 2018 season due to bone spurs in both heels. He had been sidelined for a long stretch of 2017 as well, all while enduring an offensive decline, making for quite an uncertain future for the former superstar.

    Still, it’s surprising that the Jays ended up moving on in this fashion. With two more guaranteed seasons on his contract, Tulowitzki could have been given a shot to work back to health and perhaps build up some trade value. Evidently that was not seen as a workable solution by the organization, which is transitioning to what it hopes will be a new core.

    Teams that wish to take a shot on a rebound can now employ Tulowitzki for the league minimum salary for the next two campaigns, with the Jays footing the remainder of the bill. He’ll surely be guided by the chance at playing time, among other considerations, though even with that appealing contract situation it remains to be seen whether any MLB clubs will consider Tulo a reasonable candidate for semi-regular time (and, if so, whether he’ll still be seen as a shortstop).

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    Pitching Notes: Smith, Watson, Miley, Jays, Kikuchi, Cobb https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/pitching-notes-smith-watson-miley-jays-kikuchi-cobb.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/pitching-notes-smith-watson-miley-jays-kikuchi-cobb.html#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 19:08:45 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=140005 The Cardinals are among the many teams pressing the Giants with interest in southpaw Will Smith, according to Mark Saxon of The Athletic (Twitter link). Another San Francisco lefty, Tony Watson, appears to be of secondary interest to the Cards, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch tweets. Goold notes that the St. Louis club is interested in swapping slugger Jose Martinez for a lefty reliever, though it’s fair to wonder whether he’d be of much interest to the Giants.

    More on the pitching market:

    • There’s at least some preliminary interest from the Reds in southpaw Wade Miley, per MLB.com’s Jon Morosi (Twitter link). Given the Cincinnati organization’s need for significant rotation help, and its recent hiring of former Brewers pitching coach Derek Johnson, it’s not particularly surprising to hear of this link. It’ll be interesting to see what kind of deal the 32-year-old Miley is ultimately able to secure after an odd 2018 campaign in which he worked through injury to compile 80 2/3 innings of 2.57 ERA ball. He managed only 5.6 K/9 and 3.0 BB/9 on the year, though did sport a healthy 52.8% groundball rate while allowing a stingy (but perhaps not sustainable) 0.33 homers per nine.
    • Pitching appears to be a key focus of the Blue Jays this winter, with the club occupying a potentially interesting place in the market. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca reports that the Toronto ballclub is considering players that’d require multi-year commitments as well as bounceback types. But GM Ross Atkins emphasizes that the club won’t be “looking for free-agent pieces with the goal of trading them,” though of course future dealmaking would always be a possibility. Meanwhile, as Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi explores, Atkins evinced an increasing openness to weighing deals for existing starters Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez in his most recent comments. While the team’s own valuation of the two talented-but-uncertain hurlers has surely not changed, Atkins suggests that rivals have shown sufficient interest that it’s worth further exploring trade scenarios. Whether any deal will come together isn’t clear, but it does seem evident that the Toronto club has gained clarity on the demand for these pitchers and that, as Davidi puts it, there’s at least a realistic path to trade outcomes.
    • Yankees GM Brian Cashman indicated yesterday that his club is taking a look at Japanese southpaw Yusei Kikuchi, as MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports. The New York powerhouse is presently engaged on other players, via trade and free agency, but Cashman says that Kikuchi is “somebody that’s worthy of having conversations about potentially landing.” Having taken a long scouting look at Kikuchi already, the Yanks surely have a price point in mind. Cashman says the team will continue to stay “very active, but disciplined” in its pursuit of pitching.
    • The Mariners are another clear possibility for Kikuchi, as TJ Cotterill of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. Seattle GM Jerry Dipoto made clear that the club both holds the Japanese hurler in high regard, calling him a “very good” starter, and is interested in trying to work out a deal. While they are taking a step back in the near-term, the M’s feel the 27-year-old “does fit our timeline,” per Dipoto.
    • It seems there’s at least some interest around the game in Orioles righty Alex Cobb, as Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com reports. While his early showing in Baltimore was simply brutal, Cobb did turn things around in the second half, when he held opposing hitters to a .232/.288/.377 slash and carried a 2.56 ERA in 59 2/3 innings. Of course, the $43MM still owed Cobb over the next three seasons presents quite a barrier to a deal.
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    Trade Buzz On Russell Martin, Ken Giles https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/al-east-notes-rays-red-sox-martin-giles-jays.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/al-east-notes-rays-red-sox-martin-giles-jays.html#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 05:22:00 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139951
  • The Blue Jays have been drawing interest in Russell Martin and other catchers, while a rival executive describes closer Ken Giles as “available” in trade talks, Sportsnet.ca’s Shi Davidi reports.  It stands to reason that the rebuilding Jays are open to just about any veteran on their roster, though Giles’ market may not develop until some of the other notable relievers on the free agent or trade fronts have been moved.  Another rival executive believes Martin has trade value despite a $20MM salary owed in 2019, though the Jays’ willingness to eat a significant portion of that money will determine if a deal is realistic or not.  Absorbing more of the salary would improve the quality of the prospect(s) Toronto received, Davidi writes.
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    Jays Getting "Significant" Interest In Stroman, Sanchez https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/trade-rumors-rockies-santana-castellanos-jays-pirates-realmuto.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/trade-rumors-rockies-santana-castellanos-jays-pirates-realmuto.html#comments Tue, 11 Dec 2018 03:35:25 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139938
  • Interest is “significant” in Blue Jays right-handers Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez, GM Ross Atkins told Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi and other reporters.  Despite the buzz, it would be “very difficult” for the Jays to find a good deal for either pitcher.  It was a busy day in general for the Jays, who met with representatives from five different teams and five different agencies while exploring various trade and free agent options.
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    Jays Interested In Fiers, Graveman https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/morosis-latest-bumgarner-realmuto-padres-yankees-gray-fiers-graveman-jays-happ.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/morosis-latest-bumgarner-realmuto-padres-yankees-gray-fiers-graveman-jays-happ.html#comments Mon, 10 Dec 2018 03:17:27 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139773
  • Mike Fiers and Kendall Graveman are two names on the Blue Jays’ list of pitching targets.  With an inexperienced starting five projected for 2019, the Jays were known to be looking at rotation help this winter — particularly if, as Morosi notes, the team decides to trade Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman as part of its rebuilding efforts.  Fiers and Graveman were both recently non-tendered by the A’s, and fit Toronto’s need for short-term additions are a relatively low cost.  Fiers was in this same position last winter, as he signed a one-year deal with the Tigers and turned in solid numbers both before and after a midseason trade to Oakland.  Graveman would likely be pursued for a two-year deal with a low salary in the first year, as the right-hander is likely miss all of 2019 recovering from Tommy John surgery.  Graveman was originally drafted by the Jays in 2013 (when Alex Anthopoulos was GM) and traded to the A’s in November 2014 as part of the four-player package that brought Josh Donaldson to Toronto.
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    Blue Jays Rumors: Tulo, Travis, Stroman, Sanchez https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/blue-jays-rumors-tulo-travis-stroman-sanchez.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/blue-jays-rumors-tulo-travis-stroman-sanchez.html#comments Fri, 07 Dec 2018 02:03:37 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139535 Blue Jays general manager addressed the media last night in an appearance at the annual meeting of the Baseball Writers Association of America’s Toronto chapter, and, in the process, spoke about his team’s 2019 roster and what lies ahead in the 2018-19 offseason (links via Shi Davidi of Sportsnet and Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com).

    Atkins didn’t mince words when asked if shortstop Troy Tulowitzki, who missed the entire 2018 season due to bone spurs in both feet, would be able to play regularly for the Jays in 2019.

    “Candidly, and I think Troy would agree with me, that is not likely,” said the GM. “He will have to overachieve to play shortstop at an above-average level, with above-average offensive performance for 140 games.”

    Whether Tulowitzki, 34, would actually agree with Atkins is up for debate; as Chisholm reminds in his column, it was just three months ago when Tulowitzki was asked about moving off the shortstop position and told reporters: “I’m a shortstop. … If someone’s better than me, I’ll pack my bags and go home.”

    Certainly, no one should expect that Tulo would actually walk away from the final $38MM on his contract, but the disconnect between the two sets of comments is nonetheless of some note. Davidi adds that Atkins wouldn’t commit to Lourdes Gurriel Jr. as the primary shortstop but acknowledged that “if we were playing tomorrow,” Gurriel would likely get the nod.

    The other middle-infield spot doesn’t appear to come with much more certainty. Devon Travis was tendered a contract despite ongoing health issues and an awful season at the plate in 2018 (.232/.275/.381), but Atkins wouldn’t commit to him as the everyday second baseman. Rather, Atkins emphasized that Travis needs to coming into Spring Training and prove that he can “be the best guy for second base for us” in 2019.

    Perhaps most notable for the league’s other 29 clubs, though, were Atkins’ comments on right-handers Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez. While nothing Atkins said should be read as an indication that Stroman or Sanchez is being shopped, he stated that he can “absolutely” envision teams making strong enough offers to consider trading either pitcher.

    Both Stroman and Sanchez looked to be among the league’s most promising young starters as recently as 2016 (Sanchez) and 2017 (Stroman), but both struggled through poor showings in 2018. Beyond that, both righties are just two years away from free agency, meaning they don’t align well with the Blue Jays’ realistic timeline for contending. That said, selling low on either would be a tough pill to swallow, and it’s arguably more prudent to give each a chance to rebuild some value early in the 2019 season.

    Stroman pitched to a 5.54 ERA last season as his K/BB numbers went backward, and he also battled shoulder fatigue and blister issues. But, back in 2017, Stroman turned in a 3.09 ERA with 7.3 K/9, 2.8 BB/9, 0.94 HR/9 and a whopping 62.1 percent ground-ball rate in 201 innings — his second consecutive season of 200-plus frames. Though his 2018 results were ugly, it’s worth noting that he replicated that exact ground-ball rate this past season and actually allowed home runs at an even lower rate. He’s projected by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz to earn $7.2MM in arbitration this winter.

    Sanchez, meanwhile, barely kept his ERA under 5.00 in 2018 and averaged five walks per nine innings pitched. It’s the second straight season that he’s posted that exact BB/9 mark and, more importantly, the second consecutive season in which he’s been beset by finger issues that have limited his availability and effectiveness. However, Sanchez posted a league-leading 3.00 ERA over the life of 192 innings back in 2016, making the AL All-Star team and finishing seventh in AL Cy Young voting. That season, he averaged 7.6 K/9 against 3.0 BB/9, 0.7 HR/9 and a 54.4 percent grounder rate. Unlike Stroman, he didn’t reach arbitration a year early as a Super Two player, so his $3.8MM arbitration projection is a bit more palatable.

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    Blue Jays Reportedly Interested In Dallas Keuchel https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/blue-jays-interested-in-dallas-keuchel.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/blue-jays-interested-in-dallas-keuchel.html#comments Sun, 02 Dec 2018 17:24:06 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139117 11:24am: Toronto’s likely not a real threat to sign Keuchel, suggests Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, who expects the club to shop for lower-tier free-agent starters.

    9:40am: As the most accomplished starting pitcher available in free agency, left-hander Dallas Keuchel has unsurprisingly drawn plenty of attention this offseason. Count the Blue Jays among the teams with interest in him, Jon Heyman of Fancred reports.

    Starting pitching is a concern for the Blue Jays, whose rotation ranked an atrocious 28th in ERA and an unimpressive 21st in fWAR in 2018. That included a solid 114 innings from lefty J.A. Happ, whom the Blue Jays traded over the summer and now have interest in bringing back in free agency.

    As things stand, the most established starters remaining in Toronto are Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Sam Gaviglio and Ryan Borucki – a quartet that, with the exception of Borucki, struggled to prevent runs last season. Moreover, Stroman and Sanchez, despite the immense promise they’ve shown at times, have come up in trade speculation this offseason. Even if the Jays do keep them heading into next year, their control over the pair is dwindling, as both Stroman and Sanchez are only arbitration eligible through 2020.

    While the Jays’ No. 1 and 2 starters are controllable for just two more seasons, it may take a contract at least twice that long to reel in the soon-to-be 31-year-old Keuchel. The career-long Astro is in line for a four-year, $82MM deal, MLBTR predicts. Whether the Jays would be well-served by making such a commitment is debatable. Toronto may have trouble pushing for a playoff spot during the very early portion of Keuchel’s deal, after all, as general manager Ross Atkins has suggested the team’s realistically hoping to return to contention in 2020 or ’21. In the meantime, the club should continue to have its hands full in a division led by the world champion Red Sox, the title-contending Yankees and the up-and-coming Rays.

    Keuchel’s age, his status as a qualifying offer recipient and the Jays’ current state seem to make the two an imperfect match, though they may earnestly pursue the former AL Cy Young Award winner if they believe he’ll avoid a sharp decline. Keuchel’s run prevention, strikeout, groundball and swing-and-miss numbers dipped last year in comparison to his best seasons, but he remained a formidable producer. Further, Keuchel has never been one to rely on velocity or post gaudy strikeout numbers, and has instead leaned on his exceptional ability to induce weak contact. Keuchel’s big-talking agent, Scott Boras, plans to take advantage of that, having announced that he’s selling his client as the “soft-contact genius of his era.”

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    Minor MLB Transactions: 12/1/18 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/minor-mlb-transactions-12118-2.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/12/minor-mlb-transactions-12118-2.html#comments Sat, 01 Dec 2018 22:44:10 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=139054 Keeping track of the latest minor moves from around baseball…

    • Royals right-hander Burch Smith cleared waivers and has been outrighted to the minor leagues, per mlb.com’s transaction page.  The 28-year-old Smith was a once-promising prospect in the Padres system but has been beset by a string of injuries since.  From 2014′-17, the righty made just 13 appearances, all at the minor league level.  In 78 IP last season, the low-slot Smith allowed 15 HR and walked over 4.5 men per nine, though his average fastball velocity had increased nearly a mile and a half per hour since his last MLB stint in 2013 with San Diego.
    • Righty Mark Leiter of the Blue Jays has also been outrighted to Triple-A after clearing waivers, per Mike Wilner of SportsNet 590 The Fan. The 27-year-old Leiter is the son of the former 11-year big leaguer of the same name, and bested long odds as a 22nd round pick to reach the majors in 2017 with Philadelphia. In parts of two major league seasons with Philly and Toronto, Leiter has been a veritable gopher-ball machine, allowing nearly two homers per nine in 114 total IP, to go along with shaky command and an average strikeout rate.
    • Pirates righty Alex McRae, too, was outrighted to the minors after clearing waivers. McRae, 25, had embarked on a steady ascent through the Pirate farm until last year’s six-inning cameo at the MLB level. The 6’2, 220 lb starter, despite a mediocre strikeout rate, does an excellent job limiting free passes and big fly, and should again find a major league opportunity at some point in the future.
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    Blue Jays Non-Tender Yangervis Solarte https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/blue-jays-non-tender-yangervis-solarte.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/blue-jays-non-tender-yangervis-solarte.html#comments Fri, 30 Nov 2018 23:47:51 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138918 The Blue Jays have non-tendered infielder Yangervis Solarte, per a club announcement. His $5.5MM option had already been declined, but Solarte still remained eligible for arbitration.

    Given that Solarte projected to earn $5.9MM, this decision was inevitable. The 31-year-old will certainly draw looks as a reserve piece. He has certainly had his moments at the plate and is capable of playing second third base, as well as some shortstop if pressed. But Solarte is also coming off of the two least-productive seasons of his career as a hitter. In 2018, he slashed just .226/.277/.378.

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    Francisco Cervelli, Russell Martin Available On Trade Market https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/mlb-trade-rumors-francisco-cervelli-russell-martin-pirates-blue-jays.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/mlb-trade-rumors-francisco-cervelli-russell-martin-pirates-blue-jays.html#comments Thu, 29 Nov 2018 04:02:30 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138699 Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli and Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin are both generating some degree of interest on the trade market, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports (all Twitter links). The Jays are willing to pay a “significant” portion of the final $20MM on Martin’s contract, per Passan, and have already discussed him with other clubs. Cervelli’s on-base skills are also appealing to catcher-needy teams, Passan notes, and the Pirates are willing to listen to offers for the veteran backstop. Both players are entering the final season of multi-year contracts.

    Cervelli, 33 in March, just wrapped up a vastly superior offensive season to Martin and is owed a more palatable $11.5MM in 2019 before reaching free agency next winter. That price point is obviously steep for the typically low-budget Pirates, but other clubs around the league may not consider it excessive for a player who hit .259/.378/.431 with a career-high 12 home runs in 404 plate appearances last season. That OBP is hardly anything new for Cervelli, who has reached at a .370 clip or better in five of the past six seasons, with a .342 mark in 2017 serving as the lone exception.

    Cervelli also halted an outstanding 39 percent of stolen-base attempts against him, though his once-superlative framing skills have checked in below the league average in each of the past two seasons, per Baseball Prospectus. He also rated below average in terms of pitch blocking in 2018.

    The 35-year-old Martin is in a much different spot. He’ll make $20MM in the final season of a backloaded five-year, $82MM contract next season, and while his 15.9 percent walk rate was sensational, his overall .194/.338/.325 batting line leaves plenty to be desired. Martin was undoubtedly harmed by a .234 average on balls in play, but that’s perhaps not as unlucky as some might think at first glance.

    While that .234 mark is well south of his career .283 BABIP, Martin saw his line-drive rate drop by nearly 10 percent this past season — from 23.7 percent in 2017 to 14 percent in 2018. He also posted a career-worst 19.4 percent infield-fly rate and hit the ball on the ground at a career-high 51.2 percent clip. For a 35-year-old catcher whose once-surprising speed has largely evaporated, that’s not a great trend.

    Defensively, Martin’s once-excellent caught-stealing rate has waned over the past three seasons (22 percent in 2018 — six percent below the league average), but Baseball Prospectus still grades him as a premium framer and blocker.

    The availability of both Cervelli and Martin only further adds to a market that has a vast supply of options but also a rather substantial amount of demand. Marlins star J.T. Realmuto is obviously the prize of the catching class but also surely comes with a substantially greater cost of acquisition than either Cervelli or Martin. Cleveland’s Yan Gomes, too, is said to be available. Free agency, meanwhile, offers the likes of Yasmani Grandal, Wilson Ramos, Martin Maldonado and Robinson Chirinos, among others.

    As for demand, there’s no shortage of contenders or hopeful contenders who could use upgrades. The Dodgers, Astros, Rockies, Angels, Twins, Red Sox, Mets, Brewers and Phillies could all conceivably explore the market, as could a number of teams that are either in the midst of a rebuild or retooling process (e.g. Mariners, Tigers). And, of course, if any of Cervelli, Martin or Realmuto is moved, those catchers’ former clubs could look to the market to add a replacement option at a lower price.

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    Coaching Hires: Jays, Mariners, Dodgers, D-Backs, Pirates https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/coaching-hires-jays-mariners-dodgers-d-backs-pirates.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/coaching-hires-jays-mariners-dodgers-d-backs-pirates.html#comments Wed, 28 Nov 2018 03:15:22 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138617 This offseason has brought quite a lot of coaching turnover, yet we’ve not heard anything regarding Red Sox pitching guru Brian Bannister. That’s not only by design, but is included in his contract with the club, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston writes in an interesting look at a key figure in the Boston organization. It seems the Red Sox will continue to enjoy Bannister’s services for some time, even if other organizations might have loftier positions to offer.

    Here are some of the latest coaching decisions from around the game …

    • The Blue Jays have rounded out their coaching staff under new skipper Charlie Montoyo. Former Double-A manager John Schneider is heading up to the big club, though his precise role isn’t yet clear. Other recent hires include Mark Budzinski as first base coach and Shelley Duncan as field coordinator, as Robert Murray of The Athletic reported (Twitter links). The former comes from the Indians’ staff, while the latter had been managing on the Diamondbacks’ farm.
    • Tim Laker has been announced as the new hitting coach of the Mariners. He had been in an assistant’s role with the Diamondbacks for the past two seasons. A former MLB backstop, Laker will be tasked with stepping into the shoes of the legendary Edgar Martinez, who shifted to a broader role as organizational hitting advisor.
    • The Dodgers have decided to bring on Robert Van Scoyoc as their new hitting coach, according to Pedro Moura of The Athletic (via Twitter). He is also coming from the D-Backs organization. This’ll be Van Scoyoc’s first stint on a MLB staff, and it comes at just 32 years of age. He’s best known for helping to re-launch J.D. Martinez into stardom as a private hitting coach.
    • Needless to say, the Diamondbacks have some holes to fill in this area. Eric Hinske will be part of the picture, as he is set to join the team as the assistant hitting coach, per Patrick Mooney of The Athletic (via Twitter). He will work alongside recently hired hitting coach Darnell Coles. Hinske recently held the top hitting coach slot with the Angels and Cubs.
    • In another hitting move, the assistant job of the Pirates will be handled by Jacob Cruz. The 45-year-old was most recently the minor-league hitting coordinator of the Cubs and previously worked in the Diamondbacks organization. A former big-league outfielder, Cruz is slated to pair with new hitting coach Rick Eckstein.
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    Blue Jays Claim Oliver Drake, Designate Mark Leiter Jr. https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/blue-jays-claim-oliver-drake-designate-mark-leiter-jr.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/blue-jays-claim-oliver-drake-designate-mark-leiter-jr.html#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2018 23:32:33 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138468 The Blue Jays announced tonight that they have claimed righty Oliver Drake off waivers from the Rays. To open a 40-man spot, the Toronto club designated fellow right-hander Mark Leiter Jr. for assignment.

    This move continues a seemingly never-ending tour of the majors for Drake, a 31-year-old hurler with intriguing stuff who has seen many a 40-man roster but rarely stays in the same place for long. Since the start of the 2017 campaign, he has appeared with the Orioles, Brewers, Indians, Angels, Twins, and Blue Jays.

    Indeed, Drake set a record last year by appearing with five teams. That did not include the Rays, who claimed him after the season concluded. This will be Drake’s second stop in Toronto; he stopped in for two appearances last season. Of course, it would hardly be surprising if Drake ends up being bumped from the Jays’ 40-man once again over the offseason.

    So, what’s the fascination here? Drake has only a 4.50 career ERA through 137 1/3 innings. But he owns a 12.6% swinging-strike rate in the big leagues and has generally turned in much more promising peripherals. Last year, for example, he carried 9.6 K/9 and 3.2 BB/9 with a 44.9% groundball rate through 47 2/3 frames — though a .353 BABIP and 63.7% strand rate left him with a 5.29 ERA.

    As for the 27-year-old Leiter, he has found success at times in the upper minors but struggled to transition to the major-league mound. He has thrown 114 frames of 5.53 ERA ball in the bigs, due in no small part to allowing home runs at a clip of 1.97 per nine innings. Leiter, too, has been better in the eyes of ERA estimators that presume the dingers are in part a reflection of poor fortune, as he owns a 4.37 xFIP and 4.23 SIERA in the majors. Teams in search of rotation depth will surely have interest.

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    Should The Blue Jays Shop Stroman? https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/quick-hits-schoop-brewers-nationals-stroman.html https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2018/11/quick-hits-schoop-brewers-nationals-stroman.html#comments Mon, 26 Nov 2018 05:01:06 +0000 https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/?p=138371
  • Speaking of Stroman, the Blue Jays have been asked about the right-hander but have yet to enter into any significant trade talks.  The Athletic’s Andrew Stoeten (subscription required) feels the Jays should be willing to deal Stroman even at something of a sell-low price, since a slow start in 2019 would further diminish any real trade value Stroman possesses.  Since Toronto doesn’t seem to be planning to contend again until 2021, Stoeten feels the Jays should be exploring deals for any player (like Stroman) whose isn’t under team control in 2021 or beyond.
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