Toronto Blue Jays – MLB Trade Rumors 2019-08-18T02:10:41Z WordPress Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Vladimir Guerrero Jr. Headed For MRI]]> 2019-08-17T23:31:15Z 2019-08-17T22:21:03Z Heralded Blue Jays rookie Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was removed from today’s contest with the Mariners due to what the team has called “left knee discomfort”. “Vladito” exited the game after making a diving grab on a ground ball at third base in the top of the second inning, and it appears the move may have been more than precautionary–manager Charlie Montoyo informed TSN’s Scott Miller that Guerrero Jr. will undergo an MRI on Sunday (link).

Receiving an MRI is hardly a surefire sign that a player is going to miss significant time, but it also stands to figure that the revelation of even a minor knee issue could spell the end of the 2019 season for the talented third sacker. The Jays currently sit in development and evaluation mode as they play out the string in what will most likely be their second consecutive losing season. Guerrero Jr.–perhaps the team’s most prized prospect of the century, if not ever–would not be an asset to treat with anything less than the utmost caution.

If Guerrero Jr. does indeed make it back to action in the coming days, he will look to build on a more-than-respectable rookie campaign. His .275/.345/.465 batting line corresponds with a 114 wRC+–a mark that ties him with veterans Nolan Arenado and Eduardo Escobar for 18th among third basemen with 250-plus at-bats this year. Of course, that he was hurt on a defensive play should add some extra concern to the situation for Toronto moving forward. Listed at 6’1, 200-lb measurements of questionable veracity, there has long been speculation that Vlad Jr.’s stocky-yet-powerful frame would welcome an eventual move to DH or first base. Regardless of his long-term role with the org, Jays fans will likely wait with bated breath for news of tomorrow’s MRI results.

Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Out Until End Of August ]]> 2019-08-17T06:08:03Z 2019-08-17T06:08:03Z
  • Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is hoping to return from the IL at the end of the month, Scott Mitchell of TSN reports. Gurriel went down Aug. 8 with a strained left quadriceps, cutting off a breakout campaign for the 25-year-old. With a .279/.331/.548 line and 19 home runs in 321 plate appearances, Gurriel has been one of several young Toronto hitters who look as if they’ll be long-term building blocks for the club.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Blue Jays Claim Beau Taylor]]> 2019-08-16T18:51:27Z 2019-08-16T18:32:49Z The Blue Jays have claimed catcher Beau Taylor off waivers from the Athletics, per a club announcement. He’ll begin his tenure with the Toronto organization at Triple-A.

    Taylor was likely targeted to bolster the Jays’ catching depth. The team seems likely to continue utilizing Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire at the major-league level for the duration of the present season, barring injury.

    Though it’s possible Taylor could end up losing his 40-man roster spot at some point, he may also be retained and given a shot to compete in spring camp next year. The 29-year-old can still be optioned and has produced big offensive numbers this year at Triple-A, with a .257/.408/.461 batting line in 240 plate appearances.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Blue Jays Notes: Smoak, Galvis, Bichette, Catcher]]> 2019-08-15T02:19:23Z 2019-08-15T02:15:27Z A day after suggesting that Rowdy Tellez was in line to receive more playing time down than Justin Smoak down the stretch, Blue Jays skipper Charlie Montoyo has walked that assertion back a bit. “Maybe it came out like he’s going to play more than Smoak, but it’s still the same way,” Montoyo told reporters, including Shi Davidi of Sportsnet“Smoak will DH, play first. I don’t see that much of a difference.” Smoak himself was caught off guard by Montoyo’s initial comments, but the first baseman said Montoyo took him aside in an effort to sort things out. It seems that Smoak and Tellez will share first base/designated hitter duties down the stretch, though Montoyo has no shortage of other players he’ll need to try to work into the mix at DH. Davidi adds that the Blue Jays “seem to have no intention” of placing Smoak on outright waivers in the manner they did with Freddy Galvis, who was claimed by the Reds earlier this week.

    More out of Toronto…

    • The Blue Jays didn’t find much in the way of trade interest for Galvis prior to the trade deadline, writes The Toronto Sun’s Ryan Wolstat, but the arrival (and immediate success) of Bo Bichette prompted the club to give the veteran Galvis an opportunity to be claimed by a club that’d play him every day at his natural position. General manager Ross Atkins said the club and Galvis were open and honest with each other leading up to the move. Montoyo effused praise for Galvis’ professionalism and leadership, and teammates such as Lourdes Gurriel Jr. expressed some sadness in seeing Galvis depart. “He taught me a lot, not just to me, to the rest of the guys and I will always carry that with me,” said Gurriel of Galvis. “Freddy’s a huge mentor for any player.” The Reds will now have the ability to exercise Galvis’ $5.5MM club option for the 2020 season, though they’ll also be on the hook for the $1MM buyout should they not decide to bring him back.
    • While Danny Jansen is still the favorite to serve as the Jays’ primary catcher in 2020, TSN’s Scott Mitchell writes that Reese McGuire will be given an opportunity to show he can be a significant piece of the catching puzzle in the season’s final six weeks. Both Jansen and McGuire drew heaps of praise for their defensive prowess from catching coordinator John Schneider, and Jansen indeed ranks among the game’s best backstops in terms of pitch framing, pitch blocking, Defensive Runs Saved and Baseball Prospectus’ fielding runs above average. Jansen has also salvaged what was shaping up to be a miserable season at the plate, hitting .252/.316/.484 dating back to June 1. As Mitchell points out, the Jays have a number of other catching options coming up through the system, giving them some potential trade commodities to address other holes on the club if the Jansen/McGuire pairing is indeed determined to be the long-term catching tandem.
    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Justin Smoak To Lose Playing Time To Rowdy Tellez]]> 2019-08-14T00:33:54Z 2019-08-14T00:33:01Z
  • The Blue Jays recalled first baseman Rowdy Tellez from Triple-A Buffalo on Tuesday. The 24-year-old forced his way back by mauling pitchers at the Triple-A level, where he slashed .366/.450/.688 with seven home runs in 109 plate appearances. Tellez wasn’t nearly that good this year in the majors before a mid-July demotion, as he hit .227/.280/.436 with 14 HRs over 286 PA. However, considering they’re looking toward the future, the rebuilding Blue Jays want to see if Tellez can continue his minor league brilliance in their uniform. His promotion could spell bad news for veteran first baseman Justin Smoak, who’s likely to lose playing time to Tellez, manager Charlie Montoyo said Tuesday (via Scott Mitchell of TSN). That doesn’t seem to bode well for the Toronto future of Smoak, a pending free agent.
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    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Blue Jays Release David Paulino]]> 2019-08-13T00:58:17Z 2019-08-13T00:58:17Z The Blue Jays announced that righty David Paulino has cleared release waivers, making him a free agent. He had been designated for assignment recently.

    Once a major prospect, the 25-year-old hurler has not developed as hoped. There have been quite a few hiccups along the way, most notably arm injuries and a PED suspension.

    Paulino now seems likelier to end up in a big-league relief unit, but he had been functioning as a starter this year at Triple-A. In seven outings this season, he worked to a 3.45 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 over 28 2/3 innings.

    Unfortunately, Paulino has missed the bulk of the campaign with an as-yet-unreported health issue. While no organization was willing to utilize a 40-man spot to add him — notably, he won’t be optionable in 2020 — it stands to reason that one will be glad to take a chance on a minors deal.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Reds Claim Freddy Galvis]]> 2019-08-12T17:34:05Z 2019-08-12T17:09:58Z The Reds have claimed shortstop Freddy Galvis off waivers from the Blue Jays, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports.

    This is the second notable waiver claim in the past week for the Reds, who are taking advantage of a system now devoid of an August trade deadline in an attempt to bolster their roster. The Reds grabbed right-hander Kevin Gausman off waivers from the Braves last Monday.

    Gausman and Galvis could boost the Reds’ playoff chances this year – they’re five games back of a wild-card spot right now – and will be able to contribute to the club in 2020. In Galvis’ case, he’s on a $4MM salary this year, which the Reds will have to assume the rest of, and can be controlled with a $5.5MM club option (or a $1MM buyout) next season.

    Also a former Phillie and Padre, the durable, switch-hitting Galvis, 29, has slashed a respectable .267/.299/.444 (93 wRC+) with 18 home runs and 1.4 fWAR in 473 plate appearances this year. He was expendable to the Blue Jays, who have seen youngsters Bo Bichette and Cavan Biggio come up from the minors this season to grab a stranglehold on their middle infield spots.

    The Reds’ middle infield doesn’t boast the type of promise the Blue Jays’ does, on the other hand. Free agent-to-be Jose Iglesias has been dealing with a biceps injury, which has left shortstop of late to the struggling Jose Peraza, and the light-hitting Iglesias’ offensive numbers have largely cratered since a decent start over the season’s first couple months. Meanwhile, having traded Scooter Gennett to the Giants at last month’s deadline, the Reds have turned to a combination of Peraza, Josh VanMeter, Kyle Farmer and Derek Dietrich at the keystone in the past couple weeks. Perhaps Galvis will also factor in at second, though he has spent almost all of his career at short since debuting in 2012.

    Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Blue Jays Exec Takes Job With Minnesota Vikings]]> 2019-08-12T16:58:15Z 2019-08-12T16:58:15Z
  • Blue Jays executive vice president, business operations Andrew Miller has joined the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings as their chief operating officer, Adam Schefter of ESPN tweets. Miller had been with the Blue Jays since 2016. His familiarity with Jays president of baseball operations Mark Shapiro and general manager Ross Atkins dates back to their time in Cleveland’s front office. For more on the Vikings and the NFL, visit
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    Anthony Franco <![CDATA[Blue Jays To Select Neil Ramirez, Transfer Ryan Borucki To 60-Day IL]]> 2019-08-11T16:49:31Z 2019-08-11T14:29:01Z The Blue Jays will select the contract of right-handed reliever Neil Ramírez, tweets Shi Davidi of Sportsnet. To clear 40-man space for Ramírez, the club has transferred left-hander Ryan Borucki to the 60-day injured list. Reliever Jason Adam was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to clear active roster space.

    While the club considered recalling outfielder Billy McKinney– to the point he was in the clubhouse before today’s game- he’ll remain off the roster for the time being, Davidi adds (via Twitter). The club had been contemplating an IL stint for reliever Ken Giles, but an encouraging game of catch today convinced the club to hold off shelving Giles for the time being.

    Ramírez gets the call after pitching just one game for the Jays’ Triple-A affiliate in Buffalo. The 30 year-old signed a minor-league contract just last week after being cut loose by Cleveland. He pitched in 16 games for Cleveland earlier this season, giving up far too many home runs to hold a job in their strong bullpen. While he hasn’t been productive in either of the last two seasons, Ramírez was quite good with the 2014-15 Cubs and still boasts above-average velocity and fastball and curveball spin, so it’s easy to see why the Jays would give him a shot. He’ll make only the prorated portion of the league minimum (Cleveland remains on the hook for the rest of his $1M salary), and can be tendered in arbitration one final season if the Jays like what they see down the stretch.

    Adam, a 28 year-old righty, was optioned after five appearances. While he allowed just one run in seven innings in Toronto, he only struck out five against three walks. Like Ramírez, Adam relies on a high-spin four-seam/curveball pairing.

    Borucki’s transfer is just a formality. He’s out for the season after a recent bone spur surgery. Before his injury-plagued 2019, the 25 year-old looked like a potential back-end starter for Toronto. He’ll have ample opportunity to claim a job in a rotation in flux next spring.

    Dylan A. Chase <![CDATA[Giles Dealing With Persistent Elbow Ailment ]]> 2019-08-11T03:09:01Z 2019-08-11T03:02:51Z
  • Blue Jays hurler Ken Giles has been dealing with a balky elbow for several weeks and could end up on the injured list in the coming days. Manager Charlie Montoyo told Scott Mitchell of TSN that Giles’ arm isn’t “bouncing back” after a July cortisone shot that was intended to quell inflammation surrounding the elbow, and admitted that the team is having a “conversation” about what to do next in regard to Giles. At 49-71, the Blue Jays don’t figure to close many relevant ballgames down the season’s homestretch, but it stands to reason that Giles’ lingering injury would be of concern to a Blue Jays front office that opted not to deal the talented closer at July’s trade deadline. Across 37 innings, Giles has logged identically fantastic ERA and FIP marks of 1.95.
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    TC Zencka <![CDATA[Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Headed To Injured List]]> 2019-08-10T15:09:33Z 2019-08-10T15:07:50Z
  • The Blue Jays are placing outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. on the 10-day injured list, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of tweets. He has been diagnosed with a quadriceps strain. Gurriel is one of the many MLB legacies making waves in Toronto this season with an overall batting line of .279/.331/.548 with 19 home runs. Gurriel Jr. struggled early in the season to the point of being sent back to Triple-A, but since returning from a six-week exile in Buffalo, Yuli’s little brother has looked like an All-Star, hitting .295/.344/.591 with all 19 of his home runs coming since his return. The Blue Jays are rapidly putting together a lineup worth talking about, and Gurriel Jr. is no small part of their future.
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    Connor Byrne <![CDATA[Ryan Borucki Done For Season]]> 2019-08-09T17:31:58Z 2019-08-09T17:31:58Z Blue Jays left-hander Ryan Borucki has undergone surgery to clean up bone spurs in his elbow, Scott Mitchell of TSN tweets. Borucki will avoid a Tommy John procedure, but his season is still over. He should be ready for spring training, per Mitchell.

    Borucki’s a past Tommy John patient who will wind up sitting out almost all of this season because of elbow problems. The 25-year-old made his 2019 debut July 22 and then proceeded to make one more start before going back on the injured list with elbow inflammation. His year will wrap up with 10 runs (eight earned) allowed on 15 hits and six walks/six strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings.

    The hope coming into the season was that Borucki would continue developing into a legitimate building block for rebuilding Toronto. Borucki looked like one in 2018, his rookie year, as he amassed 97 2/3 innings of 3.87 ERA/3.80 FIP ball with 6.17 K/9 and 3.04 BB/9. He’s not on track to reach arbitration until after 2021, so there’s still plenty of time for a healthy Borucki to establish himself with the Blue Jays.

    Mark Polishuk <![CDATA[Mark Shapiro Discusses Blue Jays’ Trades, Rebuild, Spending]]> 2019-08-09T02:17:30Z 2019-08-09T02:17:30Z Blue Jays president and CEO Mark Shapiro met with reporters today to discuss a variety of topics, including future plans on and off the field for the Jays.’s Ben Nicholson-Smith, TSN’s Scott Mitchell, and the Toronto Star’s Gregor Chisholm have some of the highlights, and you can view a video of some of Shapiro’s interview at

    One of the chief points of discussion was criticism directed at Jays management from both fans and pundits in the wake of the perceived lackluster returns for Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez in respective deadline trades with the Mets and Astros.  Shapiro defended the work of GM Ross Atkins and the front office as a whole, saying “they’ve positioned the team extremely well, regardless of what happens, for the future,” and cited several recent high-profile deals that ended up with unexpected benefits for the teams involved.

    It’s the nature of both media and fans to want to judge trades in the short term….Trades take a while to ultimately evaluate,” Shapiro said.  “If you’re evaluating them on a small amount of information and a small set if data, they can feel unpopular in the moment and you have to be more confident of the group of people and the information that led to that decision.”

    Beyond the rebuilding plans, however, Shapiro himself is well aware that “winning…is the only thing that will satisfy people,” as the Jays are well into their third season of non-competitive baseball.

    I’m aware of the frustration because I share the frustration.  Any time you’re not winning, there is anger, there’s frustration and there’s disappointment,” Shapiro said.  “If you don’t feel bitter about anything other than a winning and a championship-caliber team, then you’re in the wrong line of work….We’ve listened to our fans, we’ve made tons of changes to the products that we supply and what we’re doing around the ballpark, the times of games, and the deals we offer, so we’re always listening to our fans.  But ultimately, the only thing that really is going to make the bulk of our fans happy is winning games.”

    This doesn’t necessarily indicate that the Blue Jays’ rebuild is coming to an end, as Shapiro said that the team will look to be “opportunistic” in their offseason expenditures since, in his opinion, “it’s not a great off-season for free-agent talent.”  That said, “the bulk” of winter resources will be spent on adding pitching, since Toronto already seems to have a young and talented core (i.e. Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr.) in place.  “We will certainly have to and will supplement that internal group of players, [and] look to do it as soon as this off-season,” Shapiro said.

    The Jays have just under $30.93MM in committed payroll next season, with almost half of those funds dedicated to retired shortstop Troy Tulowitzki.  While there’s plenty of room to spend, major splashes don’t seem to be in the offing until the Blue Jays have proven themselves to be a bit closer to contending in the AL East.  Past comments from Shapiro and GM Ross Atkins indicated that 2021 could be the target year for when the Jays turn from retooling to pushing for a postseason berth, though Shapiro hesitated to put any type of “limits on the pace or deadlines” of the process.

    So a player who’s a three-win player who takes you from 82 to 85 wins probably doesn’t move that needle. But if you’re at 87 wins and it takes you from 87 to 90, does that make sense?” Shapiro asked rhetorically.  “So it’s more like when we’re at that point, when you can get the player who helps take you from a good team to a team that’s a potential championship team, we need to go out and get that player, and that [ownership] support will be there.”

    One potential bit of spending with long-term repercussions could be extensions for the young core players, and while though Shapiro said those types of talks usually don’t happen until later in the offseason or during Spring Training, “those will be conversations we’d certainly have.”

    Jeff Todd <![CDATA[Blue Jays Claim Zack Godley]]> 2019-08-08T19:38:53Z 2019-08-08T19:38:24Z TODAY: The Jays officially added Godley to the active roster, optioning right-hander Brock Stewart to Triple-A in a corresponding move.

    YESTERDAY: The Blue Jays have claimed righty Zack Godley off waivers from the Diamondbacks, according to Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic (via Twitter). Toronto will owe Godley the remainder of his $609K salary.

    It’s easy to see why the Jays took a shot on the 29-year-old Godley. In need of some additional arms to finish out the season, there’s no harm in giving him an opportunity. And the club could tender Godley a contract for 2020 if he manages to bounce back.

    Make no mistake, though: it has been a rough campaign to this point for Godley. His strikeout rate has plummeted to just 6.9 K/9 after sitting at better than a batter-per-inning in the prior two seasons. Godley is giving up more homers than he had in those immediately preceding campaigns as well. The result: a 6.39 ERA over 76 innings.

    A mid-season move to a multi-inning relief role did help, as Godley’s velocity turned up a bit. He held opposing hitters to a .218/.297/.414 batting line and posted an improved 28:13 K/BB ratio. But he was also tagged for seven long balls and a 4.62 ERA in his 37 relief frames.

    Godley is just two years removed from an excellent 2017 campaign and also posted reasonably promising peripherals last year. But he’ll have to figure some things out if he’s to get back on an upward trajectory. Rediscovering some of the lost velo would help. He’s generating swinging-strikes at a significantly lower rate than he did in his ’17 effort (10.1% vs. 13.3%), with the difference residing almost entirely in the fact that hitters have made way more contact on pitches out of the zone. His groundball rate has sagged from 55.3% at its peak to to just 43.0% this year.

    Steve Adams <![CDATA[Blue Jays Designate David Paulino For Assignment]]> 2019-08-07T20:17:52Z 2019-08-07T20:17:52Z The Blue Jays announced that they’ve designated right-hander David Paulino for assignment. His spot on the roster will go to right-hander Zack Godley, who has been claimed off outright waivers from the Diamondbacks (as previously reported by Nick Piecoro).

    Paulino, 25, was once considered to be among baseball’s 100 best prospects but has seen his star dim in recent seasons — beginning with an 80-game PED suspension issued back in July 2017. Since that half-season ban, Paulino has also undergone surgery to remove bone spurs from his pitching elbow and generally performed at diminished levels. Toronto acquired him alongside Ken Giles in the 2018 trade that sent Roberto Osuna to Houston.

    Paulino pitched 6 2/3 innings of one-run ball with the Jays late in the 2018 season but has been limited to 28 2/3 innings in Triple-A Buffalo in 2019. He’s currently on the minor league injured list, meaning that Toronto’s only course of action with Paulino will be to release him. Clubs can no longer trade players who’ve been on 40-man rosters under the league’s new August trade restrictions, and teams are also unable to pass injured players through outright waivers. Another club could claim Paulino off release waivers, and he’ll have the opportunity to sign with a new organization if he clears. However, it’s also fairly common in these situations for the released player to sign a new minor league deal with his former club.