Article Written by Adam Corsair (@ACorsair21)
Well I certainly didn't expect any one of these three things to happen today.
The Blue Jays had until 12:00pm EST today to finalize their 25 Man Roster and submit it to the MLB offices. We were told that it would come down to the wire in regards to omitting one of Ryan Goins or Melvin Upton Jr. with the vast majority of the Jays fanbase hoping Upton would be with the team come Opening Day.
Welp! Leave it to Buster Olney to throw fire and burn all of those hopes -
Couple that pair of tweets with one from Jon Heyman, it was clear who the Jays preferred between Goins and Upton moving forward. To boot -
Jays r listening on Melvin Upton. Among teams that make sense: tigers, o's, rays, giants— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) April 1, 2017
I can't say that I'm surprised that the Blue Jays would try to move Melvin Upton Jr., in all honesty. Upton Jr.'s contract was attractive enough that it wouldn't be inconceivable for another club to want to take a chance on him; specifically one that is in need of some outfield help, speed, and isn't necessarily in a position where they are trying to contend. Moreover, with the recent addition of Chris Coghlan on a Minor League deal by the Jays, the writing seemed to be on the wall. This isn't to say that the Jays plan to immediately throw Coghlan into the mix to earn the starting left-field spot (although I doubt they're ruling it out), but if they went ahead and acquired more depth to a position that was already sort of a cluster as it was, Upton seemed to be the most logical subtraction to the equation.
As the deadline to submit their lineup approached, we waited in anticipation to see if the writing was indeed on the wall for Upton Jr., and it was. Consequently, the Jays were unable to find a trade partner to move Upton Jr. and, thus, pulled the plug on his services. As per Mike Wilner of SportsNet
I get that the consensus amongst the fanbase was that Upton Jr. was the better option than Goins, but that's only when comparing the two individually, while ignoring the circumstances that determine who is a better fit for the team. Yes, Upton Jr. provides a bit more upside than Goins does, mostly at the plate. However, as I've mentioned previously, the combination of Upton Jr. and Carrera is a bit redundant for left-field, as neither were ideal starters for the position. Combine that with the notion that Steve Pearce may be able to supplement and play a bit of left-field, there were simply too many cooks in the kitchen. Releasing Upton Jr. may be an indication that the Jays plan on using Pearce in left-field much more than we presently anticipate. Moreover, releasing Upton Jr. is an indication that they value the depth that Ryan Goins provides at practically every infield position, as well as some in the outfield. When you really think about it, you can understand why.
Further, when considering the likelihood of injury, Goins makes a bit more sense. It's not out of the realm of possibility that Troy Tulowitzki may need some time off during the season due to injury. The turf at the Rogers Centre is a bit unforgiving, and it's no secret that it takes a heavy toll on a player's body. With Tulo another year older (he's 32), his health is going to be something that's going to be monitored as the years go on. It's not just Tulo, either. Donaldson and Travis have dealt with their setbacks this spring and it's not inconceivable that they make sneak back up on them. Even if (fingers crossed!) none of them get hurt, it's not out of the question that one of them will need to take a few off-days to rest, which makes holding on to Goins a bit more sensible than holding on to a third option in left-field that really hasn't provided the Jays much on both sides of the field. Having some sort of insurance policy for the up-the-middle part of the diamond is a bit more valuable than having a third option for left-field; at least, I think?? I dunno. It's such a convoluted situation that I don't think the Jays could have won either way. I suppose, at the end of the day, they valued the youth and defensive upside that Goins provides over someone that may be past his prime. It's just a guess, but it certainly appears to be the case.
It's not going to make everyone happy - and it wasn't going to whichever decision the Jays went with - but Ryan Goins is going up north with the Jays to start the season.
In case you were all about the Jays holding on to Melvin Upton Jr. and wondered how the aspect of Opening Day could be any worse - there was this -
Again, shame on me for being as surprised by this as I was when it was announced. Osuna's dip in velocity has been well documented, but we've also been told how unconcerned the Blue Jays were with it, along with back and neck issues that Osuna was apparently dealing with. I suppose the reason why that I was surprised by this news is due to how unhindered he seemed during the weekend series in Montreal. Granted, it was only one inning, but having only given up one hit, while grabbing himself a strikeout, it seemed like it was business as usual for Osuna. Unfortunately, his back/neck woes (it's being labeled as cervical spasms, but that sounds way more pornographic than I feel comfortable with) are more of a concern than the Jays let on (ya don't say!) and have decided to play it safe. Thankfully, there is a new 10-Day DL that has been instituted beginning this year, so Osuna will not have to miss a full two weeks of action, being eligible to return April 11th. In his stead, the Jays will probably roll with Jason Grilli for any games that need closing, but don't rule out Joe Biagini, either.
It's not the ideal way to start off the season, but what can ya do? If given the choice, it's better that we deal with these situations now rather than towards the middle and end of the season when it's crunch time. Ya know, assuming that these dark clouds are fully behind us at that point, which.... yeah.
Your Sunday Overload, everyone!
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