Randal Grichuk's Extension for the Blue Jays

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Article Written by Hudson Stewart (@hudson_stewart6)


Tuesday was a busy day for the Blue Jays to say the least.

They started off the day by shipping off Kevin Pillar to San Francisco in exchange for infielder, Alen Hanson, relief pitcher, Derek Law, and pitching prospect, Juan De Paula. This was the biggest news of the day and a lot of people gave their take on it. Personally, I like the deal, since the Jays were able to get 3 pieces back for a player who is declining in basically all areas of his game right now. I’ll miss Pillar as a Blue Jay, but I’m happy with the return that the team got back for him.

In addition to that, the team announced Tuesday that they’d signed Randal Grichuk to a 5 year, $52 million contract extension. The extension will take Grichuk into his age 31 season (he’s 27 right now).

Grichuk backed up his new contract with a great day at the plate in Tuesday’s game. He went 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and a double in the Blue Jays’ 5-3 win over Baltimore. He’s had a slow start to the season, so hopefully that jump starts him into a good couple of weeks here.

That game sort of encapsulated Grichuk career to this point. He’s a big hit-or-miss guy, meaning he has the potential to hit the ball as far as anyone in the league, but also strikes out quite a bit. He’s played 4 full seasons in the big leagues so far (3 with the Cardinals, 1 with the Blue Jays), and over that span, he’s averaged 22 home runs per season, 59 RBIs, and 127 strikeouts. It’s also worth noting that his strikeouts have gone down in each of the past 2 seasons, which is a good sign for the Blue Jays.

By giving him a 5-year deal, the Jays are banking on breaking out and surpassing some of his previous totals. They’d probably like to see him move up from a 20-25 homer, 60-65 RBI guy, to a 30 homer, 75-80 RBI guy. And I think that if he continues to hit this high in the order, those numbers are realistic. Grichuk’s batting average and on-base percentage are never going to blow anyone away. But if he can hit for power and provide some above-average defense in centre field, I still see him as an upgrade to Kevin Pillar, considering how little power Pillar brought to the lineup.

Another important thing to recognize here is that the Blue Jays have very little money committed to their players past this year. Grichuk’s extension puts him with only Lourdes Gurriel as players on the Jays' to have a long-term contract. They’ve got very little money committed to the team right now, so even if this is a slight over-payment, I don’t see it as being a big issue.


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SOT6 Podcast - Episode 110

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@ACorsair21)


EPISODE 110

"PILLAR TRADE“

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Weekly Toronto Blue Jays Talk

  • It was only a matter of time before the Jays pulled the trigger on trading the longest tenured player on the team, Kevin Pillar. Ever since Opening Day when Anthony Alford was seen in Toronto, fans were operating on the when and not if aspect of when a deal would come to fruition. Today, the Jays made the move as they engaged in trade conversations with the San Francisco Giants, who have long been reported to have an interest in Pillar. In return, the Jays get 2 RH Pitchers and a utility infielder in Derek Law, Juan De Paula, and Alen Hansen, respectively. The team is now down to just Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Justin Smoak, and Ryan Tepera as members of the 2015 & ‘16 teams that recharged the fanbase.

  • To discuss these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by Richard Birfer. Rich & Adam get into a bunch of topics surrounding the upcoming season for the Jays, such as:

    • The Trade

    • The Return

    • Starting Pitching Staff

    • Predictions

and so much more!

It’s a Blue Jays show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Rich on Twitter: @richardbirfs

Visit Rich's work: HERE

Music:
Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us”


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SOT6 Podcast - Episode 108

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@ACorsair21)


EPISODE 108

"OFFICIAL SEASON PREVIEW“

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Spring Training Toronto Blue Jays Talk

  • HAPPY NEW YEAR! The Jays have concluded their annual trip to Montreal with a 2-0 victory over the Brewers and some head turning plays to get us ready for the upcoming season. The lineups are more or less set and the Jays will begin this rebuilding season with much more optimism for the fans compared to the previous two years. With so many teams just starting the rebuilding process in the American League, it would not be at all surprising if the Jays were able to capitalize and walk away with more wins than they had last season (73).

  • To discuss these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by close friend Ryan Difrancesco - writer for Blue Jays Nation. Ryan & Adam get into a bunch of topics surrounding the upcoming season for the Jays, such as:

    • Analyzing the Diamond

    • Starting Rotation

    • Bo Bichette & Service Time

    • BOLD Predictions

    • Win Total Predictions

and so much more!

It’s a Blue Jays show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Ryan on Twitter: @RyanDifrancesco

Visit Ryan's work: HERE

Music:
Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us”


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SOT6 Podcast - Episode 107

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@ACorsair21)


EPISODE 107

"Leaving Dunedin“

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Spring Training Toronto Blue Jays Talk

  • With the Jays' finishing up their Spring Training activities in Dunedin, they now head back for a pair of exhibition games in Montreal before kicking off the start of the season for Opening Day. The roster is just about finalized, but still is in need of some tweaking after a few notable injuries have recently plagued the team. Specifically, Ryan Borucki and Ryan Tepera are both battling elbow issues, but are said to be minor. John Axford has been released as a result of an elbow issue of his own, but the Jays plan on resigning him once his rehab is complete. Lastly, Dalton Pompey suffered yet another concussion which may jeopardize his tenure as a Blue Jay. To say that things are shaky even before the start of the season would be an understatement.

  • To discuss these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined Ryan Andrews - writer for Jays From The Couch and host of the Locked on Jays Podcast. Ryan & Adam get into a bunch of topics surrounding the Jays, such as:

    • Kevin Pillar Trade Rumors

    • How To Handle These Injuries

    • Alford Assigned to the Bisons

    • Win Total Predictions

and so much more!

It’s a Blue Jays show that you won’t want to miss!
Follow Ryan on Twitter: @NeoAC18

Visit Ryan's work: HERE

Subscribe to the Locked on Blue Jays Podcast: HERE

Music:
Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us”


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SOT6 Podcast - Episode 105

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EPISODE 105

"PAY RAISE"

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Preseason Toronto Blue Jays Talk!

  • The landscape of the MLB was shaken by the hands of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim as they extended - arguably - the best player in all of baseball, Mike Trout, to a record shattering 12 year $430+M contract. A well-deserved extension for both parties as Trout gets the money that he is due and the Angels lock up a phenom. However, the question that this now raises is, how does this impact the future free agents in the MLB?

  • In Blue Jays news, there isn’t any shortage. The Jays made a few roster moves to prepare for the regular season that have raised a few eyebrows. They’ve also implemented some locker-room rules regarding video games. Lastly, they’ve made a monumental and hopefully influential step in the right direction by offering all of their prospects in every level of their developmental system a 50% pay raise.

  • To tackle these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by Connor Chambers of Toronto Sports Views and the TSV Podcast. Connor and Adam touch on a wide variety of topics surrounding the Blue Jays, such as:

    • Mike Trout’s Extension & the Impact on the MLB

    • Elbow Soreness

    • Video Games Being Curfewed

    • MiLB Pay Raise

    • Win Total Predictions

...and so much more!

It’s a Blue Jays centered show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Connor on Twitter: @connorchambers & @TO_SportsViews

Visit Connor's Work: HERE

Subscribe to the TSV Podcast HERE

Music:

Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us


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Blue Jays Off-Season In Review

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Article Written by Hudson Stewart (@hudson_stewart6)


While teams like the Phillies and Padres went out and made big moves this off-season, the Blue Jays made it clear that they weren’t going to be big spenders. They were never in the conversation for Manny Machado or Bryce Harper, and only made moves that were low-risk. However, despite the fact that they didn’t make any big splashes, I still think this off-season was a success for the Blue Jays front office.

First of all, here’s a list of the notable moves that the Blue Jays made:

  1. Traded Aledmys Diaz to Houston for SP Trent Thornton

  2. Signed INF Eric Sogard to a minor-league contract

  3. Signed SP Matt Shoemaker to a 1-year, $3,500,000 contract

  4. Traded Conor Panas to the Padres in exchange for SP Clayton Richard

  5. Signed RP David Phelps to a 1 year, 2,500,000 contract with a 2020 club option

  6. Signed SS Freddy Galvis to a 1-year, 5,0000 contract with a 2020 club option

  7. Signed RP John Axford to a minor-league contract

  8. Signed RP Bud Norris to a minor-league contract

  9. Signed SP Clay Buchholz to a 1-year, 3,000,000 contract

All of those moves have very little risk to them, and have the potential to give the Jays a high reward. With the starting rotation, the Jays could’ve easily gone into the season with a rotation of guys already on the roster (Stroman, Sanchez, Borucki, Reid-Foley, Gaviglio). But instead, they created some internal competition by bringing in some veteran arms that have pitched in the majors before. The additions of Buchholz , Richard and Shoemaker likely have the Jays’ rotation looking like this: Stroman, Sanchez, Shoemaker, Borucki, and Richard until Buchholz is ready to pitch. I like this approach much more than handing rotation spots to unproven guys like Reid-Foley or Pannone. It gives them more time to develop in the minors, and also doesn’t force a guy like Ryan Borucki to be the 3rd starter already. I especially like the Buchholz signing because he’s coming off a pretty good bounce-back year. He made 16 starts for Arizona and posted a 2.01 ERA for them. If he can pitch at close to that level in Toronto, then they could flip him at the deadline for a decent return (As they can with all of the guys on 1-year deals).

As for the bullpen, this was the main focus for the team this off-season. Other than Giles and Tepera, the Jays didn’t really have any reliable arms back there. I still think the bullpen is a question mark going into this season, but the Jays did add a few solid arms to it. Jays fans are familiar with Axford, as he was here last year before being traded to the Dodgers. As for Phelps and Norris, I think they’ll both fill the gap nicely in a middle relief role. Phelps missed all of 2018 due to Tommy John Surgery, but in 2017, he had a 3.40 ERA through 54 total appearances. As for Bud Norris, he was effective for the Cardinals last season, putting up a 3.59 ERA in 64 appearances. It’s too early to tell right now, but if I had to guess, I’d say the bullpen looks like this on Opening Day: Biagini as a long reliever, Norris, Phelps and Axford in middle relief, Tim Mayza as the lefty specialist, and then Tepera as the set up man for Ken Giles, who’s the closer.

The Jays mainly added pitching depth in the off-season, but they also added some infield depth with the signings of Freddy Galvis and Eric Sogard. Sogard will likely start the year in Buffalo, but Galvis has a real shot to play shortstop for the Jays on Opening Day. Obviously the Jays will give Lourdes Gurriel Jr. a shot to play there sometimes, as well as some second base and outfield, but I also expect Galvis to get a substantial number of starts at shortstop. He’s been one of the best defensive shortstops over the past few years, while also producing offensively, and I’m excited to see him play this year.

Overall, this off-season won’t be one that we’ll specifically remember for any big moves, but I do think that the Jays did a good job given the position they’re in. They were never going to be big spenders this year, but I think that they signed some players that have the potential to produce this year, and potentially bring back a haul at the trade deadline. My favourite part about the contracts is that even if they all blow up in their faces, the Blue Jays are only committed for one year, so there’s very little risk involved for the team.


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SOT6 Podcast - Episode 103

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@AdamCorsair)


EPISODE 103

"INCHING CLOSER"

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Preseason Toronto Blue Jays Talk!

  • As Spring Training continues, the Blue Jays are starting to find their stride. The club has won 8 of their last 10, with strong outings from both Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman lately, giving fans confidence that the team will improve on their performance from last season. Also, Jays fans have been excited to see players like Anthony Alford and Dalton Pompey excel and perhaps earn their respective spots on the team's major league roster. The question is, which one will get the green light and at who's detriment? Some fans expect Pillar to be the odd man out.

  • To tackle these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by Jason Lee of Jays Journal. Jason and Adam touch on a wide variety of topics surrounding the Blue Jays, such as:

    • New MLB Rule Changes.

    • Stroman Opening Day Starter

    • Danny Jansen.

    • The Outfield dilemma.

...and so much more!

It’s a Blue Jays centered show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Jason Lee on Twitter: @Jasons_JaysHub

View Jason’s Work HERE

Music:

Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us


Follow South of the 6ix on Twitter (@SouthOfThe6ix)


SOT6 Podcast - BONUS EPISODE

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@AdamCorsair)


BONUS EPISODE

"OUTTA THE PARK"

TORONTO Blue JayS talk

Weekly Toronto Blue Jays Talk

  • With an offseason and Spring Training that hasn't necessarily made fans more confident in the Jays reaching another postseason run, there's still plenty of talking points that deserve our attention. The Blue Jays have recently made two signings that are both puzzling in their own separate ways. First, the team signed former member of the Red Sox, Clay Buchholz, to a one year $3M deal. Buchholz, a name familiar with Jays fans way back with accusations of him doctoring balls during his tenure with Boston, will seemingly slide into the Jays' rotation, leaving up-and-comer, Ryan Borucki, as the odd man out. Further, the Jays signed Bud Norris to a one year $3M minor league deal. Norris, known for his controversial comments regarding non-American players, raised eyebrows from fans and doesn't seem to fit the model that Atkins has claimed he wishes to build. Will these signings be something the Jays regret?

  • Joining host Adam Corsair touch on these and other topics is the Outta The Park crew- Barry Davis and Matt McFarland - to talk all things Blue Jays. The trio touch on a wide array of topics centered around the Blue Jays and it is one that you will not want to miss!

Follow Barry Davis on Twitter: @barrydavis_
Follow Matt McFarland on Twitter: @Matt_NSR
Subscribe to the Outta The Park Podcast HERE
Visit NSR Media HERE

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Music:

Scott Holmes - "Mountains All Around Us"
Broke For Free - "As Colorful As Ever"


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Blue Jays To Sign Clay Buchholz

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Article Written by Adam Corsair (@AdamCorsair)


I’m a little late on this one, but I couldn’t help but offer my two cents on the most recent signing by the Toronto Blue Jays. So let’s dive into it, shall we?

It’s important to note that, as of this writing, the deal isn’t finalized as a physical is pending. However, should the signing become official, Buchholz will be on a 1 year deal and earn somewhere in the neighborhood of $3M with another $3M in incentives.

Although, on paper, this is a solid addition to the Jays’ rotation, I get why this may be a bit emotionally conflicting for fans of the ball club. During his time as a member of the Boston Red Sox, there was no love lost between Buchholz and Jays fans, as well as a certain SportsNet media personality. Recall back in 2013, former Toronto Blue Jays pitcher and also former radio personality of The Fan 590, Dirk Hayhurst, accused Buchholz of doctoring the baseball during an outting between the Jays and Sox.

I mention this, not to open up old wounds and get the fanbase heated about things from the past, but to remind fans that this is ancient history. I highly encourage anyone that is holding on to this and using it as fuel to dislike the signing to quickly let it go. Whether it was true or not is irrelevant at this point and should be left in the past.

Looking at you, Mike -

The way I see it, if Buchholz is able to maintain the pace he was on last season, it’s a very good signing for the Blue Jays. Buchholz signed a minor league deal with the Royals, who cut bait with him early in the 2018 season. He was scooped up by Arizona and proved to be a robust addition for the team. With the Diamondbacks, Buchholz put up a 2.01 ERA with 81 K’s, 22 walks, coughing up 25 runs, going 7-2 over 16 starts. The numbers are encouraging, but his health may not be as the injury-bug has been a reoccurring issue. His most recent struggle came towards the end of last season as he was shut down in September with a flexor mass strain in his throwing arm. Yet, if he gets the nod by the medical staff and he’s ready to go, it’s hard to knock the signing.

But there is a caveat.

Prior to this signing, the starting rotation consisted of (in no particular order) Sanchez, Stroman, Shoemaker, Richard, and Borucki, with Sean Reid-Foley being the defacto No.6 starter should an injury to one of the aforementioned players occur or is in need of rest. Assuming that Buchholz gets the all-clear and doesn’t start the season in Buffalo (which, he may), one of those five pitchers is going to get knocked out of the rotation. As summed up perfectly by Gregor Chisholm, I’m hoping that the one getting the short end of the stick is Richard and not Borucki.

I get that Richard has the veteran advantage over Borucki to get the nod for the starting gig, and it’s not unreasonable to think that the front office may want the latter to get more polished in Buffalo before being a rotation mainstay. But it would be peculiar to me if the Jays pursued Buchholz for this reason and not to maximize their potential to win games. Signing Buchholz is a low rish/high reward type of move that adds some much needed stability to an already questionable rotation. Why add such stability if the Jays are not going to remove the player that, ostensibly, is the weakest link? For me, Borucki has earned the right to have a spot in the rotation and ought to keep it until he proves otherwise. Richard, on the other hand, is more of a question mark and may be served best coming out of the bullpen. Hopefully the front office agrees.

It’s something to keep an eye on during the spring, but I’m hoping that this signing doesn’t shake things up too much. Otherwise, it’s a solid signing that is almost inconsequential for the Jays. Like I said, at around $3M, the risk is incredibly low while the reward is quite high. If he can recapture the magic he had in Arizona and pitch that way for the Jays, I’m all for it. Again, much like the other signings the front office has made since they arrived, he could also be a nice little trade chip come July to add more depth to an already strong farm system.

Hopefully it all works out.


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SOT6 Podcast - Episode 100

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Follow Host Adam Corsair on Twitter (@AdamCorsair)


EPISODE 100

"BUSINESS VS. ETHICS"

TORONTO BLUE JAYS TALK

Preseason Toronto Blue Jays Talk!

  • The Toronto Blue Jays are kicking off Spring Training with a plethora of topics that are on the minds of fans. Has the front office done enough to put the best possible team on the field for 2019? What do fans of the club have to look forward to heading into the 2019 season that can elevate their hopes for excitement?

  • To tackle these and other topics, host Adam Corsair is joined by the Blue Jay Hunter himself, Mr. Ian Hunter. Ian and Adam touch on a wide variety of topics surrounding the Blue Jays, such as:

    • Marcus Stroman’s comments to the media about the front office.

    • The service time debate regarding Vladimir Guerrero Jr.

    • The outlook for the 2019 season for the Jays.

      Predicting the outcome of the season.

It’s a Blue Jays centered show that you won’t want to miss!

Follow Ian Hunter on Twitter: @BlueJayHunter

View Ian’s Work HERE

Music:

Scott Holmes - “Mountains All Around Us


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