Posted tagged ‘trade deadline’

Short, scribbled thoughts about the trades that pissed you all off

August 7, 2019

Yup, last week was nuts. Anyway…

  • Stro’s trade made sense. Would’ve been a waste of his talent to keep him while the Jays are still rebuilding.
  • The deal with Houston is puzzling. Aaron Sanchez was finally starting to build his value back up. If that value continued to rise, he would’ve likely yielded a higher return during the off-season or at next year’s trade deadline. That’s why dealing him now feels premature.
  • The focus should be on pitching. That’s why acquiring Derek Fisher was also puzzling. Russ Atkins really, really, REALLY wanted him and was willing to pay a high price. Poor Fisher is going to be scrutinized to death by this angry fanbase; so here’s hoping he lives up to the potential that Atkins envisions. Reminds me of when AA sent Travis Snider – very popular with fans – to Pittsburgh for Brad Lincoln.
  • I’m glad the small gambles they took on Sogard, Phelps and Hudson yielded/will yeild some younger talent.
  • Of course, it’s very sad to say goodbye to the players that were dealt away. However, I’m thrilled they all get to play for teams making strong playoff pushes, especially Stro, Sanchez and Joe Biagini. They deserve it!
  • Not surprisingly, many fans – aka the anti-Shapiro crowd – were furious with the return the Jays got. Before Anthony Kay, Simeon Woods Richardson and the other acquisitions even reported to their new teams, it seemed like some fans were already labeling them as busts. I understand the anger, but it is absolutely RIDICULOUS to declare these new players as failures before they have a chance to actually fail; if they actually do fail. Honestly, it didn’t matter who the front office got in return. The anti-Shapiro crowd wasn’t going to like it. It was pre-determined.

To be honest, Jays Twitter really pisses me off at times. But that’s for another post….maybe.

ER

Unreal: The Marcus Stroman Era

July 30, 2019

Where to begin?

June 2012: I’m driving home, listening to Jays Talk. It’s the night of the MLB Draft.

Mike Wilner introduces the Jays’ first round pick and proceeds to interview him. This was my introduction to Marcus Stroman; my introduction to Height Doesn’t Measure Heart.

The bravado and confidence instantly hit me. This kid had a chip on his shoulder and a desire to be the greatest pitcher ever. My attention was caught.

I fell in love with his swagger that night. And to this day, I still love it.

There’s certainly a group of fans who loathed that Stro swag. I like to think those individuals represent a segment of Toronto sports fans who expect every single athlete to perform, say little and stay in their lane. Believe me, there’s nothing wrong with that. But if you expect everyone to follow that example then a) you’re going to be disappointed more often and b) it dulls things up.

Whether you liked him or not, baseball is much cooler with Marcus Stroman. You need a strong personality like his. It enhances the drama and adds flavour to the narrative. Take that out and while the sport maintains a level of fun and excitement, it looks robotic. Even the not-so-subtle jabs he’s thrown at Mark Shapiro and Russ Atkins on Twitter have been entertaining.

We should talk about all that “commotion.”

Stro’s greatest asset and his greatest flaw is that he cares a lot. What he specifically cares about is for another article. Make no mistake though; he is PASSIONATE. That passion is beneficial in some areas and causes problems in others. That’s why you won’t see him hanging out with Shapiro and Atkins at a New York City nightclub in the next decade or so.

Similar to a lot of Blue Jay fans, perhaps Stro didn’t want to let go of 2015-16. Can’t blame him at all. It’s hard coming down from that mountain. Some accept and embrace fate. Some do it kicking and screaming. Of course, we’ll never know what actually happened or what was said. Our personal biases will simply fill in the blanks.

When it was evident the Jays needed a rebuild, I hoped Stro would be one of the few players from 2015-16 still on the roster when things turned around. But once the rebuild was in full effect, I made peace with the notion that keeping Stro would hinder the team’s growth.

It’s a classic battle of head vs. heart, with my noggin coming out on top.

I would love it if Stro was signed to a long-term deal. However, my biggest fear is that his best years would be while the team was still rebuilding.

Hate to say it, but it would’ve been counter-productive to keep Stro. If his stock is high, it was worth trying to obtain some younger talent in exchange. It’s similar to what happened with Roy Halladay ten years ago.

We all wanted Doc to stay, but while his productivity was at the top, the Jays as a whole were sliding to the bottom and needed to rebuild. It wasn’t fair to Doc who – at that point – had never tasted postseason action and ultimately requested to be traded. Keeping him would’ve slowed the team’s growth.

It’s great how Stro embraced the city, but he should pitch for a winner. And yes, the team he was traded to is hanging on by a very thin thread. Nevertheless, I certainly wish him the best of luck with the Mets and thank the heavens he’s not wearing Yankee pinstripes.

HDMH will always have a significant place in Toronto. From his debut, to the freak injury, coming back from that injury, being part of the magic that was 2015-16 and being one of the few bright spots during seasons of transition and development. Marcus Stroman’s narrative was simply unreal. He fell in love with the city and the city – at least a good portion of it – fell in love with him.

ER

Short, scribbled thoughts about J.A. Happ

July 17, 2018

I’m thrilled Mr. Happ is representing the Blue Jays at the All-Star Game. In a season that’s been on a steep decline since late April, there have been very few positive story arcs. J.A. Happ is one of those arcs.

As he prepares to stand with the game’s best at Nationals Park, I’ve been reminiscing about his two tenures with the Jays.

I’ve been thinking about the attempt to put him in the bullpen when he first arrived in 2012. Happ put his foot down and argued he was a starter. Ultimately, he was not wrong.

I’ve been thinking about that scary night at Tropicana Field when a line drive struck the side of his head. He recovered, thank goodness.

I’ve been thinking about how some freaked out when he came back to the team as a free agent. Getting Happ instead of resigning David Price was an outrage to certain fans.

I’ve been thinking about Happ’s 20 wins in 2016. Yes, that stat is no longer a sexy accomplishment. However, that 2016 team would not have succeeded without the triple threat of Happ, Aaron Sanchez and Marco Estrada.

I’ve been thinking about milk in a bag. 😁😁😁

The first chapter was noteworthy and the second one – quite successful – will likely conclude before the end of the month. There might even be a third chapter.

Regardless, I sincerely hope he makes a positive contribution wherever he winds up. Fingers are crossed for a World Series ring.

ER

Hate to admit it, but I’ve made peace with the 2017 Blue Jays

July 13, 2017

The consensus was unanimous: The four remaining series before the all-star break would give a strong indication of whether the Blue Jays would be buyers or sellers at the non-waiver trade deadline.

Baltimore came in and the Jays made Kevin Gausman and Ubaldo Jimenez look like Cy Young and Walter Johnson.

The Red Sox were next and they steamrolled their way to a three-game sweep.

So the Jays flew to New York and took two out of three from the Yankees. A pleasant surprise to say the least.

Finally, it was time to face Houston. While splitting a four-game series against the best team in MLB is certainly a positive, it was the weirdest split I have ever seen. Two wins that featured strong pitching and clutch swings. Two losses where they were completely out-classed and out-matched by the Astros.

So what does it all mean?

The pessimists feel the window of opportunity has closed and it’s time to “blow it up.” The optimists feel they still have a fighting chance. They will also point to the trade deadline of 2015, when the team was hovering around the .500 mark before AA acquired Tulo and David Price.

I find myself in the middle of these conflicting opinions; and while I choose not to fully commit to one side, I have reached a more comforting consensus:

I have made peace with the 2017 Blue Jays.

Making peace means that I accept the high probability that they won’t make the playoffs. It also means that I accept that there will likely be some form of re-tooling or rebuilding and key pieces from the 2015 and 2016 playoff runs could be traded.

Making peace is my way of softening the blow. It allows me to be disappointed, but not overly upset. If the Jays flounder their way to the end of the regular season, I will still be able to enjoy the matches.

I guess one could call it self-preservation. It is definitely not the right way of handling things; nor is it the wrong way. It’s just my way.

Of course, I hope I’m wrong and the Jays go an incredible run in the second half. But if that doesn’t happen – and a strong argument could be made that things will not get better – then I’m ready for it without any anger or frustration.

Just remember: Nothing is truly guaranteed.

ER

Short, scribbled thoughts on Melvin Upton Jr. and Joaquin Benoit

July 27, 2016

Originally, this post was solely about Melvin Upton Jr. 

I intended to say that while Upton is certainly helpful, he doesn’t solve their main concerns.

But then, Joaquin Benoit was picked up in exchange for Drew Storen and…well…everything got scrapped.

Anyway…

I understand why Upton was acquired. I realize what his role will likely be this season and next. I have no problem with the trade. 

Benoit’s ERA is concerning, but he’s put up good numbers since 2010. Perhaps a change of scenery will be beneficial. 

These trades are a good start, but they are not magical cures. Rest assured, Mr. Shapiro and Mr. Atkins are (hopefully) not finished. 

ER 

Episode 70: Bagged Milk and Contract Extensions

July 21, 2016

J.A. Happ opens up, Justin Smoak’s new contract has fans scratching their heads and the rotation has much to debate about.

Ian Hunter – aka The Blue Jay Hunter – stops by to discuss these things and more.

Episode 70 Direct MP3 Download

…or…

Episode 54: Best Week Ever!

August 6, 2015

There’s no need to pinch yourself because it wasn’t a dream. David Price and Troy Tulowitzki are now playing for the Blue Jays.

Joanna Cornish of HumandChuck.com joins DNJT to look back at what has been one of the most exciting non-waiver deadlines in Jays history.

Episode 54 Direct MP3 Download

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Lining up for a big finish!

Lining up for a big finish!


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