Tagged: Edwin Encarnacion

Contract Demands Aside, Let’s Just Enjoy Watching Joey Bats This Season.

USA TODAY Sports Images

USA TODAY Sports Images

 

It’s been a few days since Jose Bautista’s shot across the bow at Mark Shapiro and Ross Atkins regarding his contract negotiations or lack there of.

It also seems like many Blue Jays fans have had a few days to digest the take it or leave it extension demand and the 150 million or perhaps higher demand depending on who you want to believe.

As for Mark Shapiro saying they wouldn’t negotiate through the public or the media, I’m sure they can’t be overly disappointed that the 150 million number went public, for all we know they could have been the one’s that let it leak out to the media in the first place. After an off-season like this past winter Lord knows the Blue Jays management needs all the PR help they can get.

I don’t blame Jose Bautista for the stance he is taking with the contract negotiations, he is a smart guy, he knows that he has been paid way under his market value over the life of his contract and is looking to get paid what he deems he is worth. Will he get a five year deal like he is asking? I highly doubt it, I’m sure at most teams will offer him a four year deal with a team option on a fifth year, Even that to me would be generous for a player getting up there in age. If it were me the most I’d be willing to give would be three years with a option on a fourth year.

I also think that there will be a team out there willing to overpay on a contract to Bautista, but I can guarantee that it won’t be the Blue Jays that do it. I also believe that when the dollar amount of the demand went public the fan base turned from pro Bautista on the issue to pro Blue Jays management and when Bautista walks at the end of the year it will take most of the heat off of Shapiro and Atkins.

This is after all a business and the Blue Jays have a budget that they have to live within, regardless of whether or not you think Rogers should spend like the big market team that in reality they are. Giving Bautista 30 million a season may not be such a huge deal over the next couple of years, but once his decline sets in and the time comes to re-sign Josh Donaldson to a big money deal, paying Bautista 30 million a year won’t look nearly as good as it might have seemed at the time.

There is also an argument to be made and it may not be just me being paranoid but there is no guarantee that Rogers will keep a payroll as high as it has been the last few years, even though I’ve made plenty of arguments over the years that they should be high spenders. If the team doesn’t keep winning I could see Rogers pulling back the reigns on the money. It wouldn’t be the first time and quite honestly I have zero faith in Rogers as an ownership. It be a pretty easy out for Shapiro and Atkins to use the lack of payroll availability when they explain why they couldn’t re-sign both Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion.

All that aside, lets enjoy watching the Blue Jays go out and win another division and hopefully have a longer play-off run than this past season. Lets also remember a pissed off Jose Bautista is more fun to watch than a non pissed off Bautista.

The Weekend Roundup

Getty Images

Getty Images

 

A little less than 36 hours after Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins swapped Ben Revere for Drew Storen, Adkins made an appearance on MLB Network Radio’s Front Office show Sunday morning and had some interesting things to say about the futures of both Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion. Atkins says that he has met with Encarnacion and plans to meet with Bautista within the next week. He also added that he wants to extend both Bautista and Encarnacion but haven’t made them any offers. Can’t say I’m overly surprised that Atkins would say that because he wouldn’t be winning himself any favors with the fan base, who seem to have been out for blood after a rather quiet off-season, I will consider this news when it comes out that offers are actually being offered across the table to them.

We still don’t totally know whether Aaron Sanchez will be back in the bullpen or used in the rotation as Atkins said that they want to be flexible and not paint themselves into a corner just in case of depth issues. He also didn’t commit to either Roberto Osuna or Storen as the Blue Jays’ closer when the season starts.

When it came to the R.A Dickey trade rumors that started to surface after the Storen trade late Friday night Atkins said that while they are willing to listen on anyone, they are not actively shopping Dickey. I would hope if they were that Dickey’s personal caddy  catcher Josh Thole goes with him, in a related note, Buster Olney (subscriber only) believes that he doubts the Jays would get an offer that would be good enough, claiming that there are better options out there in the Free Agency/trade market for starting pitching. Although according to a Jeff Blair tweet late Friday night it seems like there is interest in Dickey. I would find it really hard to fathom that the Blue Jays would be shopping Dickey with the shape of their starting rotation, the thought of letting a guy who pitches 200 innings get away almost seems absurd. For what Dickey makes compared to what the going rate is for starting pitching right now it’s almost safe to say that his deal is a bargain for the Blue Jays. I guess time will tell if there is anything more to this story other than rumor.

To end off our weekend roundup, Blue Jays play-by-play man Buck Martinez is releasing his newest book called “Change Up: How to Make the Great Game of Baseball Even Better” It is published by Harper Collins and due out March 15th. The book is described as;

In the spirit of Moneyball, the voice of the Toronto Blue Jays offers cutting insights on baseball

Buck Martinez has been in and around professional baseball for nearly fifty years as a player, manager and broadcaster. Currently the play-by-play announcer for the Toronto Blue Jays, Martinez has witnessed enormous change in the game he loves, as it has morphed from a grassroots pastime to big business. Not all of the change has been for the better, and today’s fans struggle to connect to their on-the-field heroes as loyalty to club and player wavers and free agency constantly changes the face of every team’s roster.

In Change Up, Martinez offers his unique insights into how Major League Baseball might reconnect with its fanbase, how the clubs might train and prepare their players for their time in “The Show,” and how players might approach the sport in a time of sagging fan interest. Martinez isn’t shy with his opinions, whether they be on pitch count, how to develop players through the minor-league system, and even if there should be a minor-league system at all. Always entertaining, ever insightful, Martinez shares brilliant insights and inside pitches about summer’s favourite game.

 

Tuesday Notebook

(Mark Blinch/CP

(Mark Blinch/CP

With the season now over for the Blue Jays, it is now the time of year that we will start to hear about injuries and surgeries to repair said injuries. The first announcement came out today when the Blue Jays announced that Edwin Encarnacion had a successful sports hernia surgery, the interesting thing about it was that Encarnacion had released a picture on his instagram account that he had undergone surgery. He did not say for what, so many of us assumed it was for his finger that he had issues with throughout the season so it came as quite the surprise when it was announced that it was a sports hernia that Encarnacion had repaired. It also makes it that much more impressive when you think about his performance despite the list of ailments that Encarnacion had to deal with in the second half and the playoffs. It wouldn’t shock me to hear in the next few weeks if it’s not announced that Jose Bautista undergoes some kind of work on his shoulder.

 

ANTHOPOULOS OVERKILL

Seems like the Toronto media, especially Sportsnet seem to want to make a big story out of Alex Anthopoulos’ pending future, some even saying there is a chance that he doesn’t come back. I’ve heard enough of Anthopoulos’ interviews in the last month and the way he has talked it has left me with the feeling that he has some sort of handshake deal worked out with Rogers and that they are waiting for Mark Shapiro to be introduced to the Toronto media once he takes over as President next week. I have a hard time to believe that AA would have talked as much about the Blue Jays offseason plans at his year end presser Monday if he wasn’t planning on coming back.

The other thing to think about, Rogers knows that if they didn’t bring AA back they are going committing a PR nightmare after the second half and playoff run that the Blue Jays went on. Rogers built up a ton of good will with the playoff run this year and they could watch it all disappear in a nano second if AA isn’t brought back.

Lets not forget the job that AA has done in scouting and drafting, without all the success they’ve had in drafting young talent there isn’t a chance that the Trade deadline goes down like it did this summer. I’m not saying they would have been sellers, but they sure as hell wouldn’t have been the buyers they were at the deadline, and it’s a damn good chance that the David Price deal never happens.

It’s time that the media get out of their mindset that everything they write about the Blue Jays must be all doom and gloom just for cheap click bait.

The Wait Is Over! The Blue Jays Are Headed To The Post Season!

postseason2

 

It’s been 22 years since Joe Carter’s touch em all home run in 1993, and for the first time since then the Toronto Blue Jays After technically clinching a playoff spot late last night thanks to some people doing some mathematical equations, the Blue Jays celebrated in style this afternoon by winning a slug-fest over Tampa Bay 10-8.

The Blue Jays had a celebration in the clubhouse after the game, it wasn’t a super crazy type of celebration like you usually see when teams win something, the bigger celebration will happen when the Blue Jays are able to clinch the division. The division lead stands at four with eight games left.

Today’s win made the playoff clinching feel a little more real, seeing the celebration in the clubhouse it makes it feel like it’s more than just a dream, the dream the Blue Jay fans have allowed themselves to take part in since Alex Anthopoulos made the moves at the trade deadline. At the time of the deadline I think most Blue Jays fans thought realistically that the Wild Card was probably going to be the Jays shot at the postseason. At the time the Yankees were in first place eight games ahead of the Blue Jays.

This Blue Jays club gelled quickly and went on an 11 game win streak in early August and made up the eight game gap within two weeks. It should also be noted that many of us thought that if the Jays were to get back into the division picture it would be those thirteen games against the Yankees. The Blue Jays went 9-4 against the Yankees in those 13 games.

I’m happy for the fan base that had to endure 22 years of mediocrity, some of those years down right ugly, they had to endure some really crappy ownership. The 22 years without having meaningful September baseball. I’m happy for the three Blue Jays that were a part of this team pre 2012, Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and Brett Cecil. We won’t have to say anymore that we have wasted the productive years of their careers. Cecil, who came up as a starter showed a ton of promise and then struggled to stay in the big leagues and then resurrected his career in the bullpen and has become one of the Blue Jays best relievers.

I’m happy for John Gibbons, he was wrongly run out of town by then GM J.P Riccardi in 2008, and then took a ton of crap from of the fan base when AA brought him back in the fall of 2012, and when things quickly fell apart in 2013 the calls for his head, even early this season when it looked like things were headed for a downward spiral in late May there calls for Gibby to be let go. It was nice to see him in the postgame press conference seeing him with his small glass of champagne and being finally able to celebrate a victory.

I’m happy for Alex Anthopoulos who over the past couple of years had taken a lot of crap for not making moves at the deadline. Let’s not forget that AA was the one that took over the unenviable task of rebuilding the farm system that J.P Riccardi had left rather bare, he also made some great trades to restock the system and shed some rather large contracts along the way. He also did a great job of drafting and developing prospects. It was because of the development of these young prospects that the Jays were able to make the moves that they did at the deadline.

To clinch a postseason spot is nice, but the division is this teams main goal. When they do clinch the division it should be fun to see what this team does for an encore!

October baseball is going to be a real thing for the first time in 22 years, buckle up and enjoy it, it’s gonna be fun!

Blue Jays 4 Yankees 2; David Freaking Price!

 

 

 

Alex Anthopoulos acquired David Price for games just like tonight.  And like every other start since he became a Blue Jay he did not disappoint. Price was dominant as he pitched seven shutout innings he allowed only two hits walking one while striking out seven. The only inning that the Yankees threatened when Price pitched was the third inning when Price escaped a bases loaded one out jam by striking out Alex Rodriguez and getting Brian McCann to pop out.

The Blue Jays were able to take advantage of Adam Warren and his Yankee teammates miscues in the first inning as they plated three runs in the first inning. Ben Revere led off the inning with a single, Josh Donaldson was hit with a pitch, Jose Bautista would hit a single to plate Revere, Donaldson and Bautista would move up on a wild pitch. Donaldson would score on a Encarnacion ground out. Justin Smoak would hit a double which would cash in Bautista. The Blue Jays offence would stay quiet until the seventh when they would add a run on a Russell Martin Sac Fly.

John Gibbons wasn’t messing around tonight as he pulled Aaron Sanchez after allowing the first two hitters to reach in the eighth inning. Brett Cecil was brilliant yet again, after allowing a single to Jacoby Ellsbury he struck out Brett Gardner, Rodriguez and McCann. I thought with the lefty heavy lineup that Gibby would have started the inning with Cecil. It does bring up the question though, is it time to re-evaluate Sanchez’s role in the bullpen? He may have gotten slightly unlucky on the groundball up the middle, but walking the first hitter he faced and then falling behind to Ackley didn’t help. With the way Mark Lowe has been pitching it is time to move him into higher leverage situations.

Roberto Osuna had a bounce back effort even though he did allow a home run in the ninth. I wouldn’t be to worried about it unlike some of the media members in Toronto that seemed to be awfully worried about the amount of home runs that Osuna has allowed. There have only been the two home runs that cost the Jays the lead , the other home runs didn’t matter to the outcome of the game.

Blue Jays 5 Braves 0; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

The Blue Jays finished off their 10 game road trip with a 5-0 win in Atlanta, with the win the Jays extend their lead to three and a half over the Yankees. The Blue Jays start their final homestand of the regular season tomorrow night as they host the Boston Red Sox. Marcus Stroman will make his Rogers Centre debut while the Red Sox will send Rick Porcello to the mound.

THE GOOD

Marco Estrada was brilliant tonight throwing eight shutout innings allowing three hits walking two while striking out four. Roberto Osuna finished it up with a scoreless ninth inning, it was his first appearance since the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader in the Bronx. Cliff Pennington had himself a night with a 2 for 4 night which included a three run home run in the Blue Jays four run fourth inning. Edwin Encarnacion joined the Blue Jays 30-100 club with a solo homer in the fourth inning, it was his 33rd home run of the season and it gave him 100 RBI on the year. Dioner Navarro and Ryan Goins had a pair of hits on the evening, Navarro’s one hit was a double that would have been a home run in most parks. Josh Donaldson, who had been struggling at the plate, hit home run number 39 on the season in the ninth inning.

THE BAD

The top of the Blue Jays line-up went 1 for 12 on the night, Jose Bautista had a pair of walks and Ben Revere led the game off with a walk. Kevin Pillar was the only other Blue Jay not to join the hit club.

THE UGLY

I got nothing. It was one of those games. Although I suppose the mostly empty stands created for one helluva quiet listless ballpark. I can’t wait to see the Blue Jays back at the Rogers Centre in front of a sold out stadium.

Blue Jays 9 Braves 1; The Good, The Bad And The Ugly

 

The Blue Jays snapped their two game losing slide with a big win in Atlanta on Wednesday night. The Blue Jays lead in the AL East remains at three games and the Blue Jays will have a chance to extend that lead to three and a half games tonight as the Blue Jays close out a ten game road trip in Atlanta. Marco Estrada will take the ball for the Blue Jays as the Braves counter with Matt Wisler.

THE GOOD

The offence looked much better on Wednesday night as Edwin Encarnacion made his successful return to the lineup by going 3 for 3 with a pair of walks. Russ Martin was 2 for 5 on the night and drove in four runs one of the hits was Martin’s 20th homer of the season. Ben Revere was 2 for 4 with a pair of runs batted it, Kevin Pillar also had a pair of hits on the evening. David Price was great once again as he allowed one run on six hits in seven innings work while allowing three walks and striking out nine picking up his 16th win of the season. Ryan Goins was 1 for 2 on the night but once again his defence stood out as he made a couple of great plays in the field. The first play was a play he made on a ball that was deep in the hole and he did his best Derek Jeter impression by making a strong throw to get the runner at first. The second play was a heads up throw to third on a play where Cliff Pennington missed making the catch on a ball hit to shallow right, Pennington made a heads up throw to Goins at second to get the runner going into second and then Goins made a great throw to third where Josh Donaldson made the tag on the runner, it was one of the more strange double plays one will see.

THE BAD

Pennington and Price were the only Blue Jays starters not to record a hit on the night. Aaron Loup walked the only batter he faced in the bottom of the eighth inning, it’s probably not the best thing in the world to do for a pitcher trying to play himself onto a potential playoff roster to be walking guys with a six run lead.

THE UGLY

It’s surprising to me that in the year 2015 that the Braves still play their “Chop” chant during their games. There was a lot of people on twitter surprised that they would continually play it during the game and quite frankly I was surprised that it got as much play as it did.