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Chase Anderson Jersey

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Breaking as of November 4th, 2019, right-hander pitcher Chase Anderson has been traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. The Milwaukee Brewers will receive first basemane Chad Spanberger in return.
After spending the last four years with the Milwaukee Brewers, it was reported on Monday morning from Robert Murray of the Athletic that Chase Anderson was traded to the Toronto Blue Jays. Some were shocked about the trade news of Anderson, while some weren’t as much surprised with this news.

Anderson began his major league career with the Arizona Diamondbacks back in 2009 when he was a ninth round pick in the 2009 MLB draft. His major league debut with the Diamondbacks was May 11th, 2014 where allowed one earned run in the five innings he pitched, giving him the win. His first year as a major league player, he posted a 4.01 ERA with 105 strike outs.

January of 2016 brought Anderson to the Milwaukee Brewers, 2017 being his best season where he posted a 12-4 record and 2.75 ERA. His 2019 season wasn’t as great with a 4.21 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and a .240 AVG. Although traded, he did have an $8.5 Million option for the 2020 season, and a near $9 million contract option for the 2021 season, but it seems that the Brewers were looking to trade Anderson in hopes to spend the money that was spent on him on another player in their club.

Who’s coming to the Brewers?
The Brewers acquired Chad Spanberger is exchange for Anderson, who was a sixth round pick by the Colorado Rockies in 2017. He spent last season in Double-A where he posted a .237 AVG, 13 home-runs, 59 RBI’s, and a .707 OPS. An unknown name to some, Spanberger could most definitely bring some good fire to the team to help them go towards a successful 2020 season.

NEXT: Mike Moustakas 2019 season report card

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It is unsure on the contract details in regards to this whole trade, but, Brewers fans wish Anderson the best of luck as he heads to north of the border.

Cito Gaston Jersey

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The manager’s job opened up for Cito Gaston just as it always does in baseball — somebody else got fired.

On May 15, 1989, the Blue Jays fired Jimy Williams after the team had put together a 12-24 record.

General Manager Pat Gillick said the team had high hopes when Williams took the job three seasons earlier.

“We thought Jimy was maturing as a manager, we thought that he was fitting into the [manager's] seat very well, but sometimes the best-laid plans, they don’t work out,” he told reporters after firing Williams.

To fill the manager’s job, the team looked to Gaston to take over on an interim basis.

Will Cito stay?

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Will Cito Gaston stick as manager?
31 years ago 1:12
Marty York talks to Midday about the odds of Cito Gaston taking on the Jays’ manager job on a permanent basis. 1:12
Gaston had been the team’s hitting coach since 1982 and was well-liked by players. And after one day on the job, the team was 1-0 under his watch.

But some doubted he’d be able to hang onto his new role for very long.

“I think Cito is a capable man. He does command the respect of the players — I think he can motivate them — he knows baseball and I would like to see them remove that interim tag,” sports journalist Marty York told CBC’s Midday the day after Gaston had been named manager.

“But from my understanding, the only way they’re going to do that is if he should win every game during his stint as interim manager. I don’t think that’s going to happen.”

The Toronto Star was just as bleak in its assessment. The paper reported the Jays would name a permanent manager within 10 days but said “Gaston isn’t on the short list of candidates.”

By the end of April, the team announced Gaston would be keeping his job until the end of the season.

‘No sense in worrying’

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‘No sense’ in worrying about the past
30 years ago 0:28
Cito Gaston seemed unfazed by the pressure as the Jays chased a playoff bid near the end of the 1989 season. 0:28
The Jays under Gaston, in fact, would continue to improve through the 1989 season. And as the end got closer — with a possible, but still uncertain playoff bid in sight — the pressure didn’t seem to be getting to their manager.

Toronto Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston, (foreground), and infielders Tom Lawless (left) and Rance Mulliniks watch from the dugout in the final moments of American League Championship Series game Wednesday, Oct. 5, 1989 in Oakland. (Eric Risberg/Associated Press)
“There’s no sense in worrying about things that are in the past … being concerned about ‘em is only going to cause you a problem as far as worrying about ‘em,” Gaston told CBC, just a few days before the season wrapped.

“To me, at this time of year, you want to just stay as relaxed as you possibly can and not worry about things that happened two days ago or last night because that’s over with and you can’t do anything about it.”

Toronto finished with an 89-73 record, winning the division on the second-last game of the regular-season schedule.

And that meant the Jays would play in their first playoff series in four years.

The Blue Jays wouldn’t make it to the World Series that year, as the Oakland Athletics defeated them in just five games in the American League Championship Series.

But the Jays would make repeated and highly memorable trips to the post-season in the years to come.

2 World Series championships

Cito Gaston, shown in front right-hand corner, is seen celebrating the second Blue Jays’ second World Series win in 1993. (Elise Amendola/Associated Press)
From 1991 to 1993, the Jays would win three further division titles under Gaston. The team also won back-to-back World Series championships in 1992 and 1993.

Toronto Blue Jays newly-appointed manager Cito Gaston watches warmups before a baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates in Pittsburgh Friday, June 20, 2008. (Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press)
Gaston would continue to manage the Jays until the last week of the 1997 season.

He made a comeback in 2008, when he took on his old job after John Gibbons, then in his own first stint as a big-league manager, was fired by the Jays.

The team was 35-39 when Gaston took over. They finished their season with an 86-76 record.

Just like the first time around, Gaston was hired on an interim basis. But he would end up managing the team through the end of the 2010 season.

His career record as Blue Jays manager through two stints and 1,764 games stands at 913-851, according to statistics listed on the team’s website.

To date, no other manager has taken a Blue Jays team to the World Series and no one has spent more games — or won more games — as the Toronto bench boss than Gaston has.

Breyvic Valera Jersey

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Well, that’s a good question and a fair one. On a day to day basis, I’m not too concerned about the positions. The objective should be to get all your best bats in the lineup as often as possible. Playing a player in their second position or rotating them around isn’t a bad thing. Assuming they’re not a huge detriment defensively, of course. And Moustakas isn’t that at any of the three positions he’s played over his nine-year career.

Up until 2018, he was exclusively a third baseman and had no playing time at any other position. I guess this sort of feeds into another conversation and the growing need for position players that have a few homes around the diamond. The days of players playing one position are dying, aside from the more premier guys in our game. Flexibility is key. It’s why Brandon Drury is even still on this roster. Plus with all the profound shifts we see in-game, a player’s overall fielding tools are more critical. Familiarity on the diamond is essential, too, but I don’t expect anyone on this team to pull a Will Ferrell any time soon. Two or three different positions is enough — more than one at the minimum.

In 2018, Moose saw 35 innings at first base with the Royals, and the results were encouraging. He started 2019 playing second base every day for the Brewers and then made the switch back his usual home of third base at the beginning of May. His stats at both positions were very close to breaking even. He’s a glass-half-full, half-empty type defender. But the versatility that he showed has value.

I know, I know, you’re screaming at me that the Blue Jays already have someone to play third and second base in Cavan Biggio and Guerrero Jr. Well, let’s talk about those players. Vladdy’s defence was a talking point in 2019, and many were left wondering not if, but when his move to first base will happen. I’m not at that point yet. I think he has one of the best arms in the league from the hot corner. Limiting that asset at first so quickly would be a shame.

The main criticism was his conditioning. And it showed in the fielding metrics as well as the number of games he played. Again, I’m not as worried about it as others are, but I can see the concern. Here’s him working out with the gang last month – looking good, Vladdy!

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I have confidence in him. But if for whatever reason he’s not able to play the field full time, then Moustakas is head over heels a better option than Drury.

Now, Biggio is interesting because although he primarily plays second, he comes advertised as being able to play a corner OF spot as well as first base. I’m not suggesting a full-time switch at all. His defence at second wasn’t fantastic, but it was passable. In 735.1 innings, he produced -1 DRS and -0.2 UZR/150. The fact that he can play a few other spots on the diamond is valuable. Whatever composition that gets you the best possible lineup is the one you should roll. But again, as long as it’s not at a huge detriment.

Mike Moustakas isn’t Kendrys Morales, by any means. The DH spot should be used to rotate these guys around and keep them in the lineup while resting their legs. They just aren’t making any more of Nelson Cruz or David Ortiz, unfortunately.

To summarize, if they can find 447 PA for Drury and 143 between Richard Urena, Alen Hanson and Breyvic Valera, then they should have no problem adding Moustakas to the mix.

Overall, hearing names like Moustakas tossed around is a reason to be optimistic. The team has nowhere to go but up, and the front office seems set on adding to the MLB roster. How much is yet to be seen, but baby steps are better than none.

Luke Maile Jersey

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The Toronto Blue Jays are among the teams that have met with free-agent catcher Yasmani Grandal according to ESPN’s Marly Rivera.

It’s unclear how many teams the Blue Jays are competing against on the Grandal front, but Jon Heyman of MLB Network reported Tuesday that the Milwaukee Brewers want to bring him back for another season. Bobby Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer reported last week that “all signs point” to the Cincinnati Reds making a “serious run” at the switch-hitting catcher.

Grandal, 31, is one of the top prizes on the free-agent market and currently occupies the No. 9 spot on TSN’s top 50 MLB free agents board. He had the best season of his career last year, slashing .246/.380/.468 with 28 home runs and 77 RBI in 153 games while being recognized as one of the top defensive catchers in the game. He also appeared in 20 games at first base (startinff 16) in 2019.

Prior to spending last season with the Brewers, Grandal played four years with the Dodgers and three with the San Diego Padres. He was named to the National League all-star team last year as well as in 2015.

The Jays are no stranger to making big splashes in free agency behind the dish, signing Canadian Russell Martin to a five-year, $82 million deal prior to the start of the 2015 season. Martin went on to play a crucial role in the Jays playoff runs of 2015 and 2016 before he was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers last off-season.

The Blue Jays went with a trio of Danny Jansen, Luke Maile and Reese McGuire behind the plate last season but didn’t get consistent production from any of the three from both sides of the plate. McGuire finished the year with a nifty .299/.346/.526 slash line but saw his OPS drop considerably when facing left-handed pitching (.924 against righties, .685 against lefties). Despite 13 home runs from Jansen, neither he (.207), nor Luke Maile (.151) was much of a factor at the plate.

While Grandal is without question one of baseball’s best catchers, general manager Ross Atkins made it clear earlier this week at the GM Meetings that the Jays are prioritizing pitching this off-season.

“First and foremost, for us, we want to make sure we address every pitching need, every pitching opportunity and consider that before we lunge at the positon player market. Pitching could impact our financial flexibility.”

The Jays finished last season at 67-95 in 2019 to miss the playoffs for the third straight season.

Carlos Delgado Jersey

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Carlos Delgado turns 47 today.

Carlos Delgado was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The Blue Jays signed him as an amateur free agent in 1988, when he was just 16. He went through the Jay’s minor league system as a catcher. He quickly became our top prospect; he hit 30 home runs in Dunedin in 1992 at 20 years old and then 25 the next season at Double-A Knoxville.

Carlos got called up to Toronto at the end of the 1993 season, our second World Series winner, but only got into a couple of games. The Jays gave him a ring anyway. The next season he started the year with the Jays. He played most of the games for the first couple of months, playing left field. Things started well, he had a 1.028 OPS on April 24th with 8 home runs, but it went downhill from there. He was sent back down to the minors in early June. He was hitting .215/.352/.438 when he was sent down. Cito never has had any patience with young players, it would have been nice if some patience was shown here. Bill James said that he would be an MVP candidate by 2000. He turned out to be an MVP candidate several times.

In 1995 the Jays brought Delgado up at the end of April but Cito used him mostly as a pinch hitter and he didn’t hit much in the 25 at bats he was given that month (it was more important to keep Joe Carter’s .300 OBP in the lineup) and was sent back down. They brought him back up in September and he did play more but still didn’t hit much.

Finally in 1996 Carlos got to stay up with the Jays for the full season, DHing most of the time, he hit .270/.353/.490 with 25 homers and 82 RBI. After the season the Jays traded John Olerud to make room at first base for Carlos.

Over the first couple of months of the 1997 season Joe Carter played first base and Carlos DHed but by late May Delgado took over at first and played there for the next 8 years. He had a great year hitting .262/.350/.528 with 30 homers and 91 RBI.

In 1998 Carlos played first base full time and his numbers took another big jump. He hit .292/.385/.592 with 38 homers and 115 RBI. He got MVP votes for the first time in his career and finished 5th in the league in slugging average.

He had another great season in 1999, hitting .272/.377/.571, setting a new career high in homers with 44, RBI with 134, runs with 113 and walks with 86. He won his first Silver Slugger award and finished 12 in MVP voting. He tied George Bells single season team record for RBI. He would have set a new record but he missed the final 10 games of the season, breaking his tibia fouling a ball off his leg.

In 2000 Carlos played in all 162 games, led the league with 57 doubles. He hit .344/.470/.664, had 41 homers and set a new team record with 137 RBI. He also took 123 walks and led the league being hit by pitch 15 times. He made the All-Star team for the first time, came in 4th in MVP voting, won the AL Hank Aaron Award (for best hitter) and was the Sporting New Player of the Year. He also got his second Silver Slugger award. Carlos finished 4th in the league in batting average, 2nd in on base average, 2nd in walks, 2nd in slugging and first in total bases.

His .664 slugging average is the Jays single season record .344 BA and .470 OBP are both the second best in Jay history. That season is also the Jay season high in total bases, doubles, walks, extra base hits and runs created. He was AL Player of the Week twice and had a 22 game hit streak. He was one of 7 Jays to hit 20 homers and one of 3 with 30.

Delgado played in all 162 games again in 2001. His numbers dropped off some from the year before, hitting .279/.408/.540 with 39 homers, 102 RBI and 111 walks. Pretty decent for a down season. It was his 4th consecutive season with over 35 HR and 100 RBI. He also stole a base for the first time in his MLB career.

His numbers fell off a bit more in 2002. He hit .277/.406/.549 with 33 homers, 108 RBI and 102 walks. He finished 4th in the league in OBP, 8th in slugging and 4th in walks. Carlos was the first Jay to hit 30 homers in 6 consecutive seasons and 100 RBI in 5. He missed a game August 4th to snap a streak of 432 consecutive games played. Then went on the DL for just the second time in his career, later in the August, with a stiff back.

Carlos had a bounce back season in 2003, hitting .302/.426/.593 with 42 home runs and a new career and franchise high in RBI with 145 which also led the league. He made the All-Star team, got the Silver Slugger award and came in second in the MVP voting. He finished 2nd in slugging, on base, home runs and walks.

It was his 7th straight year with 30 home runs, 6th 100 RBI and 5th with 100 runs. Among other achievements, he had 97 RBI at the All-Star break and 4 home runs in a game on Sept. 25th. HE reached base 334 times, setting another team record.

2004 was Delgado’s last season with the team, he missed about a month of the season with a strained rib cage and missed getting to 100 RBI for the first time since 1997. He still had 32 home runs and hit .269/.372/.545.

After the season Carlos was a free agent and the team decided not to try to sign him. JP was trying to cut salary and Carlos made $19.7 million in 2004. He signed a 4 year contract with the Florida Marlins. I felt that Carlos got blame for the team not making the playoffs. I find bad organizations (and often fans) will blame the team’s best player for the team’s short comings. We heard enough of that during Jose Bautista’s early years with the team.

After one season with the Marlins, they decided to cut payroll and traded Delgado to the Mets for Mike Jacobs, Yusmeiro Petit and Grant Psomas. Carlos played for the Met for 4 seasons, making the playoffs for the first time in 2006, losing out to the Cardinals in the NLCS in 2007.

Carlos retired with a .280/.383/.546 batting line and 473 home runs in 2035 games. He was one and out on the Hall of Fame ballot, only getting 3.8% of the votes in 2015. He deserved better.

Rob Neyers ‘Big Book of Baseball Lineups’ lists him as the best Jay first baseman. It also calls him the worst defensive first baseman in Jay history too. Considering John Mayberry played first for us too, that’s saying something. He’s right, Delgado was never much with the glove, but I don’t think we ever had a better hitter.

Carlos was awarded the Roberto Clemente Award in 2006 for ‘good play and strong work in the community’. He does work for many charities in Puerto Rico.

He has had his moments of controversy. He protested the war in Iraq by not standing during ‘God Bless America’ (he was ahead of his time). He said ”I just feel so sad for the families that lost relatives and loved ones in the war. But I think it’s the stupidest war ever.”

He is married and has a son and a daughter.

Paul Quantrill Jersey

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Canadian Cal Quantrill will make the start for the San Diego Padres against the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday at Rogers Centre, the team has confirmed.

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Cal Quantrill, son of Paul, has been confirmed as San Diego Padres’ starter against #BlueJays on Saturday at Rogers Centre.
It will be the 24-year-old’s fourth-career start, and obviously first in Toronto for the Port Hope product.

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The 24-year-old son of former Blue Jays reliever Paul Quantrill will be making his fourth career MLB start, he currently has an 0-2 record with a 5.40 ERA in 15.0 innings pitched.

Quantrill made his MLB debut on May 1 on the road against the Atlanta Braves and threw 5.2 innings, surrendering two earned runs as he was tagged with the loss.

He made his second and third starts at home against the New York Mets and Pittsburgh Pirates, picking up a no-decision and loss respectively.

The Port Hope, Ont., native was selected eighth overall in the first round of the 2016 MLB Amateur Draft by the Padres.

His father Paul pitched six seasons with the Blue Jays and also appeared for the Padres, Boston Red Sox, Philadelphia Phillies, Los Angeles Dodgers, New York Yankees and Florida Marlins over the course of his 14-year MLB career.

Cavan Biggio Jersey

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Toronto Blue Jays prospects Cavan Biggio and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. both received votes for the American League Rookie of the Year Award, with Biggio garnering more votes than his third base counterpart.
The Toronto Blue Jays had quite a few prospects on their active roster this season due to the rebuild, such as Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Rowdy Tellez, Danny Jansen, Cavan Biggio,and Bo Bichette.

At the end of the season (before postseason begins), two eligible journalists of the Baseball Writer’s of America Association from each MLB city submit their top three picks for who they believe should win the A.L. Jackie Robinson Rookie of the Year Award. It is a point based system where a first place vote receives five points, second place receives three points, and third place receives one. The Houston Astros prospect Yordan Alvarez took home top honours this season, receiving a unanimous 30 votes for 1st place.

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Cavan Biggio was the highest ranking Blue Jays prospect, receiving two 2nd place votes and one 3rd place vote for a total of seven points.

Cavan Biggio finishes 5th in AL Rookie of the Year voting, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. 7th.https://t.co/Su73S3ACCu pic.twitter.com/jyF3nknUXn

— Yahoo Sports Canada (@YahooCASports) November 12, 2019

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. would be next and the last Blue Jays prospect on the list, receiving one 2nd place vote and two 3rd place votes for a total of five points.

This comes as a bit of surprise, as the highly-touted Vladito was a betting favourite at the beginning of the season to bring home the ROY award. The former #1 ranked prospect did have his struggles early on this season, but ultimately finished with a respected slash line of .272/.339/.433, as well as 15 home runs, 69 RBI’s, and 26 doubles. While he did not crank out a bajillion home runs like Blue Jays fans were hoping for, he did produce at the plate for a young prospect still learning the ropes in the big leagues.

The one caveat on Guerrero Jr’s rookie season resume was his defence. While he did make some outstanding plays on the hot corner, as well as some powerful throws across the diamond, he did create some errors on ground balls that should have been routine for a major league third baseman. He would finish the season with a .936% fielding percentage, and would tie for second place for the most errors for third baseman in the MLB with 17.

This area will need to be worked upon this off-season and moving forward, unless the organization decides to move him to a 1B/DH role like some writers and fans (including myself) are predicting in the future.

Cavan Biggio was an interesting story for the rebuilding Toronto Blue Jays this season. Son of former MLB player Craig Biggio, Cavan was called up to the team in mid-May and would slot right in at second base, taking over for the injured Devon Travis and the ‘struggling at second base’ Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Biggio would have a pretty successful rookie season, his eye at the plate being the key focal points showcasing how talented he truly is.

The Notre Dame product would spend the majority of his time at second base, but also played some games at 1st base, as well as in the outfield in right field. While he didn’t look super confident as an outfielder, it was his play at second base that truly stood out. He was able to make consistent plays and turn double plays with ease that made fans feel better when the ball was hit out his way.

He would finish the season with a .989 fielding percentage at second base (.988 for all positions over the season), and would commit only five errors in just 101 games. His defence was rated at -2.7 by Fangraphs for the 2019 season, but with some more time spent on the field moving forward, he seems like a legitimate option to keep turning double plays with Bichette moving forward, turning into an above-average fielder at the MLB level.

Cavan Biggio would finish the season with a .234/.364/.429 slash line to go along with 16 home runs, 48 RBI, and an impressive 71 walks. His eye at the plate was his most impressive quality, which is why he had would finish the season leading all rookies in walks and would hit for the cycle as a rookie.

While the batting average could stand to be improved upon, as well as the number of times he struck out (123), Biggio’s rookie season was quite impressive considering the hype behind prospects like Guerrero Jr. and Bichette heading into the 2019 season.

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In the long run, will anyone remember who came in second place or third place in the 2019 ROY Award? Not really, mostly because not every ROY winner turns out to be a sure fire Hall of Famer. A player isn’t defined by their rookie season alone and the potential behind many of the Blue Jays prospects has yet to be fully defined.

There is tons of upside for players like Guerrero Jr. and Biggio, who performed quite well in their rookie seasons for a fanbase that didn’t really have a lot to cheer for. There are obvious areas where these players, as well as the other Blue Jays prospects, will need to improve upon heading into their sophomore seasons, but the base core is starting to take shape during the rebuild, which is exactly what management set out to accomplish during this process.

Follow this with a supporting cast of other talented prospects with a dash of veteran presence in Randal Grichuk and Ken Giles (before he most likely gets traded), and the Toronto Blue Jays look to be setting themselves up nicely for the future.

NEXT: Blue Jays: Why they could afford to trade one of their catchers
The rocky waves of the rebuild will most likely hurt for the next few seasons while the Blue Jays prospects continue to find their groove, but the end goal of reaching the postseason seems to be drawing closer and closer when looking towards the end of the rebuilding horizon.

Cecil Fielder Jersey

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The Home Run Derby is the best part of the MLB All-Star Game festivities and the most entertaining aspect of the three-day event surrounding the Midsummer Classic. Over the years, the Blue Jays have had their fair share of players slug it out for the derby title.

No Blue Jay has won the title, but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. could become the first tonight at Progressive Field in Cleveland. Despite not technically being named an “All-Star,” he’s a write-in candidate for the Home Run Derby.

In total, 15 Toronto Blue Jays players have competed in Major League Baseball’s biggest slugfest, with a few players earning runner-up honours at the festivities. Here’s the full list of Blue Jays competitors dating back in 1986.

Year Player City Home Runs Place
1986 Jesse Barfield Houston 2
1987 George Bell Oakland 1
1991 Joe Carter Toronto 2
1992 Joe Carter San Diego 4
1996 Joe Carter Philadelphia 2
1999 Shawn Green Boston 2
2000 Carlos Delgado Atlanta 6
2003 Carlos Delgado Chicago 2
2006 Troy Glaus Pittsburgh 1
2007 Alex Rios San Francisco 19 Runner-Up
2010 Vernon Wells Los Angeles 2
2011 Jose Bautista Phoenix 4
2012 Jose Bautista Kansas City 20 Runner-Up
2014 Jose Bautista Minnesota 14
2015 Josh Donaldson Cincinnati 18
For the most part, Blue Jays players did very little damage from the Home Run Derby from 1986 to 2006. Joe Carter participated in three separate seasons but failed to make an impact against his competitors.

For two decades, the Blue Jays’ biggest claim to fame at the Home Run Derby was that Skydome was the birthplace of the infamous Cecil Fielder derby performance. Fielder sent two home runs sailing above Windows restaurant, with distances in excess of 450 feet each.

All that changed in 2007 thanks to a budding young Blue Jays outfielder facing off against the father of future Home Run Derby participant, Vladimir Guerrero.

Alex Rios (2007)

It wasn’t until 2007 when an All-Star outfielder named Alex Rios put his name on the map by finishing runner-up to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. at AT&T Park in San Francisco.

Interestingly enough, Rios hit the most home runs of any single player in the 2007 Derby with 19 total, but narrowly lost in the finals by a score of 3-2 from Guerrero Sr.

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PHOENIX — With an eye on the future of the Blue Jays, questions remain about some of the organization’s up-and-comers, as well as what direction the club will continue to take as it moves forward.

In this week’s Inbox, we take a closer look at the successes of a couple of Toronto’s prospects in the Arizona Fall League, as well as how the Blue Jays approach to Elvis Luciano could shift what some other clubs might do in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft, and where the expectations might be for a potential return on closer Ken Giles.

A late addition to the Scottsdale Scorpions roster in the Arizona Fall League, Julian Merryweather has appeared in two games, throwing one inning in each outing. He’s shown impressive command and increased velocity — crediting the rehab process — as he’s continued to make his way back from Tommy John surgery.

“All that downtime that you’re taking for your arm, you’re able to put in work in other areas of weakness,” he said. “So whether it’s mobility or strength, the strength and conditioning aspect has gotten so good now that guys are coming back so much stronger and in better shape and moving better. That’s a huge reason for it, so it’s the double-edged sword of knowing you might be throwing harder but your arm might not be ready for it at a certain stage.”

The 28-year-old right-hander is expected to make two more appearances before the fall season comes to a close and has felt great so far as his 20-month comeback from Tommy John continues. Merryweather originally returned to the mound in June, throwing two innings for rookie-class Bluefield and four innings for Class A Advanced Dunedin five days later. But after another couple of days, he came to the realization that his arm might not have been completely ready.

“I felt fine for the four innings, had good velocity for all four innings, didn’t see a crazy drop, so that was a good sign,” Merryweather said. “It was just the recovery phase, I wasn’t prepared for that, I guess. A couple days later it was like, ‘Wow, this is not great, this does not feel great right now.’

“I thought, ‘Oh no, I tore it again,’ and everyone has their dramatic thoughts like your life is over, but once the training staff checked it out, they knew there was nothing wrong with the ligament … but it was definitely my arm telling me it was not ready for the amount of workload it was. So we’re doing things differently this time to prevent that from happening.”

Beyond his time with the Scorpions, Merryweather will proceed with regular offseason activities, and is likely to head to Triple-A Buffalo out of Spring Training, where he was slated to land before his arm derailed him in June. — Alexis

What’s your perspective on Jackson Rees and his progression through the Jays system — could you see him starting in New Hampshire in 2020 knowing his history of injuries and [trouble] consistently throwing strikes based on how much his pitches move?
– Jon C.

Jackson Rees has been one of the most impressive hurlers in the Fall League over his small sample size of 7 1/3 innings. The 25-year-old right-hander has appeared in six games and allowed five hits, walked one and struck out 12 over that span, showing impressive stuff and earning a roster spot among the Fall Stars.

After making his way to Dunedin this season and finding success in the Florida State League before dominating with the Scorpions, a natural progression for Rees could be to head to Double-A New Hampshire out of Spring Training, if the undrafted free agent signing continues his dominance ahead of the ‘20 season. — Alexis

What the Blue Jays did with Luciano should be a model for other organizations, especially those without realistic hopes of contending in ‘20. Yes, most teams enter a season eyeing at least an outside run at a Wild Card spot, but a quick glance at the Astros and Nationals shows just how wide of a gap exists between the good teams and the great ones.

For Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins, the entire process of selecting and rostering the 19-year-old Luciano was about the rarity of the opportunity. Young, athletic right-handers with multiple pitches that profile at the Major League level don’t grow on trees. This is about quantity as much as quality, too, and the Luciano experiment ended with the Blue Jays adding a high-upside arm for free, in baseball terms.

I’d argue that Major League Baseball in 2020 caters particularly well to Rule 5 picks, even before the 26th roster spot gets involved. Versatility is valued highly by some clubs, and the opener strategy — or bullpen days — means that teams are burning through plenty of relievers over the course of a season. If you have a spot for a seventh right-hander or second utility player, why not roll the dice on someone who could provide long-term value?

Other organizations noticed what the Blue Jays did with Luciano, so it will be interesting to see if the appetite for risk increases across the league this December. — Keegan

“What should the Jays expect in a Giles trade and could it land them a decent OF prospect? Maybe [someone] like Brandon Marsh?”
– Craig P.

Let’s give Atkins the first word on this, as he was asked about Giles during his year-end media availability.

“We’ll weigh what it means to have him versus what it means to trade him for some other value,” Atkins said in early October. “He makes a significant contribution, so we would have to factor in that subtraction if we were to trade him. Thinking about it from a strategy standpoint, he’s been exceptional. He had an incredible year, so he’s not someone that we would have to say we are open to trading. I’m sure there will be significant interest in him.”

There’s an argument to be made that the Blue Jays could keep Giles into the season, wait for a new closer to emerge by July and flip him at the Deadline. That’s a risk with a 29-year-old reliever who throws gas, though, as a down year is always lurking just around the corner at baseball’s most volatile position.

Finding a comparable trade is difficult, given the shifting value of relievers. This would not be another case of Aroldis Chapman for Gleyber Torres, who was baseball’s No. 24 prospect at the time, with the Yankees.

This past July’s Shane Greene trade from Detroit to Atlanta might be closer in line to expectations. The same goes for the Marcus Stroman deal, where the Blue Jays acquired a pair of pitchers who ranked outside of the MLB Pipeline’s top 100 prospects but were highly regarded. A prospect on the edges of the top 100 would make sense to lead a package, and the Blue Jays have plenty of groundwork laid if they choose to explore it actively. — Keegan

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Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Ryan Borucki throws during first inning American League MLB baseball action against the Cleveland Indians, in Toronto, Monday, July 22, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Thornhill

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays did some off-season housekeeping on Monday night, moving players between their Major League Baseball roster and triple A.

Pitchers Ryan Borucki, Tim Mayza and Matt Shoemaker as well as outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr., were reinstated from the 60-day injured list.

Pitchers Buddy Boshers, Brock Stewart and Ryan Dull as well as second baseman Devon Travis were outrighted to the triple-A Buffalo Bisons. Boshers elected to go into free agency.

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Right-handed pitcher Ryan Tepera was designated for assignment.

Borucki began the 2019 season on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation and was transferred to the 60-day injured list on April 15, retroactive to March 25. He made four rehab starts across three levels before being reinstated on July 21.

The lefty recorded two starts with Toronto before returning to the injured list on July 31, retroactive to July 28, with left elbow inflammation for the remainder of the season. He underwent surgery to remove a spur in his left elbow on Aug. 8.

Gurriel hit .277 with 19 doubles, two triples, 20 home runs and 50 RBIs in 84 games last season. The right-handed hitter was placed on the 10-day injured list with a left quad strain from Aug. 10 to Sept. 13. He then missed the final four games of the season after undergoing an appendectomy and was placed on the 60-day injured list on Sept. 25.

Mayza held a 1-3 record with a 4.91 earned-run average across a team-leading 68 relief appearances with Toronto last season. He was placed on the 60-day injured list after undergoing Tommy John surgery on the ulnar collateral ligament in his left elbow on Sept. 18.

Shoemaker made five starts before landing on the 10-day injured list with left knee sprain on April 21. He missed the remainder of the season after undergoing ACL reconstruction and medial meniscus repair on April 30, and was placed on the 60-day injured list on May 15.

Travis missed the entire 2019 season after undergoing surgery on his left knee and was placed on the 60-day injured list on March 25.

Boshers held a 0-3 record with a 4.05 ERA across 27 relief appearances with Toronto last season. The left-handed pitcher was signed by the Blue Jays as a free agent on May 22 and was assigned to triple-A Buffalo.

Dull was claimed off waivers by Toronto on Sept. 18 and made his only appearance as a Blue Jay on Sept. 27.

Stewart recorded a 4-0 record with a 8.31 ERA across 10 relief appearances as a Blue Jay, striking out 16 batters in 21.2 innings pitched.

Tepera put together a 0-2 record with a 4.98 ERA across 22 relief appearances and one start last season. He started the season on the 10-day injured list with right elbow inflammation and made his season debut on April 18. The righty made 12 appearances before returning to the injured list on May 21 with a right elbow impingement.