Ross Stripling was ranked No. 28 on Keith Law’s Top-50 MLB Free Agents list

The Athletic released Keith Law’s Top-50 MLB Free Agents list for the 2022-23 off-season and the Toronto Blue Jays’ lone impact free agent, Ross Stripling, is ranked at No. 28.

Law said that Stripling found success last season due largely to improved fastball command which led to him cutting down walks and keeping balls in the park. While he might not have success to the tune of a 3.01 ERA over 134 innings again, Law believes that Stripling will continue to bring value as a back-of-the-rotation arm moving forward…
He’s been underpaid for years while he was stuck in the arbitration process, which doesn’t do any favors to pitchers who’ve bounced between starting and relieving, but that’s part of his value to another club – he’s a perfect fifth starter/swingman, especially for a club that believes it has a pitching prospect who might break in during the season.
I wouldn’t go over two years but I’d give him $12 million or so per.
The note about Stripling being the perfect pitcher for a team that has a pitching prospect that might break through is an interesting one for the Blue Jays, as Ricky Tiedemann could certainly be a part of the team’s starting rotation at some point in 2023 after he saw success in Low-A, High-A, and Double-A in 2022.
If the Blue Jays were to qualify Stripling and he accepted, he wo …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Key dates for the 2022-23 Season

Key dates for the 2022-23 Season

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic reported on some of the key dates coming up for the NHL season in his rumblings column today.
• March 3: The NHL trade deadline. That’s a Friday, by the way.
• June 28-29: The NHL Draft in Nashville, which the NHL announced last month. That’s a Wednesday and Thursday. Remember that the NHL went to a Thursday-Friday draft this past July in Montreal, getting away from its normal Friday first round and Saturday end-of-draft set-up.
• July 1: Opening of free agency. So finally back to the normal July 1 Free Agent Frenzy day, for the first time since pre-pandemic. Free Agent Frenzy was Oct. 9 in 2020, July 28 in 2021 and July 13 this past year.
The one day in between the draft and free agency is going to be fun. The less prep time for NHL GMs between major decisions is only a good thing, and will hopefully lead up to some additional excitement leading into the draft as well. I could go for a Saturday day two of the draft, but it’s worth it for the short turnaround.
 

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Leafs sign Samsonov to a one year, $1.8M deal

As initially reported by Arthur Staple of The Athletic, Ilya Samsonov is a Leaf and the Leafs have two NHL goaltenders for the 2022-23 season.

Hearing #Leafs have agreed to terms with G Ilya Samsonov on a 1-year, $1.8 million deal.
Toronto has their guy to play alongside Matt Murray in tandem next season.@DailyFaceoff
— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) July 13, 2022

The contract is a bit of a steal for the Leafs and has to make us feel pretty damned good. It’s less than we expected the Leafs to spend, but the idea of Toronto investing in goal on finding out if either one or both of Murray and Samsonov can be their answer in net makes a ton of sense.
Here’s what we know about Samsonov:

SEASON
GP
W
SV%
GAA
SO
SA
SV
QS%
RBS
GA%-
GSAA
ADJGAA
2019-20
26
16
0.913
2.55
1
689
629
0.591
2
96
2.3
2.72
2020-21
19
13
0.902
2.69
2
499
450
0.389
3
107
-3
2.96
2021-22
44
23
0.896
3.02
3
1145
1026
0.333
8
112
-12.5
3.1
CAREER
89
52
0.902
2.81
6
2333
2105
0.418
13
106
-13.6
2.96

By comparison to his team performance, Samsonov’s numbers are pretty much on track. No one has been dragging him down, in fact he seems he made things a little tougher on the Capitals.

Here are the rest of the numbers on Samsonov:

GP
XGA
GSAE
GSAE/60
SVAE
WAR
HDSV%
XHDSV%
HDSVAE
44
106.94
-12.1
-0.307
-0.006
-2.01
0.676
0.705
-0.029
These numbers don’t really inspire a lot of confidence. The confidence in Samsonov comes from draft pedigree, being a top prospect, and knowing that it often that 25-28 year range where goaltenders start coming into their own. Perhaps a change of scenery, a goaltender who played in Russia and knows Russian goaltenders, and a coach that worked under the goaltending coach that developed Sergei Bobrovsky might be what is leading to the Samsonov selection. If the Leafs took Matt Murray for Jon Elkin, it seems like they took Ilya Samsonov because they think he’s the right fit for Curtis Sanford.
From what I said a couple of days ago about Samsonov:
By the numbers, Samsonov doesn’t look like an enticing option, at least for the 2022-23 season, but there is something to be said for what comes beyond that. If he takes a step in the positive direction at all, and one can assume that it’s entirely possible, Samsonov could be the better long term solution while Murray serves as the best short term option. The fact that Samsonov has been able to get into more games than Murray as provides a bit of a safety net for that tandem, and if I’m to set the lowest possible bar, the Capitals managed to be a playoff team with Samsonov in net, surely the Leafs can as well.
None of this is a ringing endorsement for Samsonov, nor has there been too ringing an endorsement for Murray, but both represent attempts at finding something that can move the bar on the Leafs goal situation. And at the very least, perhaps the availability of Samsonov moves the bar on …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation