Deadline Primer: Position Players

The Toronto Blue Jays boast one of the most fearsome offences in baseball. There aren’t going to be many opportunities to upgrade that makes enough sense to give up assets, but for the fun of it, we’ll look at some potential options for deadline targets in the field.

Reasonable Targets
Yan Gomes – C – Washington Nationals
Gomes made his major league debut with The Blue Jays in 2012 and was dealt to The Cleveland Indians for Esmil Rogers in one of the more scrutinized trades in recent memory. He’s an above-average bat with great game calling and receiving skills, putting together in one package the things that the Jays currently have spread out across 3 catchers. The acquisition cost should be low enough, and the residual impact he could have on not only the club’s offensive output, but the entire pitching staff could be well worth the loss of either, or maybe both of, Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire.
Trey Mancini  – OF/1B – Baltimore Orioles
The Blue Jays are loaded in the outfield with a rotation of four everyday guys patroling the grass, and another serviceable bat and glove in Corey Dickerson on the way. Mancini hasn’t had …

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Author: DeuceDoucette / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 31: Maybe they aren’t the Fraud Sox after all?

That was ugly!

The Blue Jays got smashed on Monday, rained out on Tuesday, and then they lost an incredibly frustrating game on Wednesday against a struggling starter with their ace on the mound. Oof.
With Tyler on vacation, me and BK talked about the Red Sox series, why they might not actually be frauds, especially with Chris Sale nearing a return and killing it early on in his rehab assignment.
We also talked about a whole bunch of different stuff from this week, like the T.J. Zeuch era coming to an end, Nate Pearson going to the bullpen, and what we can expect from the trade deadline given Ross Atkins’ comments about how the starting pitching market is thin right now.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Who Are The Untouchable Prospects?

As the trade deadline looms large, the Toronto Blue Jays are on the cusp of a wildcard position with a fleeting chance of winning the AL East. This means that the Jays will be looking to add MLB players to their roster and as they have a surplus of prospects, so much so that Fangraphs ranks them second in the best farm systems. So with this article, I’ll give you my list of untouchables and the higher prospects who could be on the move.

A small disclaimer here, I actually don’t believe any of the Jays top prospects will be traded this deadline. If we’ve learned anything, they’ve made deals that usually surprise us, like the Liriano trade back in 2016. I could be wrong, but I think at most they trade only one top prospect.
The Untouchables
There is a difference between prospect hugging and holding onto players that have the potential to be all-stars, if not superstars. Prospect hugging means that you hold on to most of your prospects instead of trying to make your team better for the time being. There are a few prospects in the Jays’ system that could be the next …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays sign high school pitcher Irv Carter with a $850,000 signing bonus

The Blue Jays have signed another one of their top picks from the 2021 draft.

A few days after reaching a deal with first-round pick Gunnar Hoglund, the Blue Jays have come to terms with fifth-round pick Irv Carter on a deal with a signing bonus of $850k.

5th-rder Irv Carter signs w/@BlueJays for $850k (slot 152 value = $350,300). Thinking that will be their 2nd-highest bonus. Florida HS RHP, projectable 6-ft-4, already up to 94 mph with more to come, promising slider. Miami recruit. @MLBDraft
— Jim Callis (@jimcallisMLB) July 19, 2021

Unsurprisingly, Carter earned a much higher signing bonus than his recommended slot value of $350,300. He was one of the top pitching recruits out of high school in Florida and had committed to play for the University of Miami Hurricanes.
But, based on his reaction to being selected by the Blue Jays, it isn’t all that surprising he signed…

Calvary Christian pitcher Irv Carter and his draft party react to being selected by the Toronto Blue Jays. @Irvcarter42 @BlueJays pic.twitter.com/Ml87c32uaY
— Adam Lichtenstein (@ABLichtenstein) July 12, 2021

Here’s what MLB Pipeline says about him…
Teams that have to play Calvary Christian Academy in Florida might think they’d be lucky if …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

BJN Radio – Ep. 30: The brooms come out against the Rangers, the Blue Jays are come back to Toronto, and more!

The Blue Jays and kicking the crap out of the Texas Rangers — name a more iconic duo.

We learned on Friday that the Blue Jays are FINALLY coming home on July 30! The team seemed to be charged up by that so they went ahead and pounded the Rangers by a score of 10-2, powered by perhaps Vladdy’s biggest homer of the season. The game on Saturday was rained out, which led to a doubleheader sweep on Sunday by scores of 10-0 and 5-0. All told, the Blue Jays outscored Texas 25-2 over the weekend. You love to see it.
We talked about the good stuff from the series, which was literally everything, and then we talked about how good the vibes are going to be on July 30. I also made a bold prediction about who’s going to be taking the mound for The Return.
You can listen to the episode here…

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Breyvic Valera is back, Nick Allgeyer has been designated for assignment

The Breyvic Valera era continues!

The Blue Jays announced today that the veteran utility infielder has been added to the 40-man roster and has been called up to the team ahead of Sunday’s doubleheader with the Texas Rangers. In a corresponding move, Jonathan Davis has been optioned to Triple-A and Nick Allgeyer has been designated for assignment.
It seems the Blue Jays want another infielder in the mix and Valera has hit very well in Triple-A this season, so he’s the one who ended up getting the call. Through 41 games, Valera is slashing a .313/.406/.460 line with 24 walks to 19 strikeouts. He can play second, third, and short, and also has made a few appearances in the outfield in his career.
I imagine that most people wanted to see Kevin Smith called up as he’s been absolutely mashing for the Thunder-Bisons, but the Blue Jays have a bit of a 40-man roster squeeze going on right now. Alejandro Kirk and Julian Merryweather will need to be re-added from the 60-day Injured List eventually and Valera is an easier player to DFA when that day comes.
And then there’s Allgeyer, who has spent a good chunk of his season …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays sign first-round draft pick Gunnar Hoglund for $3,247,500 ($111,500 under slot value)

The Blue Jays have signed their first-round pick from the 2021 draft.

Right-handed pitcher Gunnar Hoglund out of Ole Miss has inked a deal with a $3,247,500 signing bonus, which is $111,500 under the recommended slot value for the No. 19 overall pick.
Given the Blue Jays didn’t have a second-round pick in this year’s draft, it isn’t surprising to see that they drafted a guy with their first pick that would sign a deal at under slot value. Doing so in the first round gives Toronto more cash to spend on later draft picks, such as high school pitcher Irv Carter.
He had the talent to be a top-10 pick, but Hoglund suffered an elbow injury in May and has since had Tommy John surgery. He won’t be healthy until next spring at the earliest, but this doesn’t appear to be much of a concern given Hoglund is considered to be one of the most polished pitchers in the draft.
Hoglund posted a 2.87 ERA over 11 starts and 62 2/3 innings for Ole Miss in 2021, striking out 96 batters while walking 17. His repertoire includes a 92-to-95 MPH fastball, an 84-to-86 MPH slider, and a changeup that he didn’t often use while …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Top to Bottom: Thoughts on all of the Blue Jays position players at the All-Star break

We’re at the All-Star break and the Blue Jays are sitting third in the American League East with a 45-42 record, four-and-a-half games back of the Oakland A’s for the second wild-card seed with a pair of teams in Cleveland and Seattle to hop.

To be blunt, the first half has been a strange ride. The bats have been quite good, the starting pitching has been fair, the bullpen has largely been a mess, and there have been a whole bunch of injuries. Put it all together and the Blue Jays are wildly underachieving based on their run differential, as their Pythagorean record courtesy of Baseball-Reference sits at 50-37.
With nothing going on for a few days, I’m going to take a look at everybody who has suited up for the Blue Jays this season, what they’ve done so far, and what we can expect from them in the second half. I’ll start with the 17 position players and rank them based on FanGraphs’ wins above replacement.
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (4.6 WAR)
There isn’t much that needs to be said here. Vladdy’s breakout season has been magnificent.
He’s currently slashing a .332/.430/.658 line with 28 homers. …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays select RHP Irv Carter with fifth-round pick

The Blue Jays have now used their first four draft picks on pitchers.

With their first-round selection, the team selected Irv Carter, a high-school righty out of the Calvary Christian Academy in Florida. You might recognize the school’s name because Roy Halladay used to coach there.
The team used their fourth-round pick on Chad Dallas, who was ranked No. 210 in the draft by MLB Pipeline. Carter, meanwhile, is ranked No. 93 by Keith Law and No. 118 by Pipeline. It would seem the Blue Jays are going to go under-slot on Dallas in order to spend a little extra on Carter.
Here’s what Pipeline says about him…

Teams that have to play Calvary Christian Academy in Florida might think they’d be lucky if they didn’t have to face the school’s ace and potential top 10 pick, Andrew Painter. They’d be wrong, as the school’s No. 2 starter, Carter, would be the top guy in most other high school programs and is a legitimate Draft prospect in his own right.
There are a lot of things to like with Carter, particularly his size, physicality and arm strength. The 6-foot-4 right-hander has a fastball that is currently up to 94 …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays select LHP Ricky Tiedemann with third-round pick

The draft continues to roll!

Yesterday, the Blue Jays used their first-round pick on Gunnar Hoglund, a pitcher who fell a little bit in the draft due to having Tommy John surgery. Today, they used their third-round pick (they didn’t have a second because of signing George Springer) on another pitcher, lefty Ricky Tiedemann.
Here’s what MLB Pipeline has to say…
While the 2020 amateur season was cut short because of the pandemic, Tiedemann did manage to become a bit of a pop-up prospect who rose into MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prior to last year’s Draft. The younger brother of Rangers Minor League right-hander Tai Tiedemann went undrafted in the five-round event and rather than head to San Diego State, he switched gears to Long Beach Junior College in order to be eligible this year. When Long Beach cancelled spring sports because of COVID-19, Tiedemann was on the move again, this time to Golden West College.
Tiedemann’s overall profile of solid stuff, size and athleticism hasn’t changed much in a year’s time, but there’s plenty to like. His fastball sits in the low-90s and will bump 93-94 mph at times, with more in …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation