The Blue Jays are also in on Michael Brantley

The Blue Jays have signed George Springer (fuck yes they have) and it looks like they aren’t done there.

According to Jon Heyman, Springer has been talking his former teammate Michael Brantley into joining him with the Blue Jays. I won’t believe it until Brendon Kuhn reports on it, of course.

George Springer has been selling the Jays and Michael Brantley on working out a deal so his friend and Astros teammate can join him (possibly) north of the border. @Ken_Rosenthal mentioned the tandem talk
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 20, 2021

But, yeah, this is something that we saw Ken Rosenthal mention recently, as I talked about earlier on Tuesday…
Free agents George Springer and Michael Brantley are close friends. They are represented by the same agency, Excel Sports Management. Imagine if the Blue Jays signed both in the kind of package deal more common in the NBA than Major League Baseball. Springer and Brantley would not only elevate the Jays’ offense but also provide leadership for the team’s young position players, transforming the franchise.
Brantley is a guy that Mark Shapiro and Co. are familiar with given he was part of the return in the deal that …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Tyler Chatwood brings new and improved Cutter to Blue Jays

The Blue Jays have signed right-hander Tyler Chatwood to a one year $3M deal with incentives that can push the deal to $5.5M. Wood has made 143 starts in his career but per Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays plan to use him out of the pen.

Chatwood started last season really well. In 12.2 innings he struck out 19 batters, walked only four and allowed just a single run. Small sample size of course but the strikeout process he showed was enough for Dan Szymborski of Fangraphs to write about it. Szymborski mentions how Chatwood had moved away from his four-seamer in favour of his cutter.
Per Baseball Savant, prior to 2020, Chatwood threw his four-seamer roughly 30% of the time. In 2020 he dropped that to just 7.5%. Chatwood’s cutter is very good, he doesn’t throw it hard, averaging just 89.9 mph with it, but it’s his second best pitch for whiffs due to its movement, as you can see in this gif from the Szymborski piece.


Chatwood’s cutter has a spin rate of 2739 rpm, making it the fifth spiniest cutter in baseball.  As you can see it has wicked horizontal movement. The pitch moves 4.7 inches horizontally, …

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Author: Paul Berthelot / Blue Jays Nation

The Padres acquired Ha-Seong Kim, Blake Snell, and Yu Darvish. How does this affect the Blue Jays?

The San Diego Padres got bored of waiting.

The team signed Korean free agent Ha-Seong Kim to a five-year deal worth $25 million and they went out and traded for pitchers Yu Darvish and Blake Snell.
Given how slowly this off-season has progressed, it was wild seeing San Diego bash their heads through the wall and acquire three marquee names within a matter of a couple days. Kim gives them another talent to play the infield and adding Darvish and Snell makes their pretty good rotation suddenly very good.
Most importantly, though, how does this affect the Blue Jays?
First, there’s Kim, a player who the Blue Jays were apparently viewed as a finalist for over the weekend. According to Daniel Kim, ESPN’s KBO insider, the Jays were among the teams who offered Kim a multi-year deal. Kim also added on Monday that the Jays fielded a competitive offer that was for “5+ years.”
But Kim ended up in San Diego, which is a bit odd given the fact the Padres already have Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado playing shortstop and third base. Apparently, a key for Kim was having a clause in his contract in which he couldn’ …

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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors: Matt Thomas proving his worth with the Raptors

Toronto Raptors: Matt Thomas proving his worth with the Raptors

Matt Thomas was signed in 2019 by the Toronto Raptors to a three-year deal. Now in his sophomore season, the Raptors shooting guard is making it difficult to keep him out of the lineup. Saturday night’s preseason game was an affirmation of why the Toronto Raptors signed Matt Thomas to a three-year contract. He is […]
Toronto Raptors: Matt Thomas proving his worth with the Raptors – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

Toronto Raptors: Terence Davis’ legal troubles is Matt Thomas’ gain

Toronto Raptors: Terence Davis’ legal troubles is Matt Thomas’ gain

The Toronto Raptors signed sharpshooting guard Matt Thomas in 2019 to a three-year deal.  This season, Terence Davis’ legal entanglements could provide a huge opportunity for Matt Thomas. The police charged Toronto Raptors‘ sophomore guard Terence Davis in New York with domestic violence in late October. The charges are definitely serious and could derail his […]
Toronto Raptors: Terence Davis’ legal troubles is Matt Thomas’ gain – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Jason Mills / Raptors HQ

A new theory has emerged about why the Leafs released Michal Neuvirth from his PTO

A new theory has emerged about why the Leafs released Michal Neuvirth from his PTO

Remember when the Leafs signed Michal Neuvirth to a PTO last year? It’s understandable if you forgot because his stint with the Leafs was brief and unmemorable. While the reason he was brought on was clear (to back up Frederik Andersen), why he was released was not made apparent at the time.
Over a calendar year later, we now have a better idea of what might have been the reason behind it. On the latest episode of The Leafs Report, James Mirtle of The Athletic said that Neuvirth wanted more money and decided to return to his native Czechia.

Mirtle says he thinks the Leafs expected Neuvirth to be their backup last year and Neuvirth just decided he didn’t want to play for a low salary and went home. I don’t think I’ve heard that before.
— draglikepull (@draglikepull) November 5, 2020

As alluded to earlier, the Leafs during the 2019 offseason had Michael Hutchinson as their best option to be the backup goalie which made the move for additional help become mandatory. Neuvirth was seen as a potential option to solidify the depth and potentially give Toronto a netminder that could lighten Andersen’s workload.
In his brief tenure with the Leafs, …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Leafs target Joe Thornton signs with HC Davos

After weeks of anticipation, Joe Thornton has signed with a pro hockey team! It’s just not with the Leafs or the Sharks.

HC Davos confirms that Joe Thornton has rejoined the team. He’ll use the time in the Swiss league to prepare for his 23rd NHL season.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) October 15, 2020

Throughout the offseason, Thornton has been training in Switzerland where he lives during the offseason. Given that it has been over seven months since he last played an NHL game and he has intentions of returning for another year, it makes sense why he’s chosen to play in the National League.
It’s not Thornton’s first time suiting up for HC Davos as he’s played for the team during both the 2004 and 2012 lockouts. He’s recorded a combined 22 goals, 68 assists, and 90 points in 73 games.
In 70 games last season with the Sharks, he recorded seven goals, 24 assists, and 31 points.
Toronto is tight on cap space at the time of writing this post, so signing Thornton likely means someone else will be on the move in the coming days/weeks.
Related:

Good Idea/Bad Idea: Joe Thornton to the Leafs?

All stats unless otherwise noted are from …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Marlies sign Rourke Chartier to one-year AHL contract

The Marlies announced Wednesday that the team has signed center Rourke Chartier to a one-year AHL contract. The 24 year old former 5th round pick sat out the entirety of the 2019-2020 season due to lingering post-concussion symptoms.

News: We’ve signed forward Rourke Chartier to a one-year AHL contract. #ForeverStartsHere
Details >> https://t.co/VuMKG3TFvK pic.twitter.com/q8k1tfCqHV
— Toronto Marlies (@TorontoMarlies) October 14, 2020

Chartier suited up for 13 NHL games with San Jose in the 2018-2019 season but will serve purely as depth for the Marlies if and when the next AHL season gets underway. In 121 career AHL games, Chartier has tallied 30 goals and 44 assists for 74 points.

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Author: Nick Richard / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs sign Wayne Simmonds to one-year contract

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed Wayne Simmonds to a one-year contract worth $1.5 million, according to Sportsnet’s Anthony Stewart.

Simmonds signs with #LeafsForever 1-year $1.5 million. Full no movement clause. Left more $ on table for desire to win and play for hometown. @Sportsnet #NHLFreeAgency
— Anthony Stewart (@StuMunrue) October 9, 2020

Simmonds, a native of Scarborough, ON., will be coming home to don the blue and white. He split his time last season playing with the New Jersey Devils and the Buffalo Sabres. With New Jersey, he put up 8 goals and 24 points in 61 games.
Simmonds had his best years with the Philadelphia Flyers from the 2011-12 season up to the 2018-19 season. He put up a career-high in goals and points in 2015-16 with 32 goals and 60 points respectively.
According to TSN’s Pierre LeBrun, the desire to come home to Toronto was a big deciding factor for the 32-year-old.

The Habs did indeed make an offer to Simmonds and I believe it was for a bit more than what the Leafs gave him, but the hometown allure was strong for Simmonds. Understandable.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) October 9, 2020

GM Kyle Dubas made it clear on Monday that getting tougher was important for the Leafs moving …

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Author: Matthew Rodrigopulle / The Leafs Nation

Toronto Maple Leafs Auston Matthews signs deal with CCM Hockey

Auston Matthews has signed a new partnership deal inking a multi-year agreement with CCM Hockey.

No details are available on the deal, or what it will entail, but it safes to say that we’ll be seeing Matthews donning some CCM gear on the ice.
“We are stoked to enter into this collaborative partnership with one of the best, boldest and most unique players in the game and have him join the CCM family of the most elite NHL players in the world,” said Rick Blackshaw, CEO of CCM Hockey. “The timing couldn’t be better as the greatest sport on Earth finally resumes. Auston is about performance, commitment and style; and together we will be fearless game changers.”
Matthews said CCM has always been a company he admired.
“I am excited to partner with them,” said Matthews. “Their dedication to innovation and their forward-thinking approach with their products is something that really resonates with me. I am looking forward to what they will come up with next.”
On Twitter: @zjlaing

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Author: Zach Laing / The Leafs Nation