Examining the Shapiro Era Trades, Part two: The Losses

As a team, you will have your losses here and there. 

On Saturday, we looked at the 19 trades since the Mark Shapiro era started that was considered a win by voters on Twitter. Today, we’ll look at the “losses”
Just a few notes before we begin:
Yes, Shapiro doesn’t make the trades, but they likely run through him. Not just that, but when Mark Shapiro was brought in, so too was Ross Atkins. Hence why I call it the “Shapiro era”.
Secondly, I don’t think most of these were actual losses. So I’ll give my reasoning and context as to why I thought otherwise. Let’s start with the first ever trade of the Shapkins era.
The Liam Hendriks trade:
Fun fact, this is the only trade in any of these articles for which Ross Atkins wasn’t the General Manager.
The Jays traded reliever Liam Hendriks for Jesse Chavez. In 2015, Hendrik had a 2.92 ERA and 2.14 FIP in 64.2 innings pitched. With the Jays in 2016, Chavez had a 4.57 ERA and 4.82 FIP in 41.1 innings pitched. He was later traded to the Dodgers in exchange for Mike Boslinger. On paper, it definitely looks like the Jays lost this trade, but let’s look at the context.
When we think of Liam Hendriks, we think of one of the best closers in the MLB to this day (and a standup guy). This wasn’t always the case, however. While his ERA and FIP sparkled in 2015, it was by far his best up to that point. Between 2011-2018, Hendriks had a 4.72 ERA and 3.91 FIP in 406.1 innings pitched.
In his first three seasons in Oakland, he had a 4.01 ERA and 3.24 FIP. Fun fa …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Otto Porter Jr.

Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Otto Porter Jr.

Historically, the Toronto Raptors are not a team that is going to spend a ton of money in free agency. In spite of their past desire to lay low in the offseason, the Raptors went and splashed the cash and nabbed Otto Porter Jr. away from the reigning champion Golden State Warriors. Porter was a […]
Toronto Raptors 2022-23 season preview: SF Otto Porter Jr. – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Bo Bichette’s three-RBI performance leads Blue Jays to 4-1 victory over Pirates

The Toronto Blue Jays are a much deeper team when Bo Bichette is at his best. Everyone was reminded of that Saturday night at PNC Park.
After shutting out the Pirates 4-0 a night ago, the Blue Jays desperately needed to replicate that success during the second game of this three-game set. The only problem, though, is that they were held in check by right-hander Roansy Contreras, who was making just his 14th career major-league start.
Contreras completed six innings of one-run ball, allowing four hits and two walks while striking out five batters. His only blemish came in the fourth inning when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. delivered an RBI double, driving home Bichette, tying the contest at one run apiece.
Things almost immediately unravelled once the 22-year-old departed, however, as Duane Underwood Jr. surrendered one hit and two walks to load the bases with two outs for Bichette. But, if not for Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Matt Chapman’s patient approaches, Toronto’s shortstop wouldn’t have come to the plate in the seventh inning.
And thankfully, Bichette made sure to capitalize on that opportunity, sending a 108.7-m.p.h. laser down into the left field corner, clearing the bases for three much-needed runs.

CLEAR ‘EM, BO pic.twitter.com/bInAJLaD40
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) September 4, 2022

As you might expect, Bichette was pretty fir …

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Author: Thomas Hall / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays Fired Charlie Montoyo. Now What?

If turning around a struggling baseball team was as easy as firing your manager, there would be a constant cycle of middle-aged baseball dudes getting laid off weekly. But it rarely is that easy, and thus despite the Blue Jays firing Charlie Montoyo yesterday, a lot of work remains to be done in order to turn this team into one that not only will make the playoffs, but will be built to go on a deep run in October.

It is impossible to tell if replacing Montoyo with John Schneider will have any impact on how the players perform, but it became clear yesterday just how important of a first step it was to getting this team on the right track. From the first reports that were trickling out of the US, to this excellent piece from The Athletic’s Kaitlyn McGrath, Montoyo had clearly lost the confidence of his team, and once that happens, a move needs to be made. (Ironically, all arguments I saw and contributed to pre-firing assumed Montoyo was well-liked by the team. Once that assumption was thrown out the window, the argument for making a change became much simpler).
Now, after taking responsibility for where the club is in the standings at this point in the season yesterday, the task Ross Atkins has ahead of him is to identify the faults in this team and address them. It’s a tricky situation to navigate because if you’ve been watching the Blue Jays closely this year, you might identify many issues plaguing this team. In reality, though, I believe the issues are actually pretty simple. 
Despite what many might think, the Blue Jays’ offense is more or less fine. They’ve been the fifth-best team in baseball according to wRC+ this season in the aggregate. Their issues offensively have more to do with being inconsistent – which I don’t think is something you can ever avoid in baseball – and an inability to hit in high leverage spots.
That last point has been a thorn in their side since the beginning of 2021, and there have been many theories floating out there, from a lack of “clutch” – which would …

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Author: Gideon Turk / Blue Jays Nation

A fond look back at the narratives of the Leafs first day of free agency

Editor’s note: I wanted to start off by thanking the team here at The Leafs Nation for their outstanding coverage of the first day of free agency this year. Our writers were on top of every development as it occurred and analyzed in a thoughtful manner. I also want to thank our readers who have been coming to the site in the record numbers in the past couple of days. Don’t think we don’t appreciate you too. I know free agency is a big time for news, but I assure you we’ve got some exciting content planned throughout the offseason and if you are new to the site, we hope we can count you returning frequently (whether you agree with us or not.) 
Free agency is a day that I often look forward to on the NHL calendar, and then comes and it’s an absolute blur. I have no idea who plays where anymore but assume that most of the Leafs free agents are in Edmonton now and that Johnny Gaudreau isn’t the best decision maker in high pressure situations.
So far in free agency the Leafs have had one key objective that needed to be accomplished and more or less they’ve done that. They’ve reworked the …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Ross Stripling’s excellent outing leads the Blue Jays to a sweep over the Phillies

This is Ross Stripling’s team. And now, John Schneider’s as well.

The Blue Jays were clicking on all cylinders tonight as they completed a two-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies with a 8-2 win on Wednesday night.
Stripling had one of his best outings as a Blue Jay, retiring 18 of the first 19 batters he faced. Much like Jose Berrios last night, Stripling felt comfortable with every pitch in his arsenal: the fastball, changeup, curveball, and even an occasional slider.
Stripling’s final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6K’s. His efficiency was also noteworthy, only needing 81 pitches to get through his night. 57 of those were strikes.

Ross Stripling has been so money for this rotation so far. The way he’s stepped up has been a huge boost.
— Ricky Romero (@Ricky_Ro24) July 14, 2022

Maybe even more impressive was the offense, which went up against Phillies ace Zack Wheeler. Wheeler came into tonight’s game only allowing five home runs all season, but the Jays weren’t hearing any of that. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Teoscar Hernandez took Wheeler deep in the 4th inning, with Guerrero’s home run being a unique one. He hit a slider low-and-away with one hand. Most hitters would “poke” that ball into play for a wimpy single or a groundout, but since Vlad is Vlad, he hit this one 397 feet. Hernandez would hit another home run in the 8th inning off of Phillies rookie Bubby Rossman, bringing his season total to 11.
Bo Bichette and Raimel Tapia also contributed RBIs tonight. The only disappointing thing the Jay …

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Author: Evan Stack / Blue Jays Nation

Value to be found in non-tendered free agents once again for Maple Leafs

When you’re a team that operates near the salary cap ceiling, free agency is a time to try to bring in undervalued talent rather than throw money at the big fish.
For the Toronto Maple Leafs, this is the situation they’ve found themselves in for a few seasons now. While the flat cap world has hurt Toronto by keeping them near the salary cap without the anticipated growth of the cap over the past couple of years, there is a bit of a silver lining to be found.
As every team has to deal with the ramifications of a stagnant salary cap, it has resulted in teams becoming much warier of arbitration for their restricted free agents. For another year in a row, this has resulted in multiple intriguing mid-20s players becoming available on the open market due to team’s non-tendering their restricted free agents either due to a qualifying offer that is too high or an arbitration case they want no part of.
Last summer, GM Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs dipped into the non-tendered UFA market quite a bit. David Kampf, one of their best signings, was one of these players, having been non-tendered by Chicago. Ondrej Kase was another, who was let go by Boston due …

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Author: Kyle Cushman / The Leafs Nation