How the Leafs can make the most of a buyers market

How the Leafs can make the most of a buyers market

I’m going to hit you with the analogy that no one asked for and it’s the tale of two Christmas lists. My eight year old’s Christmas list consisted of specific Lego sets either new or discontinued, obscure items that needed to be ordered from small online vendors that would take two months to ship, and the hottest video games of the moment. My three year old’s Christmas list consisted of three words, “dinosaurs and cars.” Thanks to some great advice from my boss who informed me that most stores start their Boxing Day Sale pricing on Christmas Eve, I felt comfortable taking my chances that most retailers would still have Dinosaurs and/or Cars available.
The purpose of that painfully dull anecdote is to contrast the behaviours of a seller’s market (my eight year old’s Christmas), and a buyer’s market (my three year old’s Christmas). Trends that can certainly emulate NHL teams at the trade deadline. And according to Elliotte Friedman on the Leafs Morning Take the NHL is very much leaning towards a buyers market, and that can have a huge benefit for the Leafs.

“Sellers are worried that they might be the person who goes home alone at the bar at 2 AM.”
– @FriedgeHNIC on potential buyers market. #NHL
Leafs Morning Take – Jan. 26
Full …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Erik Karlsson sticker price shock, the future of the Leafs goal, and more: Weekend Leaflets

Erik Karlsson sticker price shock, the future of the Leafs goal, and more: Weekend Leaflets

It’s a new year and a new me. Part of that means changing up when I post Leaflets. Rather than having them starting your work week, they will now kick off you weekend. Instead of me ruining you Monday with my horrible takes, you’ll start your weekend with coffee spit take. You’re welcome.
The Erik Karlsson trade ask is ridiculous
I’m sure if hop in the way back machine we’ll remember a time when there was some entertaining of the idea of Erik Karlsson being someone the Leafs should acquire. Remember that point when missing Muzzin seemed like a big deal and the blueline was so overwhelmed by injuries that Victor Mete was playing with Mac Hollowell?
Anyway, at that time there seemed to be some interest in Karlsson if the ask was low enough and the Sharks would eat half his salary. Karlsson was playing pretty good at that time too, but was being actively shopped.
Now, I don’t doubt he’s still being actively shopped (why do the Sharks need him?), he’s still playing some of his best hockey, but the asking price on his is far steeper than anyone expected.
Via Frank Seravalli at Daily Faceoff:
This week, the San Jose Sharks reportedly asked for three first-round picks in exchange for Karlsson, with the Sharks willing to retain 18 percent of his contract. That would knock Karlsson down to a roughly $9.4 million salary cap hit.
That shoul …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How Bobby McMann turned an AHL contract into an opportunity with the Maple Leafs

How Bobby McMann turned an AHL contract into an opportunity with the Maple Leafs

Three months ago, all that stood between Bobby McMann and his dream was an opportunity.
And now he’s got it.
On Monday, the 26-year-old was awarded the AHL’s Player of the Week honours after notching six points in his last three games with the Marlies. It was a sign that McMann was headed in the right direction though I’m not sure he knew where his path would lead him the next day.
McMann’s season began as it normally would: healthy, strong, and ready to take the next step in his career. Except three games in, it was put to a screeching halt because of a lower-body injury that kept him out for a month and a half.
“It’s always a battle for somebody who comes back from injury,” said McMann fives games after fully recovering. “But I think I’ve done a good job so far with not paying attention to it much and just disregarding it, and trusting that it’s there and it’s ready.”
The 26-year-old went on a five-game point streak after returning from injury, then was silent on the score sheet for three games before going on a scorching run again. This time, McMann went on a six-game point streak and his play climbed to new heights throughout it.
“He l …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Raptors trading Gary Trent Jr. could set franchise back years

Raptors trading Gary Trent Jr. could set franchise back years

The Toronto Raptors are a team that is often mentioned as the key player at the 2023 NBA Trade Deadline. With names like Fred VanVleet and Gary Trent Jr. being mentioned as candidates to go elsewhere potentially, the Raptors have some big decisions to make. The latest buzz from league insider Marc Stein suggests that […]
Raptors trading Gary Trent Jr. could set franchise back years – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Mike Luciano / Raptors HQ

Raptors’ asking price for in-demand stars considered ‘astronomical’

Raptors’ asking price for in-demand stars considered ‘astronomical’

The Toronto Raptors are struggling at the moment, as a season that seemed full of promise not too long ago now appears to be destined for failure. They are 16-23 overall and 3-11 over their past 14 games. Not many would have seen this coming from a team that had finished fifth in the Eastern […]
Raptors’ asking price for in-demand stars considered ‘astronomical’ – Raptors Rapture – Raptors Rapture – A Toronto Raptors Fan Site – News, Blogs, Opinion and More

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Author: Sourav Mahanty / Raptors HQ

The Drew Hutchison trade has come full circle: Digging into the best trade tree in Blue Jays history

With the announcement that the Blue Jays were signing Drew Hutchison to a minor league deal, it’s once again time to look at the best trade tree in Blue Jays’ history.

Drew Hutchison was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 15th round of the 2009 draft and was a serviceable starter for Toronto for several years. On August 1st, 2016, the Jays sent him to the Pittsburgh Pirates to kick off the insanely beneficial trade tree.
The Blue Jays receive Francisco Liriano, Reese McGuire, and Harold Ramírez for Drew Hutchison:
Prior to the trade, Hutchison was rocking a 4.97 ERA and a 6.54 FIP in 12.2 innings pitched, spending most of the season in Triple-A.

The @BlueJays acquire LHP Francisco Liriano, C Reese McGuire & OF Harold Ramirez from @Pirates for Drew Hutchison. pic.twitter.com/7AbBW7UfDp
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) August 1, 2016

To put it simply, I have no idea what the Pirates were thinking here. This will be the last time we’ll discuss Hutchison for a while.
Fransico Liriano:
Prior to the trade, Liriano was having a “meh” season, posting a 5.46 ERA and a 5.28 FIP in 113.2 innings pitched. He had a 22.2 K%, but an incredibly high 13.2 BB%, and didn’t look much better than Hutchison, right?
Wrong. To end the 2016 season, Liriano was crucial as he had a 2.92 ERA and a 3.98 FIP in 49.1 innings pitched with the Jays. His K% increased to 25%, while his BB% decreased drastically to 7.7%. For those 49.1 innings alone.
Interestingly, Liriano was invited to 2021 Spring Training and was a final cut, before retiring. Would’ve been cool for him to come back though.
The Blue Jays won this specific trade, but there’s more!
Reese McGuire:
Prior to the trade, Reese McGuire ranked as Pittsburgh’s 5th best prospect according to MLB Pipeline.
Obviously, he didn’t pan out, as most prospects don’t …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Blue Jays sign five players to minor league deals with invites to spring training, including 2015 opening day starter Drew Hutchison

It’s hard to believe that pitchers and catchers will be reporting to Florida in just a few short weeks.

Today, the Blue Jays Twitter account announced that they’ve signed five players to minor league deals, with an invite to spring training.

OFFICIAL: We’ve signed the following free agents to Minor League deals with invites to Spring Training. pic.twitter.com/t9bE8koWTM
— Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) January 6, 2023

There were already a couple of players that we were aware of. You can read my deep dive on right-handed pitcher Julián Fernández here. The skinny is that he throws hard, has a nice changeup, but struggles with control and command. Furthermore, right-handed pitcher Casey Lawrence was on the 40-man roster last season, before being outrighted around the start of free agency. You can read his article here.
So what about Paul Fry, Drew Hutchison, and Rob Brantly?
Paul Fry:
The Seattle Mariners drafted the left-hander back in the 17th round of the 2013 draft, but he made his debut for the Baltimore Orioles in 2018. He spent parts of five seasons with the bad birds of the AL East, posting a career 4.82 ERA and 4.02 FIP in 177.1 innings pitched. He also has a career 24.6 K% and 12.3 BB% while sitting in the low 90s.
Fry’s best season came in the plague year, where he posted a .245 ERA and 3.69 FIP in 22 innings pitched. The 30-year-old also had a 29.6 K% and 9.2 BB%, a career best in both those numbers. He struggled with his ERA in 2021 (3.93 FIP that year), before once again having issues in 2022.

Paul Fry, Nasty 86mph Slider. 🍟🍔😨 pic.twitter.com/aXFnKSkGSK
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 11, 2021

Last season, he posted a 6.23 ERA and 4.50 FIP in 13 innings pitched (one with the Arizona Diamondbacks). Fry’s K% dropped from 27.9% in 2021 to 23% this season as well.
He has options and has shown to be able to get batters out, so this is a nice pickup.
Rob Brantly:
The definition of a depth catcher for Triple-A, the 33-year-old Brantly has spent the past two seasons in the New York Yankees organization, registering 24 plate appearances. For his career, he has a .225/.287/.326 slash line with seven homers in …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation

The Leafs looking for a defenseman, a forward, or both, or neither. Welcome to silly season

The Leafs looking for a defenseman, a forward, or both, or neither. Welcome to silly season

It seems fitting that 2023 started off with the Leafs being the focal point of the 32 Thoughts intermission segment on New Year’s Day. 2023 needs to be the year for the Leafs and while it is not necessarily a now or never season for the Leafs, it’s definitely a “why not now?” season for the organization and might in fact be a now or never season for Kyle Dubas.
Kyle Dubas has spent the better part of the last three years reaffirming his belief in the post Mike Babcock Leafs, and while there has been plenty of tinkering along the way, the core of the Leafs is very much intact and for all will they/won’t they about the Leafs, Toronto might ultimately do very little. That of course won’t stop us or others from talking about what the Leafs could do leading up to the deadline nonstop for the next two months.
So that brings us back to Elliotte Friedman’s comments. (Clip can be found here.) Friedman noted that to start the season the conventional wisdom was that the Leafs would be shopping for a defenseman. The injury to Jake Muzzin certainly made that look like a strong possibility and still does. The Leafs haven’t replaced him or preferably replaced who Jake Muzzin was two years ago. Instead they’ve managed to get b …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

Major League Baseball ranked the Blue Jays’ implosion against Seattle as the best game of 2022

If you were thinking that we could just leave this catastrophe behind in 2022, you’d unfortunately be wrong!

Over the past few days leading into the turn of the new year, Major League Baseball was counting down the most memorable things that happened over the year. The game they decided was the best from 2022? Well, you know…

The 2022 season was one for the ages!
Here it is: Our No. 1 game of the year. pic.twitter.com/Osq170PM3V
— MLB (@MLB) January 1, 2023

As much as we’d all love to forget Game 2 of the Wild Card series against the Seattle Mariners in which the Blue Jays blew an 8-1 lead, it seems the baseball world simply isn’t going to let that happen. Over and over against we’re going to be treated to seeing Carlos Santana smack that pitch from Tim Mayza over the left field wall and the Mariners celebrating on the field in Toronto.
I mean, to be fair, they aren’t wrong. As bad as this was for us, it was an unbelievably entertaining game of baseball for everybody else.
Let’s just hope 2023 doesn’t feature this kind of heartbreak!
POINTSBET IS LIVE IN ONTARIO


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Author: Cam Lewis / Blue Jays Nation

Blue Jays Nation’s 2023 Preseason Top 50: Prospects #50-46

It’s that time of the season when top prospect lists come out, and Blue Jays Nation is no different.

I ran a poll on Twitter, allowing followers to decide if I do a Top 30 or Top 50, with significant interest in both options. While the Top 30 won, we’ve decided a Top 50 in 30 articles would be best.
So for the first five articles in January (better known as #BJNProspectSZN) we’ll be doing five prospects per article, starting with prospects ranking 50–46.
There are many factors that determine a top prospect. The eye test is the biggest driver in determining a top prospect, but proximity to the majors, ceiling, and floor are also important. Moreover, statistics are another key ingredient, as it is everything working together to give you numbers.
As for the grades, it’s important to remember that they are relative to the league in which they play. A kid from Dunedin is not going to have a 50-grade hit tool if he were placed in the big leagues. But relative to the league in which he plays, a .300 hitter is eligible to have that grade.
For these prospects, I’ll be going over their background, numbers in the minors, pitch mix (if they’re a pitcher), and giving a scouting report (if feasible, rookie league guys are difficult).
Without further ado, here are the five prospects in this article.
#50 Yondrei Rojas:
The 20-year-old righty wa …

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Author: Brennan Delaney / Blue Jays Nation