Make me a sandwich. Bitch

All Star John Buck signed a monster deal with the Marlins almost two weeks ago.

The news on Kevin Gregg came in with a full day to spare before the midnight deadline for free agents to accept or decline the offer of salary arbitration.

It was reported that Scott Downs no doubt easily made his decision early on today. He will have zero problem getting a multi year deal for somebody. 

Jason Frasor tipped his hand around dinner time and ultimately choose to stay with us for one more year provided he isn't traded. I got him for a buck in my AL only keeper league and am secretly hoping he is our next closer.

And what about Miguel Olivo? You know the guy who was officially a Blue Jay for an hour and a half? Well it went right down to the wire but he decided against accepting the offer.


We just scored 4 sandwich picks between the first and second rounds of the really deep 2011 Amateur Draft as long as Downs, Gregg and Olivo sign a Major League contract with another team.


Minor League Coaching Staff News

I'm still really upset that Chesley Sullaberger and Clay Zavada beat out Sal Fasano for best facial hair in the year of 2009, but Sal has a chance to redeem himself. According to Brian Calloway of the Lansing Sports Journal, Sal is "climbing up the ladder" and is being considered for the vacant managerial opening in New Hampshire.

I'm not sure my fellow Fisher Cats fans have ever seen a mustache/fu man chu/beard such as the one Sal rocks, but it'll be interesting. In his short time as a manager, Sal has quickly become known as a players manager. He's also a former catcher, which is a great asset as a strategist, due to their intimate knowledge of the pitching side of the game.

Nothing is confirmed yet but we'll keep you updated. He could be the John Farrell's successor or perhaps join his coaching staff at some point but that's kind of jumping the gun a little bit right now.

To listen to a couple of earlier interviews our boy Jesse did with Sal, click here!

In other Cats news pitching coach Tom Signore recently got promoted to AAA. Tom is quite the character and will be sorely missed in these parts. We wish him nothing but the best.

Speaking of Las Vegas, we wonder if former Jays coaches Omar Malave and Rick Langford are going to end up there in some capacity? Omar has been with the organization for quite some time and seems to prefer living in the Florida sun. Can you really blame him?


Weekly Round Up: Nov 22 - 28

Consider this your required reading for the week.

Consider this your required listening for the week. 

Courtesy of Jim Callis:
    Blue Jays righthander Joel Carreno had a 173-30 K-BB ratio in 138 innings at high Class A Dunedin. How good is he?

    Jason Miles
    Columbus, Ohio
Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2004, Carreno led the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League with 64 strikeouts in 65 innings in his U.S. debut three years later. Though he consistently threw strikes and racked up whiffs, he didn't spend an entire year in full-season ball until 2010, when he ranked fifth in the minors in strikeouts.
Carreno is a prospect in that he has a fighting chance to get to the big leagues, but he's not going to make our Blue Jays Top 30 in the 2011 Prospect Handbook. He was old for the Florida State League at age 23, and scouts who saw him weren't sure how he'd be able to overmatch more advanced hitters like he did high Class A opponents. Carreno's best pitch is a changeup that grades as plus at times, and he also throws an 88-92 mph fastball and an average curveball.
Pitchers with good command of average stuff often thrive in the lower minors. Carreno's future should become clearer after he pitches in Double-A next year.

Joel was recently added to the 40 man roster in order to avoid being selected in the Rule 5 Draft. A while back we did a post on him. In it his pitching coach Darold Knowles mentioned he views Joel as a reliever in the higher levels. That may have been a reason why Boy Wonder felt comfortable dealing away Danny Farquhar and Trystan Magnuson. Joel will most likely start the year in New Hampshire as a starter but if he is unable to adjust to the level of competition, look for him to get converted to a reliever.
Courtesy of Batter`s Box:

BB:  While developing the organization is important, at some stage do you not have to say I will sacrifice the long term for the short term so I can compete this year?  Or do you want to be a strong team every year and if the playoffs happen they happen because enough players have career type years? 
AA:  There's no question that you always weigh the short and the long term. That's what makes trades, free agent signings, etc so challenging. There really isn't a specific template or formula to follow. By the same token, the goal is to build the organization up to the point that we can be competitive year in and year out. 

BB:  Is there anything we haven’t touched on that you would like to say directly to the fans of the Blue Jays?
AA:  I'd say thank you for your passion and thank you for your belief in what we're doing as an organization. It's energizing to know how much people care about this organization and the excitement that exists in this city and country for the Blue Jays. It's a huge responsibility for all of the employees of the organization and one that no one takes lightly. 

Nice job by the team over at Da Box.

Courtesy of John Sickels:

Toronto Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects for 2011

1) Kyle Drabek, RHP, Grade A-: Borderline B+. Looks like he's going to be a workhorse and possibly more.
2) Deck McGuire, RHP, Grade B+: I don't expect that he'll need a lot of minor league time. Number three starter type at worst and could be more.
3) Zach Stewart, RHP, Grade B+: His stock has dropped a little, but I still like him. If he can't cut it as a starter he can close.
4) Asher Wojciechowski, RHP, Grade B: You can make a case for B+, but I want to see some additional pro data. I like him a lot, and this is another guy who should be a solid starter at worst.
5) Carlos Perez, C, Grade B: I like the balance of offensive and defensive skills. Very young, will have to avoid Young Catcher Stagnation Syndrome. Grade is aggressive.
6) Aaron Sanchez, RHP, Grade B: Aggressive grade for a high school arm, but I really like his projectability and his stuff is already strong. Also has high-K, high-ground ball profile in the early data.
7) J.P. Arencibia, C, Grade B: Borderline B-. Power is genuine, but I don't buy a high batting average or OBP in the majors from him.
8) Travis D'Arnaud, C, Grade B-: Strong glove, but I think people are overrating his bat. Young enough to improve that.
9) Anthony Gose, OF, Grade B-: I realize other people will think this is too low. I respect his athleticism and potential, but the risk of failure is high enough for me to be a little wary.
10) Eric Thames, OF, Grade B-: I believe in his power.
11) Noah Syndergaard, RHP, Grade B-: Another high school power arm that I like a lot.
12) Dickie Joe Thon, SS, Grade B-: Speculative grade based on tools and scouting reports. Could be much higher (or lower) next year.
13) Kellen Sweeney, 3B, Grade B-: Good plate discipline and I think he sticks at third. Power??
14) Griffin Murphy, LHP, Grade B-: Solid high school lefty from the 2010 draft.
15) Jake Marisnick, OF, Grade C+: Others will rank him higher due to his excellent tools, but I don't buy into the bat yet.
16) Chad Jenkins, RHP, Grade C+: Looks like a workhorse strike-thrower, will need to step forward in '11 to avoid getting buried by influx of new arms.
17) Adeiny Hechavarria, SS, Grade C+: Like the glove. The bat...well, I'll wait and see on that.
18) Marcus Knecht, OF, Grade C+: Good balance of tools, skills may need some time but I like his power.
19) Henderson Alvarez, RHP, Grade C+: Like Jenkins, a guy who throws strikes but needs a good year to stay in the picture.
20) Drew Hutchison, RHP, Grade C+: Overlooked strike-thrower from 2009 draft.
21) Joel Carreno, RHP, Grade C+: Excellent K/IP and K/BB in the Florida State League, older for the level but just added to 40-man.
22) Alan Farina, RHP, Grade C+: Intriguing relief sleeper to watch.
23) Justin Nicolino, LHP, Grade C+: Yet another arm from the 2010 draft.

Another list about our prospects. Nice to see Drew Hutchison getting some love! 

Courtesy of Ken Rosenthal:

In recent years, free-agent relievers who received Type A rankings sometimes had difficulty finding work. Teams were reluctant to forfeit a high draft pick for signing them.
This offseason could be different.
As of Friday, the highest first-round pick that could be lost was the 20th overall selection. What’s more, for teams that sign more than one Type A free agent, the high number of supplemental choices will reduce the impact of losing a second and third pick.
Here’s how it breaks down:
Thirty-five free agents were offered salary arbitration by their respective clubs, an increase of 12 from a year ago. If most decline, virtually an entire round of compensation picks will be created between the first and second rounds when those players sign with other teams.

We got 2 days till the deadline for players to accept or reject arbitration. You have to figure Scott Downs will be able to get a multi year offer and thus is more likely to reject arbitration. Jason Frasor is a bit of a wildcard. I'll set the line at 50/50 that he accepts arbitration and returns to anchor the bullpen in 2011, possibly as the closer. 

Courtesy of Kenneth Gray:

College Councillor Rick Chiarelli has been talking with Toronto Blue Jays officials about bringing an affiliated professional baseball team to Ottawa.
Chiarelli is optimistic a deal can be worked out.
"If the (Blue Jays) were disinterested, I wouldn't be doing this," Chiarelli said. "I've discussed the possibility of an affiliated team."
At present, the sole tenant at Ottawa Stadium is the Fat Cats of the Intercounty Baseball League that has teams across southern Ontario. The Triple-A Ottawa Lynx operated out of the stadium from its opening in 1993 until the team was moved to Allentown, Pennsylvania, after the 2007 season. In 2008, the independent Can-Am League had a franchise here, but the Rapidz folded after one season.
Ottawa Stadium is owned by the City of Ottawa and that's why Chiarelli is seeking an agreement with the Blue Jays.
"Maybe nothing will come from it, but we have a great facility and people across North America recognize it."
Chiarelli was reluctant to provide details about his negotiations because the Blue Jays are sensitive about offending the ownership of their farm teams and breaking rules of the various leagues involved.

If the City of Ottawa has their eyes set on bringing affiliated baseball back, then they had better look into the parking situation at their "great facility". Absolute and total clusterfuck. 

Courtesy of Dirk Hayhurst:

There are some cases where copy-catting works, but most of the time, it fails. The players who’ve made it to the Bigs have all mutated and adapted their mechanics to accommodate for their own specific bodily feedback. Every pitcher’s delivery at the top of the game is a combination of sensory feedback, over coming a limitation, and maneuvering to produce a desired result based on those first two informants. And, these mechanics are constantly evolving to accommodate age, pain, and new information. In many cases, what one pitcher does is something only meant for that one pitcher to do. There are certain things we can glean from them, but complete imitation was never intended. That’s not to say you can’t learn a lot from one pitcher or another, or that some pitchers aren’t more similar to you than others, but none of them are you- nor you them.

Dirk talks about his philosophy on pitching mechanics. Take a look. Interesting stuff.

Courtesy of North of the Border:
  • Anthopoulos has not received any indication about whether relievers Scott Downs, Jason Frasor, Kevin Gregg or catcher Miguel Olivo will accept arbitration. All four players have until Nov. 30 to decide whether to accept the offer and likely will take as much time as they can before making a final decision.
  • The Blue Jays GM said that if he had to make a prediction he thinks all four will decline the offer. He cited the current market for middle relievers and the fact that teams being forced to part with draft picks to sign players likely isn't as big of a deal as previous offseasons. There is a possibility for 35 compensation picks between the first and second round of the Draft this year, which means a second round pick really has third round value. That limits the risk for teams who may already be signing a higher-ranked Type-A free agent to also be interested in another arm like Downs or Frasor.
  • That being said, Anthopoulos stated he would love to have all four players with the Blue Jays next season.
I`m gonna go out on a limb here and say that he would really love to have the 6 picks more.....

Courtesy of Jeremy Sandler:

Can Adam Lind play [first base] at the major league level?
I thought his hands were good. If you don’t have good hands at first, you’re in big trouble. I think where he may lack is in range and footwork, and I think those things can get better. But until you run him out there every day for six months, you don’t know that.
Does [Lind] want be a position player?
He said, “As long as I’m in the lineup, I’m happy, I’m fine with it.”

I wrote this basically out of frustration with about 10 games to go in the season. I have said it many times before and I will say it again: Thank fuck Cito is gone.

Courtesy of Shi Davidi:

While that came off as a nod to Arencibia, he also seemed to somewhat open the door to Lind, who logged 76 innings at first base after not playing there since college. Anthopoulos praised Lind’s hands while adding that his footwork needed to improve, and conceded that he’s more willing to take a chance on a permanent move.
“If you would have done something like that last off-season, it would have been a total guess. Even though it’s a small sample size, you’ve (now) seen something to grab hold of,” said Anthopoulos. “I don’t think anyone can definitively say Adam Lind can play first base over the course of a full season, there’s an unknown there.
“And maybe there is a component where you say we’re going to take that chance, we’re going to roll him out there and see what we have. We haven’t made that determination, but I wouldn’t rule it out.”

I'm starting to wonder if Lind goes down to the islands and plays a little winterball?

Courtesy of Pete Kerzel:

Anthopoulos, part of the new breed of young, sabermetrics-savvy front office bosses, is aggressive and unpredictable. He’s willing to take chances, part of a think-outside-the-box philosophy that’s so far served him well. There are times you wonder if he’s not some stockbroker managing his own Rotisserie roster.
He has a willingness to turn the Blue Jays into a contender, an attitude that doesn’t accept anything short of success, and a workaholic streak endearing him to players, fans and media alike. He’s willing to talk to anyone, anywhere. Last week, during the general managers’ meeting in Orlando, he reportedly broke off trade discussions to keep a radio talk show commitment, then told listeners he would get back to negotiations as soon as he’d finished talking baseball.

Uh oh, people are starting to notice what we got going on up here. 


Rule 5 Draft

Some serious heavy lifting going on right here 
Here is the list of every player eligible for the 2010 Rule 5 Draft. This list is made up from many hours of sifting through every team's affiliates.
The bolded players are the ones who are especially worth keeping an eye on. If I had to pick one sleeper, I'm stuck between several but Doug Arguello would probably be my pick.

I hope you enjoy!
Orioles: Wynn Pelzer, Ryan Adams, Daniel Figueroa, Tyler Henson, Brett Bordes, Pedro Beato, Billy Rowell, Tim Bascom, Steve Johnson, Pat Egan, Brandon Cooney, Chad Thall, Brandon Waring, Robbie Widlansk, Ryohei Tanaka, Carlos Rojas, Matthew Tucker, Armando Gabino, Mitch Adkins, Adam Donachie, Blake Davis, Paco Figueroa, Rhyne Hughes, John Mariotti, Will Startup, Nathan Nery, Brian Ward, Miguel Abreu, Jason White
Red Sox: Bubba Bell, Ryne Miller,  Ronald Bermudez, Daniel Turpen, Cesar Cabral, Yeiper Castillo, Chih-Hsien Chiang, Caleb Clay, Bryce Cox, Zach Daeges, Mitch Dening, Kyle Fernandes, Miguel Gonzalez, Jorge Jimenez, Kris Johnson, Ryan Khoury, Anatanaer Batista, TJ Large, Will Latimer, Ryne Lawson, Santo Luis, Wilson Matos, Blake Maxwell, Adam Mills, Pedro Perez, Kelvin Pichardo, Wilfred Pichardo, Jason Place, Eammon Portice, Ryne Reynoso, Jason Rice, Aaron Bates,  Manny Rivera, Matt Sheely, Nate Spears, Jon Still, Will Vazquez
Yankees: George Kontos, Edwar Gonzalez, Kevin Whelan, Eric Wordekemper, Kei Igawa, Lance Pendelton, Wilkin Arias, Wilkin De La Rosa, Luis Nunez, Grant Duff, Adam Olbrychowski, Tim Norton, Austin Krum, Damon Sublett, Justin Snyder, Alan Horne, Philip Bartleski, Craig Heyer, Ronny Marte, Francisco Santana, Abraham Almonte, Noel Castillo, Zoilo Almonte, Bradley Suttle, Jose Pirela, Walter Ibarra, Jose Gil, Michael Solbach, Jonathan Ortiz, Francisco Gil, Richard Martinez, Kelvin Perez, Jose Toussen, Jairo Heredia, Emerson Landoni, Kelvin Castro, Gabriel Tatis, Francisco Rondon
Blue Jays: Brad Emaus, Adam Loewen, Jonathan Diaz, Adam Calderone, Randy Boone, Luis Sanchez, B.J. Lamura, Dumas Garcia, Ricardo Nanita, Callix Crabbe, Vince Bongiovanni, Jamie Vermillya, Scott Campbell, Al Quintana, Danny Perales, Ronald Uviedo, Matt Liuzza, Chad Beck, C.J. Ebarb, Concepcion Rodriguez, Sean Shoffit, Juan Hernandez, Frank Gailey 
Rays: Aneury Rodriguez, Paul Phillips, Brian Baker, Craig Albernaz, Henry Wrigley, Rayner Oliveros, Heath Rollins, Matt Fields, Shawn O'Malley, John Matulia, Chris Andujar, Delvis Mavarez, Jairo De La Rosa, Will Kline
Mets: Nick Carr, Eddie Kunz, Jose De La Torre, Ryan Coultas, John Lujan, Edgar Ramirez, D.J. Wabick, Hector Pellott, Emmanuel Garcia, Robert Carson, Raul Reyes, Orlando Tovar, Jean Luc Blaquiere, Michael Fisher, Marcos Tabata, Luis Nieves
Phillies: Joe Savery, D'Arby Myers, Tuffy Goosewich, Nate Bump, Tyson Brummett, Chance Chapman, Edgar Garcia, Tim Kennelly, Fidel Hernandez, Derek Mitchell, Michael Durant, Drew Rundle, Keoni Ruth
Nationals: Erik Arnesen, Jeff Mandel, Brad Meyers, Josh Wilkie, Michael Martinez, Seth Bynum, Brian Bixler, Boomer Whiting, Jesus Valdez, Tim Pahuta, Josh Johnson, Adam Fox, Jhonatan Solano, Zech Zinicola, Cory Van Allen, Ryan Tatusko, Jack Spradlin, Hassan Pena, Adrian Alaniz, Josh Philabaum, Daniel Lyons, Nick Arata, Jose Lozada, Robert Jacobson, Bill Rhineheart, Nicolas Moresi
Braves: Michael Broadway, Todd Redmond, J.C. Boscan, Barbaro Canizarez, Dan Nelson, Brent Clevlen, Wilkin Ramirez, Antoan Richardson, Brett Butts, Yeliar Castro, Jaye Chapman, Tim Gustafson, Shawn McGil, Mauro Gomez, Donnell Lineras, Willie Cabrera, Chad Rogers, Michael Jones, Geraldo Rodriguez
Marlins: Jay Buente, Wade Korpi, Dallas Trahern, Brett Sinkbiel, Miguel Fermin, John Raynor, Jeff Allison, Jeff Andrelyczyk, Todd Doolittle, A.J. Battisto, Kris Harvey, Garrett Parcell, Brad Stone, Graham Taylor, Ryan Curry, Kevin Mattison, Corey Madden, Ben Lasater, Thomas Hickman
Tigers: L.J. Gagnier, Fu-Te Ni, Luis Marte, Zach Simons, Thad Weber, Brendan Wise, Andy Bouchie, Max St. Pierre, Michael Bertram, Justin Henry, Maxwell Leon, Cesar Nicholas, Shawn Roof, Christopher White, Brooks Brown, Ramon Garcia, Matt Hoffman, Jon Kibler, Jay Voss, Jeff Kunkel, Diek Scram, Brent Wyatt, Kyle Peter, Wilfredo Ramirez
Royals: Edgar Osuna, Luis Mendoza, Federico Castaneda, Mario Santiago, Paulo Orlando, Eduardo Paulino, Cody Clark, Irving Falu, Kurt Merkins, Rowdy Hardy, Ben Swaggerty, Mario Lisson, Anthony Seratelli, Jamie Romak, Nick Van Stratten, Manauris Baez, Eddie Basurto, Harold Mozingo, Rene Oriental, Patrick Norris, Nicolas Francis, Matthew Morizio, Victor Marte, Luis Mendoza, Bryan Bullington, Brian Anderson, Gaby Hernandez
Twins: Ryan Mullins, Danny Lehmann, Toby Gardenhire, Brendan Harris, Erik Lis, Brandon Roberts, Dustin Martin, Brian Dinkleman, Mike McCardell, Tyler Robertson, Jeff Howell, Alexander Soto, Chris Cates, Juan Portes, Steve Singleton, Mark Dolenc, Michael Tarsi, Deibenson Romero, Yangervis Solarte
White Sox: Robert Hudson, Brandon Hynick, Garrett Johnson, Kyle McColluch, Derek Rodriguez, Brian Omogrosso, Miguel Socolovich, Robert Hudson, Ricky Brooks, Angel Garcia, Matt Long, Duente Heath, Johnnie Lowe, Henry Mabee, Michael Richard, C.J. Retherford, Jim Gallagher, John Shelby, Dylan Axelrod, Logan Johnson, Gary Paiml, Seth Loman
Indians: Hector Ambriz, Paulo Espino, Jose Flores, Connor Graham, Adam Miller, Yohan Pino, Danny Salazar, Carlton Smith, Steven Wright, Doug Pickens, Juan Aponte, Jerad Head, Wes Hodges, Beau Mills, Josh Rodriguez, Karexon Sanchez, Ronald Rivas, John Drennen, Chad Huffman, Matt McBride, Preston Mattingly, Jason Smit
Reds: Dallas Buck, Tom Cochran, Jerry Gil, Matt Klinker, Joseph Krebs, Mike Costanzo, Daniel Dorn, Eric Eymann, Michael Griffin, James Avery, Scott Carroll, Lee Tabor, Travis Webb, Chris Denove, Miguel Rojas, Andrew Bowman, Daniel Guerrero, Jeff Jeffords, Justin Reed, Jordan Hotchkiss
Cubs: Austin Bibens-Dirkx, Hung-Wen Chen, J.R. Mathes, Jake Muyco, Blake Parker, Chris Robinson, Jonathon Mota, Matt Camp, Marquez Smith, Ty Wright, Ryan Buchter, Marco Carillo, Jeremy Papelbon, Steve Clevenger, Blake Lalli, Matt Spencer, David Patton, Craig Siegfried, Smaily Borges
Brewers: Tim Dilliard, Marco Estrada, Alex Periard, Donavan Hand, Brendan Katin, Brae Wright, Robert Hinton, Chris Cody, Casey Baron, Patrick Arlis, Dayton Buller, Anderson De La Rosa, Taylor Green, Anderson Machado, Chris Nowak, Chuck Kaufield,  Lee Haydel, Darren Byrd, Corey Frerichs, Mike Ramlow, Sean McCraw, Brock Kjeldgaard
Pirates: Dustin Molleken, Doug Bernier, Andenson Chourio, James Skelton,  Adam Davis, Jose De Los Santos, Michael Dubee, Miles Durham, Casey Erickson, Shelby Ford,  Corey Hamman, Derek Hankins, Craig Hansen, Jared Hughes, Melkin Laureano, Rodolfo Cardona, Jean Machi, Matt McSwain, Kevin Melillo, Jim Negrych, Greg Picart, Jeremy Powell, Milver Reyes, Kris Watts, Casey Erickson, Eric Fryer
Astros: Jose Altuve, Albert Cartwright, Colin DeLome, Drew Locke, Koby Clemens, Doug Arguello, Lou Santangelo, Carlos Quevedo, Sergio Perez, Daniel Meszaros, John Curtis, German Duran, Oswaldo Navarro, Wladimir Sutil, Brandon Barnes, Jared Wells, Bubbie Buzachero, Brad James, Michael Afronti, Kody Kirkland, James Van Ostrand, Freddy Parejo
Cardinals: Brandon Dickson, Charlie Fick, Tyler Norrick, Pete Parise, Steven Hill, Donavon Solano, Daryl Jones, Nick Stavinoha, Adam Ottavino, Amaury Cazana, James Rapoport, Shane Robinson, Andrew Brown, D'Marcus Ingram, Jared Bogany, Domnit Bolivar, Cody Rauschenberger
Rangers: Mark Hamburger, Carlos Pimentel, Geuris Grullon, Beau Jones, Kasey Kiker, Joseph Ortiz, Chad Tracy, Davis Stoneburner, Marcus Lemon, David Paisano, Michael Ballard, Brennan Garr, Ben Snyder, Danny Gutierrez, Chris Mobley, Jonathan Green, Mitch Hilligoss, Guilder Rodriguez, Rene Osuna, Hector Nelo, Doug Hogan, Curtis Gradoville
Mariners: Mario Martinez, Matt Lawson, Edward Seco, Kyle Parker, Jarrett Grube, Jose Yepez, Johan Limonta, Jarrett Grube, Nick Hill, Steven Richard, Mumba Rivera, Robert Rohrbaugh, Leury Bonilla, Joseph Dunigan, Oqui Diaz, Cheynne Hahn, Jacob Wild, Luis Nunez, Kuo Hui Lo, Denny Almonte
A's: Anthony Recker, Jared Lansford, Michael Benacka, Jon Hunton, Jeff Baisley, Corey Wimberly, Gary Daley, Derrick Gordon, Danny Satner, Neil Wagner, Jermaine Mitchell, Yusef Carter, Lance Sewell, Josh Horton
Angels: Tommy Mendoza, Barrett Browning, Paul McAnulty, Michael Anton, Robert Fish, Jeremy Haynes, Jay Brossman, Ryan Mount, Abel Nieves, Rian Kiniry, Matt Meyer, Jose Perez, Alberto Rosario, Luis Jimenez, Darwin Perez, Angel Castillo
Diamondbacks: Ed Roemer, Mark Hallberg, Evan Frey, Josh Ellis, Bryan Henry, Cyle Hankerd, Leo Rosales, Andrew Berger, Matt Torra, Clay Zavada, Jason Urquidez, Cesar Valdez, Ed Easely, Eric Groff, Josh Ellis, Kyler Newby, Tom Lane, Reid Mahon, Sean Coughlin, Bryan Byrne, Chris Rahl, Billy Spottiswood, Christian Beltre, Josh Ford
Rockies: Andy Graham, Alan Johnson, Andrew Johnston, Greg Smith, Mike Paulk, Warren Schaeffer, Chris Frey, Craig Baker, Brandon Durden, Sean Jarrett, Keith Weiser, Lars Davis, Radhames Nazario, Matt Repec, Scott Beerer, Jeff Kindel, Michael Mitchell, David Christensen, Scott Robinson, Brian Rike, Johnny Bowden, Josh Sullivan, Michael Marbry, Kenneth Durst, Isaiah Froneberger, Orlando Sandoval
Giants: Brett Pill, Mike McBride, Tyler Graham, Ben Copeland, Matt Yourkin, Daryl Maday, Adrian Martin, Felix Romero, Tyler LaTorre, Nestor Rojas, Brad Boyer, Andy D'Alessio, Ryan Lormandio, Eric Stolp, Brian Anderson, Hector Correa, Joel Weeks, James Simmons
Padres: Nick Schmidt, Aaron Breit, Matt Buschmann, Nathan Culp, Steven Faris, Colt Hynes, Alexis Lara, Anthony Contreras, Andy Parino, Quentin Berry, Craig Cooper, Hayden Beard, Nick Schumaker, Daniel Robertson, Danny Payne
Dodgers: Justin Miller, James Adkins, Tim Sexton, Jaime Pedroza, Matt Wallach, Bobby Blevins, Jesse Mier, Alex Garabedian, Jaime Ortiz, Gorman Erickson, Eric Thompson, Justin Sellers, Josh Wall, Scott Van Slyke, David Pfeiffer, Esteban Lopez, Cody White, Jesus Castillo, Matthew Sartor, Blake Bannon, Gari Tavarez, Marlon Urriola, Pedro Guerrero, Rafael Ynoa, Geison Aguasviva, Alfredo Silverio, Francisco Felix, Elian Herrera, Mario Alvarez, Jesus Rodriguez, Thomas Melgarejo, Eduardo Perez, Miguel Sanfler, Keyter Collado, Luis Vasquez, Johan Garcia, Gabriel Gutierrez, Christian Lara, Alberto Bastardo
(Can't figure out why the font changed. Sorry)


Name That Photo Contest!

If you remember not to long ago I asked for your help in finding a picture of Dickie Joe Thon. Well this is what turned up. And our graphics guy guru went to town.

After seeing his effort, I thought it was only appropriate to allow you guys a chance to name that photo!

A little music to get you in the mood:


I'm gonna go with: "You drafted me in the motherfucking 5th round."


Weekly Round Up: Nov. 15 - 21

Consider this your required reading for the week.

Consider this your required listening for the week.

Consider this your required viewing for the week.

Courtesy of Dejan Kovacevic:

The Pirates are set to make four significant moves toward forming new manager Clint Hurdle's coaching staff: Ray Searage as pitching coach, Gregg Ritchie as hitting coach, Jeff Banister as third base coach and Nick Leyva as bench coach.
Leyva, 57, is the only outside addition, having been bench coach last year in Toronto under Cito Gaston. It is believed that he was Hurdle's choice for right-hand man.

Good luck Nick. You are gonna need it in Pirate land.

Courtesy of Jon Paul Morosi:

Will the Toronto Blue Jays trade for Justin Upton? It's too early to tell. But the mere fact they're making a push says plenty about their intent to become a perennial contender in baseball's best division.
Numerous times in the last week, I've said to people in the industry that Toronto will make at least one playoff berth in the next three seasons. No one has laughed. The organization is indeed in very good shape. The addition of Upton, 23, would speed up the Jays' transformation into a postseason club.
The 2012 season looks like a prime target for Toronto's first October baseball since Joe Carter and Mitch Williams. For one thing, commissioner Bud Selig is dropping strong hints the playoffs will expand to include a fifth team in each league beginning in that year. And the Jays' best prospects — right-hander Kyle Drabek and shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria — should be high-impact players by then.

This column kicked off the hot stove season for Jays fans in a hurry. Would we like to see Upton in a Blue Jays uniform? Sure we would. Would we like to pay the price tag (Snider and Drabek) needed to make it happen? Ah, no.  

Courtesy of MLBTR:

The Blue Jays are keeping their options open when it comes to ranked free agents. Even though signing a Type A free agent before next Tuesday would mean surrendering a draft pick, Anthopoulos says the Blue Jays would not hesitate to sign a Type A player this week if the deal is right. Though the Blue Jays may simply be keeping their options open, the news will interest the Toronto fans who are wondering about Type A free agent Manny Ramirez. It seems unlikely that the Blue Jays would sign a Type A free agent before the deadline to offer arbitration, since the organization appears to value draft picks highly, but Anthopoulos says he'll consider it. Toronto's first round pick (21st overall) is not protected.

Deadline to offer arbitration to free agents is tomorrow. (At midnight I assume) Naturally, Manny's name came up a bunch of times this week.   

Courtesy of Los Angeles Times:

It is also about supply and demand, in a DH market crowded with Guerrero, Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, even Andruw Jones.
Ramirez did not wow the White Sox. The Angels and Boston Red Sox do not need a DH. The Yankees say Jorge Posada will be theirs. The Oakland Athletics, a landing spot for Mike Piazza, Frank Thomas and Jason Giambi in recent years, say they are not interested in Ramirez.
If Guerrero returns to Texas, that could narrow the Ramirez market to the Detroit Tigers, Tampa Bay Rays, Toronto Blue Jays and perhaps Baltimore Orioles.
"There aren't many guys that can hold down the middle of the lineup," Boras said. "That's the issue.
"I think Manny Ramirez is a Hall of Fame hitter. Teams look at that ability and, if they adjudicate that ability is still intact, they're going to be seeking those extraordinary talents before they proceed elsewhere."

Scott Boras = the devil

Courtesy of Jeremy Sandler:

Prepare for it to end badly. Book the talk radio time for angry callers. Make sure any giveaway of 10,000 dreadlocked bobbleheads happens early in the season.
Because if there is one piece of advice for the Toronto Blue Jays should the much-discussed rumour of Manny Ramirez ending up at One Blue Jays Way come true, it is to prepare for the inevitable train wreck, one even Denzel Washington has no chance to stop.
While team officials insist Ramirez’s visit to town last weekend did not involve official talks, the team appears to be giving the 39-year-old a long look. It is unlikely anything will happen before next Tuesday, when Ramirez will certainly be available without the cost of a compensatory draft pick.
Toronto’s interest in Ramirez goes back, at least, to baseball’s 2008 winter meetings. Former general manager J.P. Ricciardi told anyone who would listen that Ramirez was all set to sign with Toronto, but ownership refused to give him any money.

Cheap bastards @ Rogers keeping it real yo!

Courtesy of Benjamin Kashin:

What it means:
After clearing waivers this past June, the Blue Jays couldn't sneak Encarnacion through a second time as the Oakland Athletics claimed him on Nov. 12. Regardless, Encarnacion wasn't likely to fit in the Jays' plans for next season. His departure leaves the Jays with a significant hole at third base, especially if All-Star Jose Bautista spends the majority of his time in left field as expected.

It's pretty hard to take the author of this piece seriously when they say shit like this. Guess the sports editors over at the Sun are few and far between.

Courtesy of Slam! Sports:

Buck, 30, is coming off a breakout season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He hit .281 with 20 homers, 66 RBI and an .802 OPS in 118 games -- all career bests. However, he also had the worst strikeout-to-walk ratio in all of baseball at 111 to 16.
Still, his terrific campaign landed him on the American League All-Star team for the first time in his career. He also threw out 28 percent of baserunners attempting to steal.
Before signing a one-year, $2 million deal with Toronto last winter, Buck had spent the first six years of his career with the Kansas City Royals. He is a .243 lifetime hitter with 90 home runs in 702 games.
The Marlins were in need of catching help.

I guess fucking so. 3 years at 6 million for John Buck. That is just a little bit insane.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports:

“I think the more teams you have in it, the month of September will obviously be more meaningful,” said Toronto Blue Jays president Paul Beeston, Selig’s onetime No. 2. “The minuses - two of them obviously are the integrity of the schedule and the history of the game, where you know the best teams always moved forward. But we really crossed that bridge, didn’t we, when we went from two teams to four teams, and then four teams to eight teams? So that bridge has been crossed. I’ve changed. I could add more teams.”

Beeston is old school. But I'm guessing the shit TV ratings for the playoffs are too much to ignore. I'm thinking a few extra playoff spots can only benefit teams like us moving forward. But I still maintain that a balanced schedule is the way to go.

Courtesy of Gregor Chisholm:

The Blue Jays added five players to their 40-man roster Friday in advance of a midnight ET deadline for setting rosters prior to next month's Rule 5 Draft.
Right-handers Joel Carreno (Class A) and Alan Farina (Double-A), catcher Brian Jeroloman (Double-A), and outfielders Darin Mastroianni (Double-A) and Moises Sierra (Class A) were all added.
The additions mean all five players will be protected during the Rule 5 Draft on Dec. 9 and cannot be selected by another Major League team. The Blue Jays still have two open spots on the 40-man roster, which could indicate the club plans to be active during or prior to the Rule 5 Draft.
Two notable omissions on the 40-man roster are third baseman Brad Emaus and outfielder Adam Loewen.

The new Jays beat reporter has spoken. Make sure to give Gregor a follow on Twitter if you have not already. I think that Emaus gets scooped in the rule 5 draft but doubt he stays on a 25 man roster all season. That being said, if the team that selects him is from the NL, then I think his chances of being lost forever increases due to the extra bench spot.

Courtesy of Scott White:

9. David Cooper, 24, Blue Jays
Where played in 2010: Double-A
Minor-league stats: .257 BA, 20 HRs, 78 RBI, .769 OPS
Cooper entered last season as the expected replacement for pending free agent Lyle Overbay, which is perhaps the reason why the Blue Jays were willing to deal Brett Wallace to the Astros. But the team's first-round pick in 2008 appears to have stalled at Double-A New Hampshire. He spent his second full season there last year, and though he doubled his home run total from 10 to 20, he actually declined in batting average (.257) and on-base percentage (.327). He profiles as more of a doubles hitter than a pure slugger, which is already a strike against him at a position like first base, and he'll have to improve his consistency if he ever hopes to hold down a major-league job. Still, the Blue Jays' lack of options at the position gives him some low-end AL-only appeal.

I found this article while I was looking for potential trade targets at 1B for Boy Wonder this offseason. To my surprise, we have a guy on the list. Not to sure how I feel about that.

Courtesy of Brad Johnson:

Now entering his age 23 season, Snider once again appears to be a good late-round sleeper candidate. Albert Einstein is credited with defining 'insanity' as "doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Indeed, promoting Snider for a third straight season may be a bit insane. Thankfully this is something we can take advantage of since "sane" owners should be passing on him.
There are several reasons to like Snider in 2011. From a pure scouting perspective, the kid is strong. His isolated power should easily eclipse the .200 mark. It also appears as though he has a stable niche on the roster, putting him in line for about 140 starts. Taken together, 25-30 home runs along with a fairly strong contribution to RBI seems very plausible. Depending on where he bats in the order, he could be in line for a decent amount of runs scored, thanks to Toronto's power-centric approach. His batting average might hurt a little, but then again it could bounce back. As noted previously, Snider hits the ball hard. In 2010, he managed a ridiculous 24.1% line drive rate. Further, if he can increase his fly ball rate above last year's 34.9%, a true power outburst might be in the offing. Ironically, "the next Jose Bautista" could very well be a fellow Jaybird.

The annual Travis Snider will be a breakout star articles have officially started up.

Courtesy of Dayn Perry:

AL Manager of the Year
Who will (probably) win it: Ron Washington, Rangers
Who should win it: Cito Gaston, Blue Jays
There's no assailing the fine work done this season by Washington, who led the Rangers to their first postseason series win and first pennant. He's a steady hand who inspires loyalty in his men while also maintaining control. Still, Washington had a talented roster and benefited from a weak division. Gaston, in contrast, led the Blue Jays to a winning season despite playing an unbalanced schedule in the brutal AL East. Given that the Jays lost Roy Halladay last winter, got uncharacteristically poor numbers from Aaron Hill, struggled to find a third baseman and played 111 games (!) against teams with .500 records or better, it's a minor miracle they won 85 games. That's to Gaston's tremendous credit.

Fox Sports runs this piece and.....

Courtesy of BBWAA:

The other first-place votes went to the Tampa Bay Rays’ Joe Maddon, the 2008 winner who placed third with 44 points, and the Toronto Blue Jays’ Cito Gaston, who retired at the end of the season.

Somebody bought it!

Courtesy of You Don`t Know Dick:

Why? Because Davis has an on-base percentage that needs work and Anthopoulos is not done dealing. As he continues to try to strengthen the team, he doesn’t know in what area future additions will come.
Anthopoulos is like a street juggler with a pocketful of extra balls. The other day, the ball with Dan Uggla’s name dropped and bounced away so he reached into his pocket without breaking rhythm, with an array of balls still in the air, and replaced it with another. He believes he can keep that act going all winter. Using an analogy from a different sport, Anthopoulos runs the West Coast offence of trade strategies. Instead of looking for the bomb on every down, he dinks and dunks his way down the field.

Jesus Christ Dick. 

Courtesy of BBWAA:

Because of the heightened interest in this award, the list of voters is below, grouped by which pitcher they listed first on their ballot:
Hernandez: Ken Rosenthal, Fox; Amalie Benjamin, Boston Globe; Michael Silverman, Boston Herald; Erik Boland, Newsday; Joe Smith, St. Petersburg Times; Mark Gonzales, Chicago Tribune; Lynn Henning, Detroit News; John Lowe, Detroit Free Press; Sam Mellinger, Kansas City Star; Joe Posnanski, SI.com; Joe Christensen, Minneapolis Star Tribune; John Shipley, St. Paul Pioneer Press; Hirokazu Higuchi, Chunichi Shimbun (LA); Tim Brown, Yahoo Sports; Jorge Ortiz, USA Today; Ray Ratto, At Large (SF/Oakland); Kirby Arnold, Everett Herald; Larry Stone, Seattle Times; Richard Durrett, At Large (Dallas-Fort Worth); Anthony Andro, Fort Worth Star Telegram; Morgan Campbell, Toronto Star.
Price: Mel Antonen, USA Today; Tony Fabrizio, Tampa Tribune; Phil Rogers, Chicago Tribune; Chris Assenheimer. Elyria (OH) Chronicle.
Sabathia: George King, New York Post; Bob Elliott, Toronto Sun; Sheldon Ocker, Akron Beacon Journal.

Bobby Elliott didn't vote for King Felix in the AL Cy Young ballot. Just bringing some attention to that fact.

Courtesy of Shi Davidi:

The cost for Davis — double-A right-handers Trystan Magnuson of Vancouver and Daniel Farquhar — will do little to deplete a farm system stocked with potential trade chips, and Anthopoulos isn't wary about throwing them on the table.
"If the right trade is there, we'll make trades," said Anthopoulos. "You can't look at it and say I need to have 'X' amount of prospects in the minor-leagues. What are you getting back, what are you trading away, what are they ultimately going to be, how replaceable are they, whether it's in the following year's draft, whether it's minor-league free agents, big-league free agents.
"That's the evaluation."

Some insight behind the thinking of the Rajai Davis trade.

Courtesy of FanGraphs:

The slowest 5 pitchers are:
Daisuke Matsuzaka – 25.9 sec.
Matt Garza – 25.8 sec.
Josh Beckett – 25.2 sec.
Clay Buchholz – 24.6 sec.
CC Sabathia – 24.6 sec.

All of them are in the AL East! Shocking, I know. 

Courtesy of Yahoo! Sports:

Luis Rivera, manager at Class AA New Hampshire in 2010, explained his role as a major league coaching assistant for 2011: “I will be in the coaching staff, but not in the game. My job is to get the players ready before the game. I’ll be on the field for batting practice, maybe throw some, and watch the players. When the game starts, I will go to the press box to take notes on the game and prepare a report for (manager John Farrell) after the game. I’ll share my thoughts. It’s something I’ve never done before, and hopefully it will be a great experience for me. I’m going to see how I like it. I have a choice. If I don’t like it, the doors are open for me to come back to coaching and being a manager again.”

You forgot to mention translate for Yunel and eventually Adeiny.


Blue Jays' Arizona Fall League Wrap Up

For the Toronto prospects selected to participate, the five-week long Arizona Fall League has come to an end. The six-team league’s season wrapped up on Saturday, when the two division winners met in a winner-takes-all championship game. The team that featured 7 Blue Jays minor leaguers, the Peoria Javelinas, visited the Scottsdale Scorpions in the nationally televised match up.

Each roster in the AFL features 7 players from 5 different organizations. The Javelinas team was made up of prospects from the Houston, Boston, Seattle, Cleveland and Toronto organizations.

The championship contest was a close game, but the scoring was wrapped up in the bottom of the 4th inning, when Nationals infielder Steve Lombardozzi drove home Rockies outfielder Charles Blackmon with a double off of Mariners' pitcher Tom Wilhelmsen. The hit gave the Scorpions a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish. Wilhelmsen took the loss, while Nats lefty Sammy Solis earned the win.

Below is a full run down of how Blue Jays prospects performed in Arizona this Autumn and notes on where fans can expect some of these players to spend their time next year.


24-year-old righty hurler Matt Daly struggled in 10 Arizona Fall League outings. He went 0-1 with a save and an 8.74 ERA while striking out 5 and walking 8 in 11 1/3 innings. Daly had done well with High-A Dunedin this year, going 2-2 with 31 saves and a 2.50 ERA in the Florida State League. Daly was a 13th round draft selection in 2008. Daly should reach Double A at some point next season, but his spring may determine how soon that happens.

Alan Farina continued his outstanding 2010 by posting a 0.87 ERA with no decisions and a save in 10 AFL relief appearances. In 49 combined games between Dunedin and Double A New Hampshire, Farina held opponents to a .134 batting average and went 3-1 with a 1.29 ERA. The 24-year-old right-hander could see action at the Major League level next year. Farina was a 3rd round draft choice in 2007.

Marc Rzepczynski, who has seen action at the Major League level with the Blue Jays over the past couple of seasons, was exceptional in 6 starts with the Javelinas. Rzepczynski rocked a 4-0 record and a 1.16 ERA, while holding opponents to a .214 batting average. In his last 2 outings, he struck out 15 and walked only 1 in 11 innings pitched. Expect the lefty Rzepczynski to compete for a ML roster spot in spring training next year.

2010 New Hampshire Fisher Cat Danny Farquhar was also with the Javelinas, but was traded to Oakland last week, in a deal with Oakland for Rajai Davis.

Position players:

First baseman Mike McDade, who batted .267 with 21 HR and 64 RBI in 128 games with High-A Level Dunedin this year, continued a solid calendar year. In 22 Arizona Fall League games, McDade rocked a .375 batting average and a 1.007 OPS. The 21-year-old was a 6th round draft pick in 2007. McDade seems to be a lock to play with the Double A Fisher Cats in 2011.

Eric Thames, who was an offensive beast all season long for New Hampshire, posted a .264 avg. while slugging 3 HR and driving in 16 runs in 23 AFL games. Thames, an outfielder, turned 24 years old this month and should see action at Triple A Las Vegas next season.

Cuban import Adeiny Hechavarria played in just two games with the Javelinas. He went hitless in 4 at bats. Hechavarria, a shortstop, batted .273 with 3 homers, 34 RBI and a .665 OPS in 61 Double A games in 2010. Hechavarria, who is on Toronto's 40-man roster, will hope to move up next year as he continues to learn on the job.

Lefty hitting outfielder Adam Loewen shined in 14 AFL games, batting .333 with 5 homeruns and and 19 RBI against opposing pitchers. Loewen, a converted pitcher and native of Canada, spent the full 2010 regular season with Double A New Hampshire, should be ready for a step upward in 2011.


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Adios Trystan and Danny: Good Luck Fellas!

Let me get this out there, I love Rajai Davis from his A's days (no rhyme intended but thank you) and am extremely excited to have him on board for the '11 season. But by no means do I think he and his .330 career OBP are worth Trystan Magnuson and Danny Farquhar. I will say this, I'm really excited about the Rajai era. 50 SB's looks good even with a .300 OBP. Furthermore, I know Rajai personally, live near him, and he has some really cool friends who I know, and I can't wait to see him come April 28th at Yankee Stadium (remember guys, I hate the Yankees, I just live in NY).

So here's the thing, a huge reason why the Fisher Cats were so good in '10 was because of their core 4 bullpen. Those 4 would be Tim Collins, Trystan Magnuson, Danny Farquhar, and Alan Farina. It's clear that Alex Anthopoulos doesn't like me, which is why he's trading my boys away.

Thanks Boy Wonder.

But seriously, these 4 were pretty darn good and if you take a look at Ryan Madson, Nick Masset, Mike Adams and Ryan Perry just to name a few, actually four, they all have one thing in common; they are their respective teams "go to guy." Well Trystan was that guy for the Fisher Cats this season and I envisioned him as that guy for the Jays. He always seemed to get the call to relieve Drabek and Stewart's awesome performances, and by that time the game was over. He doesn't throw hard at all but has pin point location with his fastball which is why he was so dominant.

Farquhar, as little and diminutive as he was, had the best stuff on the team after Collins was gone. He too, didn't light up the gun, but got every out and K when he needed it. He had 79 K's in 76 IP's, hence another reason for his dominance.

To me these two guys were more than just relievers who got our guys a win. Trystan is a great guy and someone who I will miss. I would obviously miss him as much if/when he got promoted to a higher level, but it's not a good feeling knowing that sometime in the future when the A's come to Rogers Centre, he will be pitching "to" the Jays, instead of pitching "for" the Jays. We had some fun moments and he was definitely a fan favorite of all and everyone who knew anything about the Fisher Cats and Merchantsauto.com park.

I wish the duo nothing but the best, and can't wait to see them pitch for the A's. I'll try to get a hug or two when I travel to Arizona (obviously after Dunedin) in March, but we did get Rajai who in my opinion, will be a good weapon for the Jays. For that matter I'm happy about the trade, but am certainly going to miss both Trystan and Danny.

Good luck fellas!


8 Sentences on Rajai Davis

How long has it been since we have had the pleasure of watching a true speedster play here in Toronto?  

Some people were talking about the possibility of him stealing 80 bases in 2010.

As predicted, it didn't happen. 

But he did manage to swipe an even 50 while only being caught 11times. 

Which pumped up his big league career stolen base success rate to 79%. 

That's elite level stuff!

Oh and I almost forgot to mention, speed does translate into spectacular defense when applied correctly.


NL Cy Young Award Goes to Halladay

On Tuesday, Phillies ace Roy Halladay became just the fifth pitcher ever to win a Cy Young Award in both leagues. Halladay, who also won the American League Cy Young Award in 2003 as a member of the Blue Jays, joins Gaylord Perry, Roger Clemens, Pedro Martines and Randy Johnson as the only players to win the award in both the National and American Leagues.

Halladay was acquired by the Phillies last off-season in a trade that sent three prospects to Toronto. In his first season with Philadelphia, Halladay posted a 21-10 record with a 2.44 ERA, while striking out 219 batters and walking just 30 in 250 2/3 innings. Halladay's win total was tied for the Major League lead, while his strike out total was second in the NL and his ERA ranked third in the league.

According to the Baseball Writers Association of America, Halladay was the 13th unanimous choice in National League voting, as he received all 32 first-place votes. Voting is done in a format that includes two writers in each league city. The unanimous vote gave Halladay a perfect 224 points, based on a tabulation system that rewards seven points for first place votes, four for second, three for third, two for fourth and one for fifth.

Another Phillies hurler received votes from writers. Roy Oswalt, acquired by Philadelphia from the Houston Astros in a mid-season trade, placed sixth in NL Cy Young Award voting, behind the Cardinals' Adam Wainwright, the Rockies' Ubaldo Jimenez, the Braves' Tim Hudson and the Marlins' Josh Johnson, in order from highest to lowest.

A day after being revealed as the cover image for the MLB 2K11 video game, Halladay got a bigger honor by becoming the sixteenth multiple-time Cy Young Award winner. The game will be available on all major consoles next Spring.

Last month, Halladay was named the recipient of the 2010 Major League Baseball Clutch Performer of the Year Award presented by Pepsi. The clutch performer nod is an officially recognized MLB honor that is decided by fan voting. Halladay threw a perfect game against the Marlins in May and threw the second post-season no-hitter in MLB history in the divisional round of the NL playoffs in October against the Reds, although the postseason is not factored into the voting.

Halladay is the fourth pitcher in Phillies history to be crowned as the league's top pitcher and the first since 1987, when reliever Steve Bedrosian was bestowed the honor.

"I think that says a lot about your team," Halladay said of the Cy Young Award, last month. "The year won in Toronto, I honestly believe it was more a result of guys around me than how I actually pitched. Other years I thought actually pitched better. You need other guys' help to get you the end results. There were games in second half where I didn’t necessarily pitch as well and liked and walk out with a win, and you need those. It definitely would mean a lot, but really it’s a huge reflection of the guys around you."


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Jay Floyd is a 1BJW contributor based in New Jersey. Follow him on Twitter by clicking HERE.


All Hail The King!

Say what you will about our perspective(s) on your Toronto Blue Jays but one thing we can do, is keep a secret.

Take a look at an exclusive Twitter interview via DM with the man, on the second last day of the season:

1BJW: Are you leaving us at the end of this year sir?

JB: What's the word on the street?

1BJW: Nobody is talking about it except that jerk that was saying you were going to cover the Tribe. I'm not asking 4 a scoop.

1BJW: I just wanted to say thank you and good bye, that's all.

JB: between you and I, I'm covering CLE next year for mlb.com. moving closer to home for the fam. thanks for all the kind words the last few years.

1BJW: I'm happy for you! Thanks 4 your great work over the years. I will do up a post and have it ready whenever u make the announcement.

It's a sad, sad day in Blue Jay land.

The King has moved on.

I feel I can speak for everyone when I say Jordan Bastian will genuinely be missed in these parts.

Now, I don't need to sit here and tell you how hard JB works at his craft. You should fully appreciate that by now.

He always asked the tough questions and yet somehow found a way to be impartial. His work is clear and concise, leaving little doubt what the story was after he tackled it.

I commend him for somehow finding a balance between covering a pro team and raising a young child in a foreign country. Either of those jobs is difficult enough on their own.

On a personal level, Jordan was always accessible to the Blue Jays faithful. He had to remind us every now and then that he was in fact a journalist, not a fan. It's fair to say most of us felt that he was our voice, it's like we could in someway relate to him, which is one of the highest compliments a reporter can receive from their readers.

I asked the other contributors of this blog for some thoughts on King Jordan and his time here with the team.

LastRow500's: I had the pleasure of meeting Jordan in Dunedin, shortly after he shared his blog entry on coming to Canada and became aware of 1BlueJaysWay's full time employer. When I introduced myself as from "said employer" and/or 1BlueJaysWay, he didn't seem too interested, but still shook my hand and engaged in a brief conversation about the upcoming (and about to be rained out) game vs. the Red Sox' travel squad. Proudly wearing his green Spartans hat he thanked me for my time and went on his way, no doubt to train for the upcoming #Dotcomdash in Port Charlotte.

He recently took the time to answer and publish a question of mine in an edition of Jays Inbox. Always in touch with the fans and always sharing his love of baseball combined with his journalistic skill, the Blue Jays became popular again, thanks in no small part to his contributions.

Many thanks Jordan for your passion and unwavering commitment to getting the Jays' story out, thanks to your consistent and timely, if not humorous tweets. You truly are a credit to helping re-energize the fan base in Blue Jays nation.

Good luck in Cleveland. You'll need it!!!
Say hi to Howard The Duck!

Jesse, Lugnuts: I'll definitely pass along best wishes and highest regards, then. He'll be missed, both in the quality of his work and the quantity of his coverage. 

The Human Rain Delay: It's sad to have him move on to the Indians, but it was great to have him here. His blog was something I checked everyday, and his articles on the Jays website were must reads. He also managed to come in and out of my workplace often, due to some past issues.

He's was right, we definitely would have cornered him and asked him a million questions about the trade. All the best Jordan, the Indians will be lucky to have you cover them.

Jimmy Triggz: Good Luck JB 

Nemesis Enforcer: When I first read the email from Golden Arm that Jordan was moving on, my first thought was sadness.

I've read his blog only a few times and I've never met the man, but from what I saw on Twitter it would certainly seem like he'll be missed by many a fan. The back and forth between Jordan and the fans was truly something great, other reporters talk to the fans, but they're usually just bitter and do a lot of yelling. People respected Bastian and he respected the fans, he seems like the kind of man that didn't take his job too seriously and was a genuine ball fan. He had fun doing what might be one of the coolest jobs in the game.

He'll be missed by many. Enjoy your time in Cleveland, you thought Toronto was cold, just you wait. 

jaysaremy2ndfavoriteteam: He was very willing to speak his mind and his thoughts held weight. King Jordan wrote from his heart and wasn't afraid to leave his heart in his work. He was always a source for meaningful and insightful information regarding your Toronto Blue Jays. He will be missed and best of luck to him in his future endeavors. I know that whatever he chooses to do, he will do it with grace and an insightful pen and mind.

SPANdemonium: There's nothing more "Blue Jays like" than waking up in the morning and reading a tweet from @MLBastian regarding our beloved Jays. So I thank you Jordan for everything you did for this organization and the impact that you had on us fans. Wish you the best in Cleveland!

Jay Floyd: Stay fly, brother

We urge you to take a moment out of your busy day and thank him for all his efforts over the years.