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Thursday Bantering: Jays Awards, Atkins talks

Happy Thursday.

My day started with an email telling me we should rehire Gord Ash, which suggests to me that the people don’t remember the Gord Ash days.


Yesterday the Toronto BBWAA sent out their picks for Blue Jays award winners.

Player of the Year: Justin Smoak (unanimous selection).

Since we really didn’t have a ‘Player of the Year’, Smoak is likely as good a pick as anyone. If you wanted to go by fWAR, Smoak is tied for 5th on the team, behind Grichuk, Pillar, Happ (before the trade) and tied with Borucki. Since they couldn’t give it to Happ, Smoak is likely as good as any.

Pitcher of the Year: J.A. Happ.

Or maybe they could have picked Happ for the Player of the Year.

Most Improved: Luke Maile.

Yeah, that’s a good choice. Luke went from a -0.6 fWAR to a 1.2. They could have called him the only improved player.

Rookie of the Year: Ryan Borucki.

The right choice. Lourdes had a pretty good season too, but Borucki was the right choice.

John Cerutti Award (for being a good guy): John Gibbons.

Good choice.

No complaints about the awards. They did a good job.


The Writers also got to have lunch with Ross Atkins (my invite is in the mail I’m sure). John Lott wrote about it in the Athletic. Gregor Chishom at bluejays.com and Shi Davidi broke it up into 2 parts at Sportsnet (the futures of Stroman and Sanchez and the future of Troy Tulowitzki).

Among the points Ross made:

  • Tulo is ‘unlikely to be shortstop again’. Apparently he is healthy again, but Ross doesn’t think he’ll be able to play short at the major league level again. I think we all agree on that point. Ross doesn’t suggest what his role might be.

Candidly, and I think Troy would agree with me, that is not likely. He will have to overachieve to play shortstop at above-average level with above-average offensive performance for 140 games. That would be unlikely based on what has occurred in the last two-and-a-half years. But that doesn’t mean he’s not going to do it. But candidly, I don’t think that’s likely.

  • There are teams interested in Russell Martin, but the team will have to sent a fair amount of money along with him. We knew that too.
  • They would love to re-sign J.A. Happ. I doubt it happens, I’m betting Yankees.
  • Brandon Drury looks to be the opening day 3B.
  • Devon Travis will have to win the second base job this spring.
  • Ryan Borucki has to win his spot in the rotation. I think that won’t be a problem.
  • Teams have been inquiring about Sanchez and Stroman. I don’t see trading either of them. I think their trade value is at a low point. But, maybe there won’t be a high point.

The Red Sox signed Nathan Eovaldi for 4-years at $67.5 million. I likely wouldn’t have wanted to go four years. It is a fair bit of money for someone that has made 42 starts in the last three season, but the Red Sox can afford it.

And the Nationals have signed Patrick Corbin to a 6-year, $140 million contract. Corbin is 29. Six years seems a big excessive.

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