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Winter meeting notes from an eventful second day

The Toronto Blue Jays made sure they were right in the middle of the action, as they provided one of the major talk points from Day 2 of the Winter Meetings.

There may only be one Canadian team in the Majors, but they made sure they were among the bigger talking points from the second day of the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas. As Tip of the Tower’s David Morassutti reported on Tuesday, the Toronto Blue Jays have released Troy Tulowitzki.

In some respects, the move shouldn’t have come as a surprise. After all, Tulowitzki is not the player he used to be, with little chance of returning to his previous form.

And yet, there was still some surprise with the decision, purely because of the financial implications. Tulowitzki had two years remaining on his contract; combined with a club option for 2021 which included a $4 million buyout, the Jays owe him $38 million.

The five-time All-Star had his moments in Toronto, helping the team end a 21-year drought with two consecutive postseason appearances. However, the reality is he was never able to reach the heights he achieved during his time in Colorado.

The situation became more frustrating for Tulowitzki this year, as he missed the entire season due to bone spurs in both heels. He’ll get a chance somewhere else, just because he will now be available at the league minimum; however, expectations should be low at this stage of his career.

In respect of the impact on the Blue Jays’ payroll for 2019, there is no change; Tulowitzki’s $20 million salary is guaranteed. As per Brandon Wile of the Score, here is the current outlook:

  • Guaranteed salaries: $61,928,571
  • Arbitration projections: $35,300,000
  • Years 0-3: $6,325,000
  • Projected Opening Day payroll: $103,553,571 (17th among all teams)

The other major news involving the Blue Jays, was related to moves which didn’t take place. There has been a lot of speculation recently, regarding Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez.

However, neither pitcher is set to be traded during the Winter Meetings. Speaking to Sportsnet‘s Ben Nicholson-Smith and other members of the media, general manager Ross Atkins said:

“The likelihood of those guys being moved is not high, it’s just we have to entertain (the idea).”

Atkins went on to add interest in Stroman and Sanchez is significant. As per Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi, the Blue Jays have reportedly met with at least five teams.

However, the reason neither player is likely to be moved at this stage, is because the team is simply asking for too much. As per Nicholson-Smith again, the price is uncomfortably high for some of the interested parties.

This all ties in with our recent article, suggesting the trade talk involving the pitching duo was a no-go at this stage. However, the key phrase from the previous sentence is “at this stage”; watch this space!

Along those lines, we’ve now reached the halfway point of this year’s Winter Meetings. We wait to see if the Blue Jays find themselves to be a major talking point again, at some stage during the remaining two days in Las Vegas.

Next: Update on Roy Halladay’s Hall of Fame chances

Do you agree with the decision to just release Tulowitzki or not, and why? How soon do you see one or both of Stroman or Sanchez being traded by the Toronto Blue Jays? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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