Contracts Off Season News

2016 Blue Jays Winter Meetings Recap

This past week, the Toronto Blue Jays front office attended the annual MLB Winter Meetings in Maryland, DC. They didn't make any big moves, so there is still a lot of work to get done. Check out what they managed to do in this post.

Everyone expected the Blue Jays to pull off some big moves, and well, they didn’t really do that. While others may not agree with the moves made, we know that Shapiro and Atkins have the best intentions for our team. Besides, we all want the same goal. Rings.

If you haven’t been following a long as intensely as I have, you are in luck! I have recapped days 1-4 below to take a look at all of the moves the Jays management managed to pull off. (Technically, December 4 was not day one because everyone was flying in and they had a big dinner at night. All of the real stuff started on the Monday which is where I am starting, just to clarify.)

Day 1 – December 5, 2016

The first day of the winter meetings started with quite a bang. Normally I find time to check my phone to see any Blue Jays news during my period 2 Geography class. Most of the time there is nothing new, but today was a shift from the norm.

The Blue Jays signed INF/OF Steve Pearce for 2 years, $12.5 mil. 

Pierce is a valuable player, who has played all positions in his career, excluding catcher and pitcher. The contract amount is not to bad, considering that he is an average defender and hitter. He will generate a lot more offence from first base than Justin Smoak, which we will all appreciate. This was the Blue Jays biggest Winter Meetings move.

Blue Jays reportedly offer Dexter Fowler $60 mil for 4 years.

According to multiple reports, the Blue Jays have offered OF Dexter Fowler a contract. Although, sources are saying that they are about $3-$5 million off. If that is the case, then I think Dexter Fowler will be a Toronto Blue Jays by the end of this week!

Blue Jays reportedly out on Edwin Encarnacion, after he declines $80 million/4 year contract offer. 

I think that the Blue Jays made a smart move when it comes to Edwin. After he declined the offer, they slowly took it off the table and moved on right away. With the money we were originally going to pay Edwin, we can fix up some holes in our roster (back up catcher, corner outfielders, relievers, etc.). I (like you) are sad about Edwin leaving, but it may be for the better. And this also makes my narrative almost 50% correct (I will tell you about it sometime later in the season)!

To recognize: Joaquin Benoit signs with the Phillies for 1 year/$7.5 million

As a free agent, Benoit signed a contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. He is likely to pitch in the 8th inning.

Day 2 – December 6, 2016

Day two of the Winter Meetings was an interesting day for rumours and other team deals. Nothing major for the Blue Jays as far as adding new players.

Chris Collabello elects Free Agency.

Former Blue Jays starting first basemen Chris Collabello elects free agency instead of Minor League assignment. After testing positive for PEDs, Collabello was never the same. After the Jays took him off of the 40-man roster, he decided to elect free agency. It will be very interesting to see where he goes.

Toronto Blue Jays reportedly back in talks with Jose Bautista.

After rumours surrounding the Jays with Dexter Fowler, the Blue Jays have now been talking with Bautista’s agent/team. I guess the Jays are still interested in him being an outfielder for the team, as 1B and DH are pretty much taken already by Steve Pearce and Kendrys Morales.

Jose Bautista reportedly OK with a 2-year Contract.

It’s interesting to think that around this time last year Bautista was reportedly asking for $150 million/5 years. Now, he may be ok with a $25/2 year contract offer!

Edwin Encarnacion market slowly decreasing, Indians interested? 

Apparently, the Indians have suddenly become very interested in Edwin. They also apparently generated $20 million extra in revenue from the world series. Personally, I do not think that they will have enough money for Edwin and contract offer request.

To recognize: Red Sox trade for White Sox pitcher Chris Sale.

Suddenly, the Red Sox are the new favourites for the American League team in the 2017 World Series. They have David Price, Rick Porcello and now Chris Sale. Although, the Red Sox gave 4 major players away that were currently being developed in their farm system, which could possibly hurt them in the future.

Day 3 – December 7, 2016

Ross Atkins shares that Bautista is a great alternative and that there is definitely a way to “connect the dots”.

With Edwin Encarnacion most likely not coming back, Bautista would be a great alternative for the team as well as the fans who fill up the stadium.

Unless there’s a surprise entrant, slugger Edwin Encarnacion’s finalists appear to be the Toronto Blue Jays and Cleveland Indians. 

Surprisingly, in the morning of day 3 we thought that Edwin would most likely not be coming back, but by the end it was reported that he could still possibly be coming back. A possible scenario could be Morales DH, Edwin 1B and Pearce OF. Or, they could ask to trade Pearce but I don’t think he will want to be traded since he literally JUST signed here.

Rockies interested in Marcus Stroman and would trade Charlie Blackman for him. Blue Jays say no to the offer and share that they wouldn’t be willing to trade Stroman straight up. 

With all of the work that Stroman does around the city and on social media, it would be a real shame to see him go. Earlier in the offseason Ross Atkins said that it would be unlikely to change the starting rotation. I really hope that he stays with us, but stranger things have happened.

Toronto Blue Jays sign Brett Oberholtzer to a minor league deal.

This was pretty much the only contract that the Jays had signed since Pearce, and it was only a minor league deal. Oberholtzer had a 5.89 ERA and a 3-3 record, while being a reliever for both the Phillies and Angels.

Jay Bruce has reportedly enlisted the Toronto Blue Jays on his no trade list. 

Just some random information for you all, especially the people saying that the Jays should try to sign Jay Bruce!

To recognize: Ian Desmond signs with the Colorado Rockies.

Ian Desmond, former utility player for the Texas Rangers has now travelled to the National League and is currently a member of the Colorado Rockies.

To recognize: Aroldis Chapman to New York Yankees 5 year/$86 million.

Now we have another team to beat in the AL East. Is it just me, or does it feel like every team is improving for the better but ours?

Day 4 – December 8, 2016

Toronto Blue Jays select Glenn Sparkman from the Rule 5 Draft.

Glenn Sparkman is 24, he posted a 5.22 ERA across four levels in 2016, reaching AA.

Dexter Fowler reportedly on his way to St. Louis for a physical. St. Louis reportedly offered him a huge contract, somewhere around $85 million for 5 years.

No wonder the Jays weren’t able to get him right away. If I were Fowler, I would have taken the Cardinals offer, too. Jays are reportedly still in “the mix” but I’m not sure how they could be.

After this week, the Blue Jays still have a ton to do. Encarnacion and Bautista are still on the market, and it will be very interesting where they end up. I still think one of them will come back to the Blue Jays, but I don’t know which one.

Personally, I think both the Red Sox and White Sox won the Winter Meetings. The Red Sox got a lot of all star players, and I assume that means that they are really going for it. The White Sox received multiple amazing prospects, they will be a team to bit within the next 5-10 years.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on the 2016 Winter Meetings for the Blue Jays, I am not so happy.

Alyssa Cohen

PS. Big things are coming for Year 2 of Alyssa Cohen MLB! A lot of changes are currently in the works, and I think you will all love them! I will be explaining everything on the One Year Birthday/Anniversary of the blog in January. As of right now, I am currently looking for a Blue Jays Minor League/Farm system fan that likes to write. If you consider yourself that, please click here and fill out the form to let me know. Thank you!

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