Toronto Blue Jays news and rumours for January 11th
Bautista’s interest stretching far and wide, but not deep
Add the Minnesota Twins to the list of teams linked to Jose Bautista. According to Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com, the Twins have met with Bautista’s representation this offseason but their level of interest is unclear.
The market for free agent power bats continues to be very soft, and while Bautista in a Twins jersey remains wholly unlikely, do not discount the possibility that a dark horse team (meaning a non-contender) could sneak up and grab a top remaining player.
For teams expected to finish towards the bottom of their division, a player like Bautista, Mark Trumbo, Brandon Moss, or Michael Saunders can still make a level of sense, even with the draft pick attached to the first two. While a lesser team is building for 2018 or 2019, someone has to power the 2017 lineup and if they fill a few extra seats along the way, all the better.
Signings such as this are an investment in the July 31st trade deadline, as well.
From Bautista’s side of the table, any interest from these teams is welcome. Many of them have ample payroll flexibility and can be leveraged well in negotiations with more desirable teams.
WBC update on Sanchez, Mexico
Aaron Sanchez is eligible to pitch for Mexico at the World Baseball Classic, and Jon Morosi reports that he could join the team if they advance out of their pool stage.
Sanchez’s workload is the clear worry here, and adding innings to the 24-year-old’s arm os a legitimate risk. Including the playoffs last season, Sanchez crossed the 200-inning plateau after spending much of the season on the verge of a move back to the bullpen. Scott Boras might have some opinions, too.
The narrative has quickly shifted with Sanchez from uncertain young arm to perennial Cy Young contender, and perhaps that proves to be true. He’s not completely out of the woods yet, however, and his stamina will be worth monitoring through the second half of the season.
Roberto Osuna is expected to be a key piece of Mexico’s bullpen while Marco Estrada isn’t expected to open the WBC with the team, but did not close the door on joining them later in the competition.
Rumblings and grumblings
Stephen Brunt stoked the fire on Tuesday when he suggested that a move could be coming around the corner for the Blue Jays. Ian Hunter has that roundup here at Blue Jays Hunter.
“I think by this time next week, something will have happened,” Brunt said on Tim & Sid. Earlier in the day, Brunt appeared on Sportsnet 960 The FAN in Calgary where he revealed that he’s heard “something’s cooking”.