Blue Jays Morning Brew: Bo Bichette podcast, other notes

Toronto Blue Jays news and notes for the week of Monday, December 12th

With under two weeks remaining until Christmas, the Toronto Blue Jays still have a lot of shopping to do.

Thankfully for them, the cutoff line is closer to early April than December 25th, but with openings remaining in the outfield, bullpen, and behind Russell Martin at catcher, there is work to be done. Pair that with the expected flow of minor-league signings to fill out double-A New Hampshire and triple-A Buffalo, and it could be a busy couple of months ahead for the Blue Jays.

To get your week started, here’s the Morning Brew.

Jays Nest Podcast Ep. 101  –  Bo Bichette

The Jays Nest Podcast with myself and Shaun Doyle of Jays From the Couch is back for another week and will continue right through the off-season. On this episode, we’re joined by the Blue Jays’ 2nd-round draft pick from 2016, Bo Bichette.

Still just 18, Bichette tore the cover off the ball in his brief debut with Toronto’s Gulf Coast League affiliate and profiles as an exciting middle-infield bat. He tells us about his unique draft day experience, and why the Blue Jays were a team that he was willing to sign with after turning down offers from elsewhere.

Special bonuses for listening: You’ll learn what type of car Bo is driving this off-season, and what hidden talent he’d be pursuing if baseball wasn’t in the cards.

We also break down the winter meetings that were, with a special focus on Dexter Fowler and whether or not the past two weeks have truly been disappointing. Subscribe using the links below to get a hot new episode (well, at least a very warm one) each week. Last week’s 100th episode featured top prospects Anthony Alford and Ryan Borucki, so why not double dip!

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Sanchez bulking up again

Aaron Sanchez’s physical transformation last off-season was sudden, as the young right-hander showed up for the Blue Jays’ Winter Tour looking like he’d aged five years in just a few months.

This off-season, that continues as Ben Nicholson-Smith wrote last week for Sportsnet that Sanchez is putting in a heavy workload again this winter after winning the American League ERA crown.

“Even though it seems like his leap was a large one, his trajectory last year, I think the slope is continuing,” said GM Ross Atkins. “The way that he’s working this off-season, what he’s doing on a daily basis, is impressive.”

Bringer of Pain

Josh Donaldson was in Toronto this weekend to take in UFC 206, and it appears that the 2015 AL MVP is a big-time UFC fan. He even got some training in, and you can find the full story of Donaldson’s night here from Blue Jay Hunter’s Ian Hunter.

Holiday rush

For some ideas that might save your last-minute holiday shopping for that certain Jays fan on your list, check out the list that Tom Dakers has running at Blue Bird Banter. Unless, of course, you’ve finished all of your shopping and are now coasting into Christmas relaxed and stress free (Ha!).

Saving the Blue Jays’ offseason

For the Toronto Sun, Scott Mitchell looks at ways that the winter can warm up for the Blue Jays. Perhaps Toronto’s patience does pay off, as he notes, with the quiet markets that Edwin Encarnacion and Jose Bautista have been met with. If one of the two longtime Jays’ sluggers were to return on an affordable deal along with some mid-level bullpen pieces, would most fans consider the off-season a success?

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