Blue Jays Morning Brew: Off-season notes, Cecil, Travis

Free agency and the trade market are still proceeding at a cautious rate early in the 2016 off-season, but the Blue Jays and a long line of eager spenders should soon kick into action with CBA clarification and the December 2nd non-tender deadline nearing.

Here’s what you might have missed from the weekend that was in Blue Jays news:

Update on Devon Travis:
Blue Jays’s second-baseman Devon Travis is expected to return to full health in time for spring training after undergoing knee surgery, Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reported on Friday. The procedure was to remove a piece of cartilage that was caught in his right knee joint.

This is Travis’ second offseason surgery in two seasons with the Blue Jays, but both instances have been rare (and unlucky) injuries. If Travis is able to stay healthy for a full season of 140+ games, he should be able to post a WAR of 3.5 or higher with the ability to lead off and provide secondary pop.

Jays Nest Podcast, Episode 99
By some combination of good fortune and administrative errors, the Jays Nest Podcast has been allowed to reach the doorstep of episode 100. On this week’s show, Shaun Doyle of Jays From the Couch and I debrief after Brett Cecil‘s signing in St. Louis and discuss what it means for the Blue Jays going forward.

We also take some great listener questions, which you can tweet in for each week’s episode. Subscribe using the links below to get our new shows zapped right to your mobile device or laptop:

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Speaking of Cecil:
Brett Cecil’s time with the Toronto Blue Jays was not always as easy as the past few seasons have looked. The left-hander first broke through as a starter, struggled, and was forced to re-establish himself as a reliever.

Ian Hunter of Blue Jay Hunter took a look at Cecil’s unique journey here, and nails it when he writes “maybe only years down the road will we truly begin to understand and appreciate how good he was at his craft.”.

Prospect talk: JC Cardenas
Brian Cawford of recently spoke with Blue Jays’ minor-leaguer JC Cardenas, with a particular focus on his switch-hitting that can be a slow-developing tool for young players.

The 22-year-old Cuban was selected by the Blue Jays in round six of the 2015 draft. After spending his debut season with the Vancouver Canadians, Cardenas spent 2016 with the single-A Lansing Lugnuts where he hit .206.

Update on Jerry Howarth
Jerry Howarth plans on calling the Blue Jays’ spring opener in Dunedin, he tells The Toronto Star’s Laura Armstrong.

The beloved Toronto figure and long-time Blue Jays’ broadcaster was recently diagnosed with Stage 1 prostate cancer.

“I believe the first (Blue Jays) game is Sunday, Feb. 26,” Howarth told Armstrong. “We’ll probably broadcast that game across our networks and that’s when people can expect to hear, ‘Hello friends, this is Jerry Howarth down here in Dunedin, Florida.’ ”

On Friday, I relayed the information that Blue Jays’ prospect Rowdy Tellez would be finishing his time with Estrellas Orientalas in the Liga de Beisbol Dominicano due to an elbow injury. This information was incorrect, and that error is not acceptable. Tellez returned to the lineup Sunday and went 1-for-4 with an RBI in a 5-1 win.

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