Blue Jays potentially selling their best outfielder would be a shit start to the offseason

The addition of Chase Anderson seemed like a smart, if not uninspired start to the Blue Jays offseason. Now, with Atkins revealing he’s willing to sell Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for pitching, the bullshit train is back in Toronto. Toot, toot, all aboard!

On this week’s episode of “How will Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro alienate the fanbase further” the GM (Atkins), likely under direction from or approved by President (Shapiro), has let it leak that they are willing to shop Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for starting pitching. Before anyone gets their back up about this let’s get things straight.

Yes, I understand that with Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, and Rowdy Tellez the starting infield is set and Gurriel, if cast as an INF would be a depth guy. And, yes I understand that if you want something good you have to give something good. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s continue shitting on the front office for this piece of news.

Reclamation Project Turned Gold

Lourdes Gurriel Jr. is the Blue Jay’s best outfielder. The Cuban former infielder was demoted to AAA Buffalo last season when a case of the yips had him unable to throw across the diamond, costing the Jays more than a few outs. After some reclamation time, Gurriel returned to the big league team… a solid outfielder.

His transition to left-fielder was a tactic to simplify the game for him; track pop-flys, chase down more athletic plays and throw harder from a longer distance. Instead of transitioning this back to the infield the Bisons’ coaching staff let him marinate in the outfield and in a true form of alchemy turned a good offensive/iffy defensive infielder into a high upside/ strong defensive outfielder – exactly what the Jays lack.

Why the hell would you trade one problem area to fix anther problem area?! As it stands, the Blue Jays outfield should stack up as follows LF: Gurriel Jr., CF: Grichuk, RF: McKinney/Fisher. That is far from elite, but Atkins and Shapiro acquired both right-field options and they do have a good eye for young talent (both brought in from the Astros, too).

This team needs a Lorenzo Cain or Dexter Fowler to legitimize the group and shore it up defensively with a captain-esque player. The front office can address this by dipping into the free-agent market. Forget Yasiel Puig for his hot-headedness, or Nick Castellanos for his high price tag; the Jays should add in Avisail Garcia (29), Cole Kalhoun (32), or Corey Dickerson (31), veteran players who can still contribute at an elite level while also being a part of the leadership group for this young core.

Control, Control, Control

We as Blue Jays fans fully understand how much Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro loooooooooove to pinch a penny. Cut ties with big-name players still able to help a team and meltdown the team and bring in fringe players to fill out the roster all to save some money. This has been the strategy for the Jays and it’s been hard to stomach for the most part.

On the other hand, these frugal guys should be all over keeping Gurriel Jr. due to his unreal contract and control. In 2017 he signed a seven-year deal that takes him to 2023 with value increasing from $2.93 million next season to $5.83 million in his final year of the deal.

If not for his refound form, the Jays need to keep a hold of Gurriel Jr. for his control and value deal. The hallmark of the Blue Jays team is similar to that of the Cubs a few seasons ago. They are young, extremely talented, have grown up together, and are primed to make an impact together on a major league roster. Don’t fuck this up, Shapiro and Atkins, just open your wallets for pitching instead of hemorrhaging the already thin outfield.

Blue Jays get to work early, add righty Chase Anderson

In what could prove to be a surprisingly good year for the Toronto Blue Jays, Ross Atkins has started early by acquiring a new starting pitch.

In

Chase Anderson is the Blue Jays’ first addition to the pitching staff in the offseason which is undoubtedly the biggest area of concern for the budding Blue Birds. Coming over from post-season primed Milwaukee, Anderson is going to be bringing a 4.21 ERA with him, inflating his career ERA to a still respectable 3.94.

The 31-year-old vet will be leading a massively green starting pitching core with only Julian Merryweather over 26 years of age. Veteran presence is needed to help shape these kids, but also to potentially turn into playing prospects come the trade deadline if the Jays are going to be sellers.

Thank god the memo is out on the Jays needing starting pitching. It literally couldn’t be worse than it was a year ago with Ryan Borucki hurt, Marcus Stroman traded, and Aaron Sanchez moved on from as well. Hopefully Anderson can steady the ship filled with 20-something millennials.

Out

Ever heard of Chad Spanberger? Me neither. The utility infielder/outfielder was fighting a losing battle trying to get into a supremely talented infield group and likely wasn’t a top choice to duke it out for outfield reps either with the young core of players the Jays have lined up there, too.

The inevitability that is probably unlikely in reality is that we just devalued an infielder and moved on from them only to become another Gio Urshela who forced his way into a ridiculous Yankees lineup this season. I pray this doesn’t happen again, but mentally I’ve accepted that it already has. Regardless, I’ll take Rowdy Tellez over Spanberger any day, and even if he turns out to be a good player, he’s in the NL now, so who cares.

Solid move by the Jays, buying experience for an incredibly cheap price.

Kings of the North; Toronto the Championship City

The Raptors have done what we in Toronto have waited 26 years to do: Toronto is finally a winner again. Not since the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays has The Big Smoke been the winner of a major sports trophy, until now.

Fuelled by star power, supported by elite talent, and defined by hard work, the Raptors have set the new standard for Toronto sports teams. So what can the Leafs and Blue Jays learn from this never-back-down, no-quit team?

Patience.

Patience to develop your team and build a winning culture before playing the first minute of game one.

Masai Ujiri said it best, “championships aren’t built in one year.” Despite adding Danny a Green, Marc Gasol, and oh yeah Kawhi Leonard all this season, the backbone has been in place for years. Kyle Lowry, Pascal Siakam, and Fred VanVleet are all long term Raptors and have massively impacted this team’s developed culture far beyond this season.

Can the Leafs take a page out of the 2019 Raptors playbook?

The Leafs are deep into the process of making their team into a championship squad. All the pieces are here: generational drafted talent, world-class free agent signing, recent playoff experience. So what lesson can they take from this season’s Raptors?

Sometimes you need to bet on yourself and take some risks to take the next step. Moving on from DeMar DeRozan was a massive risk, not to mention mortgaging the future with a first your draft pick to get a better return on the player, too. At the time of the deal it was a heavily criticized move, I mean Kawhi barely played last season!

Hindsight is 20/20 and now with a franchise-first Championship secured, the deal was a home run even if Kawhi doesn’t stay. The Leafs don’t need to make this much of a massive deal with the talent already on the roster, but moving out players and picks to push your chances over the top could be that next step for the Maple Leafs’ search for a cup.

Culture, culture, culture, for the Blue Jays now

The less glamorous lesson the Blue Jays can learn from the Raptors is to invest in creating a winning culture in the locker room now. This Blue Jays team is loaded with young talent, but without motivation and leadership, it could be wasted.

Kyle Lowry, that type of talented leader is what the Blue Jays need… to keep because the equivalent is Marcus Stroman and he’s already here. Yes he’s loud, yes he’s polarizing, but more than anything he’s talented and he hates losing. If that winning mentality can rub off onto the young core entering the league now, it can only have positive results.

Ken Giles, Freddie Galvis, Justin Smoak. All of these players are being brought up in trade talks but all of them play an integral role in the team’s development. Galvis’ Latin leadership role, Giles’ intensity and winning mentality, and Smoak’s even-keeled mindset are all assets to this team.

These players aren’t superstars but they lead by example and they are currently trying to hold the young players on the team to a higher standard of play. Invest in more players like this and the team culture will continue to develop alongside the players.

Now is the time for celebration, Toronto. The only city with a non-US NBA team has lifted the Larry O’Brien trophy. As unlikely as it was to happen the blueprint is there for the other big Toronto sports teams to follow. Boiled down: don’t be afraid to bet on yourself, and a winning culture breeds success.

Wake up with Vladdy Guerrero Jr. smashing a classic homerun

The Blue Jays have already won the series with the Yankees ahead of game three. Game two was a showcase of home run crushing strength and team hitting led by the ever so legendary Vlad Guerrero Jr.

Guerrero’s three-run homer in the bottom of the 8th inning gave the Jays the lead as well as flashbacks to his dad hitting dogshit pitches out of stadiums:

The deep, one-handed swing on a ball that was an inch off the dirt – it’s an absolute carbon copy of Vladimir Guerrero Sr. and some of his absurd home runs. As much as the hitting gene clearly got passed on, so to did the clutch gene. Jr. bashed that ball in a time where the Yankee’s superior bullpen should have taken over this game. Instead,

The youth movement was working last night in the Big Smoke, with Guerrero leading the way. Gurriel scored twice on two walks, Jansen had a hit an a walk, Guerrero had two hits for himself including this three-run bomb, Cavan Biggio had a hit, two walks, and an RBI, and Teoscar Hernandez had a pair of doubles in his return to the big league club.

Shout out toe Randall Grichuk and Brandon Drury, too. The two more veteran players collectively had three home runs on four hits totaling four RBI’s to keep the Jays in the game. It’s early but it appears bringing in Drury and extending Grichuk is paying off for Atkins and Shapiro.

The team that is often criticized for not being competitive enough, but that’s simply not true as proved last night. The young-guns will get more and more comfortable with MLB pitching, and with that will come development and progress in the wins/losses column. One thing is certain when the bats are working, this team is VERY fun to watch.

Are Toronto Blue Jays fans the LEAST informed fanbase?

The Toronto Blue Jays are 62 games into the season and some fans are still shocked that the team isn’t pushing for the playoffs. The complete lack of understanding on what this team is built to do is astounding and really sheds light on the title question: are Toronto Blue Jays fans the least informed fanbase?

The short answer is an emphatic NO. But some can’t seem to grasp the idea of a rebuild and what it entails.

Rebuild. Say it with me, re-build.

Look over to the Toronto Maple Leafs of a few years ago. They brought in a management team to fill the cupboard with prospects and develop them, brought in a coach that has an individual style of managing his team, and insulated a young core with NHL veterans who would later be sold for prospects or picks.

Look around, Jays fans, that’s what’s happening here. The Toronto Blue Jays are amidst a rebuild, and while the product on the field isn’t all too exciting right now, it is well on it’s way to being a fully loaded, threatening AL East beast.

I guess the hardest part to swallow with the rebuild was the illusion that the team didn’t need to be rebuilt because of the success in the 2015 and 2016 season. Back-to-back playoff appearances with one down season to follow made the nose-dive into a rebuild a shocking turn of events.

However, when evaluating the farm system, it was needed. As great of a job as Alex Anthopoulos did bringing in top-tier talent, it was at the expense of prospects and draft picks. Now with Shapiro and Atkins at the helm, the Blue Jays have focused more on compiling and developing prospects to become MLB stars over selling them for aging veterans.

Realistically…

The frankly rude question this blog is focused around (are Blue Jays fans uneducated), is not directed at most members of the Blue Jays fanbase. No, it’s towards the loud minority who take to social media to either troll other fans or voice their displeasure while simultaneously boasting their lack of education on the process.

Drown out the negativity with realistic and appropriate expectations for a young, growing team. Losing can’t become an accepted norm, however, but the desire to prove their MLB chops should keep the young core motivated to continue performing all season long.

Jays fans can look to the Leafs and Mike Babcock for an immediate understanding of the rebuild process. Namely that pain is coming. Most of this pain has already happened or is currently happening so that’s a positive. The other biggest positive is the likes of Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Cavan Biggio, Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Rowdy Tellez, and Danny Janson already making an impact on the team and getting MLB experience.

Prepare for veterans to leave like Stroman, Sanchez, and Giles, and prepare for more losses. Bide your time with the losses, though. The way this team is being constructed is not for one or two more seasons of boom-or-bust playoff excitement, but for dynastic sustained success.

Billy McKinney and Brandon Drury can give Jays fans something to care about pre-Vlad

The Jays are rebuilding, so the idea of them contending this season can be put to rest early. What Jays fans can expect is inter-squad competition and players playing for the opportunity to get traded. Two players to watch for are Billy McKinney and Brandon Drury.

Billy McKinney

The cornerstone piece moved back to Toronto in the deadline deal for J.A. Happ, Billy McKinney has something to prove after being labeled expendable by the Yankees.

The Yankees have a stacked first-team outfield and a cupboard full of prospects. Career-wise, McKinney is probably better off having been traded and he showed the Jays why they’d be happy they went out and got him.

In his 36 game stint in Toronto,McKinney hit .252 BA, 6 HR, 13 RBIs, and had an above league average OPS of .780. He mixed in stolen base and a slugging percentage of .462, as well.

In raw ability and impact at the MLB level, McKinney stands alone atop a pile of MLB or fringe outfielders the Jays have. Pillar, Grichuk, Hernandez, White, Pompey, Alford, and Davis are all competing for two spots right now.

Why? Because while defensively and positionally solid in the outfield, McKinney also boasts leadoff hitter qualities that make him a team necessity. He’ll battle for the spot, but with Devon Travis now out he’s likely to win it. With that position, McKinney will have a chance to show off his offensive abilities while getting to see more baseballs than any other Blue Jay.

It’s exciting having a 24-year-old player who is MLB ready getting a chance to make an impact on a team poised for youth-fuelled success for years to come.

Brandon Drury

Originally acquired by the Yankees as a depth, rotational infielder last season, Brandon Drury is now a Jay and is probably playing for a way out.

Another piece in J.A. Happ’s trade to the Yankees, Drury, the once-promising Arizona Diamondback third baseman, became a low-value trade chip and add-in to the rebuilding Blue Jays.

It’s an almost impressive fall from grace after his more-than-solid 2016 and 2017 seasons. He was a solid hitter with mediocre power who bolstered the bottom half of Arizona’s batting order. Beyond that, he was a reliable defender on the hot corner and at 22-23 years old looked a piece for the Diamondbacks to build around.

After he was targeted and acquired by the Yankees he played in just 18 games last season and failed to impress. He showed limited flashes in an injury-ridden 8 games with the Jays but now has a chance to validate Ross Atkins’ decision to send Vladimir Guerrero Jr. to AAA to start the season.

For Drury it’s going to need to be defence first. It’ll be paramount if he’s a responsible and reliable third baseman as Vlad’s bullshit smokescreen for starting in Buffalo is dependant on developing his defensive game. Drury can help justify this by playing well himself and cooling the MLBPA’s ire on the service time situation in Toronto.

He’s now 26 and probably will enjoy the lesser-than spotlight playing on a rebuilding team in Canada. It’s an opportunity Drury can take and use to his advantage to get back to his best like in 16/17.

Should he do so and want to stay in Toronto there is no reason he can’t etch out a spot for himself on this young team. If he doesn’t want to stay, he can be motivated by a move back to the States, getting the Jays a solid return on a reclaimed player.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and the Toronto Blue Jays: Service Time for Dummies

It’s not the clearest of situations, but the service time rule for MLB players is a tool MLB teams are using on their superstars to save a year on their entry-level contracts. The Jays are ready to force their top prospect into this controversial situation, but it’s the right thing to do.

Basically, service time is a way of crediting a year-played on a players contract based on the number of games or days they play with a major league team.

When a player starts the season and stays in the minors for the first eight games of the season it limits them to less than 172 days in the major leagues. This adjusts their season down to less than a full year, saving a full season on their contract. Once a player plays less than 172 days they will not burn a year on their deal.

Sure, that’s extremely simplified and dumbed down, but that’s basically it. Toronto is going to start Vladimir Guerrero Jr. in the minors to ensure he’s a Blue Jay for at least one season longer.

And if you think Vlad Jr. missing a minimum of eight inconsequential games to start a meaningless (as far as standings are concerned) season is a bad thing, you might need to give your head a shake.

The argument against the manipulation of the service time rule is that players tend to have harsh feelings towards their ownership and front office because their development is being stunted for a team friendly option that also delays a big money contract. Fair points, but let’s check in on two recent high-value players who went through this process.

Kris Bryant – Chicago Cubs

Bryant being forced down to the minors for the first month of the Cubs 2015 season was a situation just about everyone who follows the MLB foresaw, but Bryant’s agent peddled the situation as a problem.

Bryant revealed there was “no bad blood” with the Cubs organization over the usage of the service time rule after he was called up to the team in 2015. With Bryant as their starting and starring third-baseman, the Cubs went on to the NL Divisional series with a 99-67 regular season record, eventually losing out to the Mets.

Just a day ago, Bryant has now come out saying the service time situation in the MLB obviously needs to change as he enters the season that could have been his new big money contract year. He’s still making $10.25 million out of arbitration, but that could be a fraction of what he’s worth. Weird timing, right?

Bryant played in 151 games, with 559 AB (his third highest in his career), hitting .275 BA, with 26 HR, and 99 RBIs.

Ronald Acuna Jr.

The highly touted prospect in the Atlanta Braves organization, Ronald Acuna Jr., was a victim of the service time rule usage last season. Yes, last season where he was THE breakout star of the season.

The GM of the Braves is a person many Jays fans should be aware of, Alex Anthopoulos, the former GM here in Toronto. AA seemed disinterested in considering the fallout of forcing Acuna to the minors for a few weeks to start the season, with reports suggesting he would make this move “for better or worse.

With Acuna Jr. now the face of the exciting, playoff contending Braves, it’s unlikely there are any hard feelings between the player and his team. He’s the face of the franchise and was still able to tee-off on his opposition last season, despite waiting a few weeks to start.

Last season, Acuna finished the season with 111 GP (injury caused missed time) and 433 AB. He hit for a .293 BA, 26 HR, and 64 RBIs.

What can we expect from the Jays and Vlad?

We can expect Ross Atkins to continue the narrative of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. being sent down to start the season in AAA to work on his defensive play. Also, expect for Atkins to be very open to Vlad joining the Blue Jays when he is ready and able to help the team.

From Vlad, there probably isn’t going to be much of a conversation. He’ll continue to play hard to try and win a starting position in spring training, stating that he just wants to play hard and try and help the Toronto Blue Jays become a better team.

If we as fans can take away anything from the past manipulations of service time, it’s that it is really a non-issue for the team and the player. We will get to see Vlad for a longer period of time in the long run and the team can weigh options on the roster ahead of him.

In the end, the only people who seem to have issues with the manipulation of this rule are player agents. Under the guise of caring for their players, agents are getting their massive paydays pushed back a season with the usage of this rule and are crying ‘development and unfairness’ to try and force their issues.

Valdimir Guerrero Jr. is looking THICC in spring training

Bordering NSFW for multiple reasons, the second coming of baseball assaulter Vlad Guerrero and the Blue Jay’s messiah Vlad Guerrero Jr. is busting out of his new Jay’s threads while punishing baseballs into the Florida stratosphere.

For any baseball fan, the crack of the bat is something that gives you goosebumps. If Vladimir Guerrero Jr. is attached to the end of that cracking bat, then you’ve got some content that will give any Blue Jays fan fits.

It’s early on in spring training, but Vlad is in Dunedin with the team and he’s mashing the ball like we all know he can. At this point in time we need to just credit his ability to lace a baseball into space on his physique. Don’t believe me? Just look:

Hmm, that massive trunk aka “power base” reminds me of someone…


Sports IllustratedExpo 2000

He’s got the bloodlines to be a massive success, and is about as close as you can get to a can’t miss prospect along the lines of Kris Bryant and Mike Trout. It’s early, he’s yet to do it in the majors, and he isn’t going to start the year with season with the team, but still, anyone that thicc (two c’s) deserves some attention.

I don’t care if he’s busting belt’s like Pablo Sandoval visiting the Rogers Center, or doing his best CC Sabathia impression on the field. Vlad Guerrero Jr. hype has me exciting for the 2019 season, and just may have me a little bit delirious, as I’ve used the word “thicc” multiple times in a baseball blog…

Marcus Stroman is actually right about Blue Jays problems

Is he loud? Yes. Is he obnoxious? Yes. Did he struggle last season and does he currently not really have a leg to stand on when it comes to negotiating a long term deal with the Toronto Blue Jays? Yes. But, Marcus Stroman is still right.

Marcus Stroman has been going IN on the Blue Jay’s front office for their lack of action in the off-season and their reluctance to reward players, namely himself, for wanting to come and play in Canada.

Stroman hasn’t been quiet regarding the Jay’s offseason, speaking up about lack of veteran presence and the contract commitment issues the Blue Jay’s front office has when it comes to their current players and free agents.

After speaking up at spring training, Stroman’s comments about the team’s lack of veteran presence has been characterized as lamenting the organization, lashing out at management, and saddening because the team is very young. In reality, he just said this:

“I love that the team is young, but I do think there needs to be a balance. There’s a great way for these young guys to learn from the veterans that have been doing this year, after year, after year.”

Scary, isn’t it?

Is Stroman just trying to jockey himself in line for his desired long-term contract extension? It’s a good possibility but not, in my estimation, the real reason behind his media diatribe early in spring training.

While that is viable, I think Stroman could just be looking to ensure the kids on the team have the same opportunity to learn from veteran leaders like he did.

To this day, Stroman still hangs out with Jose Bautista, including an offseason tour of Canada with him. Bautista, a non-Toronto native showed Stroman the ropes when it comes to repping Canada and Toronto. He’s been a mentor to him and also (like it or not) showed him how to bring the swagger to the diamond.

Maybe more important to Stroman’s development as a player was the influence of Mark Buehrle. SI.com has him slotted in as a Hall of Fame candidate when he becomes available in 2020, and his use of timing mechanics and unique delivery certainly have impacted Stroman as a pitcher.

Why the Jays should look at locking down Stroman

The Jay’s should look to lock down homegrown talent like Stroman if they want to bridge the gap between inexperienced squad to playoff contender in the next handful of year.

Not because Stroman is asking for it, but because he’s the type of player that feeds off of negativity and creates chips on his shoulder to stay motivated. He’s speaking out now at his displeasure with how things are currently going in Jays land, but imagine the Jays inked him long term?

He’d be the first and loudest person to credit the team for the decision, he’d be motivated to return the investment, and he’d also become the shining example of why players should come to Toronto. The team cares.

Stroman isn’t an elite superstar, or a Cy Young candidate this season or any other. But he’s a solid pitcher and an enigmatic character who will gladly get in front of a microphone – for or against you. The Jays might as well use him, rather than lose him and anyone else who takes stock in what he’s saying.

Russell Martin Should Be The Jays Player-Manager in 2019

The Toronto Blue Jays are a team in flux. 2018 has served as a brutal reminder of what the rich teams can accomplish especially within the Blue Jays own division. 2019 and the prospects that populate the farm system do suggest a bright future, but should the Jays enact a near-ancient phenomenon to usher in this new generation?

Okay, “near-ancient” is a bit of a stretch, but not since Pete Rose from 1984-1986 has there been a player-manager in the MLB and I think the Blue Jays should revive the position here in Toronto. It would be a risky move with a team poised to be full of young, developing prospects but a club veteran player could be the move at manager.

My nomination is Russell Martin. Martin is a student of the game and 13-year veteran of the MLB. His accolades aren’t too shabby either: four-time All-Star, Gold Glover, Silver Slugger, 9th in Rookie of the Year voting, and MVP consideration in three seasons.

Besides his awards, Matin has substantial in-game experience across the MLB. He plays now as a catcher for Toronto in the American League but has spent time in the National League with the Dodgers and Pirates, too. He also has experience playing as an infielder as Toronto fans are well aware of. In 96 games played this season 71 are at catcher, 21 at 3B, 3 at SS, and 1 in LF.

The reason why Martin would be a choice for player-manager relies on his experience as a catcher first and foremost. Yes, him spending time across the diamond is important to understand the game from the perspective of other positions, but as a catcher you have the responsibility of organizing the team and your teams game from behind the plate.

This is why you see former catchers transition into manager roles post-playing careers because they are comfortable reading a game and setting up a dynamic game plan during play. Mike Scioscia, Ned Yost, Joe Girardi, and yes even John Gibbons are examples of former catchers who have made the transition to catcher.

Russell Martin is also a prime choice for player-manager due to the depth of catchers the Blue Jays currently have at their disposal. Danny Jansen is all but a lock to step into a major league role next season after having a solid start to his MLB career this season. Likewise, Reese McGuire who was called up with the expanded roster is poised to stake a claim at a job too after an impressive season in the minors.

This leaves Russell Martin and Luke Maile as the veteran catchers left to fight for two positions on the roster. With Martin’s $20 million contract for 2019 still on the books, it is likely he’ll stay with the team making Maile moveable in the offseason. Logically you don’t want 3-4 catchers on your roster with a young and unpredictable pitching rotation so moving one out makes sense.

Martin knows the MLB, he knows how to call a game, and maybe most importantly he knows how to work with young pitchers. Martin has handled countless pitchers over his tenure as an MLB catcher and would not only positively affect the likes of Borucki’s and Reid-Foley’s development, he would demand more out of the catching prospects below him to maximize all of his pitchers’ skills.

Ross Atkins and Mark Shapiro are not likable characters in Toronto and hardly stray from their plans when it comes to drafting and developing talent. They probably have a manager in mind to bring in and act as a stop-gap between now and whenever the Jays are a contending team again, so Martin as a player-manager may not be a situation we see in the near future.

Despite these facts, it’s an interesting idea to play around with. Martin has to be the best candidate on the team for the job, plus he could chip in at catcher or really anywhere across the diamond should he need too. It would be nice to for once see a manager actually use those crisp uniforms they don in the dugout night after night, right?

It’s unlikely, but if the Blue Jays ever had an opportunity to reopen a long forgotten MLB practice 2019 and Russell Martin is the perfect combination for the first player-manager in 32 years.