January 2017

Blue Jays Weekly Roundup: Jan. 23-29, 2017

This week seemed to be very busy for myself (with exams), as well as the Toronto Blue Jays (at least when it comes to minor league players).

Last January I did weekly roundups for the Jays and all of the action that was happening in the front office. While last offseason may have been slightly more exciting than this current one, I thought it would be fun to pick back up a reader favourite feature.

The Blue Jays signed 31-year-old backup catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia to a minor league one-year, $1.25-million free-agent contract on Tuesday, with incentives that could bring the value to $1.5M. I actually predicted this about a month ago, so I was quite thrilled to hear this!

The Jays also added more catching depth by claiming Juan Graterol off of waivers from Angels. This will be his fourth team that he has moved to in the past two weeks (… YIKES!).

The final move of the week was signing infielder Gregorio Petit to a minor league deal with an invite to big league spring training camp.

FYI, former Blue Jays player Josh Thole agreed to a minor league deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

In other (un-important) news, Carrera joined both Instagram and Twitter! Make sure to follow him on both by clicking them!

Hopefully by this time next week, the Jays will have a pitcher to provide some bullpen depth.

Don’t forget… 17 DAYS UNTIL PITCHERS AND CATCHERS REPORT!!!!

P.S. As most of you know, I am part of the Baseball Bloggers Alliance, and I will be posting some of my content onto their site. If you are not already, you should follow the website and twitter to get everyone’s baseball related content. If you are a baseball blogger that meets their criteria to join, I highly encourage you all to apply!

JOSE BAUTISTA IS A BLUE JAY FOR ANOTHER SEASON!

On January 18, 2017, José Bautista officially re-signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.

José Bautista is our generations version of Robbie Alomar. The guy who you can always count on for clutch-ness, and attitude. The Toronto Blue Jays home run king. The guy who shows his emotions and bat flip forms, and isn’t afraid to say what he feels. José Bautista will forever be a legend in Toronto.

Honestly, I didn’t think he would come back. Nearing the second week of January, I realized that if the Jays were going to bring him back, they would have done so already… but than a miracle happened.

AND I WENT CRAZY.

Immediately I flipped out, and had some fun late night discussions with my favourite Jays tweeters and bloggers. The feeling reminded me of those similar to when we would all have fun live tweeting Jays games every night, or freaking out during the trade deadline.

Many other reliable sources started to bring confirm the tweet shown above, including Jon Heyman, Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal.

But look at the date on that tweet. January 15. And now it is January 18 and he has been officially signed. The Jays seemed to want to figure out many different options for his contract and I should have assumed that it would have taken them a while to come to a complete deal. Although someone did manage to confirm it all on his own…

Then, a tweet came out mentioning the still very real possibility of him either going to the Tampa Bay Rays or the Cleveland Indians.

And it led many of us to feel like this.

Finally, on January 18 the discussions had come to an end, and the Jays finally figured out the deal and confirmed it on twitter.

The offer seems to be $18 million for 2017, a mutual option for 2018 of $17 million ($500K buyout) and a vesting option for 2019 of $20 million. To translate, this year he will be a Blue Jay, next season if BOTH Bautista and the Jays agree for him to come back he will (mutual options are very un-likely to happen), and if he meets certain requirements during the ’17 and ’18 season, he can come back if again both the Jays and Bautista are in agreement. We are not 100% sure what these vesting requirements are, but I have heard from multiple reliable sources that he would have to play 300 games throughout both seasons (technically 150 games/season) and healthy (not many trips to the DL like the 2016 season). More details from this contract will be released over the next few days if details have been left out.

I know multiple people among my own family and friends who didn’t want him back. “A problem in the clubhouse” they said, “damaged goods” others said. There were also many people on Twitter and around MLB that didn’t want him back with the Jays. But, you know who did want him back? The majority of his former team mates. Those are the opinions that matter, not the media or fans.

I am one of the fans that wanted him back. Even though most of us would have rather had Edwin Encarnacion, I am extremely happy with Bautista. In my mind, if Bautista would have left, I would have been so incredibly heartbroken, and I wasn’t really feeling like that when Edwin left.

You have to realize that when we have kids or young family members in the future who weren’t fortunate enough to see the 2015-2016 Toronto Blue Jays play, the first name we will mention to them is José Bautista. Not Encarnacion, Stroman or Pillar, maybe not even Josh Donaldson. It will be Bautista. Bautista will be the face of the Jays long after he retires. We will always remember the Bat Flip and where we were when it happened. It will forever be a part of Toronto Blue Jays history and so will José Bautista.

Alyssa Cohen

P.S. Remember this?

P.P.S. This is a great Bautista related post that I very strongly recommend you read.

2017 Arbitration Blue Jays News

The 2017 arbitration deadline happened on Friday January 13, 2017 at 1:00pm EST.

A handful of Blue Jays players were wanting to avoid arbitration, and agree on a new 2017 salary. The Blue Jays who agreed on salaries were:

  • INF Darwin Barney ($2,887,500 – 1 year)
  • OF Ezequiel Carrera ($1,162,500 – 1 year)
  • RHP Aaron Loup ($1,125,000 – 1 year)

Like last year, there is one key player of our team left off of this list. Last year it was Josh Donaldson (he ended up getting this), but this year it is Marcus Stroman. Hopefully the Jays will be able to sign him to some sort of multi-year deal to avoid arbitration. Apparently, they were negotiating about $300,000, which in the grand scheme of things is not that much. We shall see how things turn out in the coming weeks… only 29 days left until pitchers and catchers report!!!

I actually did a post on Jays arbitration news post for the 2016 season, and you can read it here.

Alyssa Cohen

One Year of Alyssa Cohen MLB

It has been one entire year since I posted my first ever blog post on Alyssa Cohen MLB.

I remember exactly where I was when I posted it. I was on my bed when I first hit submit, and believe me when I say I didn’t think my blog would turn out like it is today.

It’s crazy to think how many things have changed since that first blog post. I was in a different school, had different friends, and had been only 6 months into the Jays twitter community. A year ago, we didn’t know the impact of Encarnacion, the turf-toe days of Bautista, or the fist pumps of Jason Grilli. We didn’t know how the Jays would play in 2016, but we knew that we would be headed into the Playoffs one way or another. We didn’t know about the hard days in September, or that once in a generation wild-card game.

From all of the Blue Jays memories I’ve posted on it, along with all of the milestones it has had, it’s truly been one of the best things in my life. But that’s all thanks to you. If you read my posts in your email, click on a link on Facebook or Twitter, or follow my blog through WordPress, it’s thanks to you that I do this. I have so much fun interacting with you all every single day about the Blue Jays on Twitter and Facebook, and it shows that we are one big community cheering for the best team in the best city playing the best game in the world. 

So, here’s to next season. Where we will ring in the 2018 season with a new banner, and you all know what we want it to say on that banner. 2017 World Series Champions.

Alyssa Cohen

Baseball and Books: Bat Flip – The Greatest Toronto Blue Jays Stories Ever Told & GIVEAWAY!

Hello friends, it has been a while since I have written a post for you all! You can thank the lack of the Blue Jays front office activity for that (although according to Steven Brunt “something’s cooking” inside the Jays front office).

I have been wanting to make this post/series for a while since some of you know that I have a book blog, and love to read books… especially about baseball! I get a countless amount of people (whether it be in real life or social media) asking about the best baseball/Blue Jays related books that I have ever read. And now I will be creating a series of posts all about it! (FYI: Regular Jays related content will be posted once something major happens. Rather than rumours about the “Strochez” break up and Donaldson’s potential new girlfriend.) (#2 FYI: These posts will not be going out regularly, just when there is not much Jays news like now.)

In September, I received a copy of a book from Mr. Keith McArthur entitled “Bat Flip: The Greatest Toronto Blue Jays Stories Ever Told“. It is a compilation of some of the best Jays related stories (ever told). I was lucky enough to receive the book to review, and giveaway one! To find out my thoughts and how you can win a copy, keep on reading!

DISCLAIMER: I received the book “Bat Flip : The Greatest Toronto Blue Jays Stories Ever Told” for review purposes only. I am not being payed or influenced in any way. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Here is the synopsis taking off of Goodreads.com:

When Jose Bautista homered and flipped his bat in the 2015 playoffs, Blue Jays frenzy reached a fever pitch not seen since Joe Carter’s 1993 World Series home run. Those two home runs still bring tears and chills to Jays fans. And each season, each game, each at bat holds triumphs, heartbreaks and surprises of its own. In Bat Flip, editor Keith McArthur curates the very best writing about the Toronto Blue Jays, from the tragic postscript to Doug Ault’s 1977 opening day heroics to John McDonald’s emotional Father’s Day tribute. This collection brings together writing from players, journalists and fans. With a cast of characters that includes heroes, zeros, cheats and liars, Bat Flip is a must read for every Toronto Blue Jays fan.


This book was so great. It included a great collection of stories from around the entire organization, as well as some writer/fan stories.

My personal favourite story was “The Bat Flip 2: Baseball and Belonging” written by Keith McArthur. The story was about taking his son to a ballgame, and all of the things that happened there. It was a wonderful story, and showed how amazing the organization is.

I personally connected to many of the stories inside, and it made me very excited for spring training (which is only 34 days away!!!!). You could tell that each author connected to their story, and were writing from their heart. All of the writers are either Jays fans or organization members, so it was easy to connect to their opinions.

Inside, you will find stories written by respected Blue Jays members of the organization, such as R.A. Dickey, Buck Martinez and Stacey May Fowles. All of the stories are great, and will sure make any Blue Jays fan happy!

I really have no “constructive criticism” to talk about for this book. All of these stories were very professionally written and had a great source of both statistics and personal opinions/emotions.

Overall, I would recommend this book immensely to all fans of the Toronto Blue Jays!


GIVEAWAY:

I have teamed up with author Keith McArthur to giveaway one physical copy of the book Bat Flip: The Greatest Toronto Blue Jays Stories Ever Told! In order to enter to potentially win, you must follow these rules:

  • Entries are open from January 11, 2017 at 5:30pm EST, to January 31, 2017 at 11:59pm EST
  • You must have be a legal resident of Canada, over the age of 18 or have permission from your parents/guardians.

To enter, you must be following me on Twitter @aalyssacohen and RETWEET my current pinned tweet! If you do not have twitter, you can just fill out the next step (but following me on twitter/retweeting my pinned tweet counts as an additional entry). You must also fill out this quick form below, verifying that you have read this post and giving me your email address so that I contact you if you win.

I hope that you are all excited for the giveaway! If you win, you will be contacted via email on February 1, 2017.


I hope you all enjoyed this review and giveaway! Thanks to Keith McArthur for the incredible book, and I hope that you will pick up a copy of it soon. You can follow the twitter account of the book here, which I greatly encourage!

Alyssa Cohen