My weekly observations about some Canadian baseball stories (Please follow me on Twitter: @kevinglewsports):
– I can’t help but feel bad for longtime Toronto Blue Jays reliever Jason Frasor. Just when the club finally appears to be ready to make a post-season run, they can’t squeeze the right-hander, who has pitched in more games for the Jays than anyone else in franchise history, into their budget. His wife, Laura, is also from Toronto, so signing with the Texas Rangers couldn’t have been an ideal scenario for him. To top it all off, he signed a $1.5-million deal for 2013, less than half of his $3.75-million 2012 salary.
– The next subject of my ongoing “Whatever happened to …” series just might be Kelly Johnson. I haven’t heard a single rumour about where the former Blue Jays’ starting second baseman might land for the 2013 campaign.
– If Victoria, B.C., native Rich Harden can crack the Minnesota Twins’ pitching staff this spring, the Twinkies will once again have three Canadians on their roster. The oft-injured right-hander is vying for a spot in the rotation, but Twins GM Terry Ryan says that Harden could be used in relief. Harden would join Justin Morneau (New Westminster, B.C.) and Scott Diamond (Guelph, Ont.) on the roster. There’s also a chance that a fourth Canuck – outfielder Rene Tosoni (Toronto, Ont.) – could also be playing in Minneapolis this year.
– Although Baseball Canada won’t announce the country’s provisional roster for the World Baseball Classic until later today. New York Mets draftee Jonathan Malo (Joliette, Que.) and Toronto-born outfielder, Tim Smith, who finished last season in Double-A in the Atlanta Braves organization, have already confirmed on Facebook and Twitter respectively that they will be part of the squad.
– Nice to see that the oldest living Canadian Baseball Hall of Famer, Doc Younker, has been honoured in a commemorative print by B.C. Baseball as part of its B.C. Youth Baseball Legacy Special Edition Collectible Series™ Scholarship Campaign. A Canadian baseball icon, the now 91-year-old Younker served as the trainer for the national team and for several professional organizations. You can purchase a copy of the print here (scroll to bottom of page): http://playballbc.com/store
i might be wrong but isn’t tosoni invited to spring training for the brewers?
i think the brewers have the second most canadian born players in the mlb and its affiliates.
the blue jays have the most.
malo is supposedly being added as a coach to cegep trois rivieres la fleche in addition to playing for les capitale and canada for the wbc.
i don’t have the numbers, but according to baseball canada trois rivieres and the quebec city region have experienced a surge in youth baseball interest.
i’m looking forward to trois rivieres 1st year in the can am league
and also am i looking forward to the mlb turning its attention north a little more than south.
Thanks for the comment, Randall. Wow, you are very tuned in as to what is going on with Canadian players. I confirmed with sources at the Baseball Canada banquet yesterday that you are correct. Tosoni has, indeed, signed with the Brewers. Malo is a great guy. I can definitely seeing him being an excellent coach. Thanks again for your comment.
your welcome and thanks for an excellent site here.
my being tuned to canadian players is a result of living in montreal, being a lifelong brewer’s fan, and talking to some sport etude baseball players at trois rivieres.
by the way, you tube has a half dozen games of the winnipeg goldeyes from 2012.
two em were against quebec with malo batting second and playing third base.
the canadian wbc roster had malo listed as an outfielder,
but after yesterday’s announcement, a sportsnet article mentions him as a shortstop.
whatever he must be a great athlete who could maybe even catch if they asked him too. i’m enjoying your content and writing.
Thanks for sharing the video. That is great footage. I was at the Baseball Canada banquet on Saturday, but Jonathan Malo was not present. I was going to ask him about whether he was going to be playing infield or outfield at the WBC. Thanks also for your kind words about the site.
another great article Kevin. Great seeing you at the Baseball Canada banquet. THanks for the great updates about Johnson and the Canadians.
Thanks, Scott. Great to see you on Saturday as well.
It’s unfortunate, but that’s the name of the game. And when it comes to the Jays’ Frasor, he did a good job. But with all the additions to the roster it was probably time for him to go.
All the best to him in Texas. He did a great job in Toronto.
Thanks for the comment, Devon. Yes, the game can be cruel sometimes.