By Kevin Glew
Cooperstowners in Canada
There have been lots of rumours and very little action during this major league off-season.
The Toronto Blue Jays have been linked to almost every big name free agent – George Springer, D.J. LeMahieu, Trevor Bauer, J.T. Realmuto and Liam Hendriks – but like almost every other major league club, they have been deliberate and methodical in their negotiations. And it’s hard to blame them. With the coronavirus still spreading at a rapid pace in North America, no one is certain what the 2021 season will look like.
But over the past six weeks, some former Blue Jays have quietly signed new deals. Here’s a summary:
–OF Socrates Brito has signed a minor league deal with the New York Yankees.
–LHP Matt Dermody has signed a minor league deal with the Chicago Cubs.
–INF Adeiny Hechavarria has signed with the Chiba Lotte Marines of Nippon Professional Baseball (NPB). It’s a one-year deal worth a reported $970,000.
–RHP Dominic Leone has signed a minor league deal with the San Francisco Giants
–C Luke Maile has signed a one-year (MLB) deal with the Milwaukee Brewers. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.
–RHP Brandon Morrow has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.
–LHP Thomas Pannone has signed a minor league deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
–OF Dwight Smith Jr. has signed a minor league deal with the Cincinnati Reds.
–1B Justin Smoak has signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball. ESPN’s Jeff Passan reports that the deal is worth between $6 and $7 million. (I’m assuming it’s a one-year contract).
–OF-1B Eric Thames will join Smoak on the Yomiuri Giants. He has signed a one-year deal worth around $1.2 million.
On this day in Blue Jays history . . .
It was 10 years ago today that legendary Blue Jays second baseman Roberto Alomar was elected to the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He became the first Hall of Famer to be pictured in a Blue Jays cap on their plaque.
One of my favourite baseball exchanges . . .
It was a conversation between Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Tommy Lasorda and Pedro Guerrero during the 1983 season when Dodgers second baseman Steve Sax was having trouble making routine throws to first base. It’s also important to note that the hard-hitting Guerrero wasn’t exactly Brooks Robinson at third base either. But in one particularly close game, a ground ball was hit to Guerrero and he booted it. Lasorda was livid and when Guerrero returned to the dugout after the inning, the Dodgers manager screamed, “What in the hell are you thinking out there!”
“Well, I’m thinking two things,” responded Guerrero.
“Two things?” Lasorda replied. “Well, what are they?”
“First, I’m thinking, I hope they don’t hit it to me,” said Guerrero.
“What’s the second thing?” said Lasorda.
“The second thing I’m thinking is I hope they don’t hit it to Sax,” said Guerrero.