But she’s got a new hat!
Jays Journal was, as far as my RSS is telling me, the first to spot the new all-red hat that the club will be wearing on Canada Day — and that has now been officially tweeted to the world by @BlueJays. It’s the club’s batting practice hat, only red, so… you can picture it. I’m sure it will be nice to no longer have the incongruous blue in the Blue Jays’ traditional Canada Day reds and will probably make the day of the folks out there who don’t find shrouding sports in fierce patriotism — especially slobbering on about the military — cringe-worthy and weird. I can make an exception on Canada Day, it’s just that the rest of the time I’m pretty full-on secular when it comes to this stuff — I’ll just go ahead and be proud to live in my country in private and without the creepy pep rallies, thanks — so I guess this isn’t for me.
Ben Badler of Baseball America tells us that the Jays have put the international bonus pool money they obtained from the Angels when they flipped Rule Five pickup Brian Moran to them back in December has actually been put to good use: they’ve signed Dominican right-hander Hansel Rodriguez for $330K. “Rodriguez, 16, is around 6-foot-2, 180 pounds with a fastball that sits in the low-90s and touches 95,” he tells us. “Rodriguez also throws an above-average curveball, which had made him one of the top arms available in Latin America after going unsigned last year on July 2.” Nice.
Michael Grange of Sportsnet looks at the sinking loonie and how it will impact pro sports in this country. Jays-related money quote from Paul Beeston: “It won’t affect our plans for this year, we’re already locked and loaded (with regard to payroll), but it will affect our bottom line, that’s for sure.”
Gideon Turk of Blue Jays Plus tweets that a source tells him the Jays requested the medicals on Ervin Santana late last week — Jon Heyman didn’t include the Jays among teams who were known to have done so in a piece at CBS Sports back on Friday, but didn’t say they didn’t, either. Turk adds that he thinks a report at ESPN.com from Buster Olney, which says “there is concern over the condition of Santana’s elbow, for a pitcher who relies heavily on his slider,” may be coming from a team trying to lower the price (or, I should add, scare others off), as he’s hearing that “his elbow is the best it’s ever been, and the UCL tear he had in 2009 (which was small) has healed itself. Medicals said to be ‘pristine’.” OK?
A “source” tells MLB Nation (whatever that is) that it’s “highly unlikely” A.J. Burnett returns to Pittsburgh, ranking them third on his list of likely destinations, behind Baltimore and Philadelphia. So I guess that means they don’t think much of his chances of coming here, whoever they are.
Sticking with the pitching market, Bob Nightengale tweets that there are three “finalists” in the running for Bronson Arroyo: the Dodgers, Orioles, and Diamondbacks. Makes sense.
Richard Griffin chatted with readers somewhere on a mobile site, mercifully behind the dumb paywall at the Toronto Star this afternoon.
Again at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith notes that the Jays have signed extensions with at least one of their players in each of the last four off-seasons, but he wonders if they’ll take a pass on doing so this year.
Elsewhere still at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks at the flawed draft pick compensation system, which is deflating the market for pitchers like Ubaldo and Ervin, and creating animosity all around.
Marcus Stroman tweeted excitedly today about having an hour-and-a-half voice memo of Roy Halladay on his phone. That’s probably more than Roy said to reporters, in total, over the last three years of his time here. Or… wait, did I say reporters? I meant teammates. (And I’m obviously joking people, relax.) [Correction: Halladay gave a lecture to Jays prospects, and Stroman must have recorded it. Doc didn't ramble into his answering machine for an eternity.]
theScore gives you all you need to know about the baseball aspirations of former Toronto Raptor, Tracy McGrady, which — by the way — are awesome.
Lastly, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle profiles Canadian MIT-educated, baseball analyst, and assistant GM of the Oakland A’s, Farhan Zaidi. Impressive stuff.