Victor Zambrano’s claim to fame is that he was traded for Tampa Bay Devil Rays starter Scott Kazmir in one of the most boneheaded trades ever. Now the Jays have him locked up to a minor league deal after the right hander missed most of 2006 because of a bad elbow.
Zambrano has never had a great year but he’s had some decent ones so he could make a back end of the rotation starter at best or a spot starter if need be. He walks a ton of guys (382 in 683 1/3 career innings) and he has a career 1.49 WHIP but batters hit only .248 against him and he has 513 strikeouts. So this pickup probably means nothing but it’s worth keeping an eye on Zambrano once spring training camp starts up to see how that elbow is holding up.
John Sickels recently asked people what they thought Alexis Rios would do in 2007. The average of the community projections is up here and I could definitely live with this because it’s some solid production. Hopefully we’ll really get to see what Rios can do with a full healthy season in 2007.
If you take away the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who have never made the playoffs in their brief existance, the Toronto Blue Jays are tied for the fifth longest playoff drought in all of baseball. All but the Royals, Nationals (as the Expos), Pirates and Brewers have had longer droughts. While it’s never going to be easy with the division the Jays are in, this column discusses some of the reasons why the Blue Jays might end that 14 year drought.
The problem is, I don’t buy his arguments. The Red Sox won’t falter because they don’t have a bona fide closer and the Yankees may be older but they still have one of the best lineups in baseball. I do buy the fact that if Chacin and Burnett play a whole season, the Blue Jays will be better though.
This isn’t a big surprise but after the Blue Jays pulled their minor league affiliate out of the Appalachian League, there was speculation as to whether they’d go with just five minor league affiliates. Now they’ve announced that they’ll bring the number of affliates back up to six when they join the Gulf Coast League. The affiliate will play in Dunedin, FL where the Jays have their spring training complex.
The Blue Jays shored up their rotation by signing right handed starter Tomo Okha to a one year deal for $1.5 million. Okha has been around but his last really good year was back in 2002 with the Expos. He was solid in 2005 but 2006 didn’t quite go as well and he missed a lot of time due to a shoulder injury. He does have a career 4.04 ERA though and while he doesn’t strikeout a ton of guys, he doesn’t walk many either. He’ll definitely be tested though, because he’ll be throwing a few games against both the Red Sox and the Yankees but for a back of the rotation starter, I like him and think he’ll end up being a bargain.
The latest Inside Dish at Yahoo brings us some news that both Alex Rios and Reed Johnson could go on the block if they win their arbitration case. Both had breakout seasons last year and with the way the market is working, both are due for a big raise. And if the Jays can’t settle with them and the players both win their arbitration case, that’s around $2 million more in total that the Jays would like to spend.
I guess I’m not really attached to Johnson although I’ve followed Alex Rios since he was in the minors. Apparantly a deal fell through that would have sent Rios to the Marlins because the Jays asking price (Scott Olsen) was too high.
Minor League baseball expert John Sickels recently posted a very cool prospect retro on Blue Jays star Jimmy Key. From 1985 through 1992, Key put up solid numbers for the Blue Jays and he was 2-0 in the 1992 World Series. He missed out on 1993 because he signed with the Yankees but he won another World Series with them in 1996. He finished his career with 186 wins and a 3.51 ERA (122 ERA+) and it was neat going back and checking out his minor league career.
Welcome to my Toronto Blue Jays blog. My name is Tony and I’ll be covering the Blue Jays for the Baseball Historians network of sites. I’ll be covering the Blue Jays in 2007 to see if they finally get over the hump and turn their quality team into a playoff contender. In addition, I’ll be taking a look at the team’s past.
Thirty years ago, the Blue Jays came into existance. My first order of business will be to examine that first team, as bad as they were. You might not recognize starters like Steve Staggs, Hector Torres or Al Woods, but that first team did sport a young Jim Clancy and Ernie Whitt.
Hopefully you stop back on occassion to check out what’s going on. It should be a fun season for Blue Jays fans and I hope you’ll use the site as a source for your Blue Jays information.
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