For most of the offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays have been desperately waving money and prospects at any passerby, hoping to attract just about any available player with a pulse to come try some Tim Horton’s and Molson Dry (mmmmm…Molson Dry…). They were in on D.J. Lemahieu, Francisco Lindor, Cory Kluber, called on Kris Bryant, Bob Gibson, Reggie Jackson, and inquired whether Auston Matthews would like to switch to baseball. But every single one turned their head, raised their hand to their face and hurried by while mentioning some vague meeting they were late for.
The Jays finally found someone to make eye contact with, and that’s George Springer, who signed for six years and a $150 million. $25M a year doesn’t seem that big a tag for a player who’s been the second best centerfielder in the game the past five years, behind only Mike Trout. So non-alien division, Springer has been the best.
While there’s some stigma around any Astro after “Garbage Cans Go Boom,” not having trash cans or buzzers or semaphores signalling pitches didn’t seem to bother Springer last year. He put up a .379 wOBA and a 146 wRC+, and then added four more homers in the postseason. Springer will also be a welcome addition to an outfield defense in Toronto that could be described as “abstract” at times, kicking Randall “I catch everything with my face” Grichuk to right. Springer didn’t have a great defensive year last year but rated as one of the better defensive CFs in 2019.
There is some risk. Springer is already 31, and by the end of this deal might have to move over to a corner outfield spot himself. Still, Springer’s banner offensive season last year actually contained a heavy amount of bad luck (.259 BABIP, 50 points below his career average), and his expected-slugging percentage was 80 points higher than his actual.
The time is now for the Jays, who have watched the Red Sox and Orioles go four legs to the sky and the Rays just lose their two best starters. The Yankees might be a touch out of reach for a team that still needs some improvement in the rotation, but the Jays can certainly make a run. It should be launch-time for the Flounder All-Stars of Cavan Biggio, Bo Bichette, and Vlad Guerrero Jr., who along with Springer could make for a pretty lethal lineup. And the Jays are still making overt passes at Michael Brantley to make it even more of a gauntlet for pitchers.
It was a busy day for the Jays, who bolstered their pen with Kirby Yates and possibly Tyler Chatwood, assuming a) he doesn’t end up in the rotation and b) stops treating the strikezone like a Pollock painting. If Nate Pearson can arrive hot in the rotation, then it really is on for the Jays.
As we’ve said before, it’s just refreshing to see a team actually try these days. In the AL, that list might comprise only the Jays, Yankees (kinda?), White Sox, Twins (kinda?) and…well the entire AL West is a middle school dance right now… Which is a pretty pathetic list. But hey, the more people in the pool the merrier.
Certainly the water’s warm.
The WNBA seems to be on the verge of banishing Kelly Loeffler back to wherever it is uber-rich, gasbag airheads spring from. I’m sure it has gates and it’s own security. Reports have the Dream being sold and Loeffler having no part to play anymore, which will delight the players who openly campaigned for her eventually-victorious opponent, Raphael Warnock.
We’ve certainly documented the utter pox Loeffler is on anyone who’s had the misfortune of coming across her and the many more who haven’t, and frankly it’s a good day in sports when someone this categorically moronic and evil is banished to the land of wind and ghosts, figuratively. The WNBA will be better off, the Dream will be better off, everyone will be better off. If she could find a way to fall down an open sewer when she exits the office, that would be even better. And if you had to wager on which former senator could fall down an open sewer, Loeffler would be among the chalk.