Blue Jays Nation Radio
The vibes couldn't be worse
It's hard to imagine a series being worse than what we just witnessed.
The Texas Rangers rolled into town in the midst of their worst stretch of the season and still managed to buckle down and hammer the Blue Jays in all four games.
We talked about Toronto's listless performance, how their star players simply didn't show up for this series, the pitching being burnt out from having thrown so many high-stress innings, and the low attendance and the booing from the crowd.
After that, we looked around the American League and ahead to this week's series with the Boston Red Sox.
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195. Spring Training is underway, big-name free agents still remain, and more!35:24Baseballs are being thrown around and everyone is in the best shape of their lives — It's officially spring!We talked about how big-name free agents Matt Chapman, Cody Bellinger, Jordan Montgomery, and Blake Snell are still available despite Grapefruit and Cactus League games getting started. After that, we looked at comments from Bo Bichette, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Alek Manoah, John Schneider, and Ross Atkins about the Blue Jays heading into the 2024 season. The vibes are certainly different in Dunedin this year than previously with this group. Will this be the year they finally make good on their potential?
194. Blue Jays sign Justin Turner, Vladdy heading to arbitration, and more38:42Right before recording an episode about how nothing was going on, the Blue Jays went ahead and made a free-agent signing. The team added veteran infielder Justin Turner to a one-year contract, likely filling Brandon Belt's role as a middle-of-the-order bat who splits time between first base and the designated hitter spot. We talked about the addition of Turner, where he fits on the team, and what we expect next from the Blue Jays. We also talked about the addition of Yariel Rodriguez to Toronto's pitching staff and looked at the case of Vladimir Guerrero Jr. as he heads into salary arbitration.
193. Blue Jays sign Kiermaier and Kiner-Falefa, Ross Atkins speaks about what's next, and more!31:16We've got some transactions to talk about. As December and the year 2023 wound to an end, the Toronto Blue Jays leaned back into their Run Prevention strategy by re-signing Kevin Kiermaier and adding Isiah Kiner-Falefa in free agency. We talked about these two signings, how both players fit, what general manager Ross Atkins said in his media availability, and what might be coming next. We also looked at what some other teams around baseball have been up to over the past few weeks.
192. Shohei Ohtani is a Dodger, what's next for the Blue Jays, and more33:01Despite all the hype and excitement and reports saying he was on his way to Toronto, Shohei Ohtani signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers, the team that had been the favourites all along.On this episode of Blue Jays Nation Radio, we talked about Ohtani's 10-year, $700 million contract, how the deal is designed to allow the Dodgers to spend more money this winter, and what's good for baseball and what isn't. After that, we talked about what the Blue Jays might do next after missing out on their top target.
191. We'll soon know the winner of the Shohei Ohtani sweepstakes27:02Buckle up, everyone. It appears that Shohei Ohtani is going to announce his decision soon. According to Jon Morosi of MLB Network, Ohtani’s decision is “imminent” and could come as early as today. He also added, "Since [Ohtani’s] visit to Dunedin on Monday, momentum has built for the Blue Jays.”On this episode of the Blue Jays Nation Radio, we talked about all of the latest speculation from the Ohtani sweepstakes, including his tour of the team's complex in Dunedin, the private jet scheduled to fly from Orange County to Toronto, and the significance of the date December 8. We also discussed how the Yankees acquiring Juan Soto has added pressure to the Blue Jays in their pursuit of Ohtani.
190. Awaiting Shohei Ohtani's decision, the Bo Bichette rumour, and more!35:23The Winter Meetings are right around the corner, and with that, there should be some significant news in the coming days.We looked back at what's happened during the off-season as the baseball world awaits Shohei Ohtani's decision, including who was and wasn't given a qualifying offer and some 40-man roster shuffling.After that, we dove into the rumours that have been flying around lately and what Ross Atkins said to the media during his press conference on Tuesday. We talked about the Bo Bichette rumours, why there's smoke when it comes to Ohtani, and other names the Blue Jays could look at if they don't land the unicorn.
189. A Primer For Transaction Season43:21The World Series is over and now we're officially into the off-season.We talked about what the Blue Jays can learn from the Texas Rangers, who won their first-ever championship after spending a billion dollars in free agency over the course of two winters.After that, we took a look at some housekeeping the Blue Jays have ahead of them, including qualifying offers, player options, and possible non-tenders. We also talked about how we expect the Blue Jays to approach free agency and whether they'll be among the teams in the mix for Shohei Ohtani.
Continuity, October chaos, and more!30:43The Toronto Blue Jays are running it back. Mark Shapiro spoke with the media on Thursday, one week after the team's loss to the Minnesota Twins in the Wild Card round, and confirmed that Ross Atkins will return as the general manager next season. We talked about the Blue Jays opting for continuity, the budget for next season, and what the team could do in the off-season to bring the lineup back to life. After that, we talked about the AL East going a combined 0-for-7 in the playoffs and why we're on the Philadelphia Phillies bandwagon.
187. Ross Atkins dumped some gasoline on the fire34:04Ross Atkins made his end-of-season media availability on Friday and it didn't do much to calm the anger among Blue Jays followers. He confirmed that John Schneider will be back as the team's manager in 2024 but also said that the decision to pull Jose Berrios after three innings in Game 2 wasn't one that came from upstairs. Atkins also said that the team will miss free agents Matt Chapman, Kevin Kiermaier, and Brandon Belt, and indicated that many replacements will be internal. On this episode of the podcast, we talked about Atkins throwing Schneider under the bus, how the fans and media have responded to what was said, and looked ahead to what might happen when Mark Shapiro addresses the media on Thursday.