The Jays in the market for a catcher, outfielder

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Yesterday wasn’t a holiday in Canada, and MLB.com’s Blue Jays guy Jordan Bastian used his working day to get some dish from Toronto.  Among the items he learned:

  • Catcher Rod Barajas is not likely coming back. The Jays won’t offer him a multi-year deal, and other teams may, so the team will go in another direction.  Add the Jays to the list of teams interested in Yorvit Torrealba. OK, that list is only two teams long right now, but two makes a list, right?

  • Slugging outfield prospect Travis Snider has no guaranteed job next spring. He was a little underwhelming in 276 plate appearances last season, but the dude is only 21 years old.  A team that looks to basically be tearing down and rebuilding probably shouldn’t be in the business of blocking young guys like Snider.

The upshot of these two items is that the Jays now will be looking for an outfielder and a catcher.  This is problematic, as they are already apparently preoccupied with signing another half dozen or so shortstops, and the winter is only so long.

Oh, and they may be preoccupied with other things too. Such as their parent corporation laying off nearly a thousand employees.  Blue Jays fever: Catch it!

Kyle Schwarber is “probably, arguably” in The Best Shape of His Life

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Joe Maddon just held his annual media availability here at the Winter Meetings. During the scrum he said that Kyle Schwarber “looked great the other day” at a Cubs community event and that . . . wait for it . . . “he’s in, probably, arguably in the best shape of his life.” Maddon went on to say that, if Schwarber looks good in spring training, he might even be the Cubs leadoff hitter in 2018.

Schwarber is only 24, but the former catcher turned outfielder is going to spend most of his career as a DH, with another team obviously, unless he shows the Cubs that he can be a regular defender. The Cubs would love to see him in better shape whether they keep him or shop him, and if it’s the latter, they’ll want to show potential trade partners that he can play defense so as not to limit his market. It’s in everyone’s interests for him to be lean, mean and a bit more flexible once spring training starts.

To that end, according to a recent report, Schwarber “has been on a mission this offseason to transform his body.” And now Maddon is playing up the BSOHL angle. Whether that’s salesmanship or not, all eyes are going to be on Schwarber come February.