Blue Jays Primed for Division Crown

Part three of a five-part series on the American League East sees us examining why it is the Toronto Blue Jays‘ year to finally win the division. The Blue Jays had a busy offseason adding two big bats in Josh Donaldson from the Oakland Athletics and Russell Martin via free agency. They finally addressed their biggest need in signing Martin to a five-year deal. Donaldson has become...
Via Baseball Essential
2 hours ago  |  Discuss

I haven’t freaked out yet about Russell Martin’s absence (but maybe I should)

Now that we’re rolling into season preview season, I’m starting to notice a trend in Pirate previews. There are really, really positive previews and there are guardedly optimistic ones. The dividing line between the two tends to be what the previewer thinks of the absence of Russell Martin. I mainly noticed this while reading the Bucs Dugout preview, in which Charlie is a little...
3 days ago  |  Discuss

Scotland edge Northern Ireland on Christophe Berra's late header

A late header by substitute Christophe Berra gave Scotland a narrow but deserved 1-0 win over Northern Ireland in their Vauxhall International Challenge match at Hampden Park. Visiting keeper Michael McGovern made several saves in the first half to keep an enterprising home side at bay, most notably from Steven Fletcher and Ikechi Anya. The Scots also had the best of a second half...
Via Fox Sports
4 days ago  |  Discuss

Rays shut down by Roberto Osuna, Blue Jays in Dunedin

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) -- Russell Martin homered for the first time this spring, Roberto Osuna tossed 3 2-3 scoreless innings and the Toronto Blue Jays blanked the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Sunday in a game that took just 2 hours, 2 minutes. Martin's sixth-inning drive off reliever Mike Montgomery landed far beyond the right-center field wall. The three-time All-Star signed a five-year,...
Via AP on Fox
7 days ago  |  Discuss

Martin homers, Blue Jays blank Rays

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Russell Martin homered for the first time this spring, Roberto Osuna tossed 3 2-3 scoreless innings and the Toronto Blue Jays blanked the Tampa Bay Rays 3-0 on Sunday in a game that took just 2 hours, 2 minutes. Martin's sixth-inning drive off reliever Mike Montgomery landed far beyond the right-center field wall. The three-time All-Star signed a five-year, $82...
Via AP on Fox
7 days ago  |  Discuss

Liriano Says Cervelli Plays Similar to Russell Martin; Kang and McCutchen Updates

Francisco Liriano was scheduled to go five innings or 80 pitches today, whichever came first. He threw 81 pitches, but did it in four innings. Liriano had some command problems, due to rushing through his delivery and going to his front side too quickly. The problem almost led to a key moment in the third inning, when Liriano issued a walk to Rusney Castillo, putting runners on...
Via Pirates Prospects
8 days ago  |  Discuss

Cervelli hoping to follow in Martin's footsteps for Pirates

BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) When the Pittsburgh Pirates couldn't retain catcher Russell Martin as a free agent catcher last November, they decided to trade for his former backup. The Pirates acquired Francisco Cervelli in a deal from the New York Yankees on Nov. 12 for left-handed reliever Justin Wilson, just days after Martin rejected their $56 million, four-year offer. Cervelli backed...
Via AP on Fox
13 days ago  |  Discuss

Blue Jays' split squad beats Canada juniors 17-3

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) R.A. Dickey gave up two runs in five innings, Russell Martin drove in a run and a Toronto Blue Jays split squad routed the Canadian junior national team 17-3 on Sunday. Making his third start of the spring, Dickey yielded four hits, walked one and struck out one on 70 pitches. The 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner was shaky in his last outing against Minnesota on...
Via AP on Fox
14 days ago  |  Discuss

Spring Training Game 14: Shutout on the road

New York Yankees 0 — Toronto Blue Jays 1In the road half of today’s New York Yankees split squad, the Toronto Blue Jays hosted the Yankees.After the Yankees were sent down in order, former Yankee Russell Martin started the bottom of the first inning with a double against Esmil Rogers. Devon Travis would go down swinging and Josh Donaldson would hit a single to left field. Brett...
Via Bronx Pinstripes
15 days ago  |  Discuss

JABO: The Value of Marco Estrada

The Blue Jays may have won the winter by acquiring Josh Donaldson and Russell Martin, but no team has lost the spring more than Toronto, who saw young hurler Marcus Stroman tear his ACL in a workout on Tuesday morning. Surgery to repair the ligament will cost him the entire season, and opens up a […]
Via Fangraphs
18 days ago  |  Discuss

Russell Martin, MLB Catchers Have Stopped Stealing

Catchers are generally associated with stopping stolen bases on the defensive side. Last season, catchers stopped stealing bases on the offensive side as well. Russell Martin, Carlos Ruiz, and Jonathan Lucroy tied for the Major League Baseball lead for stolen bases by a catcher in 2014 with four. Catchers are not known for their prowess […]
Via Fangraphs
20 days ago  |  Discuss

Martin looks ahead to new chapter with Blue Jays

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Russell Martin totally enjoyed his days in Pittsburgh. Two years, two playoff appearances after helping transform the also-ran Pirates into postseason contenders. Now with Toronto, the three-time All-Star catcher will soon get a look from across the diamond at what he left behind. The Blue Jays open exhibition play Tuesday when they host the Pirates. ''I had a...
Via AP on Fox
27 days ago  |  Discuss

Under The Greydar: Russell Martin

Let's be fair to the title here and say first off, we're talking catcher and we all know how much Grey cares about catchers. I'd say he cares more about closers than he does catchers. That says a lot. But with that said, I'd dare say he's pushed the catcher hate even a tad further with Russell Martin. Literally, he's almost the anti-Alyssa Milano this time around with his current...
Via Razzball
27 days ago  |  Discuss

The Blue Jays Need Maicer Izturis To Be Useful

The Blue Jays have new players up and down their lineup — Russell Martin, Justin Smoak, Josh Donaldson, Michael Saunders, Devon Travis, etc. Dalton Pompey basically qualifies here as well. But one incumbent player may end up being just as, if not more, important than all of the new acquisitions — middle infielder Maicer Izturis. […]
Via Fangraphs
February 27, 2015  |  Discuss

Michael Saunders tears meniscus after stepping on sprinkler head

Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Michael Saunders has a torn meniscus in his left knee and is expected to be out until the All-Star break. Saunders sustained the while chasing a ball during batting practice on Wednesday morning.  He stepped on a sprinkler head while going for a ball and felt a pop. “My foot got jammed,” Saunders told a group of reporters on Thursday, per MLB...
Via Sports-Glory
February 26, 2015  |  Discuss

Knuckleballer Dickey, Martin pair up for 1st bullpen session

DUNEDIN, Fla. (AP) Veteran knuckleballer R.A. Dickey has grown accustomed to seeing new faces behind the plate during his two-plus years with the Toronto Blue Jays. Since a trade in December 2012 sent the NL Cy Young Award winner from the New York Mets to Toronto, Dickey has worked with several catchers. There's been Henry Blanco, J.P. Arencibia, Erik Kratz and Josh Thole, who was...
Via AP on Fox
February 25, 2015  |  Discuss

Happy Birthday Russell Martin, you’re a fantasy baseball bust

We’ve been a little slow getting around to our fantasy baseball contact here inside the locker room, as closing the door on football season involved a longer wrap than anticipated and because I haven’t been particularly inspired to write about any subject. That all changed this morning with a tweet from the Toronto Blue Jays: Happy Birthday @russellmartin55! RT to wish Russell...
Via Fantasy Sports Locker Room
February 15, 2015  |  Discuss

Millionaire pitcher Daniel Norris lives in a VW camper van

@DanielNorris18 Toronto Blue Jays 21-year-old pitching prospect Daniel Norris used his $2-million signing bonus to buy a 1978 Volkswagen Westfalia camper van, which he plans to live in during spring training as he’s done the last two seasons. The van, nicknamed Shaggy after the Scooby-Doo character, will be Norris’s home for the next 2 1/2 months in Dunedin, Fla. In...
Via Sports-Glory
February 11, 2015  |  Discuss

Detroit Tigers Discussing Toronto Blue Jays’ Dioner Navarro

With the recent news of designated hitter Victor Martinez tearing his medial meniscus in his left knee during an offseason workout, the Detroit Tigers have had internal discussions about the possibility of trading for Toronto Blue Jays’ catcher Dioner Navarro, according to a report by Jeff Blair of Sportsnet 590. Martinez is unlikely to be ready for Opening Day, as he is projected...
Via Baseball Essential
February 09, 2015  |  Discuss

Tigers and Blue Jays had ‘discussions’ about Dioner Navarro

With question marks surrounding Victor Martinez’s knee and Alex Avila’s concussions, the Tigers apparently explored the idea of trading for Toronto’s Dioner Navarro according to Jeff Blair  of Blair went as far as saying the two teams ‘had discussions’ regarding the Blue Jays catcher who now is limited to a backup role after the Jays signed Russell Martin...
Via The Majors Detroit
February 09, 2015  |  Discuss

Toronto Blue Jays’ Pick Up Brad Allen’s Option

Focused on improving their entire organization this off-season; the Toronto Blue Jays have made several moves that are designed to improve every club in their system. While the signing of Russell Martin and the trade for Josh Donaldson takes the cake, the Blue Jays have continued their efforts to better their affiliate clubs as well. With a continued focus on developing quality pitching...
Via Baseball Essential
February 08, 2015  |  Discuss

Francisco Cervelli < 500

My biggest problem with the question, “How do you replace Russell Martin?” is that it’s sort of a trick question. If we define “Russell Martin” as a very strong defensive catcher with an emphasis on pitch-framing that has decent on-base abilities (at least as it comes to walk-percentage) and decent pop for the position, well, I think the Pirates are relatively good at identifying...
January 22, 2015  |  Discuss

Francisco Liriano re-ups with Pirates for three years

The Pittsburgh Pirates lost catcher Russell Martin earlier this winter to the Blue Jays, but they won’t be losing starting pitcher Francisco Liriano. The club has agreed to a three-year, $39 million deal with Liriano that will keep him in the black and gold. Source: Francisco Liriano to the #Pirates on a three-year, $39 million deal. — Robert Murray (@RobertMurrayMLB) December...
Via The Outside Corner
December 09, 2014  |  Discuss

Heyman: Dodgers Offered Martin Four Years and $74 Million

We still don’t really know what the Dodger catching situation is going to look like in 2015, but I imagine it’s not going to look like it does right now. A.J. Ellis was tendered a contract, Drew Butera was DFA’d, and Ryan Lavarnway was claimed. Ellis has much to prove coming off a poor 2014, Lavarnway may not even be considered a catcher any longer —  he played twice as...
Via Dodgers Digest
December 06, 2014  |  Discuss

Not Every Free Agent Is Expensive

This offseason, it seems like everyone is coming at a premium price. Pablo Sandoval, Russell Martin, Victor Martinez, Nelson Cruz, Nick Markakis and Billy Butler all smashed their crowdsourcing projections. Zach Duke got $15 million and we didn’t even bother crowdsourcing him! And we haven’t even reached the Winter Meetings. Yet not every free agent […]
Via Fangraphs
December 05, 2014  |  Discuss
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