Winter Meetings Recap: Toronto Blue Jays

by Clayton Richer | Posted on Saturday, December 14th, 2013
Facebook Twitter Plusone

Tomo Ohka

The MLB Winter Meetings have come and gone much to the dismay of  Toronto Blue Jays fans. The Jays were one of the more dormant teams in regard to team altering transactions or signings during their stay in Florida, but not for a lack of trying. I am the first to admit that I become rather impatient when the competition is shelling out cash improving their squads while the Jays smile and wave.

However, I have to give the Blue Jays brain trust credit. I must empathize with them when I hear that every trade conversation begins with the likes of pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez and major league ready Marcus Stroman. The Jays raided the prospect cupboard last offseason  by wheeling and dealing for the likes of Jose Reyes and R.A. Dickey It is understandable why General Manager Alex Anthopoulos does not want to pull the trigger on another prospect laden deal this early in the offseason.

The Blue Jays were interested in Chicago Cubs hurler Jeff Samardzija. However, after the meetings concluded, Anthopoulos spoke with the media divulging that the Cubs wanted both Sanchez, Stroman and a third prospect for 28-year old hurler. I for one am thankful the Jays stood pat and did not give in to the ridiculous demands of  Theo Epstein and company.

With all that said, here is what the Blue Jays did manage to accomplish during the meetings:

Fond Farewell

The Jays made headlines on the first morning of the meetings when they signed veteran pitcher Roy Halladay to a one-day contract enabling the pitcher to retire a Blue Jay. It was an admirable gesture on both sides to have Halladay officially end his illustrious career with the same team where it all began.


The Jays had fans scratching their heads when the Blue Jays inked veteran pitcher Tomo Ohka to a minor league deal. Ohka hasnt pitched in the show since 2009 and was less than effective then. Ohka is crafting and perfecting the knuckle ball, so the Jays are hopeful the tutelage from Dickey will increase Ohka’s chances of  mastering the pitch. It is a low risk signing which provides veteran leadership and it gives minor league catcher A.J. Jimenez a chance to get his feet wet catching the flutter-ball.


Anthopoulos mentioned that Josh Banks may also join the organization as he is also mulling over a comeback with the knuckleball.


Rule 5 Draft

The Blue Jays selected reliever Brian Moran from the Seattle Mariners in the first round of the draft and then quickly flipped him to the Los Angeles Angels for $244,000 in international cap space money.

The Jays selected pitcher Roberto Espinosa from the Pittsburgh Piratespitcher Richard Bleier from the Texas Rangers and pitcher Scott Shuman from the San Francisco Giants in the Triple A portion of the draft.

The Jays only lost pitcher Evan Crawford, who was selected by the Chicago White Sox.

Weber Japan Bound

Pitcher Thad Weber was released by the Blue Jays so that he could join the NC Dinos of the Korean Baseball League. Weber made 5 relief appearances for the Jays out of the bullpen last season surrendering 2 runs in 6 innings pitched.

That is your Blue Jays winter meetings recap. However, Anthopoulos did mention that he laid the groundwork for some future deals that could come to fruition later in the off-season. Until then the Blue Jays faithful must sit… and wait.

Facebook Twitter Plusone
Clayton Richer
About the Author

Clayton Richer is an MLB scribe from north of the border with a slight bias for the Toronto Blue Jays. Clayton has also been the shop-keeper at Baseball Hot Corner since the sites inception in 2012. Follow and interact with Clayton on Twitter @MLBHotCorner or @ClaytonRicher

if ( function_exists( 'pgntn_display_pagination' ) ) pgntn_display_pagination( 'multipage' );