Don't have an account?
Join the Best Live Fantasy Chat Community!

Lost password? [X]

Receive free daily analysis:


Already have an account? Log in here.


Forgot Password


Hot Stove Season: Toronto Blue Jays News and Fantasy Analysis

After wheeling and dealing, moving and grooving by the hot stove one year ago, this winter the Toronto Blue Jays sat in the corner telling people they didn't like what the DJ was playing. To date, three fantasy-relevant players have moved on to different clubs, and there's been just one new arrival. Of course, there're plenty of top players remaining, like Jose Reyes, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, R.A. Dickey and Casey Janssen, but it appears the Jays will largely rely on players already on their 40-man roster to fill roles, leaving fantasy owners scrambling to find out whether any of these guys can cut it and help them win a championship. Here's my breakdown of what's transpired this offseason and what you should take note of.


rotoballer-fantasy-baseball-advice-toronto-blue-jaysWho's new?

To date, the only fantasy-relevant addition the Jays have made is catcher Dioner Navarro, who will be handed the first starting gig in his MLB career with the hopes that his good stats with the Cubs can hold up over a full season of playing time. Navarro hit .300 with 11 home runs in 240 at-bats, leaving fantasy owners wondering if he can crack the top-10 fantasy catchers in 2014. He doesn't have much competition from either Josh Thole (.175 BA in 120 AB) or Erik Kratz, who is currently projected by multiple outlets to start the season in Triple-A (Kratz hit .213 in Philadelphia last season), so Navarro has some value as the clear number one guy at the top of the depth chart.


Who's gone?

Three significant players have left the Jays: Josh Johnson, Rajai Davis and J.P. Arencibia.

Owners will rightly recoil at Johnson's 16 starts and 6.20 ERA in 2013, but there's a fair amount to feel optimistic about: he had surgery this offseason to clean out a bone spur in his elbow, and so he should bring a healthier wing with him to San Diego, where he likely receives a bump in production as a strikeout pitcher in the National League; he also gets to pitch in the spacious Petco Park. Johnson made 31 starts in 2012 and had a respectable 3.81 ERA. While a repeat of his 2010 season is unrealistic, 2012's stats are a decent idea of what he could provide you in 2014.

Davis goes to the Tigers where he's likely to be the team's fourth outfielder and the weak-side platoon mate of lefthanded hitting Andy Dirks. Davis, who had 360 plate appearances with the Jays in 2013, should earn roughly the same amount of chances with Detroit. Davis's speed is still some of the best in the game (45 SB, 6 CS in 2013) and at worst, he should be a stolen base streamer in all leagues. But if he's hot more times than he's not, he could hit near .270 and produce more extra-base hits in Comerica Park. He remains a solid late-round pick outside of shallow leagues.

Arencibia, who hit 21 home runs but batted a horrendous .194, will play behind the Rangers' Geovany Soto. Soto's a more complete hitter, but lacks the upside that the 27-year-old Arencibia has. They are both similar in their ability to stop the running game, but Soto made a big jump forward in receiving in 2013 and should be considered the better of the two defensively. That means more playing time for Soto.


Jays competitions

The greatest debate takes place at second base where Ryan Goins and Maicer Izturis will state their cases come Spring Training. While Izturis is a good utility player at the MLB level, he holds little fantasy value with a career .703 OPS and just a hint of speed. Goins hit .252 in 119 at-bats in 2013, but mostly struggled through September. At 25 years old, Goins has been a career .273 hitter over five minor league seasons, so it's not likely that he will produce much more than he did in 2013 for at least a few more years. Neither Goins nor Izturis has much power to speak of. Other than his youth, Goins will have to use his glove to get into the starting lineup. While Izturis has always been a good defender, Goins was great in 2013 and holds an edge in this regard. I think you can expect Goins to win the starting job and remain a dark horse for AL-only and deeper mixed leagues.

Right now, Esmil Rogers (4.77 ERA/1.44 WHIP) and J.A. Happ (4.56 ERA/1.47 WHIP) are projected as the fourth and fifth starters, but Kyle Drabek bounced back nicely from a lost 2012 season (Tommy John surgery) to pitch well in the minors, so he's going to get his shot in Spring Training. And then there's Marcus Stroman, the organization's top prospect according to Baseball America, who will most likely start 2014 at Triple-A. Stroman is a player that should be on your radar for all formats, but particular in dynasty leagues.

Another young player who will get his shot at playing this season is Anthony Gose, whose plus speed and defense make him attractive as a fourth outfielder and as a possibility in deep dynasty leagues. But it's the Division-III standout Kevin Pillar who has impressed the most as a prospect at the Jays' top minor league levels. Pillar jumped two levels in 2013 after hitting .313 in Double-A and .299 at Triple-A. While it's true he hit .205 in 36 games in the bigs, you can expect Pillar to have a shot once more come Spring Training.  Pay close attention to what he does, because we will likely see him in a Toronto uniform again sooner than later.



The Jays have not been as aggressive in the offseason as they were last year, but as with any team, there's plenty to consider for your fantasy preparations. I think you can expect the back end of the starting rotation to be one of the biggest question marks heading into the last week of Spring Training, with possible high upside if they go with either one of the young guns Drabek or Stroman. Then again, there's likely to be a fair amount of upside with the Jays' position players, too, as they collectively and individually try to bounce back from a disappointing 2013 season.

Up next, we'll look at some of the players that had Jays fans so hopeful heading into 2013, and determine whether those guys can bounce back to give fans and fantasy owners alike some enjoyment in 2014.

More Recent Articles


Keenan Allen - Fantasy Football Disaster Recovery

Welcome to Disaster Recovery, where each week I'll examine why your studs played like duds. This isn't a place to find out why you should have sat a player for somebody on your bench. Disaster Recovery is to examine the guys who you didn't think twice about starting, and deciding if you should be panicking at all about... Read More

NFL Survivor Pool Picks (Week 7) - Targets and Avoids

Another week, more upsets. The Cowboys, Chiefs and Chargers all went down knocking out about 15-20 percent of remaining entrants in survivor pools, including myself. The Baltimore and New England wins were never in doubt, but the Redskins and Packers just barely squeaked out wins. If you've made it this far, you've done a job... Read More

Fantasy Football Risers and Fallers - Week 7

Whether due to their own play, the play of others, or injuries, players' stock increases and decreases on a weekly basis. Perhaps more than any other, the NFL is a league that experiences ups and downs at a rapid pace. With only 16 games, there’s little room for error and seemingly endless opportunities for improvement.... Read More

Running Back Metrics That Matter - NFL NextGen Stats

It's been a month--a full month!--since the last time we took a look at our beloved running backs. I don't think there is a hotter topic of discussion between pro- and anti-analytics than rushing. The guys fighting for stat-supremacy are all about using the passing game as much as possible while ditching the run; the... Read More

Titanic Disappointment - Will Ryan Tannehill Help Tennessee?

In the midst of being shutout by the Denver Broncos on Sunday, Tennesse Titans coach Mike Vrabel made a move that many casual NFL fans had been expecting for the past few weeks: he decided to give Ryan Tannehill a shot at quarterback instead of Marcus Mariota. While Tannehill wasn't noticeably better on Sunday, throwing... Read More

Warning Signs: Todd Gurley, Brandin Cooks, Robert Woods, Jared Goff

This is going to be a special edition of Warning Signs. Usually, we take a look at players from different teams who have disappointed thus far. This week, I am going to focus on a single team full of players to worry about. It is not good to have a team of big stars where... Read More

FAAB Bidding - Week 7 Waiver Wire Targets

Assisting our famous waiver wire pickups list, and our weekly waiver wire columns by position, this column focuses on suggested waiver wire bidding percentages for fantasy football owners in leagues using a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB). As a caveat, these prices do not by any means indicate how much these free agent players will... Read More

We Must Overreact Immediately! Week 6 Outliers

In Week 6, several players exploded in fantasy lineups. There were a few receivers that were above the rest of the pack in Week 6, such as Stefon Diggs, Terry McLaurin, Chris Godwin and Tyreek Hill, but there shouldn't be any surprises there as those guys should have been in fantasy lineups. At the quarterback... Read More

Deeper League Free Agent Pickups for Week 7

The bye week difficulties continue this week with Carolina, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and Tampa Bay all getting their rest in Week 7. It should be noted, however, that just because a player is currently in their bye week, doesn't mean you should avoid them on the waiver wire. In fact, this is often the easiest way... Read More

Week 7 Waiver Wire Pickups & Adds

All of a sudden, the Chargers look like one of the worst teams in football and the Jets look like a playoff contender. Maybe things won't shake out that way in the end but it goes to show how quickly things change in the "Not For Long" NFL. For that reason, we advise looking at... Read More

The Cut List - Players on the Chopping Block (Week 7)

This is your weekly list of players to drop. I will do my best to limit this list to injured players and players you might consider holding. If you roster pure handcuffs or backups, obviously you can let them go at any time. The players on this list will, ideally, be guys that aren't clearly... Read More

Week 7 Defense (DEF) Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Below are RotoBaller's Week 7 defense tiers and rankings, or which defenses to stream, start and target off the waiver wire for Week 7 of the NFL and fantasy football season. In case you missed it, this is our seventh year now writing this weekly column. Our weekly tiered defense rankings are a guide to making waiver... Read More

Week 7 Kicker Streamers and Starts - 2019 Fantasy Tiers, Rankings

Week 6 is done, and we've seen some outstanding games thus far. We've also seen a lot of surprising teams through six weeks. The San Francisco 49ers, after picking in the top 10 for four straight years, are 5-0 with one of the most complete teams in football. As far as kickers go, we're seeing... Read More

Running Back Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

Some of you have been rewarded for your meticulous roster planning by receiving excellent production from your running backs. Unfortunately, many of you have been equally prepared when making roster decisions, but have been undermined by injuries, inconsistent usage, or underwhelming performances. If that applies to you, then those unwanted outcomes have forced you to... Read More

Wide Receiver Waiver Wire Pickups - Week 7

We weren't really surprised by the top-scoring fantasy wide receivers from Week 6. Out of the top-20 receivers, only Jamison Crowder, Auden Tate and Jaron Brown were less than 50% owned. Jaron Brown (0% owned) was only targeted five times but he scored two touchdowns off of those five targets. Auden Tate (23% owned) hauled... Read More