The holiday season is upon us. Shopping for loved ones is easy because we know them personally and they lack multi-million dollar salaries to buy everything their hearts desire. Shopping for your favorite Blue Jay however, can be a little more challenging. So while our handsomely paid favorite players don’t want for much, here are some creative and thoughtful gift ideas for Blue Jay players this holiday season.
Aaron Sanchez – Dumbbells and Chipotle Gift Cards
If there’s one thing Aaron Sanchez needs to do this winter, it’s maintain the 25lbs of muscle he put on last offseason. The very same 25lbs that turned him into one of the best pitchers in the American League this year. This Christmas, help Aaron defend his American League ERA Crown by giving him the gift of dumbbells (for muscle) and Chipotle Gift cards (for weight gain).
Edwin Encarnacion – A New Agent
It’s been a surprising few weeks for Edwin. Thought of as one of the crown jewels on the 2016 free agent market, Encarnacion has seen his potential suitors dwindle since allegedly rejecting a four-year, $80 million dollar contract from the Blue Jays. With teams like the Astros and Yankees opting to sign older DH’s on shorter-term deals, and the Red Sox and Rangers making noise about being out of money, Eddie’s agent Paul Kinzer may have misread the market.
With each passing day, the chances of Edwin matching the Jays’ offer become a bit less likely. That’s why Edwin may appreciate the gift of new representation this holiday. If they’re really good, it’s the gift that could keep on giving for four years (five if it’s Scott Boras). Alternatively, if you can’t find the right agent for the job, Edwin would benefit from the gift of the always enigmatic ‘mystery team.’
All this being said, there is still lots of time before pitchers and catchers report for spring training; things can change in a hurry. Edwin might want to wait until Ukrainian Christmas before he fires Kinzer.
Jose Bautista – Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em DVD Set
It was announced last month that Jose Bautista will become a minority owner of the NHL’s new Las Vegas franchise. Just in case he isn’t fully up to speed with respect to NHL hockey, the box set will provide Jose with a tutorial to prep for his new role as an NHL bigwig.
Getting involved in the hockey business will act as a pleasant reminder to Jose that despite not signing the lucrative free agent contract he had hoped to, the 36-year-old is still out-earning every hockey player on the planet. As with any relationship currently on the rocks, you might not want spend a lot on a Christmas gift. The DVD set won’t break your bank account if Jose ends up leaving via free agency after the holidays.
Josh Donaldson – 1984 by George Orwell
Jays fans may have gleaned some insight into our star third baseman’s political leanings last month when observing his post-election twitter exchange with former teammate, Brandon McCarthy. While his likely choice for the American presidency might rub most Blue Jay fans (but less than half of the electoral college) the wrong way, this doesn’t mean you can’t give him something both thoughtful and thought provoking this Christmas.
One way to spread holiday cheer (and class consciousness) would be to gift Donaldson a classic read like George Orwell’s “1984,” Noam Chomsky’s “Hegemony and the State,” or Karl Marx’s “On Capitol” – if only to balance out the Ayn Rand Breitbart News articles he might be reading already.
If you’re looking to take a less controversial route, you can always get JD some Titanium colored hair dye or UFC tickets.
Marco Estrada – Tempur-Pedic Mattress
Marco Estrada spent all summer proving that his breakout 2015 season was no fluke – this despite having to pitch with a herniated disc in his back all year long. Give Marco the gift of comfort this offseason with a king-sized Tempur-Pedic mattress. The new mattress will ease the discomfort that comes with a balky back and help ensure Estrada continues to blow 88 mile-per-hour fastballs by the rest of the American League in 2017.
Kendrys Morales – A Baseball Glove
While the Blue Jays’ new designated hitter might not own a baseball glove, it sure would make things easier on Ross Atkins remaining winter to-do list if he were able to play some first base. Heck, Kevin Pillar might even cover enough ground in centre that you can play Morales in the outfield (where Ned Yost stuck him 5 times in 2016). Wherever he uses his brand new glove, keeping the DH spot open would help keep regulars rested and Justin Smoak on the bench.
But seriously, don’t put Kendrys in the outfield; unless the only thing the team is trying to win is first pick in the amateur draft.
Russell Martin – More Days Off in 2017
Russ worked hard in 2016. So hard in fact, that only four catchers in the Majors played more games this season. And one of those catchers is Salvador Perez; who is going to die crouched behind home plate one day soon.
All that time catching took its toll on Martin – he likely played injured at several points during the 2016 season. So this year, help give Martin the most important gift of all, the gift of health.
Russ would benefit greatly from some additional rest next year, and the Jays can accomplish this by signing a backup catcher that can take on more playing time. While you can’t hit the mall and pick up Alex Avila or Chris Iannetta yourself, you can buy that Sportsnet cable package add-on that just might push Rogers (and in turn the Blue Jays’ front office) to spend more on payroll this offseason. That’s how Rogers wants you to think, anyway.
Mark Shapiro – Coles’ Notes: MLB Collective Bargaining Agreement (2017 Update)
The holidays are a busy time for everyone. Luckily for Mark Shapiro, the good people at Coles Notes now include collectively bargained contracts in their assortment of study aides. Make things a little bit easier on Mark Shapiro by gifting him the Coles Notes Guide to the re-negotiated MLB CBA.
This gift ensures Shapiro will be able to spend more time with his family and less time studying the changes to MLB’s labour policies. Unfortunately, Christmas will not come early for Shapiro this year – starting in 2017, qualifying offers will only land you a third-round compensatory pick if a Blue Jays’ player departs via free agency.
John Gibbons – Job Security
No matter what you think of John Gibbons as a manager, the poor guy has less job security than Justin Smoak. And this is after two straight trips to the American League Championship Series. This Christmas, Jays’ brass should give Gibby the gift of a long- term contract. Then he will finally able to get that new riding lawnmower he’s had his eye on.
And from me to you, a huge thanks to anyone who has read my stuff here at BP Toronto over the 2016 season. It is a true pleasure to be able to talk baseball with you all. Thanks for a great year and looking forward to an even better 2017.
Lead Photo: © Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports