MLB Player Agent Joshua Kusnick stops by to discuss the state of free agency (24:40). In a passionate interview, Kusnick talks about the way free agency is being handled (from lack of offers for certain types of players to what seem like coordinated offer timings for others), the comments from Rob Manfred, media/fan reaction to the situation, and leaving the game of baseball behind. Greg and Josh (Howsam) also cover Marcus Stroman’s comments to the media, the concept of leadership and its presence in the Blue Jays clubhouse, and Freddy Galvis choosing to give up no. 19. They also answer listener questions and go over something the Blue Jays actually won.
With the official start of spring training, Greg and Josh talk about the first news of the season. They discuss John Axford’s return to the team, the signing of lefty knuckleballer Ryan “Party Time” Feierabend, Ryan Tepera’s loss in arbitration and the issues with the process, and Ross Atkins’ season opening comments on the rotation and the debut of Vlad Jr. They also give out a Gold Star, answer listener questions, and analyze the lack of effort from teams around the league this offseason.
Blue Jays SS prospect Kevin Smith (23:50) stops by to discuss adjustments from college to the minors, handling midseason call ups, the importance of the prospect trip to Fort Benning, building team culture, and appearing on prospect rankings.
Greg and Josh also talk about the signing of Freddy Galvis and its impact on the club’s other infielders and pitcher trade values, Danny Barnes’ DFA, Dalton Pompey’s roster situation, Roy Halladay’s Hall of Fame induction and cap selection, and the release of the various prospect rankings.
Finally, Greg and Josh answer listener questions, give a Gold Star to a former Blue Jay, and go over Mark Shapiro’s comments from Diamond Talks.
Intro music is Slow Burn (Kevin MacLeod) under CC BY 3.0.
Kyle Boddy of Driveline Baseball (29:10) stops by to discuss the work they do at Driveline, the fight to increase the role of analytically driven player development, and the new coaching hires for the Blue Jays. Greg and Josh also go over the Russell Martin trade and his impact on the franchise over the last four years, the signing of David Phelps. Dalton Pompey’s potential future role in Toronto, and the role culture plays in the Blue Jays front office decisions. Finally, they answer listener questions and give their results from a fun Twitter game devised by Blue Jays’ fan @james_in_to.
Greg, Josh, and Nick go over the recent news surrounding the Blue Jays. They discus the signing of Matt Shoemaker and his pitching changes after returning from injury, the trade for Clayton Richard including potential uses for the lefty and how he fits into a pattern of recent acquisitions, the potential for the team to improve its infield defence, and Troy Tulowitzki’s new home. They also answer listener questions, give out a truly baffling Do-Over, and finish with discussion of an intriguing Hall of Fame ballot and what it could mean for other voters going forward
Greg, Josh, and Nick discuss recent Blue Jays news and developments including the release of Troy Tulowitzki, the Rule 5 surprises, Randal Grichuk’s future role with the club, moves within the division, and the odds of Bo Bichette cracking the roster in 2019. They are then joined by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (26:15) to discuss reactions from the floor in Las Vegas, news of Jays’ discussions with agents, potential payroll plans, and roster building strategies the team is likely to employ. The guys then answer a few listener questions before speaking with Bennett Brauer, a former minor league GM (49:35) about the minor league version of the Winter Meetings and what is important in season to a minor league baseball team.
Greg and Josh discuss recent news in Blue Jays land. They discuss the 40-man roster additions ahead of the Rule 5 draft, coaching staff changes, Russell Martin trade rumours, the upcoming tender deadline, and the Blue Jays’ recently announced promotional schedule. They also answer a couple of listener questions, give out a Do Over to the MLBPA, and give a Gold Star to a recent MLB player.
Greg and Josh break down the news from the early parts of the offseason. They discuss the trade of Aledmys Diaz for Trent Thornthon, the Blue Jays’ 40-man decisions and what some of them could mean for future choices, the changes to the coaching staff, and the new TV deal between Fox Sports and MLB. Finally, they answer listener questions, induct a former player into the Gold Star Hall of Fame, and decline to give a third chance to an ESPN personality.
Greg and Josh discuss the end of the World Series and Steve Pearce’s heroics, the Blue Jays hiring of manager, Charlie Montoyo, and what he could bring to the table, Ross Atkins’ comments about offseason direction and Statcast data use, the Arizona Fall League, Justin Smoak’s Gold Glove nomination, and the Mets hiring Brodie Van Wagenen as their new general manager. Finally, they give out a trio of Do Over and answer listener questions.
Greg, Josh, and Nick wrap up the season by pick winners in multiple categories including biggest surprise, most surreal moment, rock bottom point, favourite players to watch, best walk up song, and many more. They also give out award for best/worst hitter, best/worst pitcher, team MVP, and the Do Over of the year.
A huge thanks to all the listeners for sticking it out with us during this dreadful season. We really appreciate it!