07/14/12 6:40 PM ET
Blue Jays ink 32 Draft selections
By Gregor Chisholm / MLB.com
In the end, Toronto completed deals with 32 of its 44 selections. That included contracts for all players taken in the first 10 rounds, while the club also went over slot to sign 15th rounder Ryan Borucki earlier this week.
The Blue Jays once again proved to be one of the more aggressive teams in the Draft. They exceeded the assigned cap, and as a result, will have to pay a tax, but will not be forced to part with a future first-round pick.
"The tax was fine," said Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos, who would have lost a pick if he had exceeded the signing limit by more than 5 percent. "I don't want to minimize it, but that's OK. We don't want to lose picks. The opportunity to select in an area is worth whatever the tax was going to be, and we factored for it, we wanted to allocate for it. We weren't geared toward spending that way, but if it had to work out that way, we had the ability.
"We weren't going to not sign a player because of the tax, we were going to not sign players if it meant forfeiting a Draft pick the following year."
Toronto implemented the strategy of drafting players who were considered easy signs in rounds four through 10. Each player taken in those rounds is under contract for $1,000-$5,000, while the leftover money was then used to pay the likes of Matt Smoral and Anthony Alford.
The decision to almost forfeit the picks in the middle rounds was made easier because the club had three compensatory picks following the departure of Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch and Jose Molina as free agents.
The Blue Jays won't have a similar luxury next year, and as a result, might have to reevaluate their overall plan of attack in future seasons.
"It just worked out that Smoral was sitting there," Anthopoulos said of the 50th overall pick. "At the beginning of the year, he was a guy we would have considered with our first pick, breaks his foot, slides, he's sitting there, he wants $2 million.
"Would you trade your fourth-, fifth- and sixth-round picks and second-round [money] for Smoral? That's the thought process. We'd check the board, what's left, what's the Draft look like for those rounds. That's not to say it's going to work out that way the following year. Maybe we'll just try to take a big guy in round one, it depends who slides to you."
Chavez optioned to Las Vegas after difficult outing
TORONTO -- The Blue Jays optioned right-hander Jesse Chavez to Triple-A Las Vegas following another disappointing outing on Saturday afternoon.
Chavez entered in the eighth inning to protect an 11-4 lead against Cleveland. He failed to record an out while proceeding to surrender a pair of two-run homers before being pulled from the game.
The 28-year-old became the latest in a long line of pitchers who have auditioned for a job in either long or middle relief, but failed to get the job done.
"Putting up a zero -- as plain and simple as that," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said when asked what he needs from the struggling relievers. "However guys do it, whether you have a low three-quarters slot, throw overhand, if you throw one type of pitch for strikes or three types of pitches.
"We're at the point where there is opportunity for anyone who walks in here and if guys can't grab a hold of an opportunity and take a job, we're going to find the next guy."
Chavez made two starts for the Blue Jays this season, but surrendered 10 runs in just 8 2/3 innings. That forced a demotion to the bullpen where he assumed a role in long relief but he struggled there, as well.
Right-hander Chad Beck has been promoted from Las Vegas to fill Chavez's spot on the roster. Beck has made three appearances for the Blue Jays this season and has allowed two runs in 5 1/3 innings.
Top prospect d'Arnaud likely out for season
TORONTO -- Blue Jays' top prospect Travis d'Arnaud likely will miss the rest of the Minor League season with a torn posterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
d'Arnaud suffered the injury on June 25 while attempting to break up a double play at second base. He was originally expected to be out at least six to eight weeks and with the season in Triple-A Las Vegas coming to an end on Sept. 3, there doesn't appear to be enough time for a return.
"At the outset of the injury, it was expected that this was a six to eight, possibly 10-week, recovery," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "To look forward on how he responds when he gets into that later part of the rehab process will determine whether he gets back on the field."
d'Arnaud initially was projected as a possible callup in September when rosters can be expanded to 40 players. He is now expected to head to the Arizona Fall League at the end of the year as a way to make up for the lost at-bats.
The California native is ranked the Blue Jays' No. 1 prospect according to MLB.com. He was hitting .333 with 16 home runs and 52 RBIs in 67 games with Las Vegas prior to the setback.
Knee injuries can often be devastating for catchers to overcome, but the Blue Jays remain optimistic this one isn't severe. Both the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and medial collateral ligament (MCL) avoided any damage, while the PCL can be healed without surgery.
"Every indication was because the MCL and the ACL were sound, there was no meniscus damage, it's a little less of a concern," Farrell said. "But any time you're talking about the position, sure, a knee injury is of some concern.
"It's an injury that will heal on its own."
Dyson, Loup have opportunity to prove their worth
TORONTO -- The rash of injuries that have hit the Blue Jays' pitching staff this year has provided an opportunity for a pair of rookie relievers to make their mark on the big league club.
Both Sam Dyson and Aaron Loup have been promoted to the Major Leagues in the past two weeks to help a team that currently has eight pitchers on the disabled list.
For both relievers, it's not only an opportunity to add depth to the bullpen, but to make their case for a job next season.
"In some ways, yeah," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of the potential audition. "Yet, there are certain restrictions with Dyson's usage because of what he has come through [injury-wise] in the last two years.
"Trying to stay away from back-to-back outings and even though he has only had the one outing, game situations are going to dictate his usage, as well."
When Loup makes his Major League debut, he will become the 26th different pitcher used by the Blue Jays this season. The 24-year-old posted a 2.78 ERA in 37 games for Double-A New Hampshire while striking out 43 in 45 1/3 innings.
The opportunity to pitch for Toronto came a little earlier than expected, but he hoped all along that at some point this season his time would come.
"It was definitely a goal," said Loup, who was promoted after left-hander Luis Perez was placed on the 60-day DL with a left elbow injury. "I thought if I could pitch well consistently all season long that I could have a chance maybe for a September callup or something. I wasn't really expecting to be here this early. But I'll definitely take it."