Sports Clothes: Blue Jays unveil New Blue
With most of the off-season complete and less than one month until pitchers and catchers report, the Toronto Blue Jays are bringing a number of new faces to spring training.
Chase Anderson – one of those new faces – thinks the Blue Jays have it in them to surprise some people in 2020.
“We’re looking forward to the season. I think we’re going to be a better team than people think. It kind of reminds me of the 2017 Brewers with a little bit more high-profile players and we were one game from the wild card that year. So I think this team has a good chance of competing,” Anderson told MLB Network Radio on Friday morning.
The Blue Jays acquired the right-hander from the Milwaukee Brewers in November in exchange for first baseman Chad Spanberger. Anderson spent the last four seasons in Milwaukee, pitching to an ERA of 3.83 in 118 games (112 starts).
“I know our division is tough but so is the NL Central. The Yankees are the Yankees, they’re going to be a really good team this year. The Rays, ourselves, the Red Sox, it’s going to be a tough division but like I said this is going to be a new challenge for me and I’m looking forward to pitching in the AL East and really trying to figure out how to navigate those offensive lineups in that division with nine hitters instead of eight.”
But what exactly does Anderson like about his new team? The young core, he told MLB Network.
“With Bo Bichette, Vlad Jr. and Cavan Biggio, you know, and having Randal Grichuk there for long-term, the core there is really strong, really young. Especially on the offensive side of the ball like I said. But with adding Ryu, myself, Roark, having Shoemaker healthy and then to battle for that fifth spot having Nate Pearson coming up through the system and almost big league ready.”
Ryu agrees the future looks bright.
“Toronto was engaged from the very get-go of free agency and there’s a lot of great younger players on this team, so that’s why I came to Toronto,” Ryu said through an interpreter at his introductory news conference last month.
All in all, the Jays have added five new pitchers (Ryu, Anderson, Roark, Anthony Bass and Shun Yamaguchi) and two new infielders (Travis Shaw, Breyvic Valera) to their 40-man roster thus far. Toronto also signed Joe Panik, Ruben Tejada, Ryan Dull, A.J. Cole, Caleb Joseph and Patrick Cantwell to minor league contracts with invites to big league spring training. And the off-season isn't over yet, either.
The new faces will be given the tough task of helping turn around a team that's gone a combined 140-189 over the past two seasons.
“The younger group transitioned well, and now we need to go from being a team that’s not just competing but winning,” general manager Ross Atkins said.