Happy New Year! 2018 Blog Changes & Announcement

Hi everyone!

Happy New Year!

Over the past few weeks, I have been seriously looking through different university programs and career paths that seem interesting to me. Obviously, they are all related to English, and most of them are related to journalism. However, the sports media/journalism is a very tricky industry to get into. Thousands of students hope to get in the industry, while very few actually make it.

If you are serious about sports writing/journalism, it is important to be able to write about different sports and not just one. Up until now I was just writing about baseball, when in reality I should have been writing about other sports that I watch. Therefore, I have decided to make a big change.

I have decided to start a NEW BLOG all about Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL), and the National Basketball Association (NBA). Those are the three sports that I watch regularly and am comfortable writing about. One of my new year’s resolutions is to blog a lot more, and having the choice between blogging about three different sports will give me the opportunity to write a lot more posts about a variety of different things.

The blog is called “AC Sports” (get it… Alyssa Cohen Sports!). It is hosted by a website called “Medium“, a new blogging platform. It has a very simple and elegant look to it and is very easy to navigate through.

By creating “AC Sports”, it will allow me to write about different things going on in different sports. However, I will still be posting on this blog at least once a week. I’m not exactly sure what I will be posting, but it will be an exclusive post that you can only find on this blog (not on AC Sports). It will be something related to the Toronto Blue Jays, whether that may be an interview with a player or a recap of a game. Like always, once the blog post is published, I will share a link to it on my Twitter and Facebook pages. I have created a new twitter account for my new blog, which you can follow here.

I hope that this change will offer me a lot more exposure to the sports world, as well as provide me with new knowledge and experiences.

If you do not follow me on either blog, but you would like to see all of the posts I write, you can click here and subscribe to my new NEWSLETTER! This is a newsletter that will be arriving in your inbox once per week. It will provide you with links to all of my new blog posts that I have put out that week, since there are going to be quite a few new posts published on different platforms (both blogs, plus other things). Unlike WordPress (the site that hosts the blog that you are currently on), you are not able to subscribe to a blog via email, so unless you follow me on twitter or Facebook, there will be no way for you to see my new blog posts. Therefore, I strongly recommend you subscribe to my newsletter.

If you have any questions about anything mentioned in this post, feel free to direct message me on Twitter!

I hope that you all will continue supporting me as I take this big next step into the sports blogging world. I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year. I can’t wait to see where 2018 takes me!

Alyssa Cohen

Breaking Down the Blue Jays 2018 Promotional Schedule!

The Blue Jays have just released their promo schedule for the 2018 season, and trust me when I say it is the best one I’ve seen from them in a while. The Jays have a lineup of fun themed days, as well as some creative mid-week and weekend giveaways. Pride Day, Star Wars Day, and a Justin Smoak Bobblehead giveaway are just some of the best giveaways from this years schedule!


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In March, the Blue Jays have a fun Honda Home Opening Weekend lined up for us! This year, the Blue Jays will be starting the season at home on March 29 against the New York Yankees. On Opening Day, the Jays will be giving away a T-Shirt and a 2018 Magnet Schedule (fun fact: this is my personal favourite item that the Jays giveaway annually!). On Saturday (just two days after opening day), the Blue Jays will be giving away a Justin Smoak bobblehead presented by Honda. Smoak was the most surprising player that the Blue Jays had next season (and certainly was one of the most surprising players in all of baseball), so it only made sense that they honoured him with a bobblehead!

In April, the Blue Jays will be honouring the Blue Jays 1992-1993 Back-to-Back World Series titles with a Sweatshirt giveaway on the 18th. I can’t wait to see what they will look like! They will also be holding their annual “Country Day” celebrations on April 28th, featuring a Blue Jays-themed Plaid Raglan giveaway. Like last season, the Blue Jays will be continuing with “Thursday Night in the 6IX” presented by TD Canada. The first “Thursday Night in the 6IX” giveaway will be on April 26, and the Jays + TD will be giving away a “Bringer of Rain” (Josh Donaldson) T-Shirt.

In May, the Jays will be holding their second and third “Thursday Night in the 6IX“, giving away two more t-shirts, but the theme/player highlighted on the t-shirts have yet to be announced. For Mothers Day, the Jays will be giving away a Kevin Pillar Caped Replica Jersey. Pillar was a great player to feature for Mothers Day, as his wife just recently gave birth to their first baby, Kobie Ray Pillar! The Jays will be having their first “Jr. Jays Saturdays Weekend” presented by Boston Pizza, and will be giving away a “Lets Go Blue Jays” Bath Towel! Jr. Jays celebrations will now be occurring every Sunday, rather than every Saturday like in previous seasons. On May 24, the Blue Jays will be playing at 12:37 pm, against the Los Angeles Angels. This will be their first “School Day” of the season, and they will be giving away Blue Jays themed Sunglasses!

In June, the Blue Jays will be giving away their first mid-week bobblehead of the season, featuring Marcus Stroman and his “Shimmy Wobble” (see the gif below!). The Blue Jays will also be holding their first Pride Night presented by TD on June 8th and will be giving away a special Blue Jays Pride Hat. It is so nice to see the Blue Jays add this to their promo schedule! On June 19, MLB Network will be giving away reusable bags.

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In July, the Blue Jays will be having a fun week of giveaways, taking place on July 1- July 6. The Blue Jays will be celebrating Canada Day presented by Honda, by holding their annual celebrations, as well as giving away a hat. On July 2, the Blue Jays will be giving away their 2nd mid-week bobblehead, featuring J.A. Happ. On the Friday of that same week, the Blue Jays will be giving away Jays themed Bucket Hats, while holding an event called “Margaritaville at the Ballpark“!

In August, the Blue Jays will be giving away an Aaron Sanchez Replica Jersey on the 8th, as well as a Blue Jays Replica Batting Helmet on the 25th. The most exciting giveaway in August will be a triple bobblehead, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the Blue Jays 1992-1993 Back-to-Back World Series titles. The players on the bobblehead will be Roberto Alomar, Paul Molitor, and John Olerud. This will be given away on August 11th.

In September, the Blue Jays will be having “Star Wars” day and will be giving away a Blue Jays-themed R2D2OQUE, presented by Sonnet Home and Auto Insurance. They will also be holding a Jr. Jays Back to School Day presented by Boston Pizza on September 9th, featuring an exciting new giveaway… a Buck Martinez “GET UP!” Alarm Clock! I for one hope that this giveaway will be for everyone and not just for children under 14! The final giveaway will be on September 22, during the Blue Jays annual Fan Appreciation Weekend. They will be giving away Convertible Mittens, perfect for a Canadian winter!


And those are all of your Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Promotional Events and Giveaways! Which one is your favourite? Let me know on Twitter! Thanks for reading!

Alyssa Cohen

Blue Jays Prospects Added to 40-Man Roster Ahead of the Rule 5 Draft Deadline

On November 20th at 8:00 pm EST, the Toronto Blue Jays, along with every other team in Major League Baseball, set their official 40-man rosters ahead of the Rule 5 Draft Deadline.

The Blue Jays added five prospects onto their roster, four of which would have been previously eligible for other teams to claim, during the MLB Rule 5 Draft, had they not have been added to the 40-man roster. Teams have the option of drafting one player (in total) from any organization that is not currently on a 40-man roster, for $100,000. This player must stay on the 25-man roster of the team that they were just acquired by, or else the team in which they were acquired from has the opportunity to gain back possession of them for $50,000. (For more on the Rule 5 Draft concept and rules, please click here.)

Right-hander Conner Greene, catcher Reese McGuire, left-hander Thomas Pannone, catcher Danny Jansen, and first baseman Rowdy Tellez were added to the 40-man roster. Tellez, McGuire, Jansen, and Greene, would have been eligible for teams to claim during the Rule 5 Draft.

RHP Connor Greene and LHP Thomas Pannone have been high profile minor league pitchers within the Blue Jays organization since they were drafted. In AA, Greene posted a high ERA of 5.29 in 26 games (he started all but one). Pannone posted an ERA of 2.36 in 25 games, appearing in two double-A and one High-A team.

Catchers Danny Jansen and Reese McGuire are two of most well-known prospects in the Blue Jays minor league system. Both are shaping up to be potentially great major league catchers for the Blue Jays. In 104 games in High-A, Double-A, and AAA, Danny Jansen sustained a great slash line of .323/.400/.484, along with hitting 10 homers and 48 RBIs. In September, the Blue Jays were thinking of calling up Jansen but instead decided to let him develop in the minor leagues. In 2018, we could potentially see Jansen on the major league roster, if the Blue Jays are having backup catcher issues (which they had this past season). In 45 games between High-A and AA, Reese McGuire hit a slash line of .295/.376/.483, with six homers and 28 RBIs. McGuire still has some developing to do in the minor leagues, but he could turn out to be a great catcher for the Blue Jays in the future.

Rowdy Tellez has been one of my favourite prospects for quite some time now. When I had lost faith in Justin Smoak, I would always remember the great talent in Tellez, and would recognize that things wouldn’t be “this bad for this long”. However in the 2017 season, Justin Smoak had an incredible year, and Rowdy Tellez did not play up to his standards. Tellez was promoted to AAA in April, and his stats seemed to slowly decrease since the promotion. Hopefully in the off-season, Tellez can return back to his normal powerful self. Plus, working out with Marcus Stroman definitely doesn’t hurt!

In addition, the Toronto Blue Jays also traded for Gift Ngoepe, an INF in the Pittsburgh Pirates organization, in exchange for a PTBNL or cash considerations. Gift appeared in 28 major league games this past season and hit .222. The acquisition of Gift Ngoepe could potentially change Darwin Barney’s future within the Jays organization (whether or not they re-sign him this offseason). However, the Jays will most likely be using him as a minor-league depth in AAA, and have the option of calling him up later in the 2018 season, if a significant injury were to occur to one of the starting infielders.

The 40-man roster is now at 39, leaving a spot open for the Blue Jays to add one player before the Rule 5 Draft, which takes place on December 14th. MLB Winter Meetings are December 10th-14th, and take place at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort in Orlando, Florida.

Alyssa Cohen

Blue Jays 2018 Projected Arbitration Salaries

Every year on MLBTradeRumors.com, Matt Swarts and the rest of the team on MLB Trade Rumors have created a successful formula for predicting arbitration salaries for each MLB team. Listed below, you will find the projected arbitration salaries for Toronto Blue Jays in the 2018 season:

  • Josh Donaldson – $20.7MM
  • Aaron Loup – $1.8MM
  • Tom Koehler – $6.0MM
  • Ezequiel Carrera – $1.9MM
  • Marcus Stroman – $7.2MM
  • Kevin Pillar – $4.0MM
  • Ryan Goins – $1.8MM
  • Aaron Sanchez – $1.9MM
  • Devon Travis – $1.7MM
  • Roberto Osuna – $5.6MM

If all of the projected salaries are correct, the Blue Jays will commit $52.6 Million to players in arbitration. In total payroll, the Blue Jays currently have $142.7 Million committed to players on the 25-man roster, with 4 open spots available.

For more news on arbitration and free agency eligible players, click here.

Alyssa Cohen

Toronto Blue Jays 2018 Free Agents and Arbitration Eligible Players

Welp… that was one ugly looking season. But you already knew that, so let’s not rehash.

The Toronto Blue Jays 2018 team could look A LOT different than the 2017 team, which is not a bad thing at all! Another season over, means another year older. And eventually, those years can add up, especially to all of the big league players.

The Jays have 6 free agents on the current 40-man roster, including:

  • Brett Anderson
  • Darwin Barney
  • José Bautista
  • Marco Estrada (re-signed with the Jays!!!)
  • Michael Saunders (club option)
  • Miguel Montero

The Blue Jays also have 6 players that have arbitration eligibility. Players are eligible for arbitration if they meet a certain piece of criteria. These include: having at least three full seasons with MLB playing time. As stated on fangraphs.com, “If a player qualifies for arbitration, they can still reach a contract agreement with their team and choose not to go to a hearing. If the two sides cannot reach an agreement, though, both sides submit their salary request to an arbitration panel. A hearing is conducted, and both sides are allowed to state why they believe the player’s salary should be set at the level they specified. The arbitration panel — an unbiased, third party — then decides which case is stronger, and awards the player the salary they deem most appropriate.”

The players that qualify for arbitration that were on the Jays 2017 40-man roster, include:

  • Ryan Goins
  • Tom Koehler
  • Aaron Loup
  • Roberto Osuna
  • Kevin Pillar
  • Marcus Stroman
  • Darwin Barney
  • Ezequiel Carrera
  • Aaron Sanchez
  • Devon Travis
  • Josh Donaldson

The Blue Jays will be investing a lot of money into many of the players on this list, as well as others including Martin and Tulowitzki. There are a lot of players that the Jays will be looking at to base their contract offers on. For example, Osuna and the Jays front office can look at Trevor Rosenthal’s contract in his early years as a closer for the St. Louis Cardinals, to compare it with what he should be making for the 2018 season. Rosenthal entered arbitration for the first time in 2015 and saw his salary shoot up from $535,000 to 5.6 million.

As always, when news comes out about free agent contracts and arbitration eligible players, you can hear it on my blog (what you’re reading right now)! Don’t forget to follow me on twitter for 24/7 updates!

Alyssa Cohen