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!
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.
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!
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.