Blue Jays news and notes from January 11th including an updated seating section at Rogers Centre and a former Blue Jays reliever signing with a National League team.
Petricka Goes To Milwaukee
Jake Petricka, who spent the 2018 season with the Blue Jays, has signed a one-year, major league contract with the Milwaukee Brewers, according to Robert Murray of the Athletic. Murray notes that Petricka still has one minor-league option remaining.
Petricka, 30, pitched to an ERA of 4.53 in 45.2 innings, striking out 41 and walking only 16 in 2018. Though he frequented the shuttle from Toronto to Buffalo, he managed to get into 41 games, finishing five of them.
Blue Jays Unveil Plans For New Seating
The Blue Jays announced plans for a new seating section above and behind home plate, where the former press box used to be (via Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet). The new area will be a premium seating area called the “Ticketmaster Lounge”.
The lounge will only be available for season ticket holders and will cost between $24,000 and $33,000 per season. The area also has a bar and food spaces that will be housed inside of the new 300 level portion of the stadium.
Catching Market Shrinking With Recent Signings
Over the past 5-6 days, the catching market has evolved quite drastically, with several teams being taken out of the market for catchers, potentially making it even more difficult for the Blue Jays to unload the contract of ageing backstop Russell Martin before the season starts.
Within the last four days, Yasmani Grandal (one year, $18.25 million, Milwaukee) and Carlos Perez (MiLB deal, Orioles) have both signed, with other free agent backstops including Jonathan Lucroy (now with LAA), Robinson Chirinos (HOU), Jose Lobaton (SEA), Kurt Suzuki (WAS), Jeff Mathis (TEX), James McCann (CHW) and Wilson Ramos (NYM) on their way to new homes.
Former Jay, Guerrieri Joins Rangers
According to Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News and Andersen Pickard of MLB Daily Dish, the Texas Rangers have inked former Blue Jay Taylor Guerrieri to a minor-league deal with an invite to major league spring training and have assigned him to Triple-A Nashville.
Guerrieri, 26, was claimed by the Blue Jays in November 2017 and spent the majority of the 2018 season with the Triple-A Buffalo Bisons. In 9.2 innings with the big club, he pitched to an ERA of 4.66, striking out eight and walking four.
Dave Hudgens: “This is an exciting time for Blue Jays baseball”
New Blue Jays bench coach Dave Hudgens appeared on Prime Time Sports with Bob McCown Wednesday to discuss his duties with the club going forward, among other things. The interview, which can be found at this link, had Hudgens proudly proclaiming that he’s incredibly excited to be joining Charlie Montoyo’s staff.
Hudgens also said that the entire Blue Jays major league coaching staff is meeting in Dunedin this week in order to get to know each other and, in Hudgens’ words, “figure out what everyone’s job will be going forward”.