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Blue Jays sign RHP David Phelps

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed free agent RHP David Phelps to a one-year contract (US $2,500,000) with a club option for the 2020 season. 

Phelps, 32, went 4-5 with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP over 55.2 innings with the Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners in 2017. The 6-2, 200 lb. right-handed pitcher missed the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 26. The native of St. Louis, MO holds a record of 30-33 with a 3.89 ERA and 520 strikeouts over six Major League seasons.
 

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed free agent RHP David Phelps to a one-year contract (US $2,500,000) with a club option for the 2020 season. 

Phelps, 32, went 4-5 with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP over 55.2 innings with the Miami Marlins and Seattle Mariners in 2017. The 6-2, 200 lb. right-handed pitcher missed the 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery on March 26. The native of St. Louis, MO holds a record of 30-33 with a 3.89 ERA and 520 strikeouts over six Major League seasons.
 

Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays agree to terms with eight players

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have agreed to 2019 contracts with the following players: RHP JOE BIAGINI (US $900,000), INF BRANDON DRURY (US $1,300,000), RHP KEN GILES (US $6,300,000), OF RANDAL GRICHUK (US $5,000,000), OF KEVIN PILLAR (US $5,800,000), RHP AARON SANCHEZ (US $3,900,000), RHP MARCUS STROMAN (US $7,400,000) and INF DEVON TRAVIS (US $1,925,000). RHP RYAN TEPERA is the only remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible player. 

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have agreed to 2019 contracts with the following players: RHP JOE BIAGINI (US $900,000), INF BRANDON DRURY (US $1,300,000), RHP KEN GILES (US $6,300,000), OF RANDAL GRICHUK (US $5,000,000), OF KEVIN PILLAR (US $5,800,000), RHP AARON SANCHEZ (US $3,900,000), RHP MARCUS STROMAN (US $7,400,000) and INF DEVON TRAVIS (US $1,925,000). RHP RYAN TEPERA is the only remaining unsigned arbitration-eligible player. 

Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays complete trade with Dodgers

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have acquired SS RONNY BRITO and RHP ANDREW SOPKO from the LOS ANGELES DODGERS in exchange for C RUSSELL MARTIN and cash considerations. 

MARTIN, 35, hit .194 with eight doubles, 10 home runs, and 56 walks over 90 games in the 2018 season. The East York, ON native played four seasons with the Blue Jays, collecting 59 doubles, 66 home runs, and 211 RBI over 447 games. The 13-year veteran has a career batting average of .249, an OBP of .349, and four All-Star appearances.  

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have acquired SS RONNY BRITO and RHP ANDREW SOPKO from the LOS ANGELES DODGERS in exchange for C RUSSELL MARTIN and cash considerations. 

MARTIN, 35, hit .194 with eight doubles, 10 home runs, and 56 walks over 90 games in the 2018 season. The East York, ON native played four seasons with the Blue Jays, collecting 59 doubles, 66 home runs, and 211 RBI over 447 games. The 13-year veteran has a career batting average of .249, an OBP of .349, and four All-Star appearances.  

BRITO, 19, slashed .295/.359/.496 across 61 games with the DSL Dodgers and the Rookie-level Ogden Raptors. The San Francisco de Macoris, DR native signed with the Dodgers in 2015. Over three Minor League seasons, the shortstop has combined to hit .259 with 32 doubles, six triples, 15 home runs, and 104 RBI in 148 games.

SOPKO, 24, started last season with the Advanced-A Rancho Cucamonga Quakes where he went 3-4 with a 3.22 ERA in 12 starts. He was promoted to the Double-A Tulsa Drillers in June and posted a 3-1 record with a 3.88 ERA across 14 games to close out the season. The 2015 seventh-round pick has a career Minor League record of 27-17 while recording a 3.61 ERA and 363 strikeouts over 394.1 innings.

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Blue Jays announce player, alumni and rookie appearances for Winter Fest presented by TD

Randal Grichuk, Roberto Alomar, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., and many more headline the two-day fan event on Saturday, Jan. 19 to Sunday, Jan. 20

The holidays are right around the corner, but the TORONTO BLUE JAYS are decking the halls for January! The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announced the players, alumni, rookies, and prospects taking part in the second-annual WINTER FEST presented by TD on Saturday, Jan. 19 and Sunday, Jan. 20 at Rogers Centre.
 
From alumni and current players making their long-awaited return to Toronto, to rookies and prospects who are seeing Rogers Centre for the first time, fans will have unprecedented access to their Toronto Blue Jays in this expanded, two-day event.  
 
The weekend will celebrate all things Blue Jays by giving fans access to their home team, alumni, rookies, prospects, front office, and coaching staff through interactive experiences, live entertainment, baseball-themed games, ticketed autograph sessions, exclusive ballpark tours, and more!
 
More than 20,000 fans are expected to attend this year's event, with tickets still available, making a perfect last-minute holiday gift for the Blue Jays fan in everyone's life. For more information, visit bluejays.com/winterfest 

The holidays are right around the corner, but the TORONTO BLUE JAYS are decking the halls for January! The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announced the players, alumni, rookies, and prospects taking part in the second-annual WINTER FEST presented by TD on Saturday, Jan. 19 and Sunday, Jan. 20 at Rogers Centre.
 
From alumni and current players making their long-awaited return to Toronto, to rookies and prospects who are seeing Rogers Centre for the first time, fans will have unprecedented access to their Toronto Blue Jays in this expanded, two-day event.  
 
The weekend will celebrate all things Blue Jays by giving fans access to their home team, alumni, rookies, prospects, front office, and coaching staff through interactive experiences, live entertainment, baseball-themed games, ticketed autograph sessions, exclusive ballpark tours, and more!
 
More than 20,000 fans are expected to attend this year's event, with tickets still available, making a perfect last-minute holiday gift for the Blue Jays fan in everyone's life. For more information, visit bluejays.com/winterfest 

Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays acquire LHP Clayton Richard from San Diego Padres

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have acquired LHP CLAYTON RICHARD and cash considerations from the SAN DIEGO PADRES in exchange for OF CONNOR PANAS.

RICHARD, 35, went 7-11 with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP across 27 starts with the San Diego Padres during the 2018 season. The Lafayette, IN, native has a record of 68-79 with a 4.46 ERA over his 10-year Major League career. The 6-5, 240 lb. left-handed pitcher also posted a National League best 60.3 ground ball percentage over the last four seasons.

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have acquired LHP CLAYTON RICHARD and cash considerations from the SAN DIEGO PADRES in exchange for OF CONNOR PANAS.

RICHARD, 35, went 7-11 with a 5.33 ERA and a 1.38 WHIP across 27 starts with the San Diego Padres during the 2018 season. The Lafayette, IN, native has a record of 68-79 with a 4.46 ERA over his 10-year Major League career. The 6-5, 240 lb. left-handed pitcher also posted a National League best 60.3 ground ball percentage over the last four seasons.

PANAS, 25, hit .232 with 16 doubles, two triples, nine home runs, and 39 RBI in 105 games with the New Hampshire Fisher Cats of the Eastern League (AA). The 6-0, 218 lb. left-handed hitting outfielder was selected in the ninth round of the 2015 First-Year Player Draft. The Toronto, ON, native has posted a .251 batting average over four Minor League seasons with 56 doubles, 48 home runs, 173 RBI, and 14 stolen bases.

To make room on the 40-man roster, RHP OLIVER DRAKE has been designated for assignment.

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Blue Jays sign RHP Matt Shoemaker

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed free agent RHP Matt Shoemaker to a one-year contract (US $3,500,000).

Shoemaker, 32, went 2-2 with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP across seven starts with the Los Angeles Angels during the 2018 season. He was placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain after his first start last season and was activated again on September 3. The Wyandotte, MI, native owns a career record of 40-32 with a 3.93 ERA in six seasons with the Angels, striking out 490 batters and a 1.20 WHIP.  

The Toronto Blue Jays have signed free agent RHP Matt Shoemaker to a one-year contract (US $3,500,000).

Shoemaker, 32, went 2-2 with a 4.94 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP across seven starts with the Los Angeles Angels during the 2018 season. He was placed on the disabled list with a right forearm strain after his first start last season and was activated again on September 3. The Wyandotte, MI, native owns a career record of 40-32 with a 3.93 ERA in six seasons with the Angels, striking out 490 batters and a 1.20 WHIP.  

Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays release SS Troy Tulowitzki

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announce the release of SS TROY TULOWITZKI.

"Through many conversations with Troy and his representative Paul Cohen, and with consideration to what is in the best interest of both sides, we made the decision to release Troy today," said Ross Atkins, General Manager, Toronto Blue Jays.

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announce the release of SS TROY TULOWITZKI.

"Through many conversations with Troy and his representative Paul Cohen, and with consideration to what is in the best interest of both sides, we made the decision to release Troy today," said Ross Atkins, General Manager, Toronto Blue Jays.

TULOWITZKI, 34, hit .249 (60-for-241) with 10 doubles, seven home runs, and 26 RBI in 66 games in 2017. The 6-3, 205 lb. native of Santa Clara, CA has a career batting average of .290 with 224 home runs, 779 RBI, and an OPS of .856 in 12 seasons with the Colorado Rockies and Toronto Blue Jays.

Toronto Blue Jays

2018 Toronto BBWAA award winners

The Toronto Chapter of the BBWAA have announced their annual award winners highlighted by the unanimous selection of 1B Justin Smoak, who earned the Neil MacCarl award as the Player of the Year. Also recognized were LHP J.A. Happ, who earned the Pitcher of the Year, C Luke Maile, recognized as the Most Improved Player, LHP Ryan Borucki as the Rookie of the Year, and former Manager John Gibbons, as the John Cerutti award recipient.

Smoak, 32, was the unanimous selection for the Neil MacCarl award as the Blue Jays Player of the Year after leading the club with 77 RBI and had the most 3+ hit games. In 147 contests this season, Smoak topped the American League with a .352 OBP and a .805 OPS as a first baseman while his .999 fielding percentage led all MLB first basemen. He also reached the 25 home run mark for the second time in his career and recorded six 9th-inning home runs to tie for the MLB lead.

The Toronto Chapter of the BBWAA have announced their annual award winners highlighted by the unanimous selection of 1B Justin Smoak, who earned the Neil MacCarl award as the Player of the Year. Also recognized were LHP J.A. Happ, who earned the Pitcher of the Year, C Luke Maile, recognized as the Most Improved Player, LHP Ryan Borucki as the Rookie of the Year, and former Manager John Gibbons, as the John Cerutti award recipient.

Smoak, 32, was the unanimous selection for the Neil MacCarl award as the Blue Jays Player of the Year after leading the club with 77 RBI and had the most 3+ hit games. In 147 contests this season, Smoak topped the American League with a .352 OBP and a .805 OPS as a first baseman while his .999 fielding percentage led all MLB first basemen. He also reached the 25 home run mark for the second time in his career and recorded six 9th-inning home runs to tie for the MLB lead.

Happ, 36, earned the Pitcher of the Year after playing in the 2018 All-Star game and becoming the first Blue Jay to earn a save in the Midsummer Classic. The lefty posted a 10-6 record in 20 starts as a Blue Jay this season before being traded to the New York Yankees on July 26. He racked up a career total of 691 strikeouts while in a Blue Jays uniform, the ninth most in team history.

Maile, 27, captured the Most Improved Player of the Year Award after posting career best marks in runs (22), hits (50), doubles (13) and RBI (27). The University of Kentucky product recorded a hit in nine consecutive at-bats with runners in scoring position, which is the longest streak in Blue Jays history. He also put together the longest hitting streak of his career after having at least one hit in his first seven games of the season.
  
Borucki, 24, earned the Rookie of the Year Award after posting a 4-6 record in 17 games with a 3.87 ERA, the sixth best all-time by a Blue Jays rookie. The Mundelein, IL native recorded 11 quality starts this season, which tied Marco Estrada for the team lead and was the most by a Blue Jays rookie since Marcus Stroman recorded 14 in 2014. He put the finishing touches on his rookie campaign with a September ERA of 2.65, ninth best among AL starters, and an opponents' average of .165, which ranked fourth.

Gibbons, 56, receives the John Cerutti Award after recording 793 wins over two stints and 11 seasons as Toronto's manager. He now holds the second most team wins behind Cito Gaston's record of 894. Gibbons finished last season ranking 82nd in wins all-time and was 11th among active managers.

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Blue Jays Kevin Pillar, Devon Travis, Luke Maile, Danny Jansen and Ryan Borucki lead Winter Tour in Halifax on January 11 & 12

Player autograph session lottery opens Dec. 4

The Blue Jays are excited to announce that outfielder Kevin Pillar, infielder Devon Travis, catchers Luke Maile and Danny Jansen, and pitcher Ryan Borucki will be headed out east to Halifax for the ninth annual Winter Tour presented by TD, on Friday, Jan. 11, and Saturday, Jan. 12. Just in time for the holidays, east-coast Blue Jays fans have a chance to secure tickets to the player autograph session through an online lottery, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 4 (full details below). 

The passion for the Blue Jays extends far beyond the walls of Rogers Centre, to millions of fans across Canada. This two-day winter tradition is a chance for the Blue Jays to recognize and thank fans, and give back to the communities that support Canada's team each baseball season. 

The Blue Jays are excited to announce that outfielder Kevin Pillar, infielder Devon Travis, catchers Luke Maile and Danny Jansen, and pitcher Ryan Borucki will be headed out east to Halifax for the ninth annual Winter Tour presented by TD, on Friday, Jan. 11, and Saturday, Jan. 12. Just in time for the holidays, east-coast Blue Jays fans have a chance to secure tickets to the player autograph session through an online lottery, beginning Tuesday, Dec. 4 (full details below). 

The passion for the Blue Jays extends far beyond the walls of Rogers Centre, to millions of fans across Canada. This two-day winter tradition is a chance for the Blue Jays to recognize and thank fans, and give back to the communities that support Canada's team each baseball season. 

Player Autograph Session Lottery Details
Date: Friday, Jan. 11
Time: 6:30 to 8 p.m. AT
Location: Pier 21 - Kenneth C. Rowe Hall

Onsale Information:
•   Ticketed-only event, limited availability
•   For a chance to secure tickets, fans will be required to enter into an online lottery at bluejays.com/wintertour 
•   Lottery opens on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. AT and closes Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 10:59 a.m. AT
•   Winners will be selected by random draw and notified via email on Thursday, Dec. 7 with a link to purchase tickets by Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 11:59 a.m. AT (maximum of four tickets per person, only winners will be notified)
•   Each autograph session ticket is $5 with a portion of proceeds going to Jays Care Foundation

In addition to the player autograph session, the Blue Jays will visit IWK Health Centre and CFB Halifax, as well as host an amateur baseball clinic with Baseball Nova Scotia and an adaptive baseball clinic for athletes from across the province enrolled in the Challenger Baseball program through Jays Care Foundation. 

Since 2011, Winter Tour presented by TD has visited more than 20 Canadian cities across the country, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, and St. John's. This will be the second time the Tour has visited Halifax (2012). 

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Give the gift of Blue Jays baseball with three all-new ticket offers starting today

Single game tickets go on sale January 24

Just in time for the holiday season, the BLUE JAYS today announced three all-new single game ticket offers for the 2019 season. The trio of fresh options - THE LEADOFF, FAMILY VALUE COMBO, and FRIDAY NIGHT FREEDOM BUNDLE - offer a unique game experience at the ballpark for fans of all ages.

1.   THE LEADOFF is an exclusive deal for die-hard fans looking to get in on all the Blue Jays action at the start of the season. Starting at $39.99*, fans can purchase tickets in the 500 Level to every Blue Jays home game or every weekday home game in March and April (excluding Opening Day presented by TD). Fans who buy before Thursday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. will receive the early bird rate. The Leadoff is the ultimate value offer for the devoted baseball fan. 

Just in time for the holiday season, the BLUE JAYS today announced three all-new single game ticket offers for the 2019 season. The trio of fresh options - THE LEADOFF, FAMILY VALUE COMBO, and FRIDAY NIGHT FREEDOM BUNDLE - offer a unique game experience at the ballpark for fans of all ages.

1.   THE LEADOFF is an exclusive deal for die-hard fans looking to get in on all the Blue Jays action at the start of the season. Starting at $39.99*, fans can purchase tickets in the 500 Level to every Blue Jays home game or every weekday home game in March and April (excluding Opening Day presented by TD). Fans who buy before Thursday, Dec. 21 at 5 p.m. will receive the early bird rate. The Leadoff is the ultimate value offer for the devoted baseball fan. 

2.   For families looking for a weekend afternoon of kid-friendly fun, look no further than the FAMILY VALUE COMBO. Starting at $125*, families receive four 200 Level Outfield tickets plus four meal combos to keep the whole crew happy throughout the game. Tickets are available for Jr. Jays Sundays and Jr. Jays Weekends only, where beyond the game, kids can take part in family-friendly programming, including run-the-bases postgame.

3.   Start your weekend off alongside the Blue Jays with the FRIDAY NIGHT FREEDOM BUNDLE. Begin your evening at the ballpark and enjoy 200 Level seats paired with a drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic). To make this deal even sweeter, fans can check out the 2019 Promotions & Events schedule for three special T.G.I.F. - Jersey Friday games, featuring live music, activities, and player jersey giveaways.

Beyond the FAMILY VALUE COMBO, the Blue Jays will continue to offer kids 14 and under, half price tickets in the 200 Level Outfield or 500 Level on Jr. Jays Sundays and Jr. Jays Weekends. Single game tickets for the 2019 season go on sale at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 24. 

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Blue Jays announce 2019 promotions & events schedule

20+, 12+, and 6+ Game Packs currently available

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today released its promotional schedule for the 2019 season, featuring giveaways or events at 45 of 81 home games. With the addition of several brand new theme days and collectibles, plus the return of many signature fan-favourites, the 2019 schedule has something for every Blue Jays fan.

New for 2019, Blue Jays fans have another reason to look forward to the end of the week with T.G.I.F. - Jersey Friday. Taking place on three Fridays throughout the season, the events will feature live music, activities, and player jersey giveaways. Plus, summer nights never sounded so good at the Summer Sound Festival presented by Bacardi, with live music and activations outside gates 10 & 11 on back-to-back games. The Blue Jays are also excited to introduce Loonie Dogs Night presented by Schneiders. On the first Tuesday home game of each month, the ballpark's staple hot dogs will be sold on the concourse for one dollar during the game.

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today released its promotional schedule for the 2019 season, featuring giveaways or events at 45 of 81 home games. With the addition of several brand new theme days and collectibles, plus the return of many signature fan-favourites, the 2019 schedule has something for every Blue Jays fan.

New for 2019, Blue Jays fans have another reason to look forward to the end of the week with T.G.I.F. - Jersey Friday. Taking place on three Fridays throughout the season, the events will feature live music, activities, and player jersey giveaways. Plus, summer nights never sounded so good at the Summer Sound Festival presented by Bacardi, with live music and activations outside gates 10 & 11 on back-to-back games. The Blue Jays are also excited to introduce Loonie Dogs Night presented by Schneiders. On the first Tuesday home game of each month, the ballpark's staple hot dogs will be sold on the concourse for one dollar during the game.

Back by popular demand, three promotions that debuted in 2018 will be returning to the schedule next season. To kick-off Toronto's Pride Month in June, the Blue Jays will host its second-annual Pride Night presented by TD. In August, fans can laze the evening away in Margaritaville at the Ballpark and become one with the Force during Star Wars™ Night. In addition, Blue Jays fans can kick the dust up all weekend long with an extended two-day Blue Jays Country Do-Si-Do, featuring entertaining live country music acts on both days, a Blue Jays Camo Hat Giveaway on Friday, and a Smoakey BBQ Set Giveaway on Saturday.

Beginning with Jr. Jays Opening Day presented by Boston Pizza, Jr. Jays Sundays return for the 2019 season, with the same great kid-friendly programming, including run-the-bases postgame. Jr. Jays Weekends are also back with two special events: ACE's Birthday Bash and Jr. Jays Back to School Weekend. The family fun doesn't stop there as the Blue Jays will once again celebrate Mother's Day at home, which will see the WestJet Flight Deck transform into a Moms' Oasis, plus a Marcus StroGnome Giveaway. Blue Jays fans can also expect more of their favourites back for 2019, including Opening Weekend presented by TD, Canada Day Weekend presented by Honda, and Fan Appreciation Weekend presented by TD.

The season's key highlights are below. Visit bluejays.com/promotions to download the full 2019 Promotions & Events Schedule.

Top giveaway highlights:
1. Wednesday, April 24 - Lourdes Gurriel Jr. #PiñaPower Bobblehead
2. Sunday, May 12 (Mother's Day) - Marcus StroGnome Giveaway
3. Friday, May 24 (Blue Jays Country Do-Si-Do) - Blue Jays Camo Hat
4. Saturday, May 25 (Blue Jays Country Do-Si-Do) - Smoakey BBQ Set
5. Thursday, June 6 (Pride Night presented by TD) - Blue Jays Rainbow Hooded Henley
6. Friday, June 28 (Canada Day Weekend presented by Honda) - Grichuk Ran-Doll Giveaway
7. Monday, July 1 (Canada Day presented by Honda) - Blue Jays Relaxed Denim Hat
8. Friday, Aug. 16 (Margaritaville at the Ballpark) - Blue Jays & Margaritaville Est. 1977 Hat
9. Friday, Aug. 30 (Star Wars Night™) - Blue Jays Star Wars™ Hat
10. Friday, Sept. 13 (Friday the 13th - Zombie Night) - Blue Jays Zombie Giveaway

Fans looking to secure tickets now for select giveaways can do so with 20+, 12+, and 6+ Game Packs. For more information on Game Packs and other ticket packages, visit bluejays.com/tickets.

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Blue Jays announce Major League coaching staff

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announced the members of Manager CHARLIE MONTOYO'S coaching staff for the 2019 campaign. Returning to the staff are pitching coach PETE WALKER and third base coach LUIS RIVERA. The Blue Jays have also promoted from within the organization by naming GUILLERMO MARTINEZ as hitting coach and JOHN SCHNEIDER as Major League coach. Joining bench coach DAVE HUDGENS, the club has hired MARK BUDZINSKI as first base coach, MATT BUSCHMANN as bullpen coach, and SHELLEY DUNCAN as Major League field coordinator.

 

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announced the members of Manager CHARLIE MONTOYO'S coaching staff for the 2019 campaign. Returning to the staff are pitching coach PETE WALKER and third base coach LUIS RIVERA. The Blue Jays have also promoted from within the organization by naming GUILLERMO MARTINEZ as hitting coach and JOHN SCHNEIDER as Major League coach. Joining bench coach DAVE HUDGENS, the club has hired MARK BUDZINSKI as first base coach, MATT BUSCHMANN as bullpen coach, and SHELLEY DUNCAN as Major League field coordinator.

 

WALKER, 49, returns for his seventh season as Toronto's pitching coach and his 11th campaign with the club. He began his coaching career in 2009, working with the team's rehabbing pitchers before being named pitching coach for Double-A New Hampshire in 2011. Walker then made his Major League coaching debut in 2012 as the Blue Jays' bullpen coach.

 

RIVERA, 54, returns for his seventh season on the Major League coaching staff as third base coach and enters his ninth year with the Blue Jays organization. He previously served as coach and manager in the Cleveland Indians organization for 10 years, including four seasons on the Major League staff as infield and first base coach.

 

MARTINEZ, 34, spent last season as Toronto's hitting coordinator after a four-year stint as hitting coach for Advanced-A Myrtle Beach in the Chicago Cubs organization. Prior to that, he served as Minor League hitting and infield coach for the Blue Jays in 2012 and 2013. The infielder from the University of South Alabama was drafted by the Florida Marlins in 2006. He then played three seasons with Florida and took part in three more campaigns in independent ball before founding Pro Hitting Baseball, a baseball academy in Knoxville, TN.

 

SCHNEIDER, 38, has spent the last 11 seasons with the Blue Jays organization, most recently managing the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats to an Eastern League championship in September. As Major League coach, he will have an emphasis on the development of Major League catching. The Newark, DE, native began his coaching career as a hitting coach for the GCL Blue Jays in 2008, before serving as the team's manager from 2009 to 2010 and again in 2013. He also managed the Vancouver Canadians (2011, 2014 to 2015), the Lansing Lugnuts (2016), and the Dunedin Blue Jays (2017), leading to a combined career managerial record of 381-347. The Blue Jays' 2002 13th round pick out of the University of Delaware played six seasons in the Minors, advancing as high as Triple-A Syracuse in 2007.

 

BUDZINSKI, 45, spent last season as a Major League coach with the Cleveland Indians, where he supported the coaching staff with advance preparation, player performance, and on-field pregame work. He previously managed for four seasons in the Indians system from 2014 to 2017. The Baltimore, MD, native was originally selected by Cleveland in the 21st round of the 1995 draft and played seven years in the Indians' ranks from 1995 to 2001. He then spent time in the Chicago (NL), Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and Philadelphia organizations before retiring in 2005. The University of Richmond product made his Major League debut with the Cincinnati Reds on August 3, 2003 and appeared in four big league games with the club.

 

BUSCHMANN, 34, served as assistant director of player development for the San Francisco Giants last season. The 2006 15th round pick out of Vanderbilt spent 11 years in the Minors with San Diego (2006 to 2011), Tampa Bay (2012 to 2013, 2015), Oakland (2014), Cincinnati (2015), Baltimore (2015), and Arizona (2016). He made his Major League debut at 32 years old for the Diamondbacks, pitching in three games with a 2.08 ERA and three strikeouts over 4.1 innings. He also signed a Minor League deal with the Toronto Blue Jays in March 2017 and was assigned to Triple-A Buffalo. Over his Minor League career, Buschmann accumulated a 92-79 record with a 4.20 ERA over 307 games (239 starts).

 

DUNCAN, 39, worked in the Arizona Diamondbacks organization for the previous four seasons, most recently serving as the manager for its Double-A affiliate, the Jackson Generals. The Tucson, AZ, native was selected by the New York Yankees in the second round of the 2001 First-Year Player Draft and played seven Major League seasons with the Yankees (2007 to 2009), the Cleveland Indians (2010 to 2012), and the Tampa Bay Rays (2013). The former outfielder and first baseman hit a combined .226 (200-for-885) with 42 doubles, 43 home runs, and 144 RBI in 330 games.

Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays acquire RHP Trent Thornton

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have acquired RHP TRENT THORNTON from the HOUSTON ASTROS in exchange for INF ALEDMYS DÍAZ.

THORNTON, 25, posted a 9-8 record with a 4.42 ERA in 24 games for the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) in 2018. The 6-0, 175 lb. right-handed pitcher was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 June Amateur Draft. The Pittsburgh, PA, native owns a career record of 32-19 and a 4.23 ERA over four Minor League seasons with 395 strikeouts and 78 starts in 88 appearances.

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have acquired RHP TRENT THORNTON from the HOUSTON ASTROS in exchange for INF ALEDMYS DÍAZ.

THORNTON, 25, posted a 9-8 record with a 4.42 ERA in 24 games for the Fresno Grizzlies of the Pacific Coast League (AAA) in 2018. The 6-0, 175 lb. right-handed pitcher was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 June Amateur Draft. The Pittsburgh, PA, native owns a career record of 32-19 and a 4.23 ERA over four Minor League seasons with 395 strikeouts and 78 starts in 88 appearances.

DÍAZ, 28, hit .263 (111-for-422) with 26 doubles, 18 home runs, and 55 RBI in 130 games in 2018. The right-handed batter posted a .756 OPS this past season and slugging .453 with 44 of his 111 hits going for extra bases. The 6-1, 195 lb. native of Santa Clara, Cuba, has a career batting average of .275 with 42 home runs, 140 RBI, and an OPS of .783 in three seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and Toronto Blue Jays.

Toronto Blue Jays

Blue Jays weather advisory: Winter Fest is coming to Toronto!

Plus, Halifax bundles up for Winter Tour

- Now in its second year, Winter Fest presented by TD takes over Rogers Centre for two days on January 19 & 20

- Winter Tour presented by TD visits Halifax for the first time since 2012 on January 11 & 12

- Now in its second year, Winter Fest presented by TD takes over Rogers Centre for two days on January 19 & 20

- Winter Tour presented by TD visits Halifax for the first time since 2012 on January 11 & 12

The weather outside may be getting frightful, but the TORONTO BLUE JAYS are embracing the cooler temperatures with the club's signature offseason fan events, WINTER FEST and WINTER TOUR, presented by TD.

Following the overwhelming fan response to the first-ever WINTER FEST, the second-annual event will extend to two full days of fan fun and festivities on Saturday, Jan. 19 and Sunday, Jan. 20 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Rogers Centre.

This year's WINTER FEST will feature even more excitement for fans of all ages, with select player, prospect, and alumni appearances, Sportsnet personalities, Jr. Jays activations, live entertainment, historic memorabilia, baseball-themed games, a Ferris wheel, a skating rink, catch and throw, batting radar cages, ballpark tours, and much more. Fans attending WINTER FEST will also receive a Blue Jays Toque presented by TD upon entry into Rogers Centre. Additional event details will be announced in the coming weeks.

Tickets to WINTER FEST are available to the public beginning Monday, Nov. 19 at 10 a.m. ET, with an exclusive presale for 2019 Season Ticket Members on Thursday, Nov. 15 and 2019 Game Pack Members on Friday, Nov. 16 (full pricing below). Fans who purchase tickets prior to Tuesday, Nov. 20 at 10 p.m. ET will have the opportunity to gain access to autograph sessions and guided tours, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are not guaranteed. Each player autograph session and guided tour ticket is $5 with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Jays Care Foundation. Plus, fans who purchase tickets to WINTER FEST will obtain access to a special presale for 2019 Blue Jays Single Game Tickets.

Admission prices (per day)

• Adults - $20
• Youth (Ages 2 to 14) and seniors (65 and over) - $5
• Free for children under the age of 2
• **2019 Season Ticket Members - $10
• 2019 Game Pack Members - $15

**Season Ticket Members will receive exclusive benefits at WINTER FEST, including a specially priced ticket, access to a Season Ticket Member lounge in the WestJet Flight Deck, a 20% discount at Jays Shop, and the opportunity to attend a Diamond Talks event featuring Q&A sessions with notable members of the Blue Jays organization (two sessions available per day via registration on a first-come, first-served basis).

Fans wishing to learn more about WINTER FEST presented by TD can visit bluejays.com/winterfest.

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The BLUE JAYS today also announced the team will head east for a weekend stop in Halifax on Friday, Jan. 11 and Saturday, Jan. 12, as part of the ninth-annual WINTER TOUR presented by TD.

The two-day event will celebrate Blue Jays fans on the east coast of Canada, with select current players and personnel taking part in various community initiatives and public appearances, including visits to IWK Health Centre and CFB Halifax, an amateur baseball clinic with Baseball Nova Scotia, and a ticketed autograph session at Pier 21. Additionally, Jays Care Foundation will host an adaptive baseball clinic led by Blue Jays players for athletes from across the province enrolled in the Challenger Baseball program.

For a chance to secure tickets to the autograph session, fans will be required to enter into an online lottery at bluejays.com/wintertour. The lottery opens on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m. AT and closes Wednesday, Dec. 5 at 10:59 p.m. AT. Winners will be selected by random draw and notified via email on Friday, Dec. 7 with a link to purchase the number of tickets requested. Each autograph session ticket is $5 with a portion of the proceeds benefitting Jays Care Foundation.

For full details on WINTER TOUR, please visit bluejays.com/wintertour.

Since 2011, WINTER TOUR presented by TD has visited more than 20 Canadian cities across the country, including Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Regina, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Ottawa, Montreal, Fredericton, and St. John's. This will be the second time the team has visited Halifax (2012).

Toronto Blue Jays

Dave Hudgens named Blue Jays bench coach

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announced DAVE HUDGENS has been named the club's new bench coach. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations & General Manager ROSS ATKINS.

HUDGENS, 61, has spent the last four seasons with the Houston Astros as the team's hitting coach, where he won a World Series Championship in 2017. Prior to that, he served as hitting coach for the New York Mets (2011 to 2014) and the Oakland Athletics (1999, 2003 to 2005). 

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS today announced DAVE HUDGENS has been named the club's new bench coach. The announcement was made by Executive Vice President, Baseball Operations & General Manager ROSS ATKINS.

HUDGENS, 61, has spent the last four seasons with the Houston Astros as the team's hitting coach, where he won a World Series Championship in 2017. Prior to that, he served as hitting coach for the New York Mets (2011 to 2014) and the Oakland Athletics (1999, 2003 to 2005). 

"Dave Hudgens brings an exceptional coaching background to our organization, including a wealth of experience and the ability to combine his baseball knowledge with a forward-thinking approach to help our team." said Ross Atkins, General Manager, Toronto Blue Jays. "He's a consummate learner and teacher at heart and he comes highly recommended by his peers."

The native of Oroville, California, began his coaching career in 1985 when he managed Rookie Level Pocatello in the Pioneer League. He then managed within Oakland's system until 1988 before joining Houston as a roving hitting instructor from 1989 to 1995. Hudgens returned to Oakland for the next 10 seasons, where in addition to coaching, he held the role of Director, Player Development from 1996 to 1998 and 2000 to 2002. After his 10 years with Oakland, he joined the Cleveland Indians as the field coordinator from 2006 to 2010. He also managed in the Venezuelan Winter League from 2009 to 2014, taking Caracas to the playoffs five times and winning the 2009-2010 VWL Championship.

The former first baseman was drafted by the New York Mets in the first round in 1975 and was also selected in the 18th round by the Milwaukee Brewers in 1977. Hudgens played at Arizona State University from 1975 to 1978 where he appeared twice in the College World Series while posting a .313 batting average across four seasons. Hudgens then spent six seasons playing in Oakland and Cleveland's systems, which included a six-game Major League stint with the Athletics in 1983.
 

Toronto Blue Jays