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After big breakout, Biggio working in OF in AFL

MLB.com

Behind some key adjustments at the plate, Cavan Biggio went from being another son of a former big leaguer in the Blue Jays' deep system to one of the organization's better prospects in 2018.

Selected in the fifth round of the 2016 Draft out of Notre Dame, Biggio reached full-season ball during his professional debut but was challenged the following year at Class A Advanced Dunedin in the Florida State League, where he hit .233/.342/.363 with 11 homers in 127 games.

Behind some key adjustments at the plate, Cavan Biggio went from being another son of a former big leaguer in the Blue Jays' deep system to one of the organization's better prospects in 2018.

Selected in the fifth round of the 2016 Draft out of Notre Dame, Biggio reached full-season ball during his professional debut but was challenged the following year at Class A Advanced Dunedin in the Florida State League, where he hit .233/.342/.363 with 11 homers in 127 games.

Unsatisfied with his production, Biggio used the offseason to revamp his swing, with the goal of driving the ball in the air more consistently in 2018.

He did precisely that, as the 23-year-old erupted to hit an Eastern League-best 26 home runs while leading New Hampshire to a circuit championship.

"I lowered my hands a little bit and had more of load," said the Blue Jays' No. 9 prospect. "I think that's where you see the power numbers coming from."

Arizona Fall League overviews for all 30 teams

On top of the home runs, Biggio finished atop the Eastern League leaderboard in walks (100), slugging (.499) and OPS (.887) and ranked second in on-base percentage (.388) and RBIs (99). He also stole 20 bases, making him one of six Minor Leagues to accomplish the feat in 2018.

"I had to pick my spots, so it was a little tough at the end of the year, but I ended up getting it. 20 stolen bases was a goal of mine, and I'm just happy I could finish off with it," said Biggio, the Eastern League's Most Valuable Player and Rookie of the Year.

Now continuing his season in the Arizona Fall League, Biggio is working to increase his defensive versatility in the outfield after shuffling between multiple infield positions at New Hampshire.

"I came up primarily as a second baseman and played a good bit of third and first base this year, so they just want me to add outfielder to the mix."

Luckily for Biggio, the ability to successfully bounce between any number of positions is a trait that runs in his family.

"Growing up my dad was able to go from catcher to second, center to left [field], back to second," said Biggio about his father, Hall-of-Famer Craig Biggio.

"He always taught me that being in the lineup in the best part, it doesn't matter the position. Whatever you have to do to accommodate the best interests of the team and just attack it with a positive mindset."

Blue Jays hitters in the Fall League

Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B -- After a regular season during which he flirted with a .400 average while reaching Triple-A at age 19, MLB Pipeline's No. 1 prospect has produced a .643 average (9-for-14) with four doubles and six RBIs in his first three games for Surprise, all three-pitcher performances.

Santiago Espinal, SS/2B/3B -- The Blue Jays' No. 22 prospect replaced Bo Bichette on Surprise's roster after Bichette was removed due to injuries. Acquired from Boston for Steve Pearce in late June, Espinal slashed .297/.356/.444 and set career highs with 10 homers, 27 doubles and 60 RBIs while handling multiple infield positions.

Video: Guerrero Jr. on getting to play in the Fall League

Blue Jays pitchers in the Fall League

Zach Jackson, RHP -- Jackson, Toronto's third-round pick from 2016, was highly effective in his first Double-A campaign as he posted a 2.47 ERA while holding hitters to a .142 clip over 43 games. The 23-year-old right-hander' plus curveball is his best weapon, and it helped him to amass 75 strikeouts in 62 innings (10.9 K/9). However, Jackson will need to make major gains with his control after issuing 54 total walks (7.8 BB/9).

Jackson McClelland, RHP -- The 6-foot-5 right-hander saved eight games while making 39 appearances in 2018, spending much of the year with Dunedin before a late-season bump to New Hampshire. He posted 57 strikeouts against 21 walks in 43 2/3 innings and held hitters to a .204 average between the two stops.

Shawn Morimando, LHP -- The 25-year-old left-hander reached the Majors with Cleveland back in 2016 but ultimately was released this past July after parts of eight years in the Indians' system. He made eight starts in the Minors, including four at Triple-A Buffalo, after being claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays.

Nate Pearson, RHP -- MLB Pipeline's No. 90 overall prospect logged just 1 2/3 innings during the regular season after a line drive fractured his right arm during his first start. When healthy, however, the 6-foot-6 right-hander features a fastball that can hit triple digits, a plus slider and feel for both a curveball and changeup.

Video: Jays prospect Pearson on Fall League win

Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero.

Blue Jays to close out spring in Montreal

Club will face Brewers in two-game series on March 25-26
MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are planning a return to the city of Montreal for the sixth consecutive year.

Toronto will once again close out its spring schedule with a two-game exhibition series in La Belle Province. After previous appearances by the Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, Mets and Red Sox, it will be the Brewers' turn to head north of the border.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays are planning a return to the city of Montreal for the sixth consecutive year.

Toronto will once again close out its spring schedule with a two-game exhibition series in La Belle Province. After previous appearances by the Pirates, Cardinals, Reds, Mets and Red Sox, it will be the Brewers' turn to head north of the border.

The series is expected to once again feature highly touted Blue Jays prospect Vladimir Guerrero Jr. His father, Vlad, was a star player in Montreal from 1996-2003 before eventually continuing his Hall of Fame career with the Angels.

Last year, Guerrero Jr. returned to Olympic Stadium, where he was frequently spotted as a kid, and hit a walkoff homer to secure a win over the Cardinals. Considering Guerrero Jr. has yet to make his Major League debut, the unforgettable scene was likely his top moment from 2018.

"Montreal is a city with great baseball history and tradition," Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said in a statement. "We are excited to join in celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Montreal Expos and to continue creating memories for Blue Jays fans across Canada."

Video: STL@TOR: Montreal crowd gives Martin standing ovation

The series also could feature the return of the hometown hero Russell Martin. The Blue Jays may consider moving Martin, 35, this winter considering he wasn't used over the final three weeks of the regular season, and Toronto intends set on making Danny Jansen its starting catcher.

Moving Martin and the remaining $20 million on his contract will not be easy, so there's still a good chance that he will rejoin the Blue Jays next spring. If he does, that means Martin will be making his fifth trip to Montreal, which he is where he grew up after being born just outside of Toronto.

The two-game series in Montreal is scheduled for March 25 and 26. Tickets will go on sale Friday at noon ET for the Blue Jays' final tuneup before the start of the 2019 regular season. Toronto is set to open next year's schedule vs. the Tigers on March 28 at Rogers Centre.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Russell Martin

Pipeline names Blue Jays' Prospects of Year

MLB.com

TORONTO -- Vladimir Guerrero's long, talked about Major League debut never came to fruition in 2018, but he did arguably turn into the top prospect in all of baseball.

Guerrero, unsurprisingly, has been named Toronto's Minor League Hitter of the Year by MLB Pipeline while right-hander Sean Reid-Foley took home top pitching honors. Two big pieces for the future, who likely will heavily factor into the Blue Jays' plans next season.

TORONTO -- Vladimir Guerrero's long, talked about Major League debut never came to fruition in 2018, but he did arguably turn into the top prospect in all of baseball.

Guerrero, unsurprisingly, has been named Toronto's Minor League Hitter of the Year by MLB Pipeline while right-hander Sean Reid-Foley took home top pitching honors. Two big pieces for the future, who likely will heavily factor into the Blue Jays' plans next season.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

The 19-year-old Guerrero saw his season start with a bang when he hit a walk-off homer during Toronto's exhibition series against the Cardinals in late March at Olympic Stadium. The game might not have counted for anything, but it was still a signature moment for a player whose father started his Hall of Fame career between those same walls.

"There's no debate that he's on an accelerated time frame," Blue Jays president Mark Shapiro said toward the end of the season. "He's already eclipsed the time frame that any player would have at his age and his level of experience. He's going to get up here at a very young age. Maybe next April, we're open to that."

Guerrero embarked on one of the most historic offensive seasons the Minor Leagues has ever seen. He posted a ridiculous .402/.449/.671 slash line with 14 home runs and 60 RBIs over 61 games for Double-A New Hampshire. Then he finished the year by hitting .336/.414/.564 with six homers and 16 RBIs for Triple-A Buffalo.

Video: Guerrero Jr. named Pipeline Hitter of the Year

The only downside for Guerrero came in early June when he sustained a strained patellar tendon in his left knee. Guerrero missed a little more than a month but returned to finish the year strong in advance of an upcoming appearance in the Arizona Fall League.

There are prospects and then there are super prospects like Guerrero. There seems to be very little debate that he will become an impact bat at the Major League level, and the biggest question surrounds whether he'll go on to have a similar career to that of his nine-time All-Star father.

Blue Jays' Top 30 Prospects 

"This is huge for him going into the Arizona Fall League," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said. "That will be a great development for him. Next Spring Training will be a great development for him. As he transitions to the big leagues, we're planning on him playing third base."

Reid-Foley, Pipeline's No. 10 Blue Jays prospect, earned Toronto's Minor League Pitcher of the Year after a breakout season for Triple-A Buffalo. The 23-year-old bounced back from a disappointing 2017 season, which saw him go 10-11 with a 5.09 ERA at New Hampshire, to re-establish himself as a big piece of Toronto's future.

Video: TOR@NYY: Reid-Foley fans 10, tosses 5 shutout innings

In 16 starts for Buffalo, Reid-Foley went 7-5 with a 3.90 ERA. That was enough to earn a late summer promotion to the big league roster where Reid-Foley was predictably inconsistent but held his own against some of the league's top hitters.

With 42 strikeouts over 33 1/3 Major League innings, there's a lot to like, but the product of Florida will have to get his walks under control if he's going to take the next step in 2019. Reid-Foley issued 20 walks in seven starts for the Blue Jays in August and September.

"The kid did a good job," outgoing Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said at the end of the year. "He still has things to work on, naturally, but I thought he held his own. He's a different style than some of the other guys. ... He has a nice little breaking ball. A little changeup. Yeah, I think [fastball command] is going to be the key for him and how good he becomes."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Sean Reid-Foley

Every club's best individual playoff performance

From MadBum to Mr. October, these runs went down in franchise lore
MLB.com

One of the many joys of baseball's postseason is how one player can make such an outsized difference. There's no better time for a player to go on a hot streak than in the playoffs, when he's able to carry his team for a whole series -- maybe even to a championship. Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, of zeniths and nadirs, and everyone wants to break out and have a heater in October.

With that in mind, we look at the greatest postseason runs by a player on each of baseball's 30 teams. These are the sort of streaks that make legends in their hometowns ... the sort of runs we'll talk about forever.

One of the many joys of baseball's postseason is how one player can make such an outsized difference. There's no better time for a player to go on a hot streak than in the playoffs, when he's able to carry his team for a whole series -- maybe even to a championship. Baseball is a game of ebbs and flows, of zeniths and nadirs, and everyone wants to break out and have a heater in October.

With that in mind, we look at the greatest postseason runs by a player on each of baseball's 30 teams. These are the sort of streaks that make legends in their hometowns ... the sort of runs we'll talk about forever.

Note: We're sticking to the divisional era here, which goes back to 1969, and is the dawn of the modern postseason.

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Paul Molitor, 1993
.447/.527/.851, World Series MVP
Everyone remembers the Joe Carter homer, but Molitor was a monster that whole postseason for the Blue Jays at the age of 37. He was terrific back in 1982 for the Brewers, too.

Orioles: Brooks Robinson, 1970
.485/.471/.788, World Series MVP
This was, of course, the same World Series in which he made the ridiculous play at third base … though with Robinson, it's always a question of which ridiculous play.

Video: #WeKnowPostseason: Robinson's Play

Rays: James Shields, 2008
2-2, 25 IP, 2.88 ERA
This is where the "Big Game James" nickname came from, even if it maybe lasted a year or two longer than it should have.

Red Sox: David Ortiz, 2004
.400/.515/.764, ALCS MVP
It's rather difficult, all told, to figure out which Ortiz postseason to pick: He had an OPS over 1.204 in October for all three of the Red Sox championship teams he played for.

Video: 2004 ALCS Gm7: Ortiz's homer gives Red Sox early lead

Yankees: Reggie Jackson, 1978
.417/.511/.806
The highest qualified OPS by Yankees are, in fact, 2018 Aaron Judge and 2006 Derek Jeter ... but how do you not pick Mr. October?

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Orel Hershiser, 1995
4-1, 35 1/3 IP, 1.53 ERA, ALCS MVP
The season with the other Indians' World Series loss -- no, the other one -- featured vintage Hershiser ... and he split a couple of duels with Greg Maddux in the World Series, too.

Royals: Danny Jackson, 1985
2-1, 26 IP, 1.04 ERA
Bret Saberhagen is remembered as the hero of this Royals team -- along with Don Denkinger, of course -- but Jackson was actually the best pitcher for the Royals that postseason.

Tigers: Alan Trammell, 1984
.419/.500/.806, World Series MVP
Trammell put the perfect capper on the Tigers' dream season. This was a quiet argument for Trammell's Hall of Fame candidacy.

Twins: Jack Morris, 1991
4-0, 36 1/3 IP, 2.23 ERA, World Series MVP
Speaking of the Hall of Fame ... this postseason is almost certainly why Morris currently has a plaque in Cooperstown.

Video: 1991 WS Gm7: Morris' 10-inning shutout

White Sox: Jermaine Dye, 2005
.311/.415/.444, World Series MVP
Several White Sox players had a higher OPS than Dye that postseason -- including Joe Crede, Scott Podsednik and Paul Konerko -- but you've got to go with the World Series MVP.

AL WEST

Angels: Francisco Rodriguez, 2002
5-1, 18 2/3 IP, 1.93 ERA
Back when there were more rigid bullpen roles, K-Rod was deployed liberally and devastatingly in 2002, back when he was 20 years old.

Astros: Carlos Beltran, 2004
.435/.536/1.022
Cardinals fans will be having nightmares about 2004 Carlos Beltran for decades to come ... and they won that series.

Video: 2004 NLCS Gm4: Beltran hits eighth homer of playoffs

Athletics: Dave Stewart, 1989
4-0, 32 IP, 2.25 ERA, World Series MVP
Stewart had a career 2.77 postseason ERA in 133 innings ... he would actually win the ALCS MVP the very next season, too.

Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr., 1995
.364/.442/.818
Jay Buhner was just as good as The Kid in 1995 ... but Griffey is Griffey.

Rangers: Juan Gonzalez, 1996
.438/.526/1.375
The Rangers actually lost this Division Series in four games, but good heavens, was Juan Gone ever a monster, hitting five homers in four games.

Video: 1996 ALDS Gm4: Juan Gonzalez's fifth home run of ALDS

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: John Smoltz, 1996
4-1, 38 IP, 0.95 ERA
You could also go with Greg Maddux's 1995 run -- since the Braves won the World Series that year, after all -- and you wouldn't be wrong.

Marlins: Josh Beckett, 2003
2-2, 42 2/3 IP, 2.11 ERA, World Series MVP
After the Yankees and Red Sox had their first of two epic postseason battles, Beckett was happy to pick up the pieces in the World Series.

Video: WS Gm6: Beckett shuts out Yanks as Marlins win series

Mets: Bobby Ojeda, 1986
2-0, 27 IP, 2.33 ERA
Of all the great Mets starters on that team, it was Ojeda who had the best postseason.

Nationals: Stephen Strasburg, 2017
1-1, 14 IP, 0.00 ERA
Since we're excluding the Expos -- if we weren't, Steve Rogers in 1981 would be the obvious answer here -- we must dig into the gruesome land of the Nationals' postseason failures. Strasburg has the ultimate Nationals playoff line: 0 earned runs, 1 loss.

Video: WSH@CHC Gm4: Strasburg K's 12 over seven scoreless

Phillies: Cliff Lee, 2009
4-0, 40 1/3 IP, 1.56 ERA
Cole Hamels had the World Series MVP in '08, but Lee was actually better, in five more innings.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Ryan Braun, 2011
.405/.468/.714
This postseason performance feels like a lifetime ago, but it's one the Brewers sure would appreciate a repeat of.

Cardinals: David Freese, 2011
.397/.465/.794, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
Freese actually struggled in the NLDS this season ... though he ended up making up for it.

Video: Must C Comeback: Freese's triple ties it up in ninth

Cubs: Jon Lester, 2016
3-1, 35 2/3 IP, 2.02 ERA, NLCS co-MVP
Lester still feels like the postseason starter Cubs fans trust most, and probably always will.

Pirates: Willie Stargell, 1979
.415/.435/.927, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
He also shared the regular-season MVP Award this year, pulling off the rare trifecta.

Reds: Johnny Bench, 1976
.444/.464/.926, World Series MVP
Bench was as dominant as the Reds were in this matter-of-fact World Series sweep.

NL WEST

D-backs: Curt Schilling, 2001
4-0, 48 1/3 IP, 1.12 ERA, World Series co-MVP
Randy Johnson's line this exact 2001 postseason: 5-1, 41 1/3 IP, 1.52 ERA. That is ... difficult to beat.

Video: WS2001 Gm4: Schilling comes up clutch on short rest

Dodgers: Hershiser, 1988
3-0, 1 SV, 42 2/3 IP, 1.05 ERA, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
Hershiser is the only pitcher to be on this list twice ... and how could he not be?

Giants: Madison Bumgarner, 2014
4-1, 1 SV, 52 2/3 IP, 1.03 ERA, NLCS MVP, World Series MVP
This is an obvious pick, but at this point I'd like to remind you that Barry Bonds put up a .356/.581/.978 in 2002.

Video: WS2014 Gm7: Bumgarner sets postseason innings record

Padres: Sterling Hitchcock, 1998
3-0, 22 IP, 1.23 ERA, NLCS MVP
He gave up only one earned run in six innings in his lone World Series start ... not that it did the Padres much good.

Rockies: Kaz Matsui, 2007
.304/.347/.500
It was a strange postseason for the Rockies in 2007, but if you forget the World Series happened altogether, it was a glorious one.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Here's what happened in Monday's AFL action

MLB.com

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Monday:

• GamedaySurprise 2, Scottsdale 0 | Peoria 13, Salt River 4 | Mesa 8, Glendale 0

Here's a team-by-team breakdown of how all 30 teams' prospects fared in Arizona Fall League action on Monday:

• GamedaySurprise 2, Scottsdale 0 | Peoria 13, Salt River 4 | Mesa 8, Glendale 0

AL East

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

Blue Jays
Vladimir Guerrero Jr., MLB Pipeline's No. 1 overall prospect, continued a torrid fall with another hit, a seventh-inning single, in Surprise's 2-0 win over Scottsdale on Monday, and added a walk in a 1-for-4 evening at the plate. Blue Jays No. 9 prospect Cavan Biggio added a walk and run in five trips to the plate.

Orioles
A pair of Orioles prospects -- southpaw Tyler Erwin and right-hander Jay Flaa -- turned in strong relief performances in a losing effort for Glendale. Erwin struck out a batter in a perfect inning, while Flaa walked one batter in a scoreless inning. Third baseman Steve Wilkerson collected one of Glendale's five hits, batting 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. The O's No. 12 prospect, center fielder Ryan McKenna, went 0-for-3 with a walk.

Rays
Shortstop Lucius Fox, the Rays' No. 9 prospect, reached base five times with two hits and three walks from the leadoff spot to key a 13-run outburst by Peoria on Monday. No. 25 prospect Ryan Boldt added two hits and two walks, including an RBI single. No. 17 prospect Joe McCarthy, the left fielder, was 0-for-4 with an RBI groundout. Starting pitcher Matt Krook got Peoria in an early hole, allowing four runs in 2 2/3 innings, with two of those runs brought in by a double off reliever Dalton Moats, who otherwise pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Video: Fox on game, lessons learned at Arizona Fall League

Red Sox
Second baseman Esteban Quiroz scored and added a single in five trips to the plate for the Solar Sox in their 8-0 shutout of Glendale.

Yankees
Right-hander Jordan Foley started for Glendale and gave up two unearned runs, two hits and two walks while striking out three batters in his second appearance of fall. Righty Kyle Zurak gave up two runs in two-thirds of an inning. Steven Sensley had one of five Glendale hits. Yankees No. 2 prospect Estevan Florial went 0-for-3 with a walk, and No. 16 Thairo Estrada went 0-for-4.

AL Central

Indians
Jared Robinson absorbed the brunt of the damage in Glendale's loss to Mesa, allowing four runs on four hits and a walk in 1 1/3 innings. He struck out two batters in his first AFL appearance of 2018. Right-fielder Connor Marabell went 1-for-4, and catcher Li-Jen Chu hit a pinch-hit double in the eighth.

Royals
Surprise trotted out four Royals pitching prospects to combine for a four-hit shutout against Scottsdale on Monday night, started by No. 26 prospect Scott Blewett (4 IP, 4 K) and finished by No. 12 prospect Arnaldo Hernandez (2 IP, 1 K), Grant Gavin (2 IP, 3 K) and Walker Sheller, who earned the save with a perfect ninth inning. Royals No. 2 prospect Khalil Lee went 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts.

Video: Top Prospects: Scott Blewett, RHP, Royals

Tigers
Left fielder Daniel Woodrow went 2-for-4 with a run scored for Mesa. It's his second multi-hit game in a row.

Twins
Right fielder Luke Raley, the Twins' No. 19 prospect, went 0-for-2 with a walk and scored on a sacrifice fly in Salt River's 13-4 loss to Peoria. Jaylin Davis went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts as the starting designated hitter.

White Sox
White Sox No. 28 prospect Laz Rivera, a shortstop, went 0-for-4 for Glendale.

AL West

A's
A quartet of A's prospects -- Calvin Coker (1 1/3 innings), Angel Duno (2 IP), Jake Bray (1 IP) and Sam Sheehan (1 2/3 IP) -- combined to pitch six scoreless innings in relief against Glendale. Center fielder Luis Barrera drove in a pair of runs and scored two with a hit and a walk. Designated hitter Eli White, the A's No. 18 prospect, was 2-for-4 with two RBIs, a run, a walk and a stolen base.

Angels
Right-hander Jesus Castillo, the Angels' No. 12 prospect, started for Mesa and pitched three scoreless frames, holding Glendale to just three hits and a walk while fanning five batters. David MacKinnon drew two walks, and Roberto Baldoquin went hitless in five at-bats but plated two runs on ground outs.

Video: Castillo on pitching performance in Fall League

Astros
Astros No. 24 prospect Trent Thornton was the first man out of the bullpen for Scottsdale, allowing two hits in two shutout innings with three strikeouts and a walk. No. 21 prospect Abraham Toro-Hernandez and center fielder Ronnie Dawson were both hitless as the Scorpions were shut out by Surprise.

Mariners
Mariners No. 2 prospect Evan White continued a strong fall with an RBI double and bases-loaded walk in Peoria's 13-run showing to bring his AFL RBI total up to seven. Catcher Joe DeCarlo hit a two-run double and walked twice while scoring three runs.

Rangers
Julio Pablo Martinez drove in one of Surprise's two runs with an RBI groundout and also doubled in four trips to the plate. Charles Leblanc started at designated hitter and singled in a 1-for-4 performance.

NL East

Braves
A pair of Braves prospects pitched effectively in relief for Peoria, with Thomas Burrows, Atlanta's No. 19 prospect, throwing two hitless innings with four strikeouts, and Adam McCreery tossing a scoreless ninth inning in the Javelinas' 13-4 victory. Center fielder Cristian Pache, the Braves' No. 6 prospect, hit an RBI single and walked twice, while second baseman Ray-Patrick Didder was 1-for-4 with a run scored.

Marlins
Marlins No. 1 prospect Monte Harrison extended Salt River's early lead with a two-run double, but teammates Brian Miller and Bryson Brigman went hitless in the loss to Peoria. Kyle Keller got the final out for Salt River, while Tommy Eveld was charged with four runs after walking two and allowing two hits to Peoria in one-third of an inning.

Mets
No. 24 prospect Stephen Nogosek threw a scoreless eighth inning for Scottsdale with a strikeout and a walk, while No. 1 prospect Andres Jimenez and No. 2 prospect Peter Alonso were each hitless in four at-bats. Ali Sanchez entered as a defensive replacement at catcher for the ninth inning.

Nationals
Southpaw Jordan Milles pitched 1 1/3 scoreless innings in a losing effort for the Rafters, holding Peoria to one hit and a walk while striking out one batter. Nationals No. 2 prospect Carter Kieboom went 0-for-2, but drew two walks and scored a run. No. 7 Daniel Johnson, an outfielder, went 0-for-4, and left-hander Ben Braymer allowed four runs on a hit and three walks and recorded just one out.

Phillies
Phillies No. 11 prospect Arquimedes Gamboa and outfielder Luke Williams had two of the Scorpions' four hits, while Darick Hall went 0-for-3 with a strikeout as the designated hitter. Jonathan Hennigan pitched the fifth inning and allowed one of the two Surprise runs, while Seth McGarry relieved Hennigan and threw two shutout innings with two strikeouts.

NL Central

Brewers
Keston Hiura, the Brewers' No. 1 prospect, drove in three runs with a bases-loaded walk and two-run single to collect his 10th RBI of AFL play. No. 8 prospect Daniel Brown pitched a scoreless eighth inning with a strikeout.

Cardinals
Second baseman Andy Young was one of two Surprise hitters with multiple hits and drove in one of the Saguaros' two runs with a first-inning RBI single. Catcher Jeremy Martinez walked in all four of his plate appearances in a perfect night at the plate.

Cubs
The Cubs' No. 6 prospect, shortstop Nico Hoerner, turned in a three-hit performance for a second straight game and scored a run in Mesa's win. Right fielder Trent Giambrone (Cubs' No. 29) and catcher P.J. Higgins each went 0-for-4 with a run and a walk.

Pirates
Pirates No. 16 prospect Will Craig went 2-for-4 as one of two Saguaros hitters with multiple hits, while No. 5 prospect Cole Tucker singled to start the game before scoring on a sacrifice fly.

Reds
Outfielder Taylor Trammell, the Reds' No. 3 prospect, knocked two singles on Monday night and was the only Scottsdale hitter with multiple hits. No. 8 prospect Shed Long walked in a pinch-hit at-bat, while starter Austin Orewiler took the loss after allowing one run on three hits in two innings.

NL West

D-backs
Arizona's No. 5 prospect, catcher Daulton Varsho, went 0-for-3 but drew a walk. Two pitching prospects pitched for Salt River: Kevin Ginkel, who tossed 1 1/3 innings and struck out three while allowing a run, and Bo Takahashi, who took the loss after being charged for four runs on four hits and a walk in two-thirds of an inning.

Dodgers
Right-handers Nolan Long and Jordan Sheffield each made scoreless relief appearances for Glendale. Long allowed two hits and struck out three in two scoreless frames, and Sheffield struck out one in a perfect frame with one strikeout. Catcher Keibert Ruiz went 1-for-3, and designated hitter Cody Thomas went 0-for-2 with a walk.

Giants
Sam Wolff struck out a batter in a scoreless ninth in Scottsdale's loss to Surprise, and catcher Matt Winn went 0-for-2 with a strikeout.

Padres
Padres No. 23 prospect Hudson Potts tied the team lead with three RBIs with a pair of run-scoring singles and scored a run in Peoria's 13-4 win. Hansel Rodriguez picked up his first win of the fall by pitching a scoreless fifth inning before his lineup exploded for eight runs in the bottom of the frame.

Rockies
Rockies No. 10 prospect Ryan Castellani was wild but effective in a solid start, walking three but keeping Peoria off the board in 3 2/3 hitless innings. No. 11 prospect Tyler Nevin was 1-for-2 with a sacrifice fly and an RBI single, while Josh Fuentes doubled, walked and scored a run in a 1-for-4 performance.

Blue Jays acquire RHP to complete Donaldson deal

Merryweather missed all of 2018 season after Tommy John surgery
MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays officially completed the Josh Donaldson trade on Friday morning by acquiring right-hander Julian Merryweather from the Indians as the player to be named later.

Merryweather was the pitcher multiple reports previously suggested Toronto would be acquiring. Cleveland could not officially include him in the Aug. 31 deal with Toronto because Merryweather was injured and not eligible to clear waivers.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays officially completed the Josh Donaldson trade on Friday morning by acquiring right-hander Julian Merryweather from the Indians as the player to be named later.

Merryweather was the pitcher multiple reports previously suggested Toronto would be acquiring. Cleveland could not officially include him in the Aug. 31 deal with Toronto because Merryweather was injured and not eligible to clear waivers.

Merryweather, who will turn 27 on Oct. 14, missed all of 2018 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in the spring, but he is expected to make a full recovery for '19. Merryweather went 7-9 with a 5.32 ERA in 25 combined starts at Double-A and Triple-A during his most recent full season in '17.

Infielder Jon Berti was designated for assignment to make room on Toronto's 40-man roster. Merryweather is expected to factor into the Blue Jays' plans for the rotation at some point next season, and he could compete for a job out of Spring Training if he is deemed healthy and ready to go after his lengthy recovery from surgery.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Jon Berti, Julian Merryweather

Each team's greatest postseason moment

The most memorable October event of the divisional era for every club
MLB.com

There are just four teams remaining in this year's postseason, but every fan, even those of the Mariners (the team with the longest postseason drought, now up to 17 seasons), can relate to what it feels like to be in the playoffs. The late nights, the constant tension, the stakes so high you can barely breathe ... and when something wonderful happens, the release and the pure, unbridled jubilation.

With that in mind, we take a look at the greatest postseason moments of the division era. Even if your team isn't a postseason team, you can remember your great October moments … and if it is, you can dream of maybe having another one this month that's even better.

There are just four teams remaining in this year's postseason, but every fan, even those of the Mariners (the team with the longest postseason drought, now up to 17 seasons), can relate to what it feels like to be in the playoffs. The late nights, the constant tension, the stakes so high you can barely breathe ... and when something wonderful happens, the release and the pure, unbridled jubilation.

With that in mind, we take a look at the greatest postseason moments of the division era. Even if your team isn't a postseason team, you can remember your great October moments … and if it is, you can dream of maybe having another one this month that's even better.

(For the purpose of this exercise, we are going back to 1969, which is the start of divisional play and the birth of the postseason as we know it.)

AMERICAN LEAGUE EAST

Blue Jays: Joe Carter's World Series walk-off, Oct. 23, 1993
The Blue Jays might not have that many postseason moments, but the greatness of this one more than makes up for that. Runner-up: Jose Bautista's ALDS Game 5 bat flip, Oct. 14, 2015.

Video: 93 WS, GM 6, PHI@TOR: Joe Carter touches them all

Orioles: Brooks Robinson's incredible play, 1970 World Series, Oct. 10, 1970
The best part about this play, which might be the greatest defensive play in World Series history, is how surprised the umpire looks. Even he can't believe what he just saw. Runner-up: David McNally's grand slam, World Series Game 3, Oct. 13, 1970.

Rays: First and only World Series trip clinched, Oct. 19, 2008
A decade ago, and still pretty jaw-dropping that all this happened. Runner-up: Grant Balfour strikes out Ken Griffey Jr. to clinch the first ALDS victory, Oct. 6, 2008.

Red Sox: First World Series title since 1918, Oct. 27, 2004
You might remember when this happened. (It's when lifelong Red Sox fans Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore got on television.) Runner-up: David Ortiz's ALCS grand slam vs. the Tigers sent a cop joyous in the bullpen and turns the series around on Oct. 13, 2013.

Video: Must C Classic: Red Sox win first WS since 1918

Yankees: Reggie Jackson's three homers in 1977 World Series
There's a reason no one else gets to be called "Mr. October." Runner-up: Mr. November -- Derek Jeter's World Series Game 5 walk-off homer on Nov. 1, 2001.

Video: 1977 WS Gm6: Reggie becomes Mr. October

AL CENTRAL

Indians: Eddie Murray's walk-off, Game 3, 1995 World Series, Oct. 24, 1995
It was Cleveland's first World Series game in 41 years, and ended with a Hall of Famer sending the crowd into euphorics. Runner-up: Rajai Davis' home run off Aroldis Chapman, 2016 World Series, Nov. 2, 2016

Royals: Royals win 2015 World Series, Nov. 1, 2015
It was a magical season and a magical World Series that just seems more improbable each year that goes by. Runner-up: The Don Denkinger play, and aftermath, 1985 World Series, Oct. 26, 1985.

Tigers: Magglio Ordonez sends Tigers to World Series, Oct. 14, 2006
The sounds that crowd makes the minute the bat meets the ball still gives you chills 12 years later. Runner-up: Kirk Gibson's Game 5 homer, 1984 World Series.

Twins: Kirby Puckett's Game 6 walk-off, 1991 World Series, Oct. 26, 1991
The original "We Will See You Tomorrow Night." Runner-up: Twins win 1987 World Series, their first in Minnesota, Oct. 25, 1987.

Video: Must C Classic: Puckett crushes a walk-off homer

White Sox: White Sox win 2005 World Series, Oct. 26, 2015
A game that was razor-tight, in a series that was much closer than anyone remembers. Runner-up: Scott Podsednik's Game 2 walk-off, Oct. 23, 2015.

AL WEST

Angels: Scott Spiezio's homer, Game 6, 2002 World Series, Oct. 26, 2002
The most Rally Monkey of all the Rally Monkey moments, his three-run clout cued the rally from a 5-0 deficit. Runner-up: Troy Percival gets last out to win 2002 World Series, Oct. 27, 2002.

Astros: Charlie Morton finishes the Dodgers off, 2017 World Series, Nov. 1, 2017
This was so long ago you might not remember it, but trust me, it was wonderful. Runner-up: Chris Burke sends everybody home after 18 innings, 2005 NLDS.

Video: WS2017 Gm7: Morton induces groundout to close out WS

Athletics: Eck closes out the 1989 World Series, October 28, 1989
When in doubt, go with the Hall of Famer closing out a series for an all-time great team. Runner-up: Joe Rudi's amazing catch, World Series Game 2, Oct. 14, 1973.

Mariners: Ken Griffey Jr. slides home to win the 1995 ALDS, Oct. 8, 1995
Basically, everything wonderful about the history of Mariners baseball, happening in one play. Runner-up: Mariners win most recent postseason series, 2001 ALDS over Cleveland.

Video: Griffey slides home to clinch the ALDS in 1995

Rangers: Neftali Feliz sends Texas to its first World Series, 2010 ALCS, Oct. 22, 2010
Over the hated Yankees, no less. Runner-up: Josh Hamilton's 2011 World Series Game 6 homer, which was this close to being one of the greatest baseball moments of recent memory.

NATIONAL LEAGUE EAST

Braves: Only World Series win in Atlanta, Oct. 28, 1995
It still seems amazing that this is the only one they ever got. Runner-up: The Sid Bream Slide, Oct. 14, 1992.

Marlins: Edgar Renteria's walk-off to win 1997 World Series, Oct. 26, 1997
Poor Cleveland. Runner-up: The Bartman play, and all that followed, 2003 NLCS.

Video: WS1997 Gm7: Fish win first WS on Renteria's walk-off

Mets: Mookie Wilson reaches base, Ray Knight scores, Mets win on Bill Buckner's error, Game 6, 1986 World Series, Oct. 25, 1986
A Mets comeback for the ages. Runner-up: Miracle Mets win 1969 World Series.

Video: 1986 World Series, Game 6: Red Sox at Mets

Nationals: Jayson Werth's 2012 NLDS walk-off, Oct. 11, 2012
After this, the Nats lost the series. But for the moment, it was great. Runner-up: Strasburg fans 12 to extend last year's NLDS.

Phillies: Brad Lidge gets the last out of a long game, 2008 World Series, Oct. 27, 2008
It took a couple of days for this game to actually finish, but no Phillies fan would ever complain. Runner-up: Roy Halladay's no-hitter, 2010 NLDS against Cincinnati.

NL CENTRAL

Brewers: Paul Molitor's inside-the-park homer, 1982 ALCS, Oct. 6, 1982
Runner-up: Nyjer Morgan's walk-off over Arizona in 2011 NLDS, particularly when called by Bob Uecker.

Cardinals: David Freese's triple to tie 2011 World Series Game 6, Oct. 27, 2011
The walk-off homer in the 11th gets more air time, but this was truly one of the most insane hits in World Series history. Runner-up: Ozzie Smith's 1985 NLCS homer off Tom Niedenfuer, the "Go Crazy, Folks" moment.

Video: WS2011 Gm6: Freese saves the Cards with a huge triple

Cubs: History in 2016
This was … not a tough call. Runner-up: Kyle Schwarber's shot atop the Wrigley scoreboard, Game 4, 2015 NLDS.

Video: Cubs win first World Series title in 108 years

Pirates: Willie Stargell's homer, 1979 World Series, Game 7, Oct. 17, 1979
And to do it in such beautiful threadsRunner-up: Pirates fans scare Johnny Cueto into dropping the ball, 2013 NL Wild Card Game at PNC Park.

Reds: Big Red Machine wins a Fall Classic for the ages, Oct. 22, 1975
It's only East Coast Bias that makes you think of Carlton Fisk when you think of this series. Runner-up: Reds sweep heavily favored A's in 1990 World Series.

NL WEST

D-backs: Luis Gonzalez off Mariano Rivera, 2001 World Series, Nov. 4, 2001
Ah, the perils of playing the infield in … Runner-up: Tony Womack's hit in 2001 NLDS.

Video: Must C Classic: Gonzalez walks off, wins World Series

Dodgers: Kirk Gibson pulls himself around the bases, 1988 World Series
Runner-up: Juan Uribe's 2013 go-ahead homer in Game 4 NLDS against Atlanta.

Video: Must C Classic: Gibson's 1988 WS walk-off home run

Giants: First World Series win in San Francisco, 2010 World Series, Nov. 1, 2010
Edgar Renteria hit .412 with two homers and six RBIs and the city got its first celebration. Runner-up: Madison Bumgarner's dominance in 2014 World Series.

Padres: Tony Gwynn's bad hop double, 1984 NLCS, Game 5, Oct. 7, 1984
The biggest hit of Gwynn's career was a bizarre one, but it got the job done. Runner-up: Padres finish off Braves to win 1998 NLCS.

Rockies: The Holliday slide, Oct. 1, 2007
He touched the plate … well, eventually. Maybe not technically the postseason either, but it came after Game 162. Runner-up: Rockies sweep D-backs to reach 2007 World Series.

Will Leitch is a columnist for MLB.com.

Backed by Vlad, Jays' Pearson sharp in AFL debut

MLB.com

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A round of applause followed Toronto Blue Jays' top pitching prospect, Nate Pearson, into the dugout as he exited his Fall League debut for the Surprise Saguaros in the fourth inning.

Pearson, the Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect and No. 90 overall, tossed 3 1/3 innings allowing two hits, no runs while striking out four and walking three.

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- A round of applause followed Toronto Blue Jays' top pitching prospect, Nate Pearson, into the dugout as he exited his Fall League debut for the Surprise Saguaros in the fourth inning.

Pearson, the Blue Jays' No. 4 prospect and No. 90 overall, tossed 3 1/3 innings allowing two hits, no runs while striking out four and walking three.

"I felt pretty good. In the pen everything was coming out good, and I was throwing some strikes," Pearson said. "I had a good feel for all of my pitches, and I was just trying to carry that out to the game and luckily I was able to."

Box Score

Considering a 2018 riddled with injuries, the outing is a huge step forward for the 2017 first-round-pick out of the College of Central Florida. The 6-foot-6 right hander logged just 1 2/3 innings for the High-A Dunedin Blue Jays this past season after a back injury kept him out until May. In Pearson's 2018 debut, a sharp comebacker broke his right forearm and ended his season.

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

"I feel great, I learned a lot being on the DL the whole year and how to take care of my body even more," Pearson said after his first in-game action since the injury. "I'm just thankful to be out here, to be healthy and just compete."

Pearson mixed his pitches well and left Glendale hitters off balance. Despite walking the lead-off hitter in three of the four innings he appeared in, Pearson was able to induce two double plays to get out of jams. His velocity hovered in the mid-90s for most of the outing and even touched triple digits at points according to the radar gun at Surprise Stadium.

Fellow Surprise Saguaro and top overall MLB prospect, Vladimir Guerrero Jr., continued to impress at the plate going 3-for-5 with three singles and two RBIs on the day.

19-year-old Guerrero got the scoring going early with a single to right field in the first inning off Glendale starter and Cleveland Indians farmhand, Justin Garza. Guerrero's second RBI came in the bottom of the 7th inning on a chopper through the hole between the shortstop and third baseman.

Guerrero currently leads the Arizona Fall League in batting average, hitting a 'cool' .643 while displaying a 1.595 OPS.

If Fall League success holds any validation for Blue Jays fans, Friday gave them a glimpse into what the future may hold.

Game Note: Outfielder Luis Robert, Chicago White Sox' No. 4 prospect and No. 44 overall, left the game with trainers after running out a fielder's choice in the top of the sixth inning. Robert has been removed from Saturday's Bowman Hitting Challenge and will be replaced by Laz Rivera as the White Sox representative according to MLB.com's William Boor.

Jake Trybulski is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Answers to key FAQs about Blue Jays' offseason

MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' offseason will officially begin early next month, upon completion of the World Series, as Toronto takes the next step in its rebuilding process.

General manager Ross Atkins should be expected to have a busy few months as he continues to lay a foundation for the future. Some of the veterans are gone, others will be on the way out and there's a clear focus on developing youth.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' offseason will officially begin early next month, upon completion of the World Series, as Toronto takes the next step in its rebuilding process.

General manager Ross Atkins should be expected to have a busy few months as he continues to lay a foundation for the future. Some of the veterans are gone, others will be on the way out and there's a clear focus on developing youth.

Here's a rundown of some frequently asked questions surrounding the Blue Jays' offseason:

Which players are eligible for free agency?
Right-handers Marco Estrada and Tyler Clippard.

Which players are eligible for arbitration?
Right-handers Marcus Stroman ($6.5 million in 2017), Aaron Sanchez ($2.7 million), Ken Giles ($4.6 million), Ryan Tepera ($575,000), Jake Petricka ($1.3 million) and Joe Biagini ($508,000), outfielders Kevin Pillar ($3.25 million) and Randal Grichuk ($2.8 million), infielder Brandon Drury ($620,000) and second baseman Devon Travis ($1.45 million).

Who are the non-tender candidates?
The Blue Jays can choose to avoid arbitration by non-tendering a player and letting him become a free agent. Everybody should be safe, except for possibly Pillar and Petricka. Even after a down season at the plate, Pillar will receive a significant raise on his $3.25 million salary, and the final cost might outweigh the production. The non-tender deadline is Nov. 20.

Which players have club options, and when do the Blue Jays have to decide if they will bring them back?
Justin Smoak and Yangervis Solarte have team options for 2019 and the Blue Jays have until five days after the completion of the World Series to guarantee their salaries for next season. Smoak's $8 million option can be bought out for $250,000, but the expectation here is that he will return as Toronto's starting first baseman in 2019.

Video: TB@TOR: Smoak caps comeback with walk-off HR in 9th

Solarte's future is far less certain because of his $5.5 million option, which comes with a $750,000 buyout. The Blue Jays have a glut of infielders with Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Troy Tulowitzki, Aledmys Diaz, Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Travis and, to a lesser extent, Richard Urena all in the mix for next season. The sheer number of alternatives alone seem to indicate that Solarte's time with the Blue Jays has almost certainly come to an end.

Who needs to be protected from the Rule 5 Draft?
The Rule 5 Draft is for players who have been in the Minors for at least 4-5 years, with the specifics varying depending on the date and age at the time of their signing. Each pick costs $100,000, and the player must remain on the 25-man roster for the entire season or be offered back to the original team for $50,000.

Toronto has a large group of prospects who fall into this category. The group includes: right-handers Hector Perez, Patrick Murphy, Jon Harris, Yennsy Diaz, Jordan Romano, Jacob WaguespackCorey Copping, left-hander Travis Bergen, outfielders Forrest Wall and Harold Ramirez and catcher Max Pentecost. That's 11 players, and there won't be room for even close to all of them. Atkins recently conceded the Blue Jays expect to lose someone through the Rule 5 Draft.

Who will come off the 40-man roster?
Toronto's 40-man roster is currently full, so Atkins will have to get creative this offseason. Estrada and Clippard will automatically come off the roster shortly after the postseason, but those spots will have to go to Tulowitzki and Drury, who are on the 60-day disabled list.

Jon Berti, Dalton Pompey, Solarte, Mark Leiter Jr. and Taylor Guerrieri all seem likely to be removed, and depending on how many spots are needed, that group could grow to include the likes of Sam Gaviglio, Danny Barnes, Petricka, Justin Shafer or possibly an outfielder like Dwight Smith Jr. Tough decisions are looming.

How much money do the Blue Jays have to spend?
The Blue Jays' payroll is going down, but so far, the club has remained vague on specifics. Toronto opened each of the last two years with payrolls of more than $160 million, and that number is going to drop.

Toronto is expected to explore a similar market to the one it dipped into last winter when Atkins signed Jaime Garcia, Seunghwan Oh and Clippard to low-level deals. The only players with guaranteed contracts next season are Tulowitzki, Russell Martin and Kendrys Morales for a total of $52 million, but that number will skyrocket once arbitration cases and club options are factored in.

When will Vladimir Guerrero Jr. make his debut?
If the Blue Jays wait until at least April 12 -- 16 days after the start of the 2019 season -- they have the possibility of keeping Guerrero under club control for parts of seven seasons. If Toronto brings him up before then, it runs the risk of Guerrero becoming eligible for free agency after six years.

The front office has maintained all along that the delay in Guerrero's arrival has everything to do with development and nothing to do with service time, but realistically, it has to be considered the primary factor. Guerrero might not make his debut on that exact date, but the starting job at third base should be his by May.

Video: Guerrero Jr. named Pipeline Hitter of the Year

What are the Blue Jays' top needs this offseason?
Pitching, pitching and more pitching. Toronto will be in the market for at least one starter and a couple of setup relievers. Look for the Blue Jays to take a similar approach to the one they took last offseason, which was sprinkling their available money around to multiple players, instead of trying to make one big splash in the market. The goal would be to then flip some of those assets at the non-waiver Trade Deadline for additional prospects. Through trade, Atkins should be expected to make some of his surplus position players available to target pitching as well.

What are some other key offseason dates to remember?
The General Managers Meetings will take place in Carlsbad, Calif., from Nov. 5-8. The annual Winter Meetings will then take place from Dec. 9-13 in Las Vegas.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays

Atkins opens Blue Jays' managerial search

MLB.com

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' search for a new manager is underway, with Ross Atkins already having talked to a couple of potential candidates, and more names are expected to be added to the list in the coming days.

Atkins said on Tuesday afternoon that he expected to interview 10-plus candidates over the phone within the next seven days. After that, five or more applicants will be invited to Toronto for a series of in-person interviews to determine the next steps.

TORONTO -- The Blue Jays' search for a new manager is underway, with Ross Atkins already having talked to a couple of potential candidates, and more names are expected to be added to the list in the coming days.

Atkins said on Tuesday afternoon that he expected to interview 10-plus candidates over the phone within the next seven days. After that, five or more applicants will be invited to Toronto for a series of in-person interviews to determine the next steps.

That should put the Blue Jays in a position to hire John Gibbons' replacement before the General Managers' Meetings from Nov. 5-8, though Atkins didn't commit to a firm timeline.

"I think realistically, it's like seven to 10 days of phone interviews and seven to 10 days of in-person interviews, with some follow up," Atkins said. "So anywhere in the neighborhood of 20-25 days if we were going to knock it out of the park and everything go as planned. It also could be sped up if someone is moving up our list. If we need to expedite our process, that could happen."

Atkins said the hiring process will be a collaborative process with the rest of his front-office team, but he stated that he will have the final say on who gets the job. Atkins sidestepped questions about what type of changes he would like to see from the new manager, reiterating that Gibbons wasn't fired and that it was a mutual decision to part ways.

The Blue Jays are expected to cast a wide net in their search. John McDonald, Mark DeRosa, Eric Wedge, John Schneider and Stubby Clapp are among the names that have been mentioned through various reports over the last week. In the coming days, Toronto's preliminary list should become clearer.

Asked whether adding a Spanish-speaking manager was a top priority because of Toronto's diverse clubhouse, Atkins said it would be a major asset but not a requirement. Toronto will have someone on the staff -- whether the manager or in another position -- who is bilingual to work with players from Latin America.

"It comes down to being tough, smart and passionate," Atkins said. "Those are the overarching themes as I think about what it takes to lead an environment in here -- to sustain a championship-level expectation, understanding what it takes in terms of communication, to keep not just the 25-man roster, but the 40-man roster, the 200 Minor League players, the 100-plus scouts, the 100-plus coaches and medical staff people pulling in one direction and feeling connected."

A long track record of experience as manager also won't necessarily be a requirement. New York's Aaron Boone and Boston's Alex Cora made the postseason during their first year on the job, and in recent years, younger coaching staffs have been embraced.

Atkins' stated goal is to turn the organization around in the shortest amount of time possible. He admitted that it's unlikely that the Blue Jays will be celebrating on the field at the end of 2019. But the hope is that by '20, the organization will be ready to take the next step. The new manager will lead that new direction, with the hope that he develops alongside the young core -- just like AJ Hinch did with Houston.

"In today's game, it's very different than it was 10 years ago," Atkins said. "The amount of information that is at your fingertips is vast, there is so much more information that was available to people. Just five years ago, a lot of managers were still using matchup information based on stuff they had kept on notecards.

"Now when a lot of managers think about matchup situations, they're thinking about types of pitches and types of hitters and massive sample sizes, because of the amount of information that is at your fingertips and then most offices have another team that's working on making that information more specific to their needs and being able to synthesize that and maximize."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays

30 top prospects in the AFL -- 1 from each team

MLB.com

The Arizona Fall League has long been a haven for the best prospects in all of baseball to come together and put the finishing touches on their development on the way to the big leagues. This year is no different, with 15 players from MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects list slated to play starting on Tuesday.

Seven clubs are sending their No. 1 prospect to the AFL, and each team is sending an impressive array of up-and-coming talent. Here is a list of the top prospect from each organization that fans can check out in AFL action next week.

The Arizona Fall League has long been a haven for the best prospects in all of baseball to come together and put the finishing touches on their development on the way to the big leagues. This year is no different, with 15 players from MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects list slated to play starting on Tuesday.

Seven clubs are sending their No. 1 prospect to the AFL, and each team is sending an impressive array of up-and-coming talent. Here is a list of the top prospect from each organization that fans can check out in AFL action next week.

AL East

Blue Jays: Vladimir Guerrero Jr., 3B (TOR No. 1; MLB No. 1)
Guerrero, the top prospect in this year's Fall League, batted .381 with 20 homers, 78 RBIs and more walks (42) than strikeouts (38) at 19 this season while ascending to Triple-A. He'll need to improve his defense at the hot corner to avoid a move down the positional spectrum, but it's a generational-type bat capable of shattering records this fall en route to a 2019 big league debut.

Orioles: Ryan McKenna, CF (BAL No. 12)
McKenna, 21, led all Orioles farmhands in average (.315), OBP (.410), hits (148) and runs scored (95) while splitting his season between Class A Advanced Frederick and Double-A Bowie. The 2015 fourth-rounder swung the bat particularly well in the Florida State League, hitting .377/.467/.556 with 97 hits over 67 games, and impressed with his center-field defense at both stops.

Rays: Lucius Fox, SS (TB No. 9)
The speedster Fox performed well in the Florida State League but scuffled during the final month of the season in Double-A after celebrating his 21st birthday. He ultimately posted a .692 OPS with 29 stolen bases across the two levels. In 2017, Fox finished with a .691 OPS and 30 steals.

Red Sox: Michael Chavis, 3B/1B (BOS No. 1; MLB No. 69)
After Chavis ranked third in the Minors with 68 extra-base hits and fifth with 31 homers last year, he missed the first 80 games of 2018 with a suspension for testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance during the offseason. When he returned, he batted .298/.391/.538 (mostly in Double-A) to continue to establish himself as one of the best power-hitting prospects in the game. His strong arm is an asset at third base.

Yankees: Estevan Florial, OF (NYY No. 2; MLB No. 45)
Florial played in Fall League a year ago, batting .286/.383/.414 for the Scottsdale Scorpions, and returns after losing half of the 2018 season to a right hamate injury. He has one of the highest ceilings in the league as a potential 30-30 player who can handle center field. Florial has well above-average raw power, speed and arm strength, though he'll have to prove he can make consistent contact at the plate.

2018 Arizona Fall League rosters

AL Central

Indians: Yu Chang, SS (CLE No. 6)
Spending his age-22 season with Triple-A Columbus, Chang produced a .256/.330/.411 line with 13 home runs while playing the bulk of his 127 games as a shortstop. He's improved defensively in every season and committed just nine errors in 94 games at short with Columbus. Now 23, Chang is back in Fall League this year after hitting .304 over 15 games with Mesa in 2017.

Royals: Khalil Lee, OF (KC No. 2)
Though Lee intrigued clubs as a high school left-hander with a low-90s fastball and a promising slider, the Royals preferred him as an outfielder and made him a full-time position player after taking him in 2016's third round. He has a chance to have solid or better tools across the board -- his arm strength is his best attribute -- and displays some of the best patience in Kansas City's system as well as the ability to fit anywhere in the outfield.

Tigers: Daz Cameron, OF (DET No. 8)
When the Tigers got Cameron from the Astros as part of the Justin Verlander trade late last season, he had turned in what looked like a breakout season. He kept it going in his first year with Detroit, playing across three levels and reaching Triple-A at age 21. Cameron was particularly strong during his Double-A stint with a .285/.367/.470 line to go along with 12 steals in 53 games.

Twins: Brent Rooker, OF (MIN No. 7)
After a stunning first summer of pro ball that saw Rooker reach the Florida State League and hit 18 homers in 62 games, any encore was bound to seem like a disappointment. Yes, the strikeout rate (26.4 pct) was a bit high, but he spent his first full season in Double-A and led the system in homers (22) and finished third in RBIs (79).

White Sox: Luis Robert, OF (CWS No. 4; MLB No. 44)
Shortly before international signing rules drastically changed, the White Sox spent $52 million ($26 million bonus, matching amount as a penalty for exceeding their bonus pool) in May 2017 to land Robert. Damaged ligaments in his left thumb limited him to 50 games this summer, but Robert's five-tool potential was obvious. He has electric bat speed, well above-average foot speed and the range and arm strength to play anywhere in the outfield.

AL West

A's: Eli White, INF (OAK No. 18)
White is coming off the season of his career as he hit .308/.388/.450 over 130 games with Double-A Midland. The 24-year-old, an 11th-round pick from the 2016 Draft, came up as a shortstop but added second and third base to his resume this season. In addition to the defensive versatility, White also showed some increased power this season as he hit nine homers, more than double his previous career high of four.

Angels: Jahmai Jones, OF (LAA No. 4)
Things didn't exactly go according to plan for Jones in his third full season of pro ball, as he saw his batting average and OPS drop considerably from 2017. On the plus side, his walk rate did go up, and he reached double digits in home runs (10) and steals (24) while reaching Double-A before his 21st birthday. Jones did all that while making the transition from the outfield to second base.

:: Complete prospect coverage ::

Astros: Forrest Whitley, RHP (HOU No. 2; MLB No. 8)
MLBPipeline's highest-rated pitching prospect, Whitley worked just 26 1/3 innings this season because of a 50-game suspension for violating the Minor League drug program and oblique and lat injuries. When he did take the mound, Whitley continued to show the ability to miss bats with four pitches: a lively mid-90s fastball, a 12-to-6 curveball, a power slider and a fading changeup.

Mariners: Evan White, 1B (SEA No. 2)
The Mariners' 2017 first-rounder was a force during the second half as he slashed .320/.400/.512 with eight home runs, 16 doubles and 40 RBIs over his final 64 games in the California League. He's yet to hit for much power, but there's a lot to like in White's ability to hit for average and get on base in addition to his near-elite defense at first base.

Rangers: Julio Pablo Martinez, OF (TEX No. 2; MLB No. 56)
When the Rangers failed to sign Shohei Ohtani, they used their surplus international bonus pool money to sign Martinez for $2.8 million in March. He's a well above-average runner who plays a fine center field, and he has more power than a typical 174-pounder thanks to his bat speed and strong hands and wrists. Unlike most Fall League players, Martinez has yet to play in a full-season league after spending most of his pro debut at short-season Spokane.

NL East

Braves: Cristian Pache, OF (ATL No. 6; MLB No. 68)
After taking a big step forward offensively in the Florida State League (.285/.311/.431), Pache earned a promotion to Double-A at age 19 in August. He held his own, especially at the outset, but finished the season 1-for-22. One of the best defensive outfield prospects in the game, a stint in Fall League will help Pache hit the ground running back in Double-A in 2018.

Marlins: Monte Harrison, OF (MIA No. 1)
The tooled-up Harrison improved his stock as much as any player in last year's Fall League, showing a power-speed combo that ultimately led to him being acquired from the Brewers in the offseason Christian Yelich trade. It was on display again in the 22-year-old's first Double-A campaign, as Harrison totaled 19 homers and 28 steals but also struck out in 36.9 percent of his plate appearances.

Mets: Andres Gimenez, SS (NYM No. 1; MLB No. 55)
The Mets don't shy away from pushing their young players aggressively, and Gimenez has responded, reaching Double-A before he turned 20 and putting up his best offensive numbers (.281/.347/.409) stateside. The 2018 Futures Gamer is a tremendous defender at a premium position, and while he likely will never have a ton of pop, he's starting to grow into more extra-base thump at the plate.

Nationals: Carter Kieboom, SS (WAS No. 2; MLB No. 39)
Keiboom was plagued by injuries during his first full season but put it all together this year to reach the Double-A level at age 20. Playing in 123 games across two levels, the 2016 first-round pick hit .280/.357/.444 with 16 home runs and 31 doubles.

Phillies: Arquimedes Gamboa, SS (PHI No. 11; MLB No. 21)
The Phillies have pushed Gamboa aggressively since signing him for $900,000 out of Venezuela in 2014, sending him to high Class A as a 20-year-old this season. Though he batted just .214/.304/.279, he's still a quality defender with good patience and promising power potential for a middle infielder.

NL Central

Brewers: Keston Hiura, 2B (MIL No. 1; MLB No. 30)
The best pure hitter in the 2017 Draft lived up to his reputation in his first full season by hitting .291 with 13 homers and 33 doubles while reaching Double-A in his first full season. The Brewers already have the 22-year-old second baseman on the fast track to the Major Leagues, and the hope is that he'll get a jumpstart on the 2019 season with a productive campaign in Fall League. Hiura also stands to benefit from additional work at second base after lingering issues with his throwing elbow limited him to DH duties for the first month-plus this season.

Cardinals: Conner Greene, RHP (STL No. 27)
In his first season with the Cardinals after coming over from the Blue Jays in the Randal Grichuk trade, Greene was so-so as a starter in Double-A. He improved somewhat with a move to the bullpen and a bump up to Triple-A and has the power repertoire to excel in that role. Greene'll continue to work on the transition to relief in Fall League while hoping to improve his command (6.4 BB/9 in 2018).

Cubs: Nico Hoerner, SS (CHC No. 6)
The Cubs' first-round pick (24th overall) in June, Hoerner is the top 2018 Draft pick playing in Arizona. Though he played just 14 games in his pro debut before straining ligaments in his left elbow while diving for a ball, that was long enough to show why scouts considered him one of the best offensive-minded middle infielders available. Hoerner has exceptional hand-eye coordination, an advanced approach and developing power.

Pirates: Cole Tucker, SS (PIT No. 5)
A broken thumb kept Tucker, an Arizona native, from attending Fall League a year ago, but now he's ready to go. The tall and athletic shortstop tied for the system lead in stolen bases with 35, his third year of 25 or more steals. Tucker was swinging a hot bat at the end of the season, including hitting a pair of playoff homers for Double-A Altoona.

Reds: Taylor Trammell, OF (CIN No. 3; MLB No. 17)
The Futures Game MVP has all the tools needed to be an elite-level player and finished third in the organization with 25 steals despite missing some time with a concussion in August. Trammell has an advanced approach at the plate (career .372 OBP) and is still learning to tap into his power. The 21-year-old could see time in all three outfield spots this fall.

NL West

D-backs: Jon Duplantier, RHP (ARI No. 1; MLB No. 80)
Durability concerns coming out of Rice forced Duplantier down to the third round of the 2016 Draft, but he answered those questions with a huge first full season across two levels and a trip to the Futures Game. While he pitched well in 2018, biceps tendinitis forced him out for nearly two months, so the right-hander is making up for lost innings in Fall League.

Dodgers: Keibert Ruiz, C (LAD No. 2; MLB No. 39)
One of the game's best catching prospects, Ruiz held his own offensively this year as the second-youngest regular (age 19 for most of the season) in the Double-A Texas League. He's a switch-hitter with advanced feel for the barrel and developing power, with most of his home runs coming as a left-hander. Ruiz is improving defensively and could become a solid receiver with arm strength to match.

Giants: Heath Quinn, OF (SF No. 10)
The second-highest pick (third round) in Samford history behind only Phil Ervin, Quinn has a similar offensive profile but has had difficulty staying healthy in pro ball. Hamate and shoulder injuries affected his first full pro season, while a hamstring strain sidelined him for a month in 2018. He drives the ball to all fields and has deceptive athleticism for a 6-foot-3, 220-pounder, showing solid speed once he gets going.

Padres: Buddy Reed, OF (SD No. 13)
The 2016 second-rounder struggled in his first pro season but rebounded in 2018 to hit .271 with 48 extra-base hits and 51 steals in 122 games between two levels including Double-A. The 6-foot-4, 210-pounder boasts some of the best tools in this year's Fall League, though questions remain about his hitting ability.

Rockies: Sam Hilliard, OF (COL No. 9)
First drafted by the Twins as a left-handed pitcher out of Crowder (Mo.) JC in 2014, Hilliard signed as an outfielder after a year at Wichita State in 2015. He's still somewhat raw at the plate, but Rockies officials once likened him to Larry Walker because he's a tooled-up right fielder who bats from the left side. Hilliard has plus raw power, speed and arm strength, giving him 20-20 potential and the ability to play anywhere in the outfield.

GM Atkins on Tulo's health, rotation and more

MLB.com

TORONTO -- Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins held his annual end-of-season news conference on Tuesday afternoon, and while Toronto's search for a new manager dominated most of the conversation, it was far from being the only topic discussed.

Atkins also touched on a number of topics surrounding his plans for the offseason and the Blue Jays' outlook for 2019. Here's a full rundown of some of the most interesting tidbits to come out of Atkins' availability with the media:

TORONTO -- Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins held his annual end-of-season news conference on Tuesday afternoon, and while Toronto's search for a new manager dominated most of the conversation, it was far from being the only topic discussed.

Atkins also touched on a number of topics surrounding his plans for the offseason and the Blue Jays' outlook for 2019. Here's a full rundown of some of the most interesting tidbits to come out of Atkins' availability with the media:

On how much financial flexibility the Blue Jays have this offseason...
"I just know that we'll have enough. The number is not final yet. Part of it is circumstance, too -- where we are, the players that we want to play, the opportunities that we want to give. Ultimately, we will spend less money, but we will have enough to understand all of the opportunities in the market and make sure we're prepared."

• 5 big questions for Blue Jays entering 2019

On the roles for Russell Martin and Troy Tulowitzki next season...
"They're different situations. It will depend on, for Russ, specifically, how he comes into camp, what his mindset is. He makes such a difference for pitchers with his receiving, with his leadership, with his instincts, with his confidence. If he's near his best, he's playing. How regular? We'll see. It will depend on Danny Jansen, Reese McGuire, Luke Maile, Max Pentecost. There are other pieces to that equation. The receiving and the athleticism that Russ has behind the plate makes a positive difference on our pitching."

Video: TOR@SEA: Martin drives in Hernandez with an RBI knock

And more specifically on Tulowitzki...
"Tulo would be health dependent. If Tulo's healthy and performing at a very high rate, then yes [he'll play]. If he's healthy and his performance isn't to the caliber that Major League environments demand, then no. It starts with health. ... We can't guarantee that."

On where things stand with Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez...
"A lot of upside, still. Probably a little bit different, in that Aaron Sanchez hasn't pitched as much and Marcus Stroman has been relatively reliable as a starter. I'm confident that both of those guys can return to being regular [starters and] take the ball every five days. Because Marcus has thrown more innings, it's probably a little more realistic that he'll be more durable over the course of 162 [games]. At the same time, there's more upside in Aaron Sanchez maybe having a bit more power. There's a bit more of a growth opportunity [for Sanchez] because of the lack of innings and the lack of development."

On Sanchez's recent surgery...
"The UCL of the right index finger was repaired. So Dr. [Steven] Shin went in and saw some mild changes, felt like he could make that improvement that he would benefit from, and that procedure was done. We feel that he'll be ready for Spring Training."

On what the Blue Jays intend to do with Yangervis Solarte's $5.5 million club option...
"We've started the work. A lot of our focus has been on the managerial candidate. We have meetings coming up to talk about our offseason on the player front and our strategy for acquisitions."

Video: HOU@TOR: Solarte drives in Maile with single to left

On needing to protect a large group of prospects from the Rule 5 Draft and having only so many spots on the 40-man roster to do it...
"It's great. I'm so glad we're there. I'm glad we have a 40-man crunch and we have a lot of tough decisions. I would be surprised if we didn't have someone Rule-5'd away from us. That's a very good feeling to have, to have that amount of talent and not enough spots to protect it.

"Turning multiple roster spots into one [through trade]? Sure. We can't start out saying that's what we want to do. Obviously, you can understand why, but that might be an idea that evolves in some way. You're devaluing an asset if you quickly move to say you're moving multiple pieces."

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.

Toronto Blue Jays, Russell Martin, Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, Troy Tulowitzki

Here's what happened in Thursday's AFL action

MLB.com