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The Toronto Blue Jays are having issues trying to get players to join their team, with the biggest reason being the ongoing situation with their home field – the Rogers Centre.
The home of the Jays is still off-limits because of the continued Canada-United States border shutdown, and players are taking notice.
Jon Heyman reports that players are backing off of signing deals with the Jays because they have no clue on where they will be playing for the 2021 season and beyond.
Jays seem focused on George Springer and a couple top relievers — Kirby Yates and Brad Hand — now, as just said in @MLBNetwork. Jays are trying hard but some players are hesitant due to Toronto/Buffalo uncertainty.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 18, 2021
Last season Toronto was stuck playing their home games at Sahlen Field, their Triple-A affiliate ballpark in Buffalo, New York.
The team was hopeful back in December that they were going to be able to play their 2021 home games at the Rogers Centre, but now it looks like the chances of that are growing less and less.
Team president Mark Shapiro has spoken to government officials, but the latest report says he won’t be looking to get a firm answer before spring training kicks off.
The Jays are looking to start their spring training in Dunedin, Florida on Feb. 27th. The first home game for the team is slated for April 9th, but again with no true home field it’s anyone’s guess on where the team is going to yell “play ball” for the first time.
The team has shown interest in a couple free agents, but have yet to close on any of them. Included in the mix for the Jays are outfielder George Springer, reliever Brad Hand, and former San Diego Padres closer Kirby Yates.
So far the only player that has inked the bottom line is lefty pitcher Robbie Ray, who signed a one-year, $8-million deal in November.