Cy Young Award finalist Manoah, Alejandro Kirk among Blue Jays’ 15 player signings
Ace pitcher Alek Manoah has had his contract renewed by the Toronto Blue Jays on Saturday and 14 other players, including all-star catcher Alejandro Kirk, agreed to new contracts.
The 25-year-old Manoah had a 16-7 record last season with a 2.24 earned-run average and 180 strikeouts over 196 2/3 innings pitched.
He finished third in Cy Young Award voting as the top American League pitcher behind Houston’s Justin Verlander and Dylan Cease of the Chicago White Sox.
Kirk emerged as Toronto’s top catcher last year, hitting .285 with 14 home runs and 63 runs batted in and walks.
He was named to his first-ever all-star team and earned a Silver Slugger Award as the best hitter at his position in the American League.
Infielder Otto Lopez and relief pitcher Zach Pop, both Canadian, were re-signed.
Outfielder Nathan Lukes, pitchers Hagen Danner, Thomas Hatch, Nate Pearson, Zach Thompson, Mitch White and Yosver Zulueta as well as infielders Addison Barger, Spencer Horwitz, Leonardo Jimenez, and Orelvis Martinez were also signed.
In other off-field news, the Blue Jays are introducing new $20 general admission tickets for outfield areas at Rogers Centre.
Toronto’s downtown ballpark has undergone major renovations this off-season, including the creation of five new “neighbourhoods” within the stadium.
Blue Jays single game tickets provide fans with a reserved bowl seat, but the new $20 outfield district tickets will give them access to the new outfield areas.
Those new sections include Park Social, a space on the 500 level overlooking left field.
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At the same level but above right field is the Corona Rooftop Patio. Directly below that is The Catch, a bar space perched above the visitors’ bullpen, while a bar next to that called The Stop overlooks centre-field.
Schneiders Porch, an open-air hotdog concession at the right-field level of the 200s, has also been added.
Finally, the WestJet Flight Deck in the 200 level has been refreshed with retro arcade games and a new brewery-style menu.
A $20 general admission ticket will give Blue Jays fans access to new outfield areas at Rogers Centre, including the Corona Rooftop Patio on the 500 level above right field. (Courtesy bluejays.com)