5 longtime Blue Jays players wearing new uniforms this season (PHOTOS)

Feb 22 2019, 2:04 am

Showing up to spring training with a brand new team is probably like starting over at a new school. There’s a bunch of new people, they dress way differently and you don’t quite feel like you fit in right away.

That must be what it’s like for some former longtime Toronto Blue Jays with their brand new teams for the 2019 season. Last year, the Blue Jays cleared house of many of their veteran players, making way for the team’s long-awaited rebuild.

Yes, baseball is a business and these players often bounce around from team to team. But that doesn’t make it any less jarring when a longtime Blue Jay suits up in a whole new uniform for the first time.

What you’re about to see may look a little weird, but we assure you, these guys no longer play for the Toronto Blue Jays.

1. Troy Tulowitzki: New York Yankees

This is probably the strangest of them all. After four seasons with the Toronto Blue Jays (technically, only two-and-a-half seasons that he was on the field), Troy Tulowitzki turns over a new leaf with the New York Yankees.

Remember, the Yankees are paying the league minimum of $555,000 for Tulowitzki to be on their team this year. Meanwhile, the Blue Jays will fork out close to $20 million for him not to wear their uniform this year.

That seems like a high price to pay, but if it clears the way for one of the Blue Jays shortstop prospects like Lourdes Gurriel Jr. or Bo Bichette to emerge as legit big leaguers, then it will be money well spent.

2. Josh Donaldson: Atlanta Braves

Technically, this is Josh Donaldson’s third team in less than a year (he played briefly for the Cleveland Indians at the end of the 2018 season), but it’s still bizarre not to see him draped in Blue Jays blue this spring.

Instead, he traded in his old blue for some new navy blue in Atlanta, where he’s reunited with his former General Manager from Toronto: Alex Anthopoulos.

Donaldson makes the most drastic leap of this group of former Blue Jays, going from the American League East with the Jays, to the American League Central champs with the Indians, to the defending National League East champs with the Braves.

3. Russell Martin: Los Angeles Dodgers

The player who has the least amount of shock to the system might be Russell Martin. He went back to his roots after being traded back to the team who drafted him: the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Earlier this week, Russell Martin told Spectrum Sportsnet in Los Angeles: “I’ve been home for four years, but now I’m going back to a place that felt like home, eight, nine years ago.”

Martin broke into the majors as a member of the Dodgers in 2006 and enjoyed a five-year run as the club’s starting catcher.

4. Marco Estrada: Oakland Athletics

The man who was a playoff beast for the Blue Jays in 2015 and 2016 is hoping to rekindle his career as a member of the upstart Oakland A’s. Marco Estrada signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Athletics for the 2019 season.

Estrada also reunites with his former Blue Jays teammates, Liam Hendriks and Brett Anderson.

5. Aaron Loup: San Diego Padres

He may not have been one of the most prolific Blue Jays relievers of all-time, but Aaron Loup was one of the few remaining members of those magical 2015 and 2016 Blue Jays teams.

Loup was also the longest-tenured Toronto Blue Jay before he was traded to the Philadelphia Phillies last summer at the trade deadline. Loup landed in San Diego and inked a one-year deal with the Padres for $1.2 million this year with the potential for a $2 million option in 2020.