Ideally the title of this post would continue repeating and shrinking on forever, like when they’d show a TV set on the Price is Right, but alas, I can only write “due dilligence” so many times before my eyes start glazing over. But apparently it’s today’s key phrase, because here I fucking am, dutifully reporting on how Bob Elliott dutifully reported in the Toronto Sun that the Jays dutifully sent scouts to see upcoming free agent CJ Wilson of the Texas Rangers pitch on eight different occasions this season.
As such, I can’t really kill him on trying to spice up what’s barely a story by suggesting that maybe the Jays really are interested in giving up their first round pick and over a hundred million dollars on a pitcher who is truly nobody’s ace, ridiculous as the notion is.
“I have yet to find a baseball executive or scout who views Wilson as an ace and very few who even think he is a No. 2,” wrote Joel Sherman of the New York Post on Monday. “Heck, one member of the Yankees decision-making apparatus told me he thinks Wilson is a No. 4 on a championship-caliber team, which just blew me away. There seems to be a fear that Wilson does not command the strike zone. Also, I thought the fact that he did so much relieving early in his career that the perception would be that his arm is relatively fresh. However, there was a consensus that it is pretty stressing to come in as a high-leverage reliever a few times a week.”
“In addition,” Sherman added, “I do not fancy myself in any way an expert on pitching mechanics, so this is coming from three different baseball men who told me that Wilson has a bit of the Inverted W in his delivery; not as dramatic as those of, say, Stephen Strasburg or the young Mark Prior, but that it is there to some degree. It led one NL talent evaluator to say this to me: ‘Is he a good bet to start without breaking down over the next five years and 1,000 innings? Well, no one really is. But I would say his chances are slimmer than others.’ “
What it seems clear to me the Jays are doing is getting as much information on Wilson as they possibly can, to ensure that they value him properly, and just in case the market for him drops, and they get the chance to acquire him at a price that’s in line with what they feel is his worth.
That all sounds rather Anthopoulosian, right?
And we know that he’s publicly admitted regret in not having enough information on Aroldis Chapman during the bidding process for the Cuban flamethrower, who ultimately wound up signing with Cincinnati. I can’t possibly believe Alex would allow himself to be found in a situation where Wilson’s asking price has dropped and he doesn’t have enough trusted background information to know that he’s worth it. Eight trips to see him sounds rather excessive, yes, but I would bet my lunch that’s all this is.