Bob Elliott: Rumour Monger

There’s no proper, large picture of Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun that I can find via Google Images, so I just took one of the shitty small ones and filled in what I figured the rest looked like in MS Paint– minus his left hind leg, which I couldn’t fit in there without it looking like a dick.

I bring this up because the venerable reporter appeared on Prime Time Sports on the Fan 590 this afternoon (audio here), bringing us the latest in Jays rumours that I totally don’t believe. Of course, not before he and Bob McCown had a jaw-dropping conversation about what they felt was Jose Molina’s unfortunate move to Tampa Bay this week, which featured not one mention of the fact that the Jays get a draft pick back for him. “I’m not certain” why the Jays wouldn’t be interested in bringing back Molina, said a reporter who covers the fucking team.

He also laid this on us:

- Orlando Hudson’s name came up during the GM Meetings as a possibility for the Jays’ vacant second base position, but apparently the Padres are happy with him, so it went nowhere.

- “They were in on Papelbon big,” Elliott says. “They’re in on Cordero– Francisco Cordero– and people tell me that they’re in on Bell– Heath Bell.”

- Elliott later expresses surprise that he keeps hearing the Jays have been so aggressive on closers, seeing as the club had noted all summer what a volatile position it is, and how rarely big deals for closers work out. Hmmm…

- “The thing about Bell is that he wants to stay on the coast– and the Angels have that Walden kid who did really well,” Elliott says. I’d have said that the thing is that Bell’s declining, old, heavy, plays in a division that skews his numbers, and is about to get really expensive. But what do I know?

So… there’s that.

Comments (122)

  1. Exxxx-cellent!

  2. It’s not either or.  AA can build the club steadily and still add a couple of valuable pieces via free agency and still keep major players like Bautista.

    The fact that Cuban family can easily come and visit a Jays player in Toronto is quite a valuable inducement to play here.  I’m not surprised Escobar signed for that reason and other Cuban players might come here for that reason as well.

  3. All you have to do is listen to the guy. That has always been the plan. Long term. The Scott Down’s and Jose Molina’s of the world have enormous value- for draft picks that are controllable for years to come.

  4. No problem there and AA would never argue with that. But he wont sacrifice the future either.

  5. “I’d be happy with Rogers spending any money at all…”

    While I’m at a similar point in my Jays-fan career as you (I’m also tired of mediocrity and small-market tactics all the time, like I’m sure the bulk of us are), at times it sounds like fans just want to see money being spent on namebrand players just for the sake of it. Rogers IS spending (some, not enough) money (yet), just not on big name free agents. That’s not exactly a bad thing.

    For every quality free agent signing there are probably 3-5 signings that do not return appropriate value back to the team and end up simply being old, expensive, declining assets that may or may not have blocked younger players from emerging from within (or from outside) the organization. Jayson Werth was the hot commodity last year but Lance Berkman turned out to be one of the real prizes, for example. It’s still a roll of the dice and with the amount of money FA’s command these days I am still puzzled by the assumption that signing free agents automatically improves your team and your position going forward.

    Don’t get me wrong – I’ve broken this offseason down and said, “Just fucking sign Fielder and worry about the value of his contract later” but I am completely willing to concede that this notion is strictly a hungry-fans’ one and not a smart, asset-management-minded GM’s. 

    I find it alarming, though I can relate, to see fans that have followed the Jays for decades, are aware of their past free agent disasters and the resulting timidness on the FA market, yet they insist that the Jays must buck that trend and all of a sudden start doing what they’ve preached against for the past several years. It’s just not realistic – that the team will all of a sudden change focus and go a totally different route, so either move on or find another, richer, more risky team to follow. Just my $0.02.

  6. Hiring the largest scouting staff in MLB…eating Rivera’s contract, paying an unpublished amount of cash in the Wells deal….The people calling them “cheap’ just arent gettin it. 

  7. I usually think Fuller Fan is off his fucking rocker, but I agree with the position you move Bautista while his value is at its highest and get the greatest return package now.  

  8. @ Fullmer Fan.

    Ok. And how much did they spend the season before that? 6 seasons ago, instead of 5? How many guys did they sign/acquire then? What are they suppost to do at that point? Burnett, Glaus, Ryan, Frank Thomas and the Vernon Wells extension? Then whom else do you want  them to sign? And where on 25 man roster would you fit them? I’m asking.

    In between then, as it all worked out so well. Do you blame them for thinking it just wasn’t going to work in the AL East, or maybe they thought Ricciardi was not equiped to build what he said he could? Look, as far as 2008 season, i’m with you. That season and it’s Shannon Stewart/Wilkerson/and whatever other shitty soon to retire deadbeat season bolsterings was beyond retarded thinking. I don’t know who was to blame, but O8 sucked, and they deserved it.

    In between man, you’ve got two guys who came in and are trying reverse all that decay and damage, and build something in a professional sane way, and you’re ripping them for it. I’m sorry, I don’t get it. Why don’t you wait another month or so, and then flip out if AA doesn’t build what you want.

  9. I’m hoping Hech can get the bat going next year but it’s looking less and less like he can. Mottola got a few more points for him in LAS (by getting him to relax) but I dont know. Escobar is way above average both fielding and hitting and I think they should  be thinking seriously about salvaging the value they have in Hech with a trade. Meantime, what does this say about the spin we’ve been lapping up for the past 2 years?

  10. Huh? You must be misreading me dude. I’m the pro AA,  happy with his direction guy. I understand, support, and enjoy his draft pick hoarding and subsequent improving minor league system.

  11. “Rogers drank the Billy Beane,Moneyball Koolaid, like we all did.They hired Beane’s protege  because JPR said he could build a winning team that way.Fire the scouts,draft by the stats,etc.When it wasn’t working,sign Thomas,Ryan and others without breaking the bank.”

    Yip. There was a learning or adjusting curve in baseball in the 2000′s and the Blue Jays with a A’s/sabre’y GM had front row seats for the class. That and the GM perhaps did have a slight hubris issue after all.

  12. Dont forget its a one game playoff. I’d rather make quality deals and win the division.

  13. “Jayson Werth was the hot commodity last year but Lance Berkman turned out to be one of the real prizes, for example.”

    If they are in this year on the Lance Berkman type FAs, there will be little to complain about. The problem was that last offseason they ignored all those types of players with upside that could be had on one year deals (and there’s no such thing as a bad 1 year deal) unless they were relievers.

  14. “Hiring the largest scouting staff in MLB…eating Rivera’s contract, paying an unpublished amount of cash in the Wells deal….The people calling them “cheap’ just arent gettin it.”

    The people who think they’re spending are the ones who just aren’t getting it. If you added up the Blue Jays payroll (which included Rivera, cash in the Wells deal) + scouting staff + draft spending + international spending in 2011 they would still fall below MLB average.

  15. You make it sound as though we (and they, the GMs) should already know who the Lance Berkmans of 2012 will be. I had (wrongly) assumed that you didn’t actually believe GM’s have a crystal ball and can predict with ease which veterans would have bounce back seasons (on increasingly rare one-year deals, no less).

    Further, to say that there is no such thing as a bad one-year deal is pure folly. While it’s most fans’ view that “Hey, it’s just money” or “It’s not my money” – these aren’t the fans that typically spend time commenting and discussing their team like most DJF readers, I hope anyway. Ask the Oakland A’s if the one year deals they gave Coco Crisp and Ben Sheets in 2010 weren’t ‘bad’. What about Johnny Damon’s $5+MM and Manny Ramirez’s cheap 1-yr deal in Tampa? All shit.

    I’d much rather take flyers on minor league deals – and we can probably nitpick AA for being a little light in that regard. As far as one-year major league deals on bounceback candidates, I suspect these types of gambles will start to roll in once there are larger pieces in place and the team is legitimately close to competing.

  16. Wow, this is quite the round and round everyones doing. I didn’t think anyone was thinking that the money being spent beyond the 25man roster was equaling ‘Big Spenders!!111′, but that it was a key point in showing that a well thought out patient approach is being used and money’s being spent the right way. If they were a jerk off Front Office they wouldn’t be spending any of that money. No They’d never eat a fucking dollar. You never would have gotten Drabek, d’Arnaud and eventually Gose. No money spent on Hechavarria latin teenager types. No $30 million to sign a Aroldis Chapman.

  17. Actually, try again. I included Brandon Webb, who didn’t throw an inning, or Rich Harden, who threw like 80. Manny Ramirez is a good example too. This has nothing to do with having a crystal ball – I specifically said it’s about taking chances when all it costs is money without commitment. 

    The Coco Crisp contract was fantastic. They got him for 4.75m with an affordable team option, which they exercised. He was well worth his contract by any objective measure.

  18. new cba is likely to increase the cost of marginal wins…true or false? i think true.

    free agent contracts are going to go up in the future (probably)

    the usual big spenders either are set at 1b, or, like the cubs and angels, aren’t in a position to spend big this offseason.

    right now, barring another global financial meltdown in which no one can afford to go to games and buy stuff,  is the cheapest that an elite 1b will come in free agency.

    the jays are stupid if they don’t think seriously about signing fielder, even if the price is beyond what they think his value is. no one in the system profiles as the type of player he is. and he’s turning 28…jeez. get the guy already. i’m assuming AA is slow playing this to prevent things from getting too out of hand.

  19. Coco Crisp didn’t even play half the season in 2010 and gave the A’s a .269/.324/.400 line thru 2010-2011 which is below his career averages yet he still earned $10.7M, if that’s ‘fantastic’ then we define the word differently.

    Fred Lewis cost the Jays a bag of balls and he put up a better season in 2010 than Coco did last year, that’s a perfect example of why you don’t just throw money at a guy for the name when other guys without the name can probably give you similar value at a fraction of the cost.

  20. Coco Crisp was a fantastic value in those two years:

    2010:   3.3 fWAR,   2.9 rWAR,   AVG: 3.1

    2011:   2.2 fWAR,   2.1 rWAR,   AVG: 2.2

    Total:   5.5 fWAR,   5.0 rWAR,   AVG: 5.3

    Full value and then some for a total of $10.75 mil total.

    Fred Lewis cost the Jays a bag of balls because he’s worth a bag of balls:

    2010: 0.5 fWAR,   0.6 rWAR,   AVG: 0.6

    There is simply no comparison between these two in terms of what they bring to the table for their teams and that is why they’re in different salary brackets.

  21. As I said, I was only considering objective measures. You’ve decided to completely discount defense and baserunning, both of which Fred Lewis was horrible at.

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