Alex Anthopoulos spoke to reporters today, ostensibly concerning the now-official signing of Darren Oliver. However, the conversation verged into other territories, and intrepid reporters like Mike Cormack of Sportsnet and John Lott of the National Post were kind enough to tweet along, keeping us plebs informed of what he was saying.
It was especially nice, because Anthopoulos had a couple of interesting things to pass along, specifically, the fact that he doesn’t “expect to do a whole lot more between now and spring training,” and that he absolutely loves Drew Hutchison.
“I’m probably as excited about him as I am about any of the young arms that we have,” the GM said of Hutchison– a right-hander who has pitched all of 15 innings above A-ball, but who Anthopoulos thinks is “coming fast” and will “play a factor” in 2012.
For a fan base who have watched their club fail to land the front-line starter they admitted they were seeking this off-season, it’s neither a great, nor an unexpected consolation. Not to disparage Hutchison or AA’s raves for him, but Matt Moore he ain’t. And even if he were, it’s virtually impossible to believe that he could be on the Opening Day roster, barring some unforeseen rash of injuries.
By all accounts he’s got a great future ahead of him, but he’s not the 2012 savior fans had been hoping for. And if Anthopoulos is to be believed– and there’s really no reason that he should be– it doesn’t appear that one is on the horizon.
Of course, things can change in an instant– and Anthopoulos admitted as much, saying that “as I sit here today I don’t see us doing anything else, but we’re still open to dialogue.” It’s also entirely not in the club’s interest for the GM to give up whatever leverage he may have and insist he’s determined to add another big piece no matter what it takes. But Anthopoulos is often a lot more truthful in these moments than those of us trying desperately to read him want to believe.
By this point in the process, you have to believe that every possible avenue has been explored, and so far it’s amounted to nothing. I’m not sure what might change that.
The market for starters may experience a bit of a re-set once someone locked in the Mexican standoff between the agents for Edwin Jackson, Roy Oswalt, Hiroki Kuroda and the clubs still looking for pitching finally blinks– which I suspect may hinge on the Commissioners’ decision on whether to expand the playoff field for the 2012 season, or to wait until 2013– but I’m not sure if that’s going to positively impact things for a club like the Jays, who will be hoping that the asking prices for Matt Garza or Gavin Floyd might come down. Perhaps if potential suitors sign a free agent and drop out they will, but I get the feeling the Cubs and White Sox aren’t any more desperate to move those two pitchers than the Jays are to move some of their prospects right this fucking minute.
Yes, there’s still a lot of movement that’s going to take place, and the Jays may well be involved. This may simply be a case of Anthopoulos posturing in order to reinforce what he’s been telling potential trade partners, and perhaps even talking up a prospect he wants to throw into a deal. But those kinds of Orwellian manoeuvrings sound a lot better in our fantasies, I think, and nobody should be shocked if Anthopoulos is, indeed more-or-less finished dealing.