Here’s a small nugget of a tidbit that was buried in Jeff Blair’s Henderson Alvarez piece for the Globe and Mail this morning:

“Sources maintain the Blue Jays will not add another pitcher with a significant financial commitment at this time; that they are more likely to add a stop-gap, innings-eating starter if Drabek, Cecil or McGowan aren’t up to it.”

If the statement weren’t made far less concrete by his suggestion that the club would be “more likely” to add a stop-gap, I’d suggest that it pretty much rules out the notion that the Jays are still pushing hard for Gavin Floyd, while wonder if Joe Blanton– at $8.5-million, minus a couple million that the Phillies have reportedly indicated they’re willing to kick in– counts as a “significant financial commitment.”

As it is, it’s just… well, it’s kinda what we ought to have suspected, but still nebulous enough to make us wonder just what the Jays are up to on this front that we truly don’t know.

Of course, maybe all this speculation is entirely unnecessary, as Blair notes earlier in the piece that “Brett Cecil has done well this spring, both in terms of results and adhering to the mechanical principles being stressed by manager John Farrell and pitching coach Bruce Walton.” The velocity, or lack thereof, doesn’t seem to be a big concern for the club, at least outwardly.

And, contrary to my nudges toward conspiracy theory, Gregor Chisholm tweets that the reason Cecil’s velocity yesterday was so shrouded in mystery was that– as I kinda suspected– pretty much all of the Toronto media was at the Canada wank in Tampa, having passed on the two-plus hour bus ride (in normal traffic) to Fort Myers. Fair enough. Gregor says he’ll have a follow-up piece on Cecil’s start later today.

Comments (22)

  1. Good point.
    Are you inferring that they only want a cheap stop gap pitcher because they got their eyes on something else that isn’t available yet or that they expect a prospect to step up later on or both?

  2. I don’t really understand that Blair quote. Stop-gap, innings-eating starters aren’t hanging around looking for minor league invites – they tend to come with significant (relatively speaking) financial commitments.

    • I assumed, like, a Jo-Jo Reyes type shitbag, maybe?

      • Do you think that Laffey will ask for a release if he doesn’t make the team? He seems like that guy.

        I’m also kind of wondering who they’ll turn to if McGowan makes the team and has a good year, runs out of innings, and they feel they are still in contention? By then I guess it might be somebody like Drabek, or perhaps even Hutchison if he’s ready?

      • I shudder at the thought. I’d rather watch any of Cecil, Drabek, Hutchison, McGuire, or Jenkins get their asses handed to them than to have to sit through another 20 starts of another team’s trash.

  3. I understand the Blue Jays are saying that it’s not a problem but it really is. If you don’t have the control of a Marcum, at that velocity there’s no way you are going to succeed in the AL East. Even management should know that best with how many times the Yanks and Sox fed off of Marcum’s slow stuff. My point being it just doesn’t play unless you have pin point control and with Cecil leaving pitches up, it doesn’t seem to be getting better. He might have had the same peripherals as last year but are we looking to improve or just stay mediocre? I wonder sometimes with the Reyes and all those other signings.

    • Marcum = righty, Cecil = lefty, I’m not as much of a baseball follower as I am a hockey follower, but I’m pretty sure that matters.

  4. You should listen to the interview Blair did with AA today:

    http://www.fan590.com/media.jsp?content=20120314_112307_8608

    AA essentially said the pitchers he’s rumoured to be interested in aren’t true. Also said if they acquired a pitcher it would have to be a clear upgrade over the guys they have. Not someone marginally better. Tons of stuff on Hech too.

  5. Jeremy Hellickson and Beachy are relatively cheap financially.. just saying

  6. I posted this a few minutes ago, but I think it might have gotten deleted because I included a link.

    Anyway – check out AA’s interview with Blair today. AA basically dismissed the Floyd/Blanton rumours and said he’d only acquire a starter if he was a clear upgrade from what they already have.

    • Now there is a significant piece of sanity in the ridiculousness that is spring training. Add players only if they are clear upgrades. Imagine that.

    • AA basically dismissed the Floyd/Blanton rumours and said he’d only acquire a starter if he was a clear upgrade from what they already have.

      So they will acquire a starter then. It better not be Blanton.

  7. The Jays will pass on Joe Blanton to sign Royce Ring.

  8. Looks like we will have to see a combination of Aaron Laffey, Scott Richmond, Joel Carreno and maybe Jesse Litsch, if he’s healthy by June or July, to fill-in at the back of the rotation if McGowan, Cecil and Drabek are not up to it. Not exactly an awe-inspiring bunch.

    And then we probably can’t count on the young wave in double AA (McGuire, Hutchison, Jenkins) to come in before the roster expansion in September. Unless one of the younger guys catches on fire like Alvarez did in 2011.

    That leaves the rotation pretty fucking thin. I can see the team not willing to committ big dollars but AA has to find an arm between now and the trade deadline to bolster the rotation. It will be a hell of alot easier to fnd a quality arm in the trade market versus the free agency market. We’ve all seen the movie and got the t-shirt.

    • Anyone can tell our rotation is thin. That was obvious a long time ago, and I expect AA made efforts on Darvis, Latos and Gio accordingly.

      Fact of the matter is though, there aren’t really any quality arms (read: clear upgrade) left to be had. The only one I can think of is Wandy Rodriguez to be honest.

      Anyone else able to come up with some names that would be both available and worthwhile?

      Niemann, Danks, Jurrjens, Dempster? Not sure if all are available, and also not sure whether they are clear upgrades either.

      • nm – forgot about the Danks extension.

        • If the Rays weren’t in our division, they’d be a strong trade partner I’d think. The other partner might be the Rangers. Both of those teams just have too much pitching to fit into one rotation.

          • If any team has an excess of quality pitching, it would be the Braves. I would love for the Jays to land Brandon Beachy.

      • I still think we should make a serious run at Jurrjens…if he stays healthy he is a great pitcher and will have plenty of trade value at the deadline.

  9. I can see Houston wanting to trade Wandy Rodriguez to get some young prospects. However, they did announce that their taking a 200 inning starter and making him into a closer (Myers). Someone please explain that move for me.

    I can see AA not wanting to send anything but middling prospects as Wandy’s contract is fairly hefty, per Cotts:

    « ■3 years/$34M (2011-13), plus 2014 club option
    ■signed extension with Houston 1/25/11 (avoided arbitration, $10.25M-$8M)
    ■$1.5M signing bonus
    ■11:$7M, 12:$10M, 13:$13M, 14:$13M club option ($2.5M buyout)
    ■option may become guaranteed based on performance
    ■option becomes player option with trade»

  10. Did the “Snappy the Turtle” moniker get left behind at the old site?

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