Bob Elliott begins his article in today’s Toronto Sun by asking the… um… question, “OK, raise your right arm if you had Joel Carreno as third man out of the chute in the Blue Jays starting rotation to open the 2012 season?”

I’ll bite, I thought to myself as I began what figured to be a look at the Jays surprising fifth starter– who actually had a pretty fantastic tiny sample of a stint in the club’s bullpen last season. What I found, however, was a piece that morphed from there into an exploration of all that went wrong in the Jays’ pursuit of starting pitching over the off-season– and as usual, Elliott has added a little something to our picture of exactly it all went down.

“Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik and scouting director Tom McNamara would move Pineda to the Jays, but wanted third baseman Brett Lawrie, plus another prospect,” Elliott tells us.

We basically knew this already, but the “plus” part seems new– and that’s where things get interesting… or at the very least kinda funny.

“From what I hear,” an unnamed executive tells Elliott, “they didn’t even discuss the ‘plus’ part of the deal. Toronto said no at Lawrie. I would have done the same.”

On Mat Latos, who the Jays reportedly came up short on, the Padres choosing instead to deal with Cincinnati, the story is again similar to what we’ve heard, or at least could have inferred. “Not sure how Toronto could have bettered the Reds’ offer when it came to putting major leaguers in the deal,” said a NL scout, according to Elliott. “They have few to spare. Now if you want to talk minor leaguers? They’ve got a ton coming … and fast. They’ve done a real great job of a) adding scouts and b) the scouts have been diligent. They have more athletic kids than we do.”

Wait… those last two sentences were uttered by a scout? WHAT YEAR IS THIS!?!? GET OUTTA HERE!


As for the other Major pitching prize of the winter trade market, Gio Gonzalez, if our intrepid reporter’s drinking scouting buddies are to be believed, the Jays may not have even been interested. “I don’t think he would have been a good fit for the AL East,” said one, ”especially pitching at Yankee Stadium or Fenway where umps don’t call third strikes against the home team.”


But again, it’s not exactly earth shattering. In fact, it’s… well… honestly, I mostly just wanted to point out that the Jays said “fuck no” to the Mariners on the question of Pineda for just Lawrie by himself, let alone another prospect. So nails.

Comments (17)

  1. Love Elliott’s reporting on trades and the like (see above), but I have to say, I heard him on Prime Time Sports yesterday and I was pretty shocked at how out of touch he seemed with regards to the goings-on at Jays camp. He sounded like he either wasn’t there, or just really wasn’t paying attention.

    • Then this was the first time you’ve heard Elliott.

      You should try the Bob Elliott drinking game. Shittered in twenty minutes.

  2. The Sun’s site appears to be down….

  3. rabble, rabble, rabble…Hello Robert…rabble, rabble, rabble.


  5. Ya, I wasn’t able to summon up tears of anguish over not getting a “veteran” arm over the winter to help the Jays starting line up, not going to start now.

    BTW, nice job adding Pete Rose to the picture above…

  6. by then the mariners go ahead and take a 1 dimension DH in Montero?

    How do you go from demanding Lawrie to accepting Montero. idiots

    • Montero is probably going to be a better hitter then Lawrie anyways. He just doesn’t play a position and they were starved for anything that can swing a bat since Ichiro’s! 200 singles a year are no longer happening.

      • Montero’s bat might be a tad more elite right now but I would rank Lawrie higher given the fact that he is much more athletic, can run, steal, and can play some defense. In 5 years, we can compare numbers. I think Lawrie’s will be very good, probably better than Montero’s.

        BTW, Oakland wanted Syndergaard in the Gio Gonzalez deal. It was a deal-breaker for them. AA told Billy Beane that he wouldn’t give up the big Texan for Gonzalez.

  7. Adding Carreno in the short term isn’t ideal.. but the closer we get to this season I’m far less inclined to want to find pitching from outside the organization. If they could have landed a Latos.. sure. But unless its a home run – there is no point.

    Stoeten posted that greal link to the Jays organizational Depth Chart the other day:

    You look at New Hampshire’s Rotation: McGuire, Carreno, Jenkins, Hutchison
    Lansing has : Niccolino, Sanchez and Syndergaard
    Then you think about other guys like Norris, Wojciechowski, Comer etc..

    Even if only 1 or 2 of those guys can make it to the MLB (which I would say is a low estimate) you’ve all of a sudden got an incredible rotation.

    Focusing on the short term rotational issues is very short sighted in my opinion.

    Of course – if Drabek sputters and Alvarez runs into trouble – then you’ve got big problems for this season.

  8. I know it was never going to happen but wouldn’t Darvish have looked great in a BJ uni right now?

    It’s funny how things change, when Texas got him the arguement was that he wouldn’t get the bjs into the playoffs (not that I think playing an extra game counts as playoffs). I suspect that if we don’t make the playoffs, you can look at the back end of the rotation as the reason. Would have weakened Texas too. It is true that there are also a lot of other unknowns on this team but without playing a meaninful game, they have good so far.

    Always fun to dream. A Toronto rotation including Darvish would have been a fun to watch even with the last two spots (Alvarez/McGowan/ Drabek) being high risk/learning years for those spots.

  9. what is lawrie doing, practicing his home run trot?

  10. I know it’s spring and everyone’s optomistic but I don’t see how the starting pitching is going to be good enough to better last year’s record by much let alone make the playoffs. This year should be a year to let the youngsters continue to improve and hopefully prospects can be traded for stud starters for next year.

    • The rotation certainly hasn’t gotten any worse, and it could be much better.

      -Carreno should be at least a little better than Reyes who had 20! starts last year.
      -If Cecil returns, he should at least be a little better than 2011 Cecil
      -Drabek can’t do much worse than his 2011
      -A full year of Alvarez should be better than one of Villeneuva/Litsch/Mills/Perez spot starting
      -Morrow could very easily (finally) break out
      -At least 1 of the 3 young AA arms should be able to produce this year.

      • Just realized. Reyes, Mills and Litsch had just as many combined starts as Romero last year (32). Ouch

    • I’m expecting much bigger stuff from the bullpen, and if they can get a few more innings out of the rotation, they’ll be able to help each other.

  11. JAYS = best AAA team in the MLB. sigh.

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