Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of, with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!

Yeah, that’s right, a Sunday night post. I just, y’know, figure that, after last week, I might as well get the ol’ content ball rolling, know what I mean?

Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail talks to Alex Anthopoulos about the possibility of signing young players with years of team control left to multi-year deals, and finds that the GM just isn’t into it like he was back when, as JP Ricciardi’s assistant, he was involved on deals like the Eric Hinske extension. In other words, don’t hold your breath for a Longoria deal, Brett Lawrie. Unless you go putting up MVP numbers. Main takeaway: they’re not afraid of not having the money to keep their best homegrown players as they get near to free agency and ridiculously expensive. Works for me.

At his North of the Border blog, Gregor Chisholm posts transcripts of Q&As with both Aaron Loup, regarding his promotion and repe-twah, and Alex Anthopoulos, regarding Edwin Encarnacion’s extension, the draft and the pitching situation– the latter of which is quite interesting.

And in a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor tells us a couple things that you probably already know: that Travis d’Arnaud’s knee injury is going to keep him out of the rest of the PCL season, but that he’ll make up for some of the lost at-bats by playing in the Arizona Fall League, and Jesse Chavez was demoted after a rough go on Saturday (Chad Beck is back up).

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star looks at the Jays rash of pitching injuries and speaks to an expert who suggests that there may not be a systematic problem that needs to be dealt with– which is very possibly true, though it’s certainly in the club’s interest to make damn sure there isn’t.

Brendan also reports from Lansing, where it turns out George Bell is helping hitters on the Lugnuts, and where he examines the long road still ahead for the affiliate’s three big pitching prospects. In an additonal piece, he gives us lots of background on Sanchez, Syndergaard and Nicolino.

And there’s still more! Kennedy also talks about the innings limits placed on the Big Three of Lansing, and some of the data that helped shape the club’s cautious treatment of them.

MLBTR passes along a note from Doug Padilla of ESPN Chicago that the Jays were scouting Matt Garza’s most recent start for the Cubs. As were the Yankees, Rangers, Tigers, Dodgers and Pirates.

They also tell is, by way of Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, that the Jays may be one of the teams who could have interest in the Mariners’ Jason Vargas. Such a statement may simply be spitballin’. And it’d be pretty decent spitballin’, too, if Vargas had splits on the road the last two years anywhere close to the level of how he’s pitched at Safeco.

At ESPN.com (Insider Only), Dan Syzmborski’s playoff projections still have the Jays on the outside looking in– but close. And ahead of the Orioles (finally).

Mike Rutsey of the Toronto Sun reports that his colleague, Bob Elliott, threw out the first pitch before Sunday’s game, and was honoured with a video tribute, as we get closer to Hall of Fame weekend, where as the Spink Award winner, Elliott will be honoured, along with players Barry Larkin, Ron “Santos” and… wait, what? Tim McCarver.

Elsewhere at the Sun, Rutsey talks to Brett Lawrie, who is enjoying being the club’s leadoff man. He also has something about Brandon Morrow’s recovery continuing, finally, which I can’t recall if I’ve mentioned elsewhere.

John Allemang (Sammy’s dad?) of the Globe and Mail looks at the things of caligraphic beauty that are Don Wakamatsu’s lineup cards.

At the Tao of Stieb, the Org Guy spills his guts on the significance of the Santos news.

Mat Germain of Jays Journal praises the rousing success that was the Jays’ 2012 draft.

Lastly, Mike Wilner of Sportsnet writes, ”I believe the Blue Jays when they say Santos wasn’t damaged goods when he came over, the biggest reason being that the White Sox signed Santos to a three-year contract extension worth almost $10 million at the end of last season,” absolutely smashing the nail straight into the face of the conspiracy theory brigade. Kenny Williams, we’re to believe, is one part diabolical master GM, and another part bumbling idiot who signed a hurt pitcher to a $10-million deal. I mean, come on. That kind of nonsense thinking may somehow not cause cognitive dissonance when we’re talking about political leaders, but this is sports. Our media take obligation to make sense of things a little more seriously than that.

Comments (35)

  1. Jesse Chavez was demoted after a rough go on Saturday (Chad Beck is back up).

    I’m happy, sad, confused, and depressed on this. I’m just a clusterfuck of emotion with this move, as the bullpen is just a clusterfuck of revolving shit.

    Not much Anthopoulos can do I suppose, it’s just.. clusterfucked.

  2. Vargas. No thanks. We have several of that flavor already.

    Garza: Yes. Please. Depending on price.

    Liriano: yes…i like the potential of this move even more than garza, because it has to be much cheaper given his free agent status.

  3. “Our media take obligation to make sense of things a little more seriously than that.”

    Say what?

    • Has anyone really been far even as decided to use even go want to do look more like?

      exactly…

  4. Love the Edwin contract. Loup could be a stud.

  5. “Kenny Williams, we’re to believe, is one part diabolical master GM, and another part bumbling idiot who signed a hurt pitcher to a $10-million deal. I mean, come on. That kind of nonsense thinking may somehow not cause cognitive dissonance when we’re talking about political leaders, but this is sports.”
    I am not saying that this is, in fact, the conspiracy that those that want to string up Kenny Williams think this is. But to put it as an absolute certainty that it is not the case, Stoeten, I think is just a little naive. I really don’t think that AA was duped, not at all. But I definitely don’t think that it’s so far removed from the realm of possibility that’s it’s not even worth considering.
    I don’t know your experience in corporate (North) America so I apologize if I come off as an ass. But it is not so crazy for an organization to build up an asset (Santos), by way of minimal investment (a relatively small number of millions over several years – seemingly a very strong asset, bought low) in an effort to try to move that asset for more seemingly-built-up value (in the form of Santos and a very risk-free contract). Granted, Nestor Molina seems like shit to us, but isn’t it possible that Kenny saw something different and decided to sell Santos for exactly what he’d hoped? Perhaps he saw Molina as a strong, top-of-the-rotation type, in exchange for what he considered damaged goods? But “wait idiot!!” you may say!??! “Molina is not highly regarded by such scouts as Keith Law and Kevin Goldstein, so surely I can scoff at his supposed skills w/out recourse.” Well, it is possible that not every organization relies on such folks, and perhaps Kenny has scouts of his own w/ their own internal prospect list. This would explain unpredictable drafts and people valuing kids differently from organization to organization. This is, after all, why there are scouts for each organization and not just a group of scouts that give everyone a list of the best prospects. Anyway, I am drunk and not willing to fight it out right now, but I wanted to at least state the absurdity of the fact that you thought deception in this case was, well, so absurd. I don’t think that we were duped, I really don’t (idiots like Gregg Zaun think we were, after all), but I just don’t think it should be so easily dismissed.

  6. Wow, Mike Wilner actually believes what the organization says about Sergio Santos. Maybe he’s finally put some of his notorious cynicism aside and decided to give ownership and management a fair shake!

  7. Santos reminds me of the infamous sasquatch video from 50 years ago. You have to consider the background of the guy who took the video to determine the validity of the video. The guy was trying to make a movie and was almost broke questioning his credibiility.

    Now this brings us to kenny williams. People like to mock kenny as some idiot but he’s a shrewd as they come. Let’s look at some of his past decisions

    1 – trades injured sirotka to naive gord ash
    2 – takes alex rios for nothing, looks stupid, now is reaping the rewards
    3 – drafts skinny chris sale who alex didn’t even want
    4 – trades santos at top of his game for middling AA prospect

    I highly doubt kenny is that stupid to just give santos away. And the extension was for 8.25 million by the way. And wouldn’t it be much easier to trade santos with 6 years of control vs 3? And did you really expect alex to say yeah we knew he was an injury risk?

    The reality is somewhere in the middle. As ginger pointed out in the previous post, both sides probably knew there was some injury concern so they both hedged. Kenny took an overhyped AA prospect and got some salary relief and alex took an overhyped closer who was an injury risk. Remember alex is the same guy who gave in an injured pitcher 4 million!!! But to argue that this is just blind luck and alex had no idea is just plain ignorant.

    • “But to argue that this is just blind luck and alex had no idea is just plain ignorant.”

      To argue that you can say with any certainty that this WASN’T blind/bad luck is just plain ignorant.

      There’s no need to completely discount conspiracy theory. But no need to go too far to the other side either.

      • The luck argument by definition is ignorance. You are saying that you don’t understand anything and don’t want to consider that your side may have made a mistake so it’s much easier to maintain your belief system that alex is a genius who can do no wrong and using luck reinforces that belief system.

    • “The reality is somewhere in the middle. As ginger pointed out in the previous post, both sides probably knew there was some injury concern so they both hedged. Kenny took an overhyped AA prospect and got some salary relief and alex took an overhyped closer who was an injury risk. Remember alex is the same guy who gave in an injured pitcher 4 million!!! But to argue that this is just blind luck and alex had no idea is just plain ignorant.”

      That seems to be the best answer. It does not make sense for Chicago to trade away a young closer with a very good contract for a AA prospect. It could be that the reason that Santos signed for so long at a cheap price is that he was new to pitching, so there was a higher risk of injury than had he stayed as a minor league short stop. AA must have been aware of the potential injury risk.

      Given the high cost of pitching now, paying 4 million to Dustin & 8 or 9 million to Santos seems worth it if they show they can pitch effectively for a few years.

  8. I wonder why stoeten didn’t post the link to the blair interview with will carroll who said that the jays injury problems are systematic? That the jays like 90% of the league don’t use biometrics. God forbid anyone dare criticizing AA.

  9. I want to take a shit on any notion of conspiracy. I actually want to release my bowels.

  10. One stipulation of any trade involving Vargas would probably be to take Brandon League off Seattle’s hands. Where the hell are Tom Filer and Mauro “Goose” Gozzo when we need them?

  11. First of all, ALL of you need to learn English. Conspiracy means that a GROUP of people came together to perform this potential deception.

    Last I checked, this required only ONE person to pull off on the Chicago side. Hence, true or untrue, its not necessarily even in the genre of a conspiracy.

    What I would like to ask is….why was Sergio being pussied about so much in spring training if nothing was wrong until the KC game? Is this normal for closers who pitch 70 or fewer innings?

  12. I dunno, I suspect the Jays conducted a physical before the trade was finalized.

  13. One thing JPR was better at than AA: pitchers. He always had an excellent eye for a pitcher. AA is good at position players, but overall apart from the Morrow deal, I don’t think he’s done as well with pitchers.

    • in fairness, he hasn’t really done much to acquire one of high talent because he’s been waiting on the youth. And, yes, sure, apart from Morrow even though Morrow is potentially turning into the top of the rotation starter everyone had hoped he’d be. Let’s grab a random sample 5 years into JPR’s tenure with the Jays, prior to the youth of Marcum and McGowan turning into (at the time and sorta currently) solid pitchers:
      Doc
      Lilly
      Josh Towers
      Gustavo Chacin
      Dave Bush.

      Or Miguel Batista? Cory Lidle? Let’s at least give AA time to see if the youth develop into competent pitching or if he actually makes a move to acquire a non-stopgap not named JoJo Reyes.

      • Doc and McGowan were Gord Ash picks.

      • Yeah, but I think his bullpens were much stronger than AA’s. So far we’ve had back-to-back disastrous bullpens who’ve coughed up a bunch of games. I don’t remember JPR’s being this bad.

        • To be fair, last year’s bullpen was built entirely around gaming the system for picks, not for getting results, and it did that job just fine.

          This year’s mostly on AA, though it ought to be mentioned we (and most other sources) thought we had one of the best bullpens in the league going into the season.

          But if we’re going to give AA credit for knowing Bautista was going to be good even though the sources said otherwise, then we have to blame AA for the bullpen even though the sources expected it to be far, far better than it was.

          • Replace “sources” with “experts” in the above comment. Apparently it’s still early Monday morning.

        • true enough, but I don’t think these bullpens were built to succeed yet. This years SHOULD be better but injuries everywhere have ruined that. Let’s just give AA another year or two before we start individual things JPR did over him.
          Up to this point, he’s basically been filling holes, developing youngish pitchers and fixing the position players. Might not be fast enough for some people but forrest for the trees.
          I’ll wait until he actually makes a Rasmus/Yunel/Lawrie like effort to acquire a pitcher not named Morrow.

  14. Someone needs to tell Greg Brady about Mike Wilner’s column, because he spent all morning called Santos “Sergio Sirotka”.

  15. Romero was JP.

  16. Here is a question re injuries: cant we compare it to a players hot/cold streak? The pitchers last year suffered no significant injuries – we can infer the jays aren’t doing anything different this year but the result has changed. Regression? Small sample size? I understand we should be looking at organizational approach because this does raise red flags but why is it easier for us to denounce a player’s hot streak by suggesting its in isolation from a whole host of data yet also ignore that same big picture data in the case of injuries? The short answer is the production of statistical knowledge tends to focus us on the individual and when injuries happen we tend to try to find patterns in them. We generally don’t look for the same types of patterns during a 50 AB stretch.

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