Rumours and the Toronto Blue Jays have gone hand-in-hand since Alex Anthopoulos brought his cone of silence to 1 Blue Jays Way, largely due to the fact that the club’s commitment to neither confirming nor denying anything allows them to be used by others to inflate a market or to make it look like they have inside information when they really don’t. As a consequence, a lot of what is rumbling out there on the internet turns out to be completely untrue.

Because of this, I seem to always take flack (read: shit) whenever posting one of the many rumours that fly especially fast and furious at this time of the year. Inevitably someone will bring up the “fact” that if we’re hearing about the Jays being up to something, it’s almost certainly false.

This kind of stuff has been repeated so often that I get the sense that some people actually think that not only is it true, but it’s so true that it’s a waste of time to even bother looking at what’s being rumoured– even in instances where it’s obvious that the speculation we’re seeing is not necessarily based on actual conversations with people involved in trade talks, but on groping around to try and figure out what the club may be thinking, and what hypothetical pieces may find their way into a real world deal.

Thing is, MLB dealings aren’t quite such a complicated and ethereal thing– even when the Anthopoulos-era Jays are involved– and by examining whatever shreds of evidence and speculation we can get our hands on, we can often see a lot more of the picture than we realize. Or, at least, more than AA’s reputation suggests.

That doesn’t mean we aren’t often or won’t continue to be surprised by the deals that he executes, but it’s to suggest that there’s definite value in taking in all that’s out there.

Since taking over for JP Ricciardi on October 3rd, 2009, Alex Anthpoulos has made, by my count, nine majorly significant transactions:

- Trading Roy Halladay to the Phillies
- Acquiring Brandon Morrow from Seattle
- Signing Cuban defector Adeiny Hechavarria
- Acquiring Yunel Escobar from Atlanta
- Flipping Brett Wallace to Houston for Anthony Gose
- Trading Shaun Marcum for Brett Lawrie
- Unloading Vernon Wells on the Angels
- Acquiring Colby Rasmus from St. Louis
- Acquiring Sergio Santos from the White Sox

It’s mostly through these deals that Anthopoulos has fashioned his reputation as a stealthy wheeler-dealer, and while it’s true that many were surprising– the Wells and Santos transactions were particular shockers– the myth doesn’t really hold up in the light of reality.

And by reality I, of course, mean checking for stuff that was being said before these deals went down on Google, this site, and– most invaluably by far– MLB Trade Rumors.

While the Wells and Santos transactions were the epitome of Anthopoulos at his stealthiest, the Halladay deal was excruciatingly public and full of rumblings of innuendo that ended up having followed the scent rather closely. As an extension of the swirling clusterfuck around Halladay, for example, we learned that the Jays had their eye on Anthony Gose, and while it was definitely a surprise that they flipped presumed-coveted first base prospect Brett Wallace to the Astros once Gose had moved there in the Roy Oswalt trade, it’s hard to categorize that one as coming from way out of left field. No, it wasn’t talked about for days before the trigger was actually pulled on the deal, but those who had followed the many twists and turns of the Halladay saga shouldn’t have been surprised to see that Anthopoulos kept Gose in the back of his mind, and ultimately found a way to get his man.

Some of the other deals I’ve listed have those kinds of elements as well.

Brandon Morrow

During a confusing mess of a day in December 2009, when the Phillies traded Cliff Lee to Seattle and acquired Roy Halladay from the Jays, Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal wrote that Brandon Morrow was “in play” in what was then thought of as a three-team deal.

Nothing specific is said about the Jays having an interest in Morrow, but this was reported at a time when it looked like the Jays may have been receiving players from both Philadelphia and Seattle in the deal.

His was a name among many that surfaced during that period as being players the Jays were interested in, which made it hard to separate the serious from the unserious whispers, but obviously Morosi and Rosenthal were on to something with that report. Morrow ended up being dealt to the Jays in a second deal, straight-up with Seattle for Brandon League and Johermyn Chavez, about a week later.

 

Adeiny Hechavarria

Hechavarria is one of the more blatant examples of a player known to be of interest to the Jays long before Anthopoulos was able to acquire him. It was in mid-February, 2010, that the baseball world was waiting for the Cuban defector to be “unblocked” by the Office of Foreign Asset Control. On the 25th of that month that Jordan Bastian, then of BlueJays.com, wrote that the Jays were interested, though many teams at the time were still reportedly in play.

The club was linked to Hechavarria a few times on MLBTR over the next month, before word broke on March 14th that the Jays had signed him. Even then, for legal and technical reasons, the club would not comment on him until officially announcing the signing almost a month later, on April 13th.

 

Yunel Escobar

The Escobar deal could be listed with Wells and Santos among the most surprising ones that Anthopoulos has pulled off, simply because it looked at the time as though the club had a decent shortstop in Alex Gonzalez, and wouldn’t jump into the market to create a redundancy. However, there was perhaps at least one small breach of total stealthiness, as on July 6th, 2010, Jerry Crasnick of ESPN wrote that teams were calling Atlanta looking to “bottom feed” on Escobar, who was in the midst of a thoroughly disappointing season. The Jays weren’t mentioned by name, but we now know that this is one of AA’s favourite tricks, and these days we’d immediately consider Anthopoulos among the GMs who’d be doing such a thing.

Amazingly, these rumours were swirling around Escobar just one year removed from MLBTR printing this gem about him, from MLB.com’s Mark Bowman: “There is zero truth to those Escobar rumors. The Braves have NO and I repeat no intention to move him. Believe me, if they move him, it will simply be a deal that they simply can’t refuse and that wouldn’t include anything involving Holliday.”

Yes, he’s referring to Matt Holliday. And… um… wow.

Escobar was traded to the Jays for 80 cents on the dollar a little over a week after Crasnick’s tweets.

 

Shaun Marcum/Brett Lawrie

The specific date may be foggy in your brain, but you may remember that, rather amazingly, on June 26th, 2010– more than five months before the deal went down– MLBTR wrote these exact words based on a video report filed by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports:

The Brewers are still searching for pitching, and the Blue Jays could be a potential match. Toronto likes Double-A infielder (and Canadian) Brett Lawrie, but the Brewers would be reluctant to trade him. They would have to consider it if he could land them someone like Brett Cecil or Shaun Marcum, though.

No, seriously, five months prior, that’s what was really written. And while, no, we’re weren’t seeing reporters beating the drum for this trade weeks in advance of it happening, it was definitely out there, even if only in the mind of Kenny Ken Ken.

Of course, if you remember back further, word was the Jays were enamoured of Lawrie in the lead-up to the 2008, only to see him scooped by the Brewers with the 16th pick. The Jays took David Cooper at 17.

 

Colby Rasmus

With all of the public acrimony between Rasmus and Tony La Russa, over his final years in St. Louis there was a wealth of speculation about Colby being moved– including to the Jays, on this very site in March of last year, as provoked by some Twitterings from Drew, back when he was doing Ghostrunner.

Similar to Escobar, MLBTR mentioned in January of 2011 that the Cards had been receiving calls from teams “bottom fishing” on Rasmus, which we could take as an indication of Anthopoulos sniffing around, if we really want to stretch things. Of course, prior to that, in October 2010, after it became public that Rasmus had requested a trade, we passed along a note about Mike Wilner having asked Alex Anthopoulos about the Rasmus situation during a playoff pre-game show. Additionally, there was some Rasmus speculation with a Jays bent in a Keith Law chat, which I cut-and-pasted along three days prior.

Sure the only “involvement” you could pin on the Jays here amounted mostly to speculation, but Rasmus is another player who was being talked about widely in the weeks and months before the Jays found a way to pry him loose.

 

In Conclusion…

It’s undeniable that, at least since the Halladay trade, the Jays’ involvement in deals that are imminent hasn’t become day-to-day fodder for the rumour mill. The total silence that Alex Anthopoulos insists upon seems to serve its purpose in that regard. But the notion that these rumblings aren’t worth following at all– whatever giant grains of salt may be required– or don’t provide any value or insight into the club’s plan of attack, or– worse still– should be taken prima facie as false, because of the ridiculous maxim that says nothing we hear could possibly have any basis in fact, is beyond wrongheaded.

It’s certainly not easy to navigate our way through the unyielding din of Jays rumours at this time of year, but that doesn’t mean it’s without value to try, or that we wouldn’t be robbing ourselves of one of the magnificent aspects of being a fan by assuming their intentions, or whatever interpretation we’re given of them, are completely impenetrable, and therefore unworthy of any consideration at all.

Before the next two weeks are up Anthopoulos may astound us with a deal that’s completely from left field, burnishing his “Ninja GM” reputation, but it’s very possible that the seeds of it are already out there.

 

Image via Stephen Dunn/Getty.

Comments (125)

  1. Wow. Great article.

    Also, it pains me to think of how much value Cecil used to have. Thanks for the reminder.

  2. Very well done. Excellent post. I will now dream of Upton.

  3. I’d love to see Justin Upton come to Toronto as well as Kate Upton in a double UPton trade with the Diamondbacks and Justin Verlander’s personal life.

  4. 10. Brad Mills for Jeff Mathis

  5. I think it was the Halladay trade that made AA like this. My wild-ass guess is that whole three-ring circus is something he doesn’t want to ever do again.

    • I also imagine that Ricciardi’s methods of publicly idenfying players that he was trying to trade also rubbed him the wrong way.

  6. Nicely done. The build up to the Rasmus deal seems a bit similar to the chatter with regard to Upton.

  7. Wait, the Brewers might have taken Cecil instead of Marcum?

    Yeah, I know, probably not, but wouldn’t that have been something?

    • In fact the Jays were the ones that didnt want to give up cecil….they wanted the brewers to take the less controllable marcum off their hands.

      • I don’t know if we know for sure if that’s true, but it definitely makes sense.

        • And bigger injury risk (Marcum’s delivery). It’s still kind of weird the Cecil just lost four + mph off of his fastball. When it happened to League and Frasor, it eventually came back. But with Cecil, it seems to have permanently vanished into the shit winds.

          • Cecil’s velocity is going, going, gone…

          • At this point once there are a couple of other starters to eat innings why not just see if Cecil could regain the velo in the bullpen.

            He was supposed to be a dominant late inning reliever b4 they converted him to a starter. Maybe it could still happen…

          • Urggh, pains me as well that it could have been Cecil instead of Marcum. Mainly for the simple fact that Marcum was a better team guy/leader.

          • If only Cecil could add about another 20LBS, maybe he’d regain some of that velocity.

            What a fucking idiot. He looked pretty healthy out there, then he lost all that weight and looks like a god damned cancer patient. He looks as though he lost nothing but muscle mass.

  8. Ya. It was particularly absurd yesterday with the Upton stuff. I mean, it’s not the Jays that are “leaking” his availability. It’s Arizona. It’s just kind of obvious that he’s a guy that AA would want if he’s available. It doesn’t require a whole lot of leaking on this end to surmise that one. Just a few brain cells to rub together.

  9. Maybe I should be taking the Liriano to Jays rumours more seriously.

    • Right?? That’s the thing about the connections drawn above. While there are the hints/rumours for many of the moves, they are often vague or way in advance of a move.

      So what totally minor, largely ignored, whispers have gone on over the past few months are actually the only hints we’re going to get?

      Looking at it from the other way, however, there were probably lots of minor rumours over the last few years that ended up being nothing but rumours, and now we’ll politely forget about them.

  10. So your saying Justin Upton, Matt Garza and Wandy Fucking Rodriguez are for sure coming to Toronto?

    Ok.

    • AA is probably “interested” in any of the decent or better players who are available (Upton, Garza, Wandy, Liriano, etc). He’s also probably interested in a whole whack of players that nobody knows is available. It’s just a matter of whether he’s more interested than everybody else.

  11. Wow, what a trade Cecil for Lawrie would have been.

  12. The interesting thing for me is that i’m much more likely to give any of these rumours more credence if they are coming from a US based reporter bause they chances are higher they are getting the info from the other side of the deal. That said after witnessing what went on in the winter it’s not like i would be willing to bet anything substantial on them being true.

  13. The Jays were rumoured to be in on both Oliver & Cordero weeks before they signed.

    Great piece, maybe now Wilner will quit being ridiculous and shooting down every rumour with “If you’ve heard it it’s not happening”.

    • You expect Wilner to change his behaviour based on facts put forth by someone else?

      Don’t know how Wilner operates do you? :P

    • Wilner is a fat pathetic corporate tool.

      He thinks what Rogers tells him to think.

      • Agreed. Can’t stand him. He’s very well-fed. And an embodiment of the smugness that is Toronto.

        • You had me up to the “smugness… Toronto” part. Wilner is definitely a dork. What’s the point of insulting Torontonians?

    • I never understood Wilner spouting that nonsense even with free agents. I get that a team could be told “Keep this quiet, or we will stop negotiating.” But what agent is going to agree to that? His one job is to get the most value for his client, and having a bidding war is the best way to do that.

  14. What about the Kelly Johnson deal?

    • Yeah, I guess I forgot that one. But as an August trade of change of scenery types, I don’t feel too badly about it.

      • Wasn’t Hill due for the option year of his contract and hitting somewhere around .150, and ground balls were going through him….I think it was well rumoured

    • Kelly Johnson had been linked to AA for, literally, years. I think there was heavy speculation that AA wanted him to play LF in the winter of 2009 after KJ was non-tendered by Atlanta. If I remember correctly, he eventually chose Arizona because they wanted him to play 2B.

    • And what a great trade that turned out to be…

      • I still have no regrets about that deal. Whatever Aaron Hill has managed in Arizona, he sure wasn’t managing that here.

        • No kidding. But I think that has to be partly Murphy’s responsibility.

          • Murphy is such a fucking one dimensional hitting coach. Our batters are so god damned inconsistent it’s pretty pathetic. Sure, Lawrie and Rasmus looked good there for about a month, now they’re shit. Johnson is shit. We’re really literally on EE and maybe a few of these shitbaggers to string a few hits/walks together at the right time.

            Look at the Yankees as an organization. Sure, they can afford the big contracts, but they are also running out Russell Martin, DeWayne Wise, Jayson Nix and Eric Chavez. They have a 40+ game streak of fucking 3+ runs per game. They Jays should be killing for this type of consistency.

            Murphy seems to teach everyone to just grip it and rip it. Not everyone is a dead-pull hitter. Can we fucking train some of these players to be more complete hitters and drive the ball to the other side of the field occasionally? It’s fucking pathetic that none of our hitters can hit a ball on the outside side of the plate.

            I know EE saw Luis Mercedes in the offseason… which may not mean a fucking thing since so did Robinson Cano. However, I remember hearing a rumor that Adam Lind saw a private hitting coach prior to the 2011 season. He started off really strong until he injured himself. Anyone who can substantiate this rumor?

  15. Seriously great article – that’s exactly why I come here. A manly head nod in your direction, Stoeten.

  16. Stoeton, I know that you responded to one of my previous posts regarding the potential Upton trade as I among many others stated that it is probably bullshit. There is no doubt that there are going to be rumblings about the Jays being in on a player and then that player actually being acquired by the Jays simply by the fact that AA is dealing with another party who may not have that cone of silence. So to think that he could ever be completely Ninja depends a great deal on other GM’s and front offices going along with him.

    That being said the percentage of Jays rumors being false far outweighs the percentage of being true. You mention nine major moves but how many beyond those nine have the Jays been linked to? If there is a potential FA out there or if there is a potential target for trade then the Jays are automatically associated with it. I am not a sports writer but I can quickly name six right off the top of my head: Chapman, Darvish (who you were already penciling into the lineup) Fielder, I saw Hamilton the other day, Ortiz and now Upton.

    My point is that yes there is going to be some rumors out there that turn out to be true but they should be taken with a lot larger grain of salt than you are willing to give it. Now I know it helps to write about it because baseball fans get pumped about trades and it increases page views but shit unless there is something of real substance it seems that these rumors should be no more than a mention in link dumps until there is some level of certainty. i.e. the actual player being acquired by the blue jays or risk another Darvish incident where any Jays fan or reporter for that matter (Grey) looked like damn fools.

    Just my 2 cents.

    • Now if almost every rumor of a trade or signing involves 4-6 teams then a whole other list of potential destinations would have to be brought up. All he is getting at are the ones that came into fruition were not that unheard of. Every team in every sport has their hand in tons of cookie jars that never go through.

      It’s easy to play devils advocate when you pick and choose what part of the article to comment on.

      • Now if almost every rumor of a trade or signing involves 4-6 teams then a whole other list of potential destinations would have to be brought up. All he is getting at are the ones that came into fruition were not that unheard of.
        (YES but it required hindsight to know that they were not unheard of. Granted the same could be true for no trades as well.)

        Every team in every sport has their hand in tons of cookie jars that never go through.
        (I am going strictly on is percentages and I can say with great certainty that there are few teams that are linked to as many players as the Blue Jays which makes it that much harder to take seriously those rumors.)

        My main point is that these rumors should be approached first as bullshit and then only after significant other information comes to light potential roster moves.

        Stoeton, as for editorial advice I know shit about it so if that makes sense then by all means post it separately. I guess what I am reminded of was something Parkes said on one of the podcasts regarding a tweet by Heyman and it was something of the sort that he put a rumor out there and sat back and watched it play out and generate page views and discussion and all sorts of interests. Trade Posts on this site are the same fucking thing.

    • Thanks for the editorial advice, and as soon as I want to run the most boring Jays site in the universe, maybe I’ll take it under consideration. But for the time being, if something is going to take up 90% of the discussion of a link dump post, it deserves its own post.

  17. “prima facie,” eh? DJF has come a long way. Great article.

    I think a counter argument would be to look at all the players the Jays have been linked to, which obviously never materialized. The above deals are maybe, what, 5%? 10%? of the rumours involving the Jays.

    Mind you, making a trade isn’t easy, so there’s nothing to say that AA isn’t involved in potential trades that get out as rumours. It might just be a case that they’re not executed.

  18. I would also include Kelly Johnson for Hill/Mac in this list.

    Don’t have any links or anything, but around the time of the Escobar pick up, it was also mentioned that AA enjoyed the way Kelly played and that he was a big fan overall… Similar to the way he felt about Rasmus. Not immediately, but months later, he eventually got his man.

  19. Now I thought I had read somewhere that AA breaks off trade negotiations if anyone on the other side leaks the proceedings, on principle.

    Of course, regarding the Upton deal, there’s been no rumours thus far saying the Jays are in it, beyond people stating the obvious “it would make sense if the Jays were in it”–something completely different from “the Jays are trying to land Upton.”

    • a “principle” like that sounds a lot more Brian Burke than it does Alex Anthopolous.

      It wouldn’t be a very wise strategy.

    • That’s probably more of a threat to other executives than anything to keep their mouths shut, undoubtedly stemming from the JPR era Rios/Cain/Lincecum fiasco with Brian Sabean that was likely squashed due to public outcry in San Fran after the talks were leaked. I doubt AA is going to walk away from a Rasmus-type deal (or a Rios for Cain/Lincecum-type deal for that matter), simply because the media has caught wind of the deal.

    • Alex said that in an interview, about a month or two ago.

  20. So what you’re saying is we’re definitely getting Upton?

    Score!

    (cue we don’t need Upton we need pitching rants from idiots…)

    • But we don’t need Upton we need pitching…

      • We need upgrades. You like seeing fucking Rajai Davis out there in LF?

        If any section of the roster can be improved via “winning” a trade/deal/what-have-you, you do it. Getting someone like Upton should not stop the Jays from also acquiring a few SPs. Albeit, they may have to spend a bit more in free agency.

  21. Gotta admit, as BS as most of the rumours are, they sure are fun to read.

    Also, excellent article.

  22. [...] Is AA really the silent assassin? [...]

  23. AA has made trades for players he has long coveted or wanted. So far, he has done well in this respect, being able to acquire high-end talent for less than optimal cost.

    The team now finds itself short of some pitching. Yet we hear things about Justin Upton. Looks like AA is not changing his ways. Fuck need. Let me have players that I want.

    AA is able to do this as he feels secure in his job as GM. Very few GM’s have that luxury. Its win now or see you later.

    AA is not getting fooled by the extra wildcard race. The Jays must beat what, 5 or 6 other teams to get a chance at a coin flip game? Fuck that. I think AA will be going after high-end talent like Upton to continue building that core roster. But he must begin loosening up his grip on prospects to make shit happen.

    Call-ups like Dyson (best stuff in the organization) and now Gose (who got the call over Snider) are certainly curious. Showcased?

    • I think AA is trying to hype up all prospects in the system to increase their trade value. Seems like every guy has the “best stuff in the organization.”

      It’s similar to what happens with Yankees/Red Sox prospects. Not that the Yankees and Sox are over-hyping their prospects, but just because they’re large market teams with oodles of coverage.

    • The “showcasing” thing is absolute bullshit . Do you really think, in this age of information, that GM’s will somehow be duped into taking a player because he came up from the minors and had a couple of lucky at bats or good games? I know a lot of people on here like to chug the Roger’s koolaid but do you really believe that it’s only the mighty Blue Jays that spend money on things like scouting and player development?

      It’s fine to think that AA has done a great job because he has, but to elevate him to the level of some deity is beyond fucking ridiculous. I know it hurts a lot of you to admit this, but there are many capable GM’s out there that aren’t going to be “showcased” into taking a player.

      • Sure, there are. But as long as there’s one guy that can buy into the hype, that’s all that matters.

      • Explain why AA would call up a raw player like Gose over Snider? Snider looks to be healthy again and can play RF. Gose is an incredibly difficult player to project at the MLB level given his hit tool. Might be a good idea to see if he can at least manage some decent numbers over the next 10-14 games?

        • But what if he can’t, and totally shits the bed? Then the prospect is devalued? I agree with the idea that ‘showcasing’ is bullshit, especially in the case of raw prospects. It’s pretty risky in my view.

    • What are they showcasing in Gose and Dyson? That they fucking suck.

  24. I may be one of the few who don’t blame you Stoeten. It’s a case of don’t shoot the messenger, I’m just passing this along.In today’s era of twitter and the internet in general,the volume of information available is enormous and you might consider it irresponsilbe to your readship to not pass it along with the caveat ” take it for what it is”.
    That being said, I have become more cynical of the volume of rumors and the way they are presented by some of these gurus.It’s as if they are trying to out scoop everyone else and falling back on the excuse ” didn’t offer enough.”
    Most of the rumors involve not only the Jays but many other teams that fit the mold.
    I still enjoy the rumors but view them with much more skepticism

  25. The idea that any of the usual insiders (Rosenthal, Knobler, Morosi, Olney, even Heyman etc.) are completely fabricating rumors about the Jays simply for page views is an insult to their work. These guys make hay and enhance their reputation based on breaking factual stories. This is why you see Twitter wars begin among insiders about who needs to properly credited with first breaking or reporting a story.

    Also, the fabrications are more likely to occur in Free Agency rather than in trade rumours. Agents may put out items of fabricated interest in their clients. This is because there is an informational lag in free agency. All of the teams are competing for free agents, and are communicating with agents and players, not other teams in dealing with free agents. The information is flowing between teams and agents. With trades, you are dealing with other teams constantly and exclusively. The information is flowing between teams and other teams. There is less of an information lag in the trading market because everybody is dealing with everybody else, and it’s relatively easy to legitimately parse out what other teams are doing.

    One of the few instances that a team even has an incentive to attempt to fabricate trade rumours is when there is little interest in your player. This is not the case with Justin Upton. There’s little reason to believe that there aren’t tons of bidders competing with each other for Upton’s services.

  26. Stroman continues to get bombed. ERA 10, whip 2.4 Funny how this guy talks all badass about how he’s ready for the majors but can’t even get A ballers out.

  27. Does anyone out there follow another MLB team as closely as they follow the Jays? If so, are there just as many trade rumours out there for that other team that you follow? I read MLBTR daily, but only really care about the Jays rumours they bring up, and for all I know there’s just as many Angels, Astros, Cardinals etc rumours out there, but because I don’t really care that much about them, they don’t really stick or seem important. Anyone?

    • It is because AA does make trades and the Blue Jays have prospects teams are actually interested in. This added to that they are either buyers or sellers (mattering on who you talk to) – there are going to be tons of rumors around the Jays

  28. UPTON IS COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!

  29. sounds to me like the jays are looking to turn escobar into upton somehow.

    escobar + gose + some pitcher = Upton?

    and liriano in another. what are the twins looking for?

    i wouldn’t be surprised if AA is trying to ensure that pulling off one of the deals doesn’t affect his ability to compete for offers on the other.

    • I think Gose and others for Headey and then Headley 3B, Escobar SS(leaning towards Hech), Syndergard SP

      I think MLBTR and Stoeten reported on the the diamondbacks wanting Hech and Headley from the Padres. It’s since been reported that Arizona is ahving a hard time getting Headley who they really like from a divison rival. We’ve seen AA do this move before Napoli from Angels to Rangers.

      • Okay, Upton is damn good, but Headley, Escobar/Hech and Syndergard? That’s too much (particularly when you’re sending Gose + to get Headley)…

  30. That Cecil thing can’t be true no matter how young he was at the time, they would have traded Cecil straight up for Lawrie in a heart beat, leaving me to believe that it was Cecil and ? or ? marks.

    • Cecil was never highly thought of in the minds of baseball writers and Cecils ceiling was never going to be a Marcum. Whow as the best pitcher on that staff the year he was traded. Even with Cecils years of control, the Brewers must have wanted more somehting bigger than just Cecil…. in my opinion.

    • The Brewers wanted Marcum instead. Wasn’t up to AA.

    • It’s possible the Brewers either wanted Marcum, or Cecil + something else, and based on that “something else” AA chose Marcum.

  31. The Halladay debacle was on JPR. AA had nothing to do with that circus except execute the trade the guy had asked for. Everyone knew Halladay was going. Most people thought he was heading for the Phillies. That whole mess, in my opinion, was one of many excellent reasons why JPR was sent packing in ’09.

  32. way to go stoets. just have to justify the bullshit eh? i know it keeps the fans entertained even if its irrational in slow times. this is a perfect example of sports pages becoming the effiminate national enquirer sideshows. the world is becoming a giant pussyfest. nothing wrong with it if you like pussy.hahaha

    • Just for shits and giggles,how would you like the posts to look?What content do you want Stoeten to post?For DJF to become less “effiminate” and more manly(?), your exact suggestion for improvement is..?
      Easy to point out stuff you don’t like,post something you think makes the site better.
      And I for one would like to go on the record and admit that I absolutely LOVE pussy.All shapes and sizes, although I’m not fussy about the ones that are a little rank.But what the hell,I’m an equal opportunity guy.
      But if you don’t like pussy, who am I to question your sexual preference?

      • its a good thing peckers dont have noses eh? and for the record i love the puss too. only been near 1 rank one though and retreated. been around some tasty ones. married to a tasty for 18 yrs.mmmmm

  33. Can you fucking imagine if we got Lawrie for Cecil? Sweet Jesus.

  34. I thought this an important public service announcement for the health of hipsters everywhere:

    http://www.happyplace.com/17075/a-headline-that-could-single-handedly-put-an-end-to-skinny-jeans

  35. Something has to give. Hopefully AA decides that winning is going to take a bold move…

  36. Breaking News!!! AA will have scouts watching a pitcher at some lever or pro ball tonight! There’s even a chance he has scouts watching players in the Independent Leagues! What a silent assassin!

  37. So the moral of the story is make up any rumor possible – I heard that Han ram is coming to Toronto. And he is disgruntled. Now I sit and wait and if the jays get him -1 to AAs stealth. If nothing happens it’s not like some blogger will bring up all the rumors involving AA – even the failed ones. This view of AA not being stealthy seems self-selected. look at the trades and work back looking to find the rumors or rumblings. Despite the fact at the time no one waded through all that mess going on. To make the claim your post suggests you need to also look at the failed rumors as well. And that would be silly and time consuming. But it would give us a better picture of AAs (un)stealthiness. If X rumors exist on Y different players that involve the jays, what is the success rate?

    • Especially when bloggers, fans and media are linking everyone and everything to every single team out there.

  38. Never. Attack. A. Myth.

  39. I also knew what horse was going to win the Kentucky derby after it was run. I shoulda put the money down I wanted to.

  40. Wow, off days are painful. GM AA – make some magic for us!

  41. What I wanna know is why Canadian Media can never break the news on a trade, its always coming from the US

  42. Blogs monitoring player Twitter accounts >>> Canadian media

    GM AA pays so much attention to value, I hope he can still pull off trades that help the team not through increased “value” but filling team needs that make the team better “when he needs to”.

    We can sit around and blabber about whether the Jays should be buyers or sellers, but at this point the braintrust must be drawing up plans for the plucking of the next future core piece of the team.

  43. Could be Johnson or Sanchez if rumors about Miami are true.

  44. I wonder if the Yankees and Boston are bad for overall American League attendance.

    The AL and NL split the top 10 but the NL dominates 11-20 and the AL dominates the bottom of league attendance. Tampa and Oakland obviously have issues with their stadiums but…
    6 of the bottom 7 are in the AL and the other is Houston – who is moving to the AL. We know that the AL East has caused a lot of apathy in Toronto, Baltimore and Tampa, I wonder if it starting to affect the Central and West too. A team like Texas looks invincible, but if they got knocked out of the playoffs a couple times by the Yanks or Sox in the first round, I wonder if rumblings about a hardcap might be heard.

    • You won’t ever see a hard cap in MLB, that’d be un-American. Congress won’t allow it as it smacks of communism, and you can’t do that to the National pastime. So the luxury tax is here to stay, and the extra wild card will keep attendance up for weak sister teams. Yankees have always been a big draw where ever they play, and Boston fans travel in the thousands to boost attenence in visiting parks. Baltimore and Toronto will get winning teams soon, but Tampa, they have problems.

  45. I know they are a big draw, what I mean is that, long term, are they hurting the other AL franchises?

    • Don’t know how to put it any other way, historically it was always as previously described. Don’t know why it would change in the future.
      I understand your question though, it gets tiring supporting a losing team all the time, and I do get surprized that Toronto fans show up in the numbers they do. This year is turning out worse than last year and attendance is up.
      The Expo’s fans got fed up and look how that turned out. Guess we are the suckers, just like P.T. Barnum said.

  46. At least things have started to look a lot better the last 2+ years. There is going to be a lot of talent coming through.

  47. BS on this column…AA’s “Ninja Assassin” persona wasn’t built strictly on stealth. The Halladay deal was never about stealth, it was about how AA got such a good package of prospects (the view at the time) for Halladay when everybody and their grandma knew that the Phillies were one of the very few destinations that Halladay would agree to go to.

    As others have stated, the analysis of several of these trades for their stealthiness is based on tenuous ties to speculation that was based on the “Jays need/like this type of player and Team X need this type of player so the potential trade would be this guy for that guy” scenario. Very much a “throw tons of crap against the wall and some of it will stick, eventually” approach to trade rumour generation. Rosenthal seems to be operating almost exclusively on this basis in his interviews on Sportsnet.

    Most everybody seems to engage in this type of speculation in the absence of communication from the Jays front office. What would have made this article more interesting would be identifying if there was a common theme or thread to the speculation that turned to reality (i.e. was the same media member or player involved in the initial link of players to teams, was a particular player agent the source in multiple trade rumours that became fact, etc.). Without something like that, there is no useful takeaway from the write up.

    The re-cap of the speculation that preceded each of this deals was entertaining and made the article interesting.

    • remove “or player” from the bracketed portion of the last paragraph…why can’t we edit our own posts!!!

  48. I think what also adds to the level of stealth is that we had no idea who was going from the Jays in these trades.

  49. [...] Jays are in on a guy, it means they aren’t almost definitively.” I say almost because AA sometimes leaves traces of his moves-to-come if you look hard, as Stoeten of the Score did. This situation is similar in [...]

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