Getting an early jump on putting this disasterfuck of a season to bed, Alex Anthopoulos joined Buck Martinez and Pat Tabler on the Sportsnet broadcast for a talk during what turned out to be a lengthy the top of the second inning of Friday night’s game, commenting on the year that was and what we can expect as we move into the off-season. Continuing a recent trend, Anthopoulos was a bit more candid than we’ve become accustomed to during his three seasons at the Jays’ helm, especially with regard to how he’s looking to reshape the roster during the winter.

“I’m not as concerned with guys who have options,” he said, explaining an evolving philosophy– or, at the very least, a what it seems he hopes will be a newfound ability to avoid relying on the organization’s young players. “They want to be up here– but we’re going to do what’s best for the organization. We want to see some of the young guys play, but there isn’t anything wrong with having them wait if we can have guys that can help the team right now and have that depth, because as we’ve seen, over the coming year guys won’t perform, guys are going get hurt, and we need that depth– it’s going to be important. So, if we can fill spots and have some of the young guys waiting in the wings to force our hand, that’s definitely going to be something that we’re going to adjust to.”

Part of this, especially on the pitching side, though I certainly think it pertains to hitters as well, absolutely must have to do with the fact that the Jays are now out of Las Vegas, their Triple-A club having landed in Buffalo. Because the problem with Vegas was so much to do with geography, not the people in charge of the 51s, I can understand why Anthopoulos has so far been reluctant to take a right proper shit on his former affiliate, but I can’t believe it’s a coincidence that Triple-A has become a more viable destination for the club’s top prospects, now that they’ll be playing in an environment that won’t so easily tempt young players into changing their approach.

“I would say a chance,” he says of Anthony Gose’s prospects to start in left field next year, for example. “Ideally, we’d have someone more established, if we can. And it doesn’t mean it’s going to work out that way, and again, it’s going to be weighing off who else is going out there. But Anthony’s got options left. He’s playing better since he’s been back. Defensively he’s been outstanding, he’s made strides, his swing is better, and so on, but we’re not going to hand anybody a job. So, it really depends on what happens in the off-season, but we won’t rule out, if there’s someone established, to go get someone.”

The story is much the same on Adeiny Hechavarria.

“Is there a scenario where he could have a starting position for us? Sure, but in a perfect world, I’d love to have those guys in the minor leagues, waiting in the wings, and have some established guys up here,” he explains. “It will just make the organization stronger.”

It’s an entirely reasonable position to take– and isn’t the first suggestion I’ve heard that the club is more serious than you might be inclined to believe about bringing in a veteran outfielder, though their reported overtures towards Carlos Beltran last winter probably should have given us some indication– yet, as you’d expect, Anthopoulos insists that pitching will be his priority.

“I was just saying, with Brandon [Morrow on Thursday] night, the game he threw– man, we look like a good team when we pitch,” he says. “That’s certainly what it comes down to.”

The problem with all this dreaming, of course, is actually making it happen, which inevitably will require the team to throw some dollars around– and not necessarily only on major upgrades, but on acquiring the kinds of established, mid-tier regulars that would consign guys like Gose and Hechavarria to the minors, instantly making a trade involving either of those two eminently more palatable. I don’t know if it’s because he’s been backed more into a corner than ever before, but Anthopoulos is unambiguous that he understands this, and that he feels he has the resources to do it.

“I know we’re going to try,” he says after being asked if he will, or can, get free agents to come here. “I’ve never been that adamant about it before– I think last off-season, even, there was a lot of talk about how payroll was going to skyrocket. It never came from our mouths, but I understand, the rumour mill starts, and it got out of control. But I’ve said this before: I expect our payroll to go up, and I expect us to be active in trying to pursue free agents to come here. You can never guarantee anything with free agency, but definitely a different approach to free agency this off-season coming up than it has in the past– more open-minded, and I think we can set our sights a little bit higher than we have in the past.”

The last line maybe gives us a little bit of pause– because it’s not like “a little bit higher” necessarily means the fucking stratosphere, seeing as the most expensive free agents to have signed here since Frank Thomas are David Eckstein and Darren Oliver– but the GM at least sounds sincere in the fact that he’s going to try. And he understands the difficulty of the task, too.

“I think the number one challenge, because Toronto was never an issue with attracting free agents when they had a winning product on the field– World Series years– I was just talking to someone in a suite with guys like Jack Morris, Dave Stewart, Paul Molitor and so on– so if you have a winning team and a contending team, that takes care of itself, no matter where you are,” he explains. “Right now we’re not there– the results certainly speak for themselves. We’ve also been able to attract free agents when we’ve spent more– we did it with Burnett, we did it with Ryan– and it’s not to say they didn’t want to be here, but we certainly gave the most years, and the most dollars. So, if we’re not a team that can certainly sell the win-loss of what we did in 2012– and we certainly can’t, you talk about the potential and so on– it’s going to come down to dollars.”

The Jays have so streamlined their payroll in recent years that they can certainly afford to add a couple less-than-ideal contracts, if that’s what it’s going to take. Now they’ve only got to– y’know finally– put their money where their mouth is.

Alex, like all of us, really, is very obviously excited for the opportunity, excited for the new phase of the year, and excited to no longer have to watch this fucking team play out the string– he quite literally says as much.

“I’m excited for the off-season,” he says. “And that’s not to say– and it’s more because– well, it’s just like anything, it’s obviously tough: the team isn’t playing well, you’re sitting here in late August and early September, it’s tough to impact a roster, to make trades, and I can’t wait to get going, because we have a lot of work to do, and I don’t want to watch a team not playing well. It’s hard, and I understand that the fans want– they’re probably more upset than anything– but I’m more anxious and excited to get to work in the off-season and get after it and get this thing right and fixed and get back on track. So, there’s been a lot of good stories, and there’s  a lot of things to be excited about, but at the end of the day it’s the wins and losses, and it’s going to come down to what we do in the off-season. We definitely have our work cut out for us, but we’re going to be going full speed ahead.”

“You can take a lot of good things that happened early, and I know everyone’s been injured, but we saw at times– what the rotation did early in the season before guys got hurt. You saw what the offence did when everyone was starting to click and roll together. I think we’ve seen at times the bullpen– which I think we’re still going to look to add, if we can–what everybody can do. So really it’s on me, and it’s on the front office in the off-season to do our jobs and do our work, and to make the 25-man roster that much stronger. But there’s no question that we can do it.”

One way they could potentially improve internally is by bringing Travis d’Arnaud to the Majors. Yet, like Gose and Hechavarria, they appear to prefer to err on the side of caution.

“Right now, I think, with the injury, he’ll start the year in the minor leagues,” he says of d’Arnaud. “We won’t rule out, again, depending on the construction of the roster– could he compete for a job in Spring Training? You know, DH, first base? He’s played a little bit of first base– not much– but again, the likelihood is, because of the time missed, and seeing how he comes back from the injury, the likelihood is that he’ll be in the minors, but we’ll be open-minded in camp, unless we go sign someone to a guaranteed deal.”

Of course, Anthopoulos can’t be expected to reveal that he thinks the well-liked JP Arencibia could be on his way out, but I still think that’s got to be a possibility, despite the fact that d’Arnaud probably could use some time to get his feet back under him behind the plate– though… isn’t that what Spring Training is for?

One set of prospects we can, at least, be sure will start the year in the minors is the Big Three of Lansing– soon to be the Big Three of Dunedin.

“They’ll start in the Florida State League, and from that point– we expect them to do well. They certainly have a chance to end up in New Hampshire.”

Yes, we’ve seen Henderson Alvarez make the jump from Dunedin to the Majors in a single year– though that was after he’d spent a full year in the Florida State League the season previous– and Drew Hutchison pitched in the Majors after less than 32 innings at Double-A, but that seems a highly unlikely path for any of the Jays’ three prized arms, even though it sounds like they’ll be taking the reins off a little more in 2013.

“Through their teenage years we wanted to protect them a little bit more,” Anthopoulos explains of the trio of 20-year-olds. “The big thing for us– you never know with innings, and all that type of stuff, but these guys are still growing, and we’ve done a lot of studies on guys getting hurt at a young age– and that doesn’t mean that they all do, but kinda get out of the point where their bodies start to mature a little bit more– and some of these guys are still getting taller, and still starting to fill out– it’s when we monitor the innings a little bit more. But when the bodies start to mature a little bit more, we don’t mind to ramp up the workload.”

He adds, however, that “Sanchez, developmentally, is still a little skinny, but he can throw up to 99, and he’s easy. But he’s still got his development, in terms of his body.” So it’s not like he’s going to be riding in on a white horse to save the season next year, when it all goes horribly awry again.

In other words, Alex best be getting some serious work on, after an entire fucking calendar year that’s only brought the following MLB contributors from outside the organization– only one of whom has even a chance to be a starter or a regular position player on next year’s squad: Jesse Chavez, Jeff Mathis, Robert Coello, Ben Francisco, Sergio Santos, Darren Oliver, Aaron Laffey, Jason Frasor, Omar Vizquel, Francisco Cordero, Ryota Igarashi, J.A. Happ, Brandon Lyon, David Carpenter, Brad Lincoln, Steve Delabar, Yorvit Torrealba.

Ugh. I mean, at least he knows what he’s up against, but… ugh.

 

Image via MLB.tv.

Comments (74)

  1. I wish someone had asked him about possibly replacing Pat Tabler with any living human being that had a personality. Can we get Hayhurst as the full-time colour guy?

    • +1. Dirk would liven up the broadcasts.

    • If Hayhurst were in the booth on a daily basis I would be in prison for killing that obnoxious dickhead

      • NOTHING is worse than Tabler.. NOTHING.

      • ???? Are you fucking serious? Garfoose is the man.

        • Dirk is awesome. Maybe he can challenge all the dumb things Buck Martinez says, like “Lawrie is 2 for 2 this season against this guy, so he knows what he’s doing” right before looking like fucking clown-shoes swinging and whiffing on three straight pitches. Dirk knows his sabermetrics, and hopefully wouldn’t be shy about poking that particular bear. Oh well. We can dream…

        • The old boys club cannot forgive his intellectual honesty. Fuck them.

  2. Jesus, hopefully this offseason either makes AA shut up or put up

    • Holy fuck, what do you mean he should shut up? What the hell else is he supposed to say?

      • He means, AA talks a good ambiguous game….how about just going out and doing what you have to do, instead of coyly telling us that Free Agency doesn’t work one year and now it’s in focus. I think he’s done a great job in rebuilding the minors…but really….was it so overwhelming to not also put the same effort into rebuilding the Jays….I get that he may be hamstrung a bit by Rogers, but both him and Beeston have said that Rogers has never said no to them when it comes to salary…so it’s time….put up or shut up….20 years and counting without the playoffs…and 3 years and regressing rapidly under AA….

        • Regressing in your level personal enthusiasm doesn’t count as what’s happening with the team.

          • Amazing comment..how about actually writing a sentence that makes sense. I should however have clarified above…I’m pro AA and what he has done…however, the mixed messages have been getting to me lately….If they have never been turned down, why not go all in on Darvish. I like that AA flies under the Radar as opposed to Riccardi….however, I think as a fan, some clarity would be a good thing once in awhile. He has been more forthcoming lately to be sure…but again…just go and do what you can and show the fans something…its easy to hide behind…he’s trying his best or people don’t want to come here….etc etc…and not being insiders we’ll never really know…but perhaps some feedback would help us understand things better….Beeston said we could expect to be in the playoffs 2-3 times in the next 5 years…where did that come from….some elaboration on that would have been nice…instead of all the veiled ambiguity…that’s it…

        • I think the put up or shut up comments relates to fan frustration over listening to AA & Beeston .

          We seem to hear a lot of stories in February & March that the Jays were in on so & so , but when the player is interviewed there was never a formal offer like Beltran.

          The game between Rogers & the Blue Jays has to stop.
          ever
          AA & Beeston say Rogers never said NO to more spending.

          Rogers says, the Blue Jays never asked for money.

          Mccowan is good at bringing up the song & dance.

      • A fan requesting the team to put up or shut up seems perfectly reasonable to me. Rogers and AA have it within their power to improve this team quite a bit in the off season. The expectations aren’t even to sign the biggest three free agents like the yankees, just improve the team and make it competitive. If they end up fielding a starting day rotation of only two or three experienced starters (essentially 2012) then Blue Jays management can shut the fuck up about trying to field a compettive team.

        • +1. No one expects the Jays to have a 140 million payroll or even a payroll that would correspond with the team’s market size.

          I think fans would appreciate more clarity from AA.

          If the team has a budget restriction of say 80 million or 85 million, then they should be honest with the fans.

          Of course, Rogers would get pummeled in the media, so that’s why they have front office guys that are good at spinning excuses.

          The question is how many more years will fans put with with the team’s poor performance.

          • “Of course, Rogers would get pummeled in the media, so that’s why they have front office guys that are good at spinning excuses.” Well said.

        • @bosyouruncle
          If a fan asking the team to shut up or put up seems perfectly reasonable than it should also be perfectly reasonable for that same fan to fuck right off when they don’t feel like they’re being handed the championships that they ‘deserve’.

          • @Marcus
            +12.47bn (RCI’s $US ttm revenues… that’s more than BASEBALL worldwide…)

          • Another amazing comment….we are talking about clarity, not championships….and Fuck right off? That your answer for everything? Come on buddy…offer some insight into your thoughts about what we are talking about….where do you get Championships from? We just want to have a better idea of what is happening with the Jays….

          • Fair enough. I’m in your camp @Terry, where I’d prefer not to have to listen to AA talk ambiguously if at all.
            However, if fans feel they can demand management to behave in a binary fashion (put up/shut up), then they should be prepared to also behave in a binary fashion (follow/don’t follow the team) if the don’t get the response they were looking for.
            ‘Fuck right off’ was a coarse way of saying that.

            If your making demands for clarity then you need to have some type of leverage to make such demands.

          • is that really what you thought I meant? Is it not reasonable for fans to be upset when management talks the talk but doesn’t even put out a half decent pitching staff? When did I ask for a championship? I asked for a competitive team. The standard of a decent MLB team is not met when the team starts the season with only 2-3 pitchers that could reasonably be expected to last the entire year.

  3. My thought when I heard the interview was that he has certainly changed his views on free agents. The last year or so he would say that he was open to dipping into the free agent pool as a way to add that final piece to put them over the top. Now it seems that he is coming to grips with the idea that what he has been doing hasn’t been working.

    • Changed his views? Not so much. I think he bases his views on where the Jay’s system is, minors and majors.

    • I’m still not entirely convinced that the way he’s operated over the past couple of years can be explained by a guiding philosophy that’s now changed– like the hoarding of prospects, which he’s now changing his tune on, or the money thing– because he was wrong. I think it’s been more deliberate than that.

      • Yeah but, I don’t see why once we move into the team’s competitive phase he’d stop valuing prospects. That’d set us up for a Phillies-esque fall.

        • I don’t think he’s stop valuing prospects; now, he actually has a wealth of them from which to deal.

          I don’t pretend to know what AA is thinking, but the sense I get is that he’s looking for more than the rentals he’s been getting to fill in the gaps while he waits for people like Gose, d’Arnaud, Hechevaria, and even Sierra to be ready. The same thing goes with pitching (Hutch, Drabek, McGowan (?)). I suspect he will get something in the top tier this year: 1 pitcher, 1 position player. He’ll go large in the 2013 off season if things move in the right direction.

          He won’t gut the farm, but he will deal. It wouldn’t surprise me if one of Gose, Hech, or d’Arnaud is gone by the end of next season in a splashy trade.

          Here’s hoping anyhow.

      • Like maybe code speak for he got the OK to spend more money?

      • He said last year he didn’t like free agency because you always have to overpay and that trading prospects for big league talent was the way to go. After last off-season passed, and the trade deadline this year, with even as you admit at the end of the article, absolutely nothing to show for it, and more holes than he probably anticipated on the active roster, he decided that that game plan simply won’t work. I honestly believe the backlash he’s started getting this year has forced his hand into coming to grips with the fact that signing free agents is a fact of life if you want to compete. Either that or he’s paying lip service again to appease fans until the winter so they’ll stay off his case about this disasterfuck of a season. Time will tell.

        The “we were in on a lot of big name guys” bullshit won’t fucking cut it next year if the team doesn’t improve.

        • +1.

          I think AA miscalucated how much tit would cost to get young pitching.

          Didn’t other teams want Lawrie for Pineda or Gio?

          AA has to overpay for prospects or overpay for free agents in terms of dollars.

          This is why the put up or shut up comments are valid.

          Will Rogers give AA the money to get the players to fill the holes?

          Will AA be willing to part with “young controllable” prospects?

          AA can’t play the wait to see what they have argument in 2013, because they know what they have.

      • I agree with you here. I’ll say to everybody:

        a) AA is a way smarter baseball mind than any of us.

        b) Remember his comment from way back? Something to the effect of: when we start competing, it won’t be for one year. It will come wave after wave. AA’s plan was always: 1. Find ways to hoard draft picks. 2. build farm so you have lots of talent in the minors. 3. strengthen major league roster through trades. 4. When it looks like you’re on the verge, supplement with free agents. We are now in stage 4.

        Keep in mind that MLB changed the rules on compensation picks, international free agents, draft signing bonuses, and introduced the competitive balance lottery during his tenure. All of these changes heavily affected the Jays and AA’s plans (if you ask me, they were direct attempts to stop the Jays from building a winner, but I digress). Kudos to him if he has rolled with the punches and altered his strategy somewhat.

  4. I didn’t hear this interview, but it certainly seems positive. Obviously there is a lot more clarity in the way that he’s setting expectations. In the past, it has been somewhat (read: extremely and annoyingly) veiled. I have to think that this is part of a deliberate, new strategy around media relations, likely brought on by the Jays’ PR folks. I mean, it’s not like Pat and Buck’s interview techniques are so strong to elicit a complete change in the way he handles these things. I must say, it’s quite refreshing. Past “AA Speaks” posts have left me thinking that he may have spoken, but he really never said a thing.

  5. I think he’s been incredibly consistent with and we just over analyze it because we don’t have a winning baseball team to watch. Start with building a strong farm system, then work on getting your major league core together, then get in on the free agents…. nothings changed

  6. These are the kinds of things that make me feel like Godfrey is in charge all over again. How many free agents went ignored by the Jays over the past two years that could be contributing to this team in 2013? The organization told us time and time again that they’d spend when the rest of the team was ready to compete, but who can actually in any way say that right now, on paper going into 2013 the Blue Jays look like a better team than the 2010 or 2011 versions? It’s bullshit. They’re gonna spend because they’re going to lose a large chunk of their fanbase if they don’t make some kind of noise, not because the team is any better off than they were in years past.

    • +1.

      The team has been very short sighted. Fielder was available last year. They passed.

      You can’t expect free agents to be available to suit the Jays budget.

      The fact is other teams outside of traditional major markets are getting more broadcast revenue & are willing to spend.

      Did Rogers think the Reds would not sign Joey Votto for 200 million plus with the reds.

      The reds knew they were getting extra money , so they invested in Votto.

      Rogers & the Jays have to realize it’s a new MLB out there , so they can’t assume their only competition is the yankees and red sox,

  7. I mean, from a simple economics point of view signing free agents is better just because your adding assets to your organization. Having things is better then not having things. And the Jays turning cash into value is something we can all cheer for.

  8. Alex needs to stop talking and just shut up. I don’t want to hear what he plans to do and then nothing happens. Hey why don’t you tell us what the fucking payroll is going to be then we wouldn’t have to speculate on what the fuck you are doing?

    • Because you shouldn’t measure your satisfaction of your team based on the payroll. That how the Dodgers happened. Not even AA knows what the payroll’s gonna be, and honestly it doesn’t really matter.

      If you want we could trade for Vernon Wells and Ryan Howard, would that make you feel better?

      • Dodgers will be playoff ready for 2013.

        Can you say the same for the Jays.

        There is one quality pitcher, Morrow & one damaged former ace, Romero…

        • I went to a Dodger game in August. That is a good ball-club. They looked a hellova lot better than any version of the Jays I’ve seen for a while.

      • If I was a fan of the Dodgers I’d be happy as fuck about next season, certainly a lot happier than I am as a Jays fan in the current state. Just because a bunch of incredible players were thrown together late in the season and couldn’t make the playoffs doesn’t mean they won;t be competitive for many years.

        Same thing with the Marlins, I would have been ecstatic if the Jays did that last offseason. It didn’t work out but it could have been for a variety of reasons. The guys they’ve traded away have all played well on their new teams. Maybe the guys all hated Ozzy and didnt want to play for him. It’s not a stretch to see that happening.

    • then don’t listen to him, it’s really simple

  9. Andrew, I know you want to Rogers to open the wallet and increase the payroll right away. But now is not the time. Like it or not, the Blue Jays are not the Yankees. They are a mid-market team, and cannot be saddled with bad long-term contracts. So the question of when to pick up FAs, and what kind, is a question of timing. Quite frankly, the Jays looked in better shape last off-season. Now, Escobar, Romero and Rasmus have all seriously underperformed, Alvarez may need another year in the minors, Hutchison and Drabek are out for next year, and who knows about Santos. The point is, the Jays have a lot of holes, and so now is not the time to go crazy with FAs. I like AA’s idea about picking up some temporary veterans to allow Hech and Gose to spend a year at AAA. I also like the idea of trying to pick up decent SP’s without breaking the bank (so no Grienke). Given the Jays’ current on-field situation, we’re going to have to wait for the young players to make it to the majors. Only when the Jays are on the verge of contention should Rogers really make a spending splash.

    • Are you an employee of Rogers?

      How long do fans have to wait to get more than 88 wins?

      Should Tim Johnson be put on the Wall of Fame at Rogers Centre because he convinced the team he was a vietnam veteran?

    • So you’re saying to wait until Bautista and Encarnacion, their 2 best players are on the decline, and nowhere near the players they are now, cause by then we’ll be ready to compete? Great plan!

      • To you guys and to all the others above: OK, you want Rogers to start spending on FAs. What precisely do you expect to happen with this increased payroll? The Blue Jays have one above-average starting pitcher. One. All the others are below average or question marks. The Jays have no LF or DH, and they have question marks at SS and CF. How will spending like crazy on FAs help?? The fact is that picking up FAs only helps if the team has a core in place. And it doesn’t now, even with Bautista and Encarnacion. Sorry, but that’s the way it is.

        • They have a DH in Encarnacion, he should not be fielding any position. His defense is deplorable

        • I think you just answered your own question. What good will signing free agents do? It will make the team better and fill the holes you just identified. Pretty simple really.

          • OK, sure. We’ll sign 3 SP’s, a LF, 2B, DH/1B, and maybe a SS/CF. We’ll have a payroll of $250MM. Yeah, that’s a plan. Not. Get real.

          • Now you’re just being asinine. So according to you there’s only two options. Be absolutely atrocious like this year, or hope every prospect develops into an all star and then augment that world class lineup with free agents “when the time right” because in the mean time fielding a half way competitive lineup that’s actually kind of fun to watch is a ridiculous notion. I think I understand your argument. Keep selling cell phones Nadir Mohammed.

  10. All I’m gonna say is that while I subscribe to the (seemingly unpopular) notion that NO, the sky is NOT falling…and with a little health and a little luck, this team could (and SHOULD) be in the mix next season. I mean, fuckin’ Baltimore?? Need I say more??
    That being said, AA has got his hands full this off-season. First, getting a pitcher or two here. Is Rogers finally gonna pony up some money, or does AA have to continue to attempt to make chicken salad out of chicken shit?
    Secondly, getting some players here WITHOUT giving up the farm. That’s gonna be a trick.
    Thirdly, this Farrell thing. Stay? Go? Does he WANT to be here…or does he secretly yearn for Fenway? If he does, see what kind of compensation you can get, and let him go. Last thing we need is a guy who’s heart is secretly elsewhere. Would you want a girlfriend like that??
    Lastly, this whole “clubhouse” mentality issue. Tell some of your veteran players that it’s OK if they take a younger player and smack him on the back of the head for every boneheaded play they make. It’s OK to brace him up against the MF’ing wall, and tell them that they’re (a) playing like shit, (b) embarrassing the team (c) costing them games, and by extension, costing them money…..and if they don’t pull their heads out of their asses, they’ll be nailed to Mr. Bench for a week…or spending a month or two experiencing the nightlife of Buffalo.
    My 2 cents worth, anyways.

  11. Do you trade Arencibia for a mid rotation guy, or d’Arnaud for a David Price? Just a hypothetical question. d’Arnaud is completely unproven, but if he is as good as he is supposed to be, its tough to pass him up. At the same time Price would solve a very big problem.

    • It would take a lot more than just Travis d’Arnaud to get the Rays to move David Price to the Jays.

      I’m actually starting to believe, though, that the Jays may move him and keep Arencibia instead. If they intend to contend next season, it’s hard to see them wanting to do it with a rookie starting catcher and he’s certainly a valuable asset in trade right now.

      • As poorly as Arencibia hits, there’s every possibility a “rookie” d’Arnaud outhits him. Knowing the staff etc, different deal though.

      • @ Fullmer Fan

        TDA Plus ?? gets you David Price.

        Can AA throw in a couple of million cash to help the Rays?

  12. Big name free agents will not likely sign with the Blue Jays as the team is not at the optimal competitive level. At least not yet.

    It will be up AA to make some trades early and often in the off-season to build up the roster. Perhaps then, the Jays might be able to attract a nice FA piece by spring training.

    Regardless, the payroll has to go up. I don’t want to hear AA apologists saying its too early to spend money. The Jays need to find proven starting pitching via trade or free agency.

    • Yup. Hayhurst complained about the customs issues & the fact that wives of blue jays players can’t work in Toronto due to visas etc..

      The Jays are back to the JP Riccardi days of having to overpay free agents like bj Ryan & AJ Burnett to come here.

      I think the big news is that pressure is building on AA.

      If he loses Farrell because Farrell is fed up with Rogers not giving him good players, then that’s another hole to fix.

      Could Butter outmanage Farrell when he can’t control the baserunners making outs at 3B on a regular basis.

  13. “but we’re going to be going full speed ahead.” What the fuck does that mean? As opposed to no speed at all this season? Is Rogers going to pry open their wallet?
    Anyway, nice to see Tabs got his nose out of Alex’s ass long enough to take a picture..

  14. Not that what AA had to say wasn’t relevant and good, but when we have a full 1/2 hour pregame show, what the hell do we have play by play announcers spending an entire inning talking to the GM and totally ignoring what is going on in the game.

    This isn’t the first time that this has happened where Pat and Buck spent an entire inning talking about anything but the game in progress and it really pisses me off that I don’t have a radio feed for the Jays games so that I can shut them off and listen to what is going on in the game while I watch it.

  15. For a while I wasn’t sure the Jays could even make the off season they were playing so bad. But AA is right, the team is way better when they pitch well.

  16. Please…..no mediocre free agents in LF / middle infield if it is going to block Gose & Hech…. If it is a stud at the position – yes bring in…. not for a Juan Rivera or Marco Scutaro type…

    • There are no mediocre LF free agents, fortunately/unfortunately.

      There’s a few names for 2B that I’d be okay with. As Stoeten said, a benefit to adding a 2B or LF is that it allows you to trade Hechavarria or Gose, who are among the team’s most valuable trade chips (not counting guys like Bautista, who wouldn’t be traded).

      • I wonder if AA would shock the fans & trade Bautista for a #1 or #2 starting pitcher?

        Jose may want to play on a contender while he can still help a team.

        It’s unlikely to happen , but no one thought Wells could be traded.

  17. AA was actually going to reveal his offseason plan, but you’ll have to wait until next year.

    *rimshot*

  18. According to BR the teams estimated payroll for 2013 (assuming they don’t exercise options on Rajai Davis and Darren Oliver) is 82m. This includes 9 guaranteed contracts, estimates on raises for 3 arb eligible players and major league minimums for the remaining 13 players to fill out the 25 man roster. It seems like a very realistic estimate.

    The holes that need to be filled are 1b, 2b, lf and at least 2 decent starting pitchers. I know he continues to say he’s going to add to the bullpen but he can use the players he’s acquired plus the scrubs that are currently in the rotation to fill out the pen.

    What will be the cost of filling these holes? I mean if they trade for solutions its going to end up increasing payroll pretty much the same way as acquiring free agents. well maybe a bit less.

    I think a 40m increase should enable them to become competitive. That would represent about a 50% increase in payroll year over year and bring their payroll to 120m. I just can’t see them doing that.

    • 40M….how completely arbitrary

      • 5 players at an average 8m per. How much $’s do you think would be required to make them competitive? 10,20, 30m? If they increase payroll by 20m and end up with a payroll of 100m, that will mean that they have to fill those five holes wtih players earning an average of 4m per year. In my opinion it can’t be done.

        • There isn’t a magic monetary threshold to competitiveness.
          If there was there’s no store which allows you to up and grab the ‘missing pieces’ off the shelf.
          If there was there’s no guarentee that those pieces would play up to standards.

          I’m pretty sure the duties of a GM in professional sport cannot be summed up with:
          “get x amount of players at an average y Million per year”

  19. “get x amount of players at an average y Million per year”

    No? His mandate as a GM in professional sports is dictated by the teams parent (Rogers) which tells him through a budget that he is to spend X amount on 25 players and try to build a winner.

    “there’s no guarentee that those pieces would play up to standards..”

    No, but the probability that those pieces play up to standards (or at least represent an improvement over the current situation) increases with more money spent.

  20. [...] actually see the interview so have relied heavily on the reliable coverage provided over at djf.  It sounds like it was quite an interesting chat, and it saw AA open up a bit more that he has [...]

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