I still can’t say for certain that this will become a regular feature around here this winter, but again today, with all kinds of movement starting to happen on the trade and free agent markets, and all kinds of decisions being made on players throughout the league who may wind up having some bearing on the Jays’ plans for the off-season, I think it will be a valuable exercise to comb through the latest from the astonishingly fantastic and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and add some Jays-related context to whatever is going on out there…
The Boston Red Sox are one of many teams interested in Dan Haren, who the Angels intend to deal in order to save cash to try and keep Zack Greinke, and I think a lot of people would be very upset if the Jays weren’t, as well– especially with Rogers and their abject failure when it comes to keeping payroll in line with salary inflation, which appears to be ready to take a huge leap forward league-wide, just as the Jays are scraping up to an almost respectable level for the fiscal environment in the rear-view mirror. Ugh. But on the bright side, there was talk of the Red Sox hilariously looking at taking Vernon Wells to make the deal happen– though it’s since been shot down, unfortunately.
Sticking with the Red Sox, it sounds as though the club and David Ortiz aren’t as close to a deal as was believed as recently as this morning, and the DH may end up being unsigned through Friday night, which would allow other clubs to come a-calling. The Jays absolutely have to get in on that, even if it’s just to drive up the price and stick it to those Masshole shits. If I’m Ortiz, even if I have no intention of leaving, I totally hit the market, feeling confident there will be offers out there to trump whatever the Red Fux are offering.
Cue people whining about the Jays’ coaching ranks being raided even though they don’t have a clue what they’re talking about: Mike Redmond, who managed in the Jays’ organization for Dunedin this year and Lansing last year, has been hired by the Miami Marlins as their new manager. There was never any indication that the Jays were interested in promoting him to the Majors, and he has deep ties in Florida and was on the Marlins’ roster when they won the 2003 World Series, so it makes sense for them and seems a non-issue as far as the Jays are concerned. But like that’s going to stop people from getting salty-crotched about it, amiright?
One Washington Nationals player who just declined his mutual option with the club might make a little bit of sense for the Jays: Adam Laroche. A good defender at first and a left-handed power bat, he bounced back from shoulder surgery that derailed his 2011 to club 33 bombs and put up a .361 wOBA– including a beyond respectable .349 wOBA against lefties. Sure, pitching is the top priority for the Jays, but if they decided to (smartly) go the cheap flier route and then beef up the lineup, I honestly couldn’t blame them. Problem, of course, is that the option LaRoche turned down was for $10-million, so he’d be looking for at least that in AAV on a longer deal. And perhaps a bigger problem is the fact that it sounds like he’d like to stay in Washington. Fuck… not a lot of people are going to take what little the Jays have to offer, are they?
Speaking of that very subject, MLBTR lists their top 50 free agents this winter, predicting where they’ll wind up signing, and the only one they have going to the Jays is the full-on mercenary: Edwin Jackson. Don’t get me wrong, I could deal with that, as long as some significant trades were made to help the roster as well, but… yeah. Ugh. The Jays do come up as possible alternate destinations for a number of other guys, so I guess that’s good. And either way, the full piece is very much worth a ready.
Late last night we were pointed in the direction of a tweet from Jon Heyman that says that, despite the fact his option was picked up, Darren Oliver appears to be leaning towards retirement. At least this way, though, he won’t be able go anywhere else, if he chooses to come back.
In a post laying out some Central Division tidbits, we’re told that Ryan Ludwick and the Reds are continuing to talk– not that he was a particularly great target for the Jays anyway– and that the Royals, after spending $12-million on Ervin Santana, are still looking to upgrade their rotation. Not that I think that not getting Santana was anything close to resembling a big miss, but if the Royals can add that kind of payroll and then some, but the Jays won’t, I’m pretty sure there is going to be some serious hell to pay for Rogers and their baseball operations division. And not unjustly, either.