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…
OK, so as I begin writing this post this one’s not on MLBTR just yet (it is now), but it deserves our attention, as Jon Morosi of Fox Sports, despite knowing damn well that the Jays are going to contact everyone– despite Alex Anthopoulos having said on the radio that he’d already been touching base with free agents– notes that the Jays have been in contact with pretty much everyone. Or, as he puts it, the Jays “already showing interest in free agents Zack Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Kyle Lohse and Ryan Dempster, among others, according to major-league sources.” Well, yeah.
Morosi’s piece also suggests that the Jays have interest in Scott Baker, formerly of the Twins. I think he’d be a nifty, cheap-ish option for them to go for, and quite possibly the kind of free agent pitcher who will have an interest in coming here, because the opportunity to land an actual rotation spot is certainly here.
Turning to MLBTR, today is supposedly the day that the Angels will trade Dan Haren, and the latest updates suggest that the Cubs and Red Sox are interested– as well as “others,” according to a tweet from Jon Heyman– but not the Yankees. Yes, I’m still hopeful that the Jays will wind up landing him– the short commitment makes a whole lot of sense– but we’ll soon see what the price of doing business is, which might mitigate my inevitable disappointment.
In an earlier Haren piece we’re told that the Angels pitcher says he’s had talks with the club and feels like he’ll be traded. Meanwhile, in a piece for FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan wonders why the Angels wouldn’t just keep Harden as insurance in case they don’t manage to re-sign Zack Greinke, because, after all, he’ll still have trade value later in the winter. Shhhhhhut up, Sullivan!
Dear lord, not this again: 25-year-old South Korean starter Hyun-jin Ryu, who “has been one of the KBO’s most dominant starting pitchers since 2006″ and “was on the South Korean team that won the gold medal at the Beijing Olympics and placed second in the 2009 World Baseball Classic” is being posted by his team in Korea. His agent is Scott Boras, so I’m not sure the Jays will be interested, but it’s as damn true as it was last year that there’s great opportunity in the blind bidding of the posting process for a club like the Jays.
The latest on David Ortiz has him and the Red Sox getting closer to a deal, but time is running out for something to get done before he can speak to other clubs. The Texas Rangers reportedly have interest, and I hope the Jays would as well. He’d be a fantastic fit here, would truly stick it to Boston, would play with his friend Jose Bautista, and— assuming Rogers is operating the club in anything resembling good faith– he’ll get paid.
Ben Nicholson-Smith gives us a terrific breakdown of how qualifying offers work, noting that the Jays’ first round pick (10th overall) is protected from forfeiture, though they would lose their next-highest pick should they actually manage to lure in a free agent who received a qualifying offer from his club.
In a post with a couple of Jays notes we’re told about Dr. Rosen Rosen’s report of last night regarding the club’s lean towards a manager with big league experience, and are passed along a quote from Darren Oliver’s agent, via Shi Davidi, who says his client is not sure at all about whether he’ll retire, and in no rush to make a decision.
I’ve never figured on Hiroki Kuroda actually leaving the Yankees and hitting the open market, but it’s a slight possibility, even though the right-hander is apparently open to a one year deal– meaning he might actually take New York’s qualifying offer, once made. I’d be all about the Jays making a one- or two-year deal with him, but the possibility has always seemed– and, I think remains– remote.