I still can’t say for certain that this will become a regular feature around here for the early winter (looking like it, though, huh?), but again today, with all kinds of movement happening 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…

Cody Ross is looking for a three-year, $25-million deal– which is actually even less than what the contract crowdsourcing project at FanGraphs had, though considerably more than the $14-million over two years predicted by Jim Bowden at ESPN.com (Insider only).

Speaking of money, though it’s not on MLBTR, yet, Shi Davidi has a new one up at Sportsnet, where he perhaps tries to allay some of the fears stoked by his piece of last week, in which he spitballed around a projected payroll of $90-$95-million. This time around he makes a similar calculation, but leaves more possibilities open, wondering if the ceiling will be at $90-, $95-, or even $100-million– which would leave Alex Anthopoulos over $20-million with which to add talent, he figures. “Understandably,” he adds, seeming to make clear that the too-rampant speculation from last week that he must know given his position at Rogers’ own network, “the Blue Jays are keeping their payroll and how much they have to spend quiet.”

By way of Davidi we also learn that the Mariners have claimed Scott Cousins and his amazing ability to quote movies on waivers from the Jays. The Jays seem to be trying to stuff Buffalo with as much depth as possible by claiming everyone and then trying to sneak them through waivers to Triple-A. Can’t say it’s the worst idea, even if it’s… y’know… whatever.

Buster Olney has some tidbits in his latest, including the fact that Jeremy Bonderman is hoping to make a comeback (please no, Alex), and that the Cubs may have nix their deal for Dan Haren last week because of health concerns. It certainly makes sense that something could be far worse with the pitcher than the public has been led to believe– the fact that the Angels were so eager to ditch him, despite having only two-fifths of their rotation remaining under contract, is kinda a red flag.

The Red Sox are reportedly interested in Torii Hunter, who would also look OK on the Jays, but… not so much on the turf at SkyDome, and not for a team that’s now slid below Baltimore on the desirability scale. Ugh.

The Rockies managerial search appears to be going swimmingly, unlike ours, where we’re not accepting unsolicited resumes from the likes of Art Howe, apparently. Sure, why not?

The Mets are hopeful that they’ll be able to extend David Wright and RA Dickey, rather than trading them away, but on the off chance he becomes available, it sure would be fun to see Dickey somehow end up here. It won’t happen, of course, but hey… we still have some time to dream, don’t we?

According to Cubs GM Jed Hoyer, thanks to the new collective bargaining agreement, the off-season may move along more quickly than usual this year. But hey, who needs a manager, amiright?

OK, given as much as I’m shitting on the Jays for their lack of movement, I should probably point out that the Red Sox are still without a pitching coach or a hitting coach, as well.

Ugh, not this again: according to the White Sox new GM Rick Hahn, the club may be dealing from their starting pitching surplus this winter– and Gavin Floyd’s name gets floated out there. Double ugh.

Comments (72)

  1. Well I guess we will shortly find out (1) How much money AA has been authorized to pony up and (2) whether there is a legitimate free agent out there that wants to come play with a club that has appeared to be something of a complete mess of late.

    • The Jays didn’t look that hot after the 04 and 05 seasons… and then they signed AJ Burnett and BJ Ryan (maybe the equivalent in this market of Sanchez/Jackson/Dempster types?)

      They just had to offer them the most money.

      Honestly, barring some older guy not wanting to play on turf, I’m pretty sure most players would come here if the Jays were willing to pay more than anyone else.

      • Yeah but I’m not convinced they will can bring themselves to spend the most money. When was the last time there were any big free-agent splashes around here? I’m not being snarky, it’s a serious question. Wasn’t that the Ryan/Burnett/Glaus stuff? Have we signed anybody wonderful since via free agency?

        • You’re correct.

          But it’s not like the last 6 or 7 offseasons have been spent targetting the most desirable FAs available.

          James’ point is valid. If the Jays offer the most money, they will likely get who they want.

          Of course, that means players around the Jackson/Sanchez level, not Greinke or Hamilton most likely.

          • @Jays 2010, it’s not only the most money but it’s the one sided contracts that Jp Riccardi contract with BJ Ryan.

            BJ Ryan had an opt out clause after year 3 , so he was good then, in his last year & went to the Yankees.

        • Sure. I’m not saying the Jays will spend the most money either.

          But your point 2 was ‘is there an FA that would want to come here’.

          I think 90% of them go to whomever pays the most money. Good team/bad team, whatever. So I doubt that’s too much of an issue (other than, as I said, and older player who doesn’t want to play on turf).

        • @Isabella

          They Jays have paid for a fair amount of expensive extensions (Delgado, Bautista, Halladay, EE, Ricky), but definitely not a lot of FAs.

          Before 08 (I think) the Jays signed Frank Thomas. Sort of big I guess. Not insignificant anyway.

          Before 06 the Jays signed Burnett and Ryan. That was a fairly big splash.

          What was the last big FA signing before 06? Clemens before 97? Wow. I dunno.

    • very true.

      It looks like Davidi’s trial balloon of 90-95 million got shot down by media & fan reaction, so Davidi is up with a new balloon of up to 100 million.

      I understand that AA likes to keep a cone of silence like he is the Chief on Get Smart .

      However, Rogers has no credibility when it comes to spending/not spending, so wake me up on April 2, 2013 & we will will see who is on the 25 man roster.

      Shi Davidi is the Mark Halperin of Baseball analysis.

      • I honestly don’t think Davidi was using 95 million as a trial balloon… For one thing I don’t think anyone really noticed but people who read this blog.

        I think he’s just guessing.

        Really seems like nobody has any idea of what the budget might be.

        • Thank you, James.

          Acting like it was anything else is as blindingly fucking ridiculous as that Mark Halperin comment.

          • LOL Stoeten,

            Do you know who Mark Halperin is?

            He is famous for getting insider political sources to feed him “exclusive info” & then he blurts it out as gospel.

            He predicted Trump & Sarah Palin would run & win the GOP nomination in 2012.

            He is a cipher.

            Do you really think Davidi does not get “insider”information from the Jays front office?

            You aren’t naive.

            Would Davidi ever post an article that was harshly critical against whatever transaction AA made?

            “Understandably,” he adds, seeming to make clear that the too-rampant speculation from last week that he must know given his position at Rogers’ own network, “the Blue Jays are keeping their payroll and how much they have to spend quiet.”

            Stoeten, even you acknowledge Davidi’s position at Rogers. He always gets scoops from the Jays.

      • There’s no convincing Oakville that Davidi isn’t necessarily being fed info from AA.

        Alas.

        • Where does Davidi get his scoops from?

          Why is always the first to post news from the Jays?

          Did AA tell Davidi that the payroll will be x$ in 2013. No.

          That’s because AA doesn’t know the budget for 2013 till Nadir Mohammed tells Beeston.

          Are you arguing that Davidi has no sources in the Jays front office?? That’s absurd.

          • Davidi gets his scoops from the same place all the other Jays’ beat writers’ get there scoops – the US national baseball media.

          • Gregg Zaun is a Rogers employee, correct?

            He was trumpeting signing Fielder and spending money like a drunken sailor last offseason.

            As a Rogers employee, why was he not giving the corporate line?

            Obviously it’s possible that Rogers employee’s are following a corporate mandate. But it seems absurd to pretend that’s the most likely thing going on.

  2. It’s too bad that guy took down IsGavinFloydABlueJay.com.

    If the Mets do decide to move RA Dickey, it’s pretty possible they’ll look for a catcher in return. The Jays actually could match up fairly well.

    Also, very excited about these GM Meetings coming up. The very event where the Jays were able to land Rajai Davis two years ago!

    … of course, that came after they hired a new manager who suggested they need to add speed. I’m not sure what recommendations Art Howe will make.

    • Please no R.A Dickey via trade for a catcher.

      • Why would you not trade JPA for RA Dickey? Not interested in knuckle balling Cy Young candidates?

        Id make that trade all fucking day long.

        • dickey could be done within 3 years and JPA *COULD
          become an all star level catcher

        • Have to agree with you on that one. JPA could be replaced by another veteran, preferably a left handed hitter, quite easily if you weren’t prepared to put d’Arnaud in that spot.

  3. ” I should probably point out that the Red Sox are still without a pitching coach or a hitting coach, as well.”

    How much do we need to compensate them to make Dwayne Murphy go away?

  4. I had a dream last night we traded Rasmus and Hech for a starter.

    Clearly I need to take a break from the offseason.

  5. Maybe Farrell will take Dwayne Murphy with him?

  6. I guess we may see what effect, if any, not having a manager in place by the time free agents begin signing has on a team.

    Certain relationships (i.e. Arnsberg & Burnett) might help attract a free agent (though the Jays offering the most money & opt out clause might have been the tipping point), but is it a difference-making attribute?

    Would Edwin Jackson balk at TO if they are offering the most money? Because they likely have to offer the most money regardless of whether or not a manager & staff are in place.

    • I was thinking about something similar earlier today. I would love to see the Jays really focus in on Sanchez, Haren and Melky. I’ll explain a little.

      With some of the comments you hear from these US born players, it seems like Canada is some bizarre far off land to them. With guys like Sanchez who already had to leave his country in the first place, you’d think a destination like Toronto wouldn’t have the same stigma for them. In fact, with Toronto’s reputation for being such a multicultural city, you might even think that could be a net positive for guys like him. I guess the same could also apply to someone like Cabrera.

      With regards to Haren, I know he’s a risk, and probably a very large one considering what happened on Friday. However, the Jays are a perfect team for risk taking imo. They’re already at a disadvantage for a number of reasons when it comes to signing free agents. Why not counter that with a bold move and sign Haren to a multi-year deal of some kind now? Sure their are risks, but think of the advantages if he turns out to be ok. If he still needs half a year to fully recover from his injuries you’ve always got one of Alvarez or Happ in the wings to pick up the slack. If he’s ok then along with Sanchez and Melky. I’d argue you’d have a very strong contender and not just for a playoff spot, but for the division itself.

      I know the saying “fortune favours the bold” is anathema to the bean counters and corporate types, but the beauty about Melky and Haren is that because of their supposed issues, they’re never going to be cheaper. Also, isn’t the potentially higher ceiling of Haren worth the risk compared to what you’re still going to have to pay for a Jackson type? Even if Haren isn’t fully back to his 2011 or 2010 levels is he equal to Jackson at 80% of his ceiling?

  7. $20 million wont get us grienke – pony up Rogers!

  8. Go Boilermakers!!!

  9. MLBTR also mentions that Josh (Hammer) Willingham might be available via trade.
    Possible LFer?

  10. Honestly have an open mind, but last year AA had a hard on for Gavin Floyd and probably does now that the White Sox stated the have a surplus of starting pitching. Can ANYONE truthfully explain why AA likes this guy. All I see is a 4 guy in a rotation which is what WE DON’T NEED!

    • If they are willing to take on his contract I am ok with it. The additions of Floyd and Sanchez, and if not Sanchez, Jackson or Dempster, would probably be enough to fix the rotation. They would also need at least one bat either at LF,DH,1B, or 2B to round out the season though.

    • Actually we need a 2, 3 & 4 guy. RR can mop up.

    • WTF? Can anyone truthfully say that AA necessarily does or did????

  11. Not that I think that the Jays will get Greinke, but why wouldn’t the Jays go after Greinke? Jonah Keri from Grantland was on Prime Time last night and he said that with the extra $25 Million from the new tv contract starting next year any team could sign Greinke if they wanted to. The league is flush with cash. When you add in the money saved by the Jays and other teams from the restrictions on the draft and caps on the signings of intentional free agents (approx. 5-10 Million more in savings), the increase in Jays attendance and tv viewership, the increase in amounts paid by regional broadcasters for tv rights, the monies saved by the Jays in keeping their payroll well below league average, etc. – there is absolutely no reason why the Jays the Jays can’t increase payroll by 30-40 Million or that they couldn’t make a serious attempt to try and sign Greinke. If they signed someone like him they could use their other trade chips (Arencibia, Escobar, Gose, etc.) to trade for a 3rd or 4th starter and to fill in the holes in LF/DH/2B. And, they would be keeping D’Arnauld and the Lansing 3 and Osuna which would provide the pipe line of talent for the coming years.

    • They can go after him all they want, but he’ll have to want to play here (which I have no idea if he actually does or not).

      If we’re talk about shooting the moon, sign Big Hirok and trade for upton. Actually, I’d be ecstatic if one of those got made somehow.

      • My point is that although I think it is very unlikely the Jays will get him I think its wrong to simply assume he’s not coming and make no attempt to sign him if it makes sense. No one would expect the Jays to sign Hamilton either yet some of the media speculation has him ending up with Milwaukee – how exactly is that a big market?

        • Who’s to say that AA won’t try to go after him? Drew even speculated he’ll offer the most money. Most of us just dismiss the fact that we’ll successfully sign him since there was so much talk about him not wanting to play here. Now that being said, who knows?

          • Most of the commenters here seem to believe it is a foregone conclusion that the Jays won’t even chase Greinke. And, given the team’s recent history in the free agent market maybe that’s right but ultimately its about dollars for these free agents and the Jays have the money – now whether they spend it is another story.

      • Kuroda is not coming. He wants a ring before retiring with the Carp.

    • If you could come away from the off season with both Sanchez and Jackson at 12.5mill a piece for 25mill per. Or you could get Grienke at 25mill per. Same amount of years.
      What would you choose?

      • I’ve already said a few times on here I would chose Sanchez and Jackson hands down even if the total cost was $28-30 million. If this team had a payroll like Boston or New York then Greinke, but we don’t. Wrapping up such a large percentage of your payroll in a one player that contributes every 5 days is a huge risk even by my “sign Haren now” standards.

        • agreed. and i think those guys are gonna be closer to 30 mill than 25 as well.

        • I can certainly understand and don’t strongly disagree with your point of view. It is a risky move to sign any player to that sort of contract and it hampers a team’s flexibility if that player’s performance suffers or he suffers an injury. Of course, there are a number of teams other than the Yankees and Red Sox (ex: SF, Philadelphia, etc.) that have that much invested in more than 1 pitcher. Would your opinion change if it happened to be a home grown #1 Jays pitcher who was entering free agency and was demanding a salary in excess of $18 Million per year.

          • Again it’s all about the percentage of payroll. Look at Philly’s the last 3 years. $141, $172 and $171 million. That affords you a lot more room for contracts like those.

            You could also argue that Jays are already in a situation like that with Jose’s contract. His $14 million represented 18.6% of the team’s payroll in 2012. Compare that to Cliff Lee’s $25 million, it cost 14.5% of the Phillies payroll in 2012.

          • Agreed, percentage of payroll is relevant. But, SF had a payroll of 117 Million last year and they had Zito (20 Million), Lincecum (18 Million) and Cain (15 Million, going up this year over 20 Million). That’s 45-50% of their payroll tied up in the salaries of 3 pitchers. While I can understand that the Jays may prefer to have 2 pitchers at a lower salary amount rather than invest in 1 pitcher at Greinke’s salary, its worth at least considering signing him since it allows the Jays to keep a lot of their minor league talent.

          • Don’t get me wrong, if the Jays signed him I’d be over the moon. Even if they were just contemplating signing him I’d feel nearly the same as it would show they’re willing to spend considerably more than they have in the past.

    • This is why it is frustrating being a Blue Jays fan. If the Jays had a Red Sox or Yankee mentality (even without the same money) they could make bigger splashes in the off season. These teams get their guys. We haven’t gotten a guy in five years.

      • You think “MENTALITY” is the issue? Really?

        There is genuine divide in interest from players between the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Redsox or New York Yankees. I’m not sure how big Cashman thinks his dick is, but if the fact that he thought it was the size of a house was enough to bring in whoever he wanted, we really have to reanalyze our GM situation.

        • I’d argue it absolutely is mentality, in terms of ownership and how they want to spend cash and how much cash is worth spending in order to go after wins on the field.

    • I heard that. That was a great interview.

    • ” with the extra $25 Million from the new tv contract”

      Rogers Brass Says: “25M bucks more profit wooo!”

      “When you add in the money saved by the Jays and other teams from the restrictions on the draft and caps on the signings of intentional free agents (approx. 5-10 Million more in savings)”

      Rogers Brass Says: “5-10M bucks more profir woooo!”

      “the increase in amounts paid by regional broadcasters for tv rights”

      Rogers Brass Says: “Whew… good thing we give it away for nearly free since we also own the broadcaster”

      …. and so on and so on. The question isn’t so much can the Jays spend enough to go after Greinke?, the Jays have the richest owners in the whole league of course they can afford to do it if they want too, it’s more a question of do they want to spend enough to go after Greinke… the answer to which is likely “no”.

  12. Greinke doesn’t want to play here. Can we get off the Greinke shit already?

    • I say go back to trade Gomes and Thames for King Felix talk. Oh wait can’t do that anymore.

      • How about the lansing three for King Felix? Jays will probably end up with the best overall player but Seattle could have half a pitching rotation in return.

        • I would ship two of them out if it meant landing Price or Felix. Price will be more likely to be traded outta the two it seems

    • And you’re basing that statement of fact about Greinke not wanting to play here on what?

      • Keri mentioned on PTS that Grienke said in the past that he’d “never waive his no-trade clause to go to Toronto” – whether that was a statement of fact, or just something he thinks he remembers hearing/reading, i don’t know.

        • Keri didn’t say that, Maclean did. Keri’s response to those comments was “oh, I didn’t know he (Greinke) had said that”

      • Im with Linz on this one. His HOT HOT girlfriend is an aspiring actress and I doubt she would wanna leave California.

        And nobody in their right mind could blame him when she puts her foot down and wants to stay put that he listens. Just sayin

        • although hot girlfriends have that much less influence on rich professional athletes that also have their own career goals. not that Greinke will come to Toronto for any career reason, if there is any chance he comes it will be for money.

      • Greinke wants to play for a competitor.

        He also isn’t going to sign for 5 years/5 million which is all Rogers can afford.

  13. is ike davis a reasonable trade target to fill the hole that edwin is not taking up?
    Should cost probably a mid level arm and has killed righties in his past

  14. Can anybody give a reason why real grass is preferred in baseball, but artificial turf is the go to in football? only 2 baseball teams have it while 13 football stadiums use turf. The argument is always that it is harder on the body to play but wouldn’t the impact also be seem in football?

    • football stadiums are multi-purpose as they only have 8 home dates a year and baseball has 81 i.e. easier to set up for concerts if you have artificial turf.

  15. B.McCarthy >>>Edwin Jackson.

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