Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of (and that I need to distract myself with in order to keep from arguing with the commenters), with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!

Jack Moore of FanGraphs praises Alex Anthopoulos for his waiver wire scheming for depth– which hasn’t been working out so well this week, with David Herndon and Scott Cousins getting claimed by other clubs, but which makes a whole lot of sense, seeing as it’s “an area he had to dip early and often in 2012 as the Jays suffered constant injuries.”

According to Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun, the Jays really are taking their time with their search for a manager, with internal candidates Brian Butterfield and Luis Rivera having already interviewed, and a phone interview having been done with Tim Wallach. That, he says– before shooting down the idea of Jim Riggleman– is it.

That said, Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail reassures fans freaking out about the Jays’ ongoing managerial vacancy, explaining that it’s really the least, and most easily solvable of the club’s problems at the moment, and dropping knowledge, such as the fact that “Edwin Jackson isn’t signing for anything less than $14-million per season, and while Anibal Sanchez, who made $8-million in 2012, might be a cheaper option, he’s going to attract interest from numerous suitors, most of whom will be more flexible with their length of contract. Jayson Stark of ESPN says the Los Angeles Dodgers are interested in Sanchez – more so if they miss on Zack Greinke – and if that’s the case, Toronto can kiss him goodbye, too.”

Back to Elliott for a second, as he slips a couple of interesting items into a second piece on the managerial stuff, noting that “Miami Marlins new manager Mike Redmond has mentioned Blue Jays bench coach Don Wakamatsu in conversations,” and wondering, “could [the Jays] be close on signing a lesser light free agent?” Dun dun dun…

And elsewhere in the Globe, Blair looks at five free agents to watch, including Jackson, who he says will be overpaid– repeating the $14-million figure. They’ll all be overpaid, though, won’t they?

Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star looks at a number of middle infield options for the Jays to potentially pursue. And unlike yesterday’s Star listicle, it’s not a slideshow!

Back to managerial stuff, among other things, as Gregor Chisholm has an excellent transcript with a talk on the subject– as well as the recent acquisition of Esmil Rogers– at his North of the Border blog.

And back again to Bob Elliott in the Sun on the subject, who in the main part of the second piece noted above wonders openly whether the lack of a manager is an issue“Has it come up in talks that we don’t have a manager? Yes,” said Anthopoulos from Toronto of his preliminary talks with agents. “Have we been asked about our next manager? Yes. But it hasn’t been an issue.” Elliott notes that it’s dollars and length of contract that usually lands free agents, while Anthopoulos adds that “teams are fielding calls, trying to assess interest. The fact that we have not yet hired a manager has not been a major problem in any of our early conversations.”

Kennedy also has a piece on the matter in the Star, as does Gregor Chisholm of BlueJays.com.

Today’s Lineup Card at Baseball Prospectus looks at several areas of need for various clubs this off-season, looking at the wreckage of the Jays’ rotation, noting that it remains in flux, and “while Zack Greinke seems like an unlikely candidate to join the Blue Jays, don’t be surprised to see Toronto pursue other notable free-agent hurlers like Anibal Sanchez, Ryan Dempster, and Edwin Jackson.”

“In baseball, the general managers’ meetings long have lacked the mystique and functionality of the winter meetings. Often, they are held too early in the offseason for deal-making to occur onsite. They act as the kickoff event, where agents gauge interest in clients and GMs discuss potential trade fits with their colleagues,” writes Jon Morosi of Fox Sports. “This year could be different.” Because, y’know, they’re going to all show up at the winter meetings with their rosters set, I’m sure.

Sad news, as former Jays and CBC broadcaster Tom McKee has passed away at the age of 76, according to a CBC.ca report.

Lastly, at the Blue Jay Hunter, Ian wonders if the Jays should mimic 2005, when AA’s predecessor spent huge to make his roster better, even though it ultimately wasn’t enough. I’m not sure the Blue Jays’ dollars have even the same kind of sway they did then, frankly, so I’m not sure if it’s quite as simple as spend or don’t spend, but… obviously they should spend. And the contract that don’t work out should be understood by Rogers as the cost of doing business, and not made intentionally crippling to an already articficially deflated payroll.

Comments (48)

  1. I’m just feeling that it’s gonna be a long, lonely offseason. Flashbacks of the poor bastard pimply-faced kid who couldn’t get any girls to dance with him at the high prom…and if he asks the really dog-faced girl sitting there alone against the wall, then all the other guys are gonna laugh at him behind his back.
    But I digress….again.

    • so did you go for in the end?

      • Of course, since I was no prize myself, I danced with the dog-faced girl – who was so utterly grateful (and turns out, half-shitfaced from the spiked punch) that she almost sucked the tongue out of my head when I gave her a good-night kiss. We couldn’t look at each for a week in school after that.
        Ah…good times.

  2. Fuckin Rogers

    • Not sure Rogers is entirely to blame. Beeston is the one who seemingly instituted the 3 year max policy for pitchers and 5 years for position players. WTF does Rogers care how many years? All they care about are quarterly dividends for the shareholders and annual returns.

      AA has to grow some fucking balls and tell Beeston that if the Jays want say, Anibal Sanchez, or even Edwin Jackson, that they will have to deviate from their policy. Otherwise, you can kiss them, and any other potential free agent starter, goodbye.

      Unless the Jays end up doing a 3 year deal for an older pitcher like Dempster, or potential damaged goods like Marcum.

      I still think that the Jays only need to sign on FA starter and trade for the other. There is one thing that the Jays have that many other clubs don’t in the MLB, and that is high-ceiling prospects, some depth at catcher, an undervalued SS, and some cheap bullpen arms.

      • The Beeston comment is a point well made. It was also Beest who did not like the posting process (or the 6yr contact) hence no Davish. It was PB who negotiated the Farrll/Avilas trade & it was he who made the comments about hiring a better chef when the restaurant was full.Makes one wonder just how much AA is “in charge.”

        • is there any source for the “Beeston made the Farrel trade” stuff I’ve been seeing?

          • My understanding is that Beeston and John Henry made the trade and let their respective GM’s sort out the details, probably from a list that Boston made available.

            We have heard that AA had the choice between Andrew Bailey and Aviles.

      • 10:46 eastern corlos fly- Providence. oh, and as far as getting my ski boots on that balmy september day in the bridger mountain’s white worm take my advice? do not attempt skiing in white cotton socks. for whatever reason once you apply a white cotton sock to the bottom of your foot the possibility of sliding that foot into a ski boot becomes false. Brandt already explained how her life is at stake so leave white cotton socks behind. freeriding is about thinking and skiing. smoke one. checkpoint alpha, beta, gamma 10:00 over

  3. “I’m not sure the Blue Jays’ dollars have even the same kind of sway they did then, frankly, so I’m not sure if it’s quite as simple as spend or don’t spend, but… obviously they should spend. And the contract that don’t work out should be understood by Rogers as the cost of doing business, and not made intentionally crippling to an already artificially deflated payroll.”

    Well said. I get so tired of people saying “yeah well we spent big before and nothing came of it, so why spend now?”. It’s just silly even though I completely agree that spending for the sack of spending isn’t a guarantee for winning either. What I do know is that the last dozen years have shown that it certainly improves your chances of winning more games and really that’s all a GM can realistically do before the season starts.

    • sake not sack lol

    • Anthopoulos will seek out and spend his hard-earned rubies on the legendary Sack of Spending you speak of, which, until his mana points run out, will unleash a flurry of free agent signings heretofore unseen in this land of Toronto. However, even if one holds the great spending sack, you are indeed correct that there is no guarantee of winning. For that he should pull the greatest move he has ever pulled and use the Sack of Spending to spend on the Great Wimple of World Series Winning.

  4. While not having a manger may not have any significant negative impact on signing FA’s, having a desirable one could only help sway players.

    Also, why does this year’s FA pool have to be so fucking shitty??

    • Because last year’s was awesome. Good time to take a pass huh?

      • It’s still just as much a Narnia fansite as it ever has been — but if you’ve nteicod, lately there hasn’t been much Narnia news, but there is Hobbit news. C.S. Lewis was very good friends with J.R.R. Tolkien, author of The Hobbit, and many Narnia fans are also Hobbit/LOTR fans, so we’re reporting Hobbit news, too.

  5. With the demand for pitching I’d be surprised if Sanchez actually ends up signing for less than Jackson on a per year basis. Both are the same age, both have similar stuff or I should say both have had similar results when you look at ERA+.

    Judging by those numbers, you could probably argue someone is definitely going to overpay for either one of those guys. Personally if I could trade for someone like Anderson or Johnson first, I’d rather roll the dice on a deal with Haren. Still think there’s far more upside with him despite his current questionable status.

  6. I think that you (Andrew) and other bloggers of the Jays need to really think about how much you are mixing your own livelihood up into this issue. If we were back in the pre-internet era, no one would care. The pathetic Toronto Sun writers would be writing hockey and no one else would be F5′ing for a new manager. It would happen when it happens.

    I really don’t think it matters that much to free agents – there’s always a chance a free agent doesn’t like the manager and he makes it harder to get someone. I am sure the border crossing, the turf, the mediocre results factor in. I just don’t know that the manager does.

  7. I just don’t see Anibal Sanchez being in any way a potentially cheaper option than Edwin Jackson. Sanchez is a year younger than Jackson and has had the more successful career of the two pitchers (including a nice little run in the playoffs this year). I think Sanchez’s recent playoff performance, his track record, and the current free agent market for pitching means Sanchez is likely going to get a more lucrative contract than Edwin Jackson. Jackson is likely to cash in big as well, but I don’t think he’ll get as much money or years as Sanchez.

  8. Signing “lesser light” (how depressing is that term – jeez) free agents will be the most the Jays can expect in the near future i think…we’re going to be looking at trades similar to last years Molina/Santos deal. I have a feeling AA will try to pull off a 3 way deal this year – pure speculation though.

  9. I guess Jason Bay is now available……

  10. An interesting tidbits from the transcript at North of the Border that weren’t mentioned in this snack:
    AA said that while ideally Gose and Hech spend all of 2013 in the minors, getting full time at bats, if there isn’t enough money left to get a 2B or LF after addressing the rotation, then both Gose and Hech might be in the starting lineup in 2013. This means three important things:
    1) As the roster stands now, AA would rather have Gose as his starting LF than Rajai.
    2) The payroll doesn’t sound like it’s gonna be much higher than Davidi’s estimate of $95-$100M
    3) If Gose and Hech are on the MLB team, he might be implying it’s possible they’d be platoon players.

    That said, I sure as Hech (see what I did there?) hope they can at least pony up a few extra dollars to sign a cheap FA 2B and avoid this scenario.

    • “But come Spring Training depending on what has been done with the roster, where we have to allocate our funds, there’s a scenario where they could find themselves on the team.”

      Considering I’ve been saying this for ages now, comments like that make me still believe Hech will at the least be the utility guy if not starting 2nd baseman. With Gose there’s more options before you have to turn to him.

      • I’m thinking you’re right.

        As you’ve said, the Jays are already paying Hech regardless of whether or not he is in the majors.

        And to be honest, based on the small sample, Hech seems closer to what he’s going to be that I think Gose could use more reps in AAA if one is going to be on the ML roster.

        • No way either of those two guys is up here if they are not going to play the lion’s share of the time.

          I could possibly envision being a “platoon” guy as he is a lefty and would play the vast majority of the time anyway, but Hech…i cannot conceive of him playing against lefties and sitting vs righties. insane.

    • What fucking FA 2B? KJ?

  11. So guys what do ya think Jason Bay for LF next year OR Jason Bay for LF AND cleanup hitter!?

    • Considering you could probably sign him for like a million I wouldn’t be surprised if its something that is looked hard at.

      • Haha, yeah, I’d be shocked if he got more than the minimum considering he’s also making $19M for the Mets!

        I could kind of see the Jays going after him to be a platoon DH with Lind – basically a more risky version of Ben Francisco last year, maybe a bit more upside.

    • I can’t imagine AA would consider anything beyond a minor league deal. Not a bad flyer considering he’s left-handed and fills a position of need for the Jays. Just has to be considered a serious long-shot given his recent injury/performance history.

    • Maybe not the worst thing in the world.

      Better hitting park, DH spot basically open to rest, man in white…

    • That will be our big acquisition. Get ready for the press conference.

    • …and I was too late

    • SPROOOOIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNGGGGGG!!!!!!

    • I really take my hat off you. Your ebook is fanasttic and really make me look at my break up from a positive perspective. I have learned so much about relationship from your ebook. You have provided so many solutions and different paths to take for different situation. Thanks a million, T Dub!

  12. Who cares what Jeff Blair thinks Edwin Jackson costs?

    Jim Bowden is the Nate Silver of free agency and he thinks the Jays are the frontrunners and it will only take 3/30!

    I realize there’s a supply/demand issue and there will be greater demand this offseason with 20-25 teams trying to contend for playoff spots, but Jackson is coming off a slightly worse year and a meagre 1 year contract last offseason.

    Not to mention his previous employer didn’t deem him worthy of a qualifying offer.

    He’ll get a multiyear deal, sure, but I expect he’ll be in the 3/36 – 4/50 range.

    • Couldn’t agree more on the “Who cares what Jeff Blair thinks Edwin Jackson costs?”

      He seems disconnected since taking on radio show and not writing for the Globe full time.

    • Personally I think you’re underestimating the amount of money floating around out there this winter, but that of course is just my opinion. With Haren being a mystery now and Greinke expected to get top dollar there’s just not that many options left in the under 30 group. Supply and demand.

    • edwin jackson isn’t as good as anibal or even mccarthy. if i were the jays i’d sign mccarthy where there is potential value. he has the lowest xFIP/FIP of any of the 3 in the past two years, and looked good until a freak injury took him down at the end of last year.

      if you want a “safe” bet free of health risks, anibal is just better than jackson.

      if jackson costs $14/year for how many ever years, you are going to make him the highest (or at least tied with jose) player on the team. edwin fucking jackson.

      now, i’m not a sports psychologist, but i am a human. and my impression is that this would be a terrible move. i don’t care to debate that point because it’s just the feeling i have. i’ll talk about why i think jackson is an inferior sign to the others, but why he isn’t worth bringing in at all if you have to pay him more than anyone on the team is another matter.

      • Unfortunately, I think McCarthy has even more injury issues that Haren but not the upside. People complain about Marcum but McCarthy has pitched 170 innings once in his career and never more than 25 starts in any season.

        Don’t get me wrong. If you could get McCarthy for $5 or 6 million a year then I’d be all for it or if you got Sanchez and someone else first.

    • Maybe Edwin Jackson will give Toronto a discount thanks to his warm and fuzzy memories of his time as Jay.

      Ah I can still remember that heady day last summer when Jackson was a Jay for the seconds it took to get out that he’d been flipped to St-Louis.

      The heartbreak of it all as had to quickly cancel my order of a Jackson jersey. And here we are now salivating over him like he’s the captain of the panties-optional cheerleading squad.

      O fortuna.

  13. Baseball America has its podcast up on Itunes detailing the top ten propects for the Rays, Jays, and Orioles.

  14. There is no way the Jays sign a pitcher at 14 million/year.

    Get ready for another year of the Laffey taffy.

  15. i just remembered that the jays hired Chuck LaMar this time last year.

    i know a lot of people think that Andrew Friedman is a boy wonder. He’s done well with the Rays – but it has to be said that the foundation of that team was built by LaMar. Their farm system was entirely his work. In fact, Friedman has been terrible. Other than Matt Moore they haven’t developed a single player from beyond the first round, and they are the only team (per BA’s podcast) that hasn’t brought up a single player from any draft since 2008.

    i’m not saying LaMar was individually responsible for scouting all the guys that were in the system when friedman took over, but it’s worth remembering that the jays have a TON of really good people working in and for their front office.

  16. If anybody in the Nas’ front office thought Jackson was going to make even close to 14 mil. they would have offered him arb. Not happening.

  17. What years was Tom McKee a Jay broadcaster and who was he teamed up with?

    His name doesn’t ring any bells for me, must have been before my time.

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