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.”
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.