Are the GM meetings– currently taking place in Indian Wells, California, and being converged on by far too many media members from this city– actually turning into something more resembling the Winter Meetings, where all kinds of innuendo comes gushing in our directions, and the transactions happen fast and furious?
I don’t think so. But I do buy– now more than ever– the notion that teams are ready to do a lot more business in this stage of the off-season than they have ever been before, almost entirely because of the obliteration of the old system, wherein clubs had to wait for potential free agents to accept or reject offers of arbitration before knowing whether or not there would be a compensatory draft pick attached to their name.
Right now, free agency is in full swing, the GMs are talking trade, and just about everybody in baseball is available.
Here’s what’s worth talking about when it comes to the Jays tonight:
Soon, A Second Baseman!
Well, OK, not necessarily a starting second baseman– Wilner has clarified that via tweet– but both he and Shi Davidi were among those who spoke to Alex Anthopoulos during the GM’s availability at 7:00 PM ET, and that’s what they ended up hearing– though Wilner characterised it is a “whisper” and Davidi tweeted that it was “one interesting thing I’ve heard,” so it didn’t come from AA. At least not on the record.
Davidi’s tweet adds that he doesn’t know who the supposed player is, and that by “soon” we’re talking “probably in the next few days if it goes down.” So… y’know… don’t hold your breath.
The Jays traded for Rajai Davis at these meetings a couple years ago. This is the level of shit we’re still most likely talking about, I think. Or, at least, that’s what I’m going to believe until I hear otherwise.
Also Soon, A Manager!
It sounds like the managerial search may soon be a thing of the past, as both Davidi, Wilner, as well as on Mr. Dr. Rosen Rosen, are hearing rumblings in that regard.
Rosenthal tweets that the Jays “remain focused on hiring a manager with prior major-league experience – and now believe they will succeed in that quest.”
Just so we’re ultra-clear, he adds that, “in other words, barring a reversal, a first timer such as Sandy Alomar Jr. or Tim Wallach will NOT be the
Wilner adds even more to the story, tweeting that “Anthopoulos confirmed that he’ll have a manager in place before next month’s Winter Meetings.” Even more interestingly, he “said 2nd chance guys often work out.”
That, of course, jibes with what Kenny Ken Ken is saying, but if you really want to parse it hard and wet, it also rules out guys like Manny Acta, Jim Riggleman, Jim Tracy, Ozzie Guillen, and anyone else for whom this new gig would be a third chance.
I don’t know if I need to parse it… um… that way, because I’m starting to think that the sights of the GM may be focusing in on a guy who has been here all along– a guy whom he’d know by now whether or not he can communicate with, and a guy who he’s seen interact with many of the players in the clubhouse: Cito Gaston! I mean Tony Pena! I mean… ahh, just kidding– swallow back that puke!– I mean Don Wakamatsu, who also has player development experience, serving as the Angels’ roving minor league catching instructor in 2001 and ’02.
At the very least, if I were to speculate about it (which I’m not, I’m entirely just spitballin’), I’d have to suspect he’s the fall-back option. I mean, should it seriously have taken this damn long for Anthopoulos to have found the manager he really, really wanted and felt was perfect by looking ever so slightly to John Farrell’s left?
I don’t buy it. I still get the feeling there’s someone else– someone they’ve damn well got to be waiting on. And as Shi Davidi tells us, “there are some unknown candidates.”
Rumbling Elsewhere (aka This Evening in MLBTR– a combing-through of the ultra-invaluable MLB Trade Rumors)
Nationals GM Mike Rizzo told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post that the club didn’t make a qualifying offer to Edwin Jackson– thus letting another team sign him without losing a draft pick– because they liked other free agent options better and didn’t want to get locked it. Another one-year at $13-million or whatever? Locked in? Hey, maybe Jackson won’t cost that much after all. And a free agent with no draft pick forfeiture who can eat innings but it pretty uninspiring, overall? Sounds exactly like what the Jays are going to be capable of getting!
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik won’t rule out trading some of his young pitching– not Felix Hernandez, mind you– to address the offensive needs of his club. Hmmm. Well, we know the Jays like James Paxton, amiright? That’d be fun!
Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers notes that the list of teams on Justin Upton’s no-trade list has expanded beyond the Yankees, Red Sox, Clevelands and Cubs– who we learned of the last time the D’Back pulled this dog and pony bullshit with Upton– but that won’t stop him from having dialogue with those clubs. In fact, one of the clubs on the no-trade has already been in contact, he says. Hello, Alex! (Jerry Crasnick writes at ESPN.com that Arizona, indeed, is listening intently.)
Lastly, John Farrell tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he thinks the Red Sox should go with two hitting coaches next year, instead of the traditional one. Sure. Now he tells us.