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 #BlueJays’ choice.”

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.”

Hmmm…

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.

Comments (76)

  1. i think trading bautista would be a good move.
    he’s turning into halladay v.2.0 at this point: signed a team friendly extension, probably pissed they aren’t trying to spend to contend while he’s there…probably wants a shot at glory before he’s through.

    my real motivation for mentioning it, is that i’m worried about his wrist and the effect it may have on his power next year and maybe beyond. could be a good time to sell high before it’s too late.

    • You’d still get fair return for him plus with EEs season it not as big of a loss in production if you get quality back. However fans would shit on this notion however

    • Sorry…Barf…you have nothing to substantiate what you just said. “He’s Pissed” “his wrist” etc etc. Why don’t you focus on his numbers…OH wait you can’t…

      If AA comes through and we aren’t in build mode…why trade him?

    • Hello. I would like to shit all over the idea of trading Jose Bautista.

      Think of the fans. You have to keep some of your stars to show the fans you are serious. If you trade all your good players they will never think you have a chance to win.

    • Bautista is one year removed from a season that would be worth 30 million dollars in today’s dollars.

      Once the bean counters at Rogers are made aware of this, its doubtful that Bautista is going anywhere.

    • Carbuncle, That’s some of the dumbest shit I’ve read recently.
      Congrats , you’re #1

    • nah….Bautista is the key piece that you trade FOR to put you over the top. It just so happened that when AA and Beest forged their master plan he reinvented himself at the same time. They should be adding a number of pieces in the next 2 years to compliment JB in an incremental way, but no way should they be trading him. If by his final contract year (2016?) they’re nowhere close, then trade him. He’s only 36 then I believe.

      • Carl Sagan,
        the sentiment in the city seems to be that AA has to DO SOMETHING bold. whether that’s a big FA splash, or a big trade, or what…that’s not clear. But, you can look at the Colon Trade as an example of what happens when GMs are backed into a corner where they feel they need to “DO SOMETHING BOLD” right away. that’s my concern. it isn’t that it won’t help the jays in 2013, but that it will look fucking terrible in 2016 when bautista is forcing the next GM’s hand as Halladay forced AA’s.

        • I dont think it’s time for “something bold” . Before they do that they need to try “something”. I think if they add 2 decent pitchers (ala Jackson and maybe Johnson or Sanchez) plus a 2B, they’ll have done something and that should give them some breathing room. I’d definitely look at that idea again if D’Arnaud, Gose and Hech werent slated to be regulars next season.

    • Trading Bautista is the ethical thing to do. The Jays are just a write off for Rogers… they have no intention of winning. Trade the man and give him a chance at a ring.

      • Pennywise, you may be right.
        If the Jays have no intention of winning then Rogers can watch attendance and TV ratings drop,then layoff a bunch of people at Sportsnet and save more money.They can get rid of the scouts,more money saved. They can shut down the newest minor league team they just set up in Vancouver,save even more money.Replace the Jays broadcasts on Sportsnet One with poker shows from 2003,it’ll be cheaper and the reduction of subscribers don’t really matter.
        With all the money they save,it otta add up to at least 30 or 40 mil a year and that’ll increase annual earnings by a tenth of a percent while driving down the franchise value by a hundred million.
        Yup , the Jays not winning is a great plan to make Rogers more money .
        The shareholders will be ecstatic.

        • Do you know next year 2014 that Rogers will be earning 66 million dollars in usa tv national revenue , before they open the door. If they draw only 2 million people at the claimed attendance fee of $25.00 net net. Equaling another $50 million.
          Additionally, Rogers pays only $32 million annuallyfor local media rites , Seattle receives $40 million a year with a projected opt out clause next year , strong rumors have it becomes $70 million annually sorry I digressed.

          The revenue side for 2014 will total prior to ancillary revenue streams $148 Million dollars annually. Let say the normal net profit is 12%. Their expenditures can total $130 million of which $ 9.5 million can be allocated to draft expenditures.

          Jays fans can expect player costs to reach 120 million dollars by 2014.
          Jays can

        • Yes. To all of it. Nicely done RADAR.

      • Meh, by that logic they should give Janssen, and some others a chance at a ring too. What is the deal with that anyway?

    • Not sure who is worse: carbuncle or Oakville69?

    • What a great idea – let’s trade our best player to leave another gaping outfield hole…
      Wait – then we can bring back Travis Snider & Vernon Wells and suddenly the world will be better.

      What’s next? – suggest trading Brandon Morrow because Jamie Moyer is available?

    • if one trade could fix 3 problems then I think you might be better off doing it. The problem there is, are the contracts you pick up going to out weigh the one you just gave up. AA may have spending restrictions but there is no way of knowing the exact extent they hamper his trading ability either. Also AA can not seriously expect a team to preform if you trade away all of the current all star talent for prospects. I know I would be pissed as hell about it.

  2. Well to be fair, we all think we should be going with two hitting coaches because Motorola is too good to keep on the farm.

    As for Wakamatsu, if it’s taken that long to rule him in as manager, then I believe he’s the wrong guy. But I guess we’ll see. I’m holding out hope for some mystery manager. Some deus ex machina who will come down and sort everything out. Maybe we can get Cleveland to trade us Francona for Escobar and JPA…

  3. Just curious, did Davey Johnson get a new deal in Washington? I know his contract was up but I unless I missed the news I didn’t see anything saying he re-upped in DC. Can anyone correct me there?

  4. Bob Nightengale tweets that the Diamondbacks want a shortstop or third baseman in exchange for Upton.

    Obviously, Andrus or Profar from Texas would do the trick. But if it isn’t Texas, who else has a legitimate SS or 3B they can offer up?

    JJ Hardy is a shortstop, but no better than Escobar (though maybe less of a headache). The Tigers could trade Jhonny Peralta, I guess, but then they’d be shortstop-less. Nick Castellanos from Detroit?

    Otherwise, I’m not sure who else fits. The Indians have Asdrubal Cabrera to trade, but I don’t see how trading Cabrera and probably more for Upton really changes things for the Indians. If the Mets can’t extend David Wright, maybe they offer him up?

    • How do you make up the gulf of talent between Escobar and Upton and still make it sellable to Arizona, who are looking to get better in the near term, not rebuild? Gotta involve other clubs, because I can see how the Jays have the MLB-ready talent to come close, especially not with other offers from clubs in better positions surely being out there.

      You mean dealing Lawrie for him? Now you’re getting somewhere, but that ain’t happening.

  5. Cryptic Wilner tweet:

    “Just finished my end-of-the-day column from the GM Meetings – turns out it’s mostly about Don Wakamatsu. It’ll be up soon!”

  6. Ermagerd! Things are happening!

    Hopefully this “one of the most interesting things I’ve heard” 2Bman turns out to be a pitcher, one that is a little more resistant to injury, and that is damn good.

  7. If the next manager is Waka, then why wait so goddamn long? Why not hire him right away?Fuck it, so long as it’s not Cito coming back.

    As for the 2B tweets, interesting stuff but I hope that guy ain’t Kelly Johnson.

  8. Re:James Paxton

    Stoeten, maple chub aside, isn’t he a Boras client?

    If he is, and the Jays sign a Boaras client, especially while Beeston is King Shit of Fuck Mountain in Toronto, I will buy you a pizza!

    • The team would have 6 years of control over Paxton and any other Boras client.

      I think it’s less of an issue. It’s not like Boras can just will a GM to non-tender one of his clients after 3 years of service.

      • I should have typed “acquired” instead of “signed”. This would not have remained if Disqus was around. Just say’n

        I really do think that Beeston having been burned twice by Boras will not have one of his clients a Blue Jay as long as he is president. Regardless, of years of control.

        Just a hunch on my part, that said, I will honour the purchase of a pizza if I am incorrect.

      • Would Paxton resign from baseball if he was traded to Toronto? He sure didnt want to come here in the 1st place.

    • beeston’s loose lips effectively ended paxton’s college career… i can’t imagine he’d be happy about coming to toronto.

  9. Wak – not cito!

  10. Maybe it’s Mark Ellis, Dodgers have hanram, dee gordon and hairston to play up the middle.
    If it is Ellis I hope we aren’t giving p much. At all.

  11. “2nd chance guys often work out.”

    John Gibbons

    • Don’t do this to me.

      • My brain offered up Buck Martinez…but then it went..

        “NAAAAAAAAAAH !”

      • I actually like the idea of Gibbons.

        In an era of Tampa Bay becoming a very good org/team, and NYY and BOS still in juggernaut mode, Gibbons managed the team to 305 wins and 305 losses. He’s actually 10 games over if one reasonably throws out the end of a miserable 2004 season when he took over.

        I don’t recall many or any issues with his bullpen management. A skill/record that not many manager can they have or posses.

        Under his stewardship in 2006 the Jays had the 2nd best OPS in baseball.

        Under his stewardship in 2006 the Jays had the best ERA is baseball.

        The point of this is that given the right horses he put his players as a whole in position to succeed on both sides of the ball.

        So Dave Bush, Ted Lilly and Shea Hillenbrand acted up and Gibbons called them on their shit. Um, isn’t that what we want a manager to do?

        He knows the Blue Jays system, he’s worked with AA.

        I challenge anyone to prove a better person for the job at this point in time.

      • Gibbers was great.

        • Do major league teams actually need managers other than to have a body for reporters to question before and after games..and to have someone physically on the field to change pitchers and alert the umps to player substitutions?

          of all the sports, baseball is one in which managers are just really not very important…in fact, id trust AA to fill out a better lineup card than Farrell…they have after all, the same experience with fielding and hitting at the big league level

    • Tim Johnson. He’s available and if memory serves, that was the best season the Jays had in the last 19 years.

      Maybe he’s coming out from behind the counter at Taco Bell to manage again. And I bet he won’t cost much either.

  12. So Walt Weiss is the new Rockies manager and Davey Johnson could be extended by the Nationals as early as tomorrow.

    The time has nearly come where the Jays are the only game in town and Rogers can pick the manager willing to work for the least amount of money.

    Who will be cheapest? A new guy? Someone like Wak or Acta who would simply be glad to have the opportunity, knowing their chances of becoming managers again are slim?

    1 suggest a 1 year, $500,000 contract with 3 club options is more than fair compensation. It would still be a raise for the dozens of potential managers who have no choice but TO if they want to manage this year.

  13. Once again, Bob Elliott saves Canadian baseball:

    http://www.torontosun.com/2012/11/07/will-the-jays-make-a-play-for-bay

  14. I dont know a thing about Wak. He seems ok ok I guess. Didnt he sign off on all the bonehead decisions Farrett made in the last 2 years?

    • He also had Seattle running worse than Farrett did and I read that he had no control of the clubhouse.

  15. Here is a thought on 2nd baseman what about Alex Gonzalez on the cheap he hit well when here before trade for Escobar

  16. Hm. Sure sounds like Wakamatsu, hey?

    I guess a part of me would be more jazzed by Alomar Jr, Wallach or Fasano … but really, that’s based on nothing.

    So Wak sounds fine, if that’s how it goes.

  17. Rosenthal thinks the 2B the Jays got is Macier Izturis.

    Meh. That’s fine. Not much of a bat but not a complete sinkhole I guess. Fine for a one year holdover.

    2011 .276/.334/.388
    2012 .256/.320/.315

  18. I’m fine with Izturis on a 1 year. He can at least get on base at an ok rate.

    • gettting on base is by far the most important skill to run production in baseball. so yeah….im actually excited by this if true. he is also a switch hitter..something we haven’t seemed to have in our lineup for quite some time..17 sb and only 2 caught stealing in only 310 pa’s…..rather have him than aviles

  19. whatever the jays do, they should avoid the pressure to make a major move that will hurt them in the long run.
    i think that most people here can agree on that. the worst move is not “spend to contend” because you can always spend more. but “trade to contend”, because it’s basically like travelling into the future to shoot yourself in the foot. you hope that in the intervening time you’ve done something to avoid those events. (excuse me, i just had a long conversation with someone about Looper).

    • although with the fragile situation between the Jays and Rogers a free agent blunder would damage the club quite a bit too.

  20. haha poor Jackson has been known as an “innings eater” for so long. maybe it is a half glass full thing, but I think Jackson is actually a pretty good pitcher. it’s not far fetched at all that he could pitch 200 innings of sub 4.00 era baseball. with that said he might also be a bit of an up and down guy, his WHIP doesn’t always look so good.

  21. Lemme have a Cigar. I’m still riding the gravy train.

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