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…
Dr. Kenny Ken Ken Rosen Rosen is reporting, as the GM meetings begin in Indian Wells, that the Diamondbacks are actively looking to move Justin Upton. He’s a hell of a player, but the Jays don’t likely have the talent to make it happen– Arizona isn’t rebuilding, so they need MLB-ready pieces back, and they don’t need a catcher, so that rules out JP Arencibia. The D’Backs just picked up Cliff Pennington in the Chris Young deal, but Rosenthal notes that they do still need a shortstop. Escobar or Hechavarria alone won’d get it done, though, and what other big league pieces would actually intrigue anyone looking to move this calibre of player, honestly? Using one of those guys to get a pitcher out of the desert as a third party in a deal? That I’d buy. But Upton’s a pipe dream.
Meanwhile, and speaking of one of their pitchers, Jerry Crasnick is tweeting that some in the Arizona organization aren’t so high on Trevor Bauer anymore, so the club is actively engaged in trying to move him. There were definitely issues there, especially when he reached the Majors, and they’d be magnified if he actually somehow wound up here in the AL East, but that’s a guy I’d move one of the Lansing Three for real quick– not that I think Arizona would be interested. Add a shortstop though…? I mean, it’s taking away from a future rotation to add to the present, and really, is it any more likely that Bauer flames out than Syndergaard or Nicolino? Is it maybe the same faction in Arizona souring on him who thought it was a good idea to move Jarrod Parker for Trevor Cahill? Fuck, do it, roll the dice.
Not at MLBTR just yet, but speaking of Rosenthal, and worth noting, is a tweet that went like this: “
#BlueJays, in their search for a manager with experience, made contact with Mike Hargrove. Does not appear to have progressed.” Um… thankfully. I think. I mean, the Human Rain Delay? Pffft.
Holy fucking fuck right off, Jeremy Guthrie. The free agent, and former Orioles and Rockies pitcher, who had some nice success in Kansas City at the end of the season after spending most of it pitching like everybody else does in Colorado, is reportedly looking for a three-year deal worth $34-million. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ten million really is the new five million. And it’s going to be a long couple of years if Rogers continues to force the Jays to play by the old financial rules. Then again, most teams will probably laugh in Guthrie’s agent’s face on this one.
According to Jon Morosi, the Orioles may be a surprise suitor for Josh Hamilton, which would be totally hilarious, though one of those things I’m deathly afraid would work out really well for them just to spite me. Kind of like… um… 2012. But be that as it may, I’d be willing to bet some money that the Orioles end up signing someone this winter that we actually want, and everybody freaks the fuck out about it. Ugh. It’s totally going to be insufferable, I just know it.
Matt Harvey and Zack Wheeler are off-limits, but the Mets are reportedly willing to trade anybody else, and they’re looking for a catcher. Um… might I interest them in a power-hitting on-base sinkhole that one of their AGM’s once drafted? And all I’d ask in return is Daniel Murphy or (if you maybe want a B prospect, too) John Niese. Huh? Huh? Huh?
As we mentioned earlier in the afternoon, the Mets and Jason Bay have agreed to part ways– with the Mets still kicking in all the money they owe Bay because… there was no other way to get him off their team. I bring it up again to note that…. as much as I enjoy shitting on the sacred cows of maple dicks, and as much as I’m confident Bay is no longer an MLB-calibre baseball player, I wouldn’t kill anyone for wanting to see him get a minor league invite to camp. OK assholes???
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, the Yankees won’t really be looking at top tier free agents this winter, though they will be considering a nine-figure extension for Robinson Cano. Ahh that looming luxury tax stuff sure is sweet. Stay old, Yankeeboys.
Sherman also has some notes on the A’s, who are claiming they’ll bottom-feed for a shortstop this winter– so, no deal involving Escobar and a pitcher returning?– and also saying that they’re not going to deal any of their extraneous outfielders, as they intend on rotating Cespedes, Young, Crisp and Reddick. So, y’know, don’t go trying to pry away an outfielder with a shortstop, you crazy other teams. Because they so won’t do it!
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik says he might take a recording around with him so he doesn’t have to constantly tell people that he’s not trading Felix Hernandez. So, y’know, stop asking.
According to Buster Olney, Francisco Liriano, Stephen Drew and Melky Cabrera are guys who may take a one-year deal somewhere, just to build up value to re-enter the market again in 2013. Are the Jays now that team? Sure, why the hell not?
The Cubs are looking for pitching, and for the same kind of deals they made last year– like how they smartly netted Paul Maholm for $4.5-million plus an option, then flipped him for decent prospects when it became clear he was a bargain. That’s a pretty strong model to follow in free agency, letting you hedge on the season, while forcing you to get guys with more years of control via trade, which is probably a smarter way to do it anyway, given they’ll be a whole lot cheaper.
The Clevelands aren’t keen on moving their best players– Shin-Soo Choo and Justin Masterson chief among them, at least where the Jays’ interest is concerned– but they’re keeping an open mind. Choo is a platoon guy and Masterson isn’t great, but they’d sure be improvements, and Cleveland is one of the few clubs who might be willing to acquire strictly futures, as I don’t think anyone there has any illusions about where they are in their championship arc (i.e. way at the fucking bottom).
Lastly, in the most shocking news of the day, the agent for Dan Haren says that his client is totally healthy. Because… what the hell else was he going to say?