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:

AA Speaks!

Over the course of several tweets, and a fresh piece at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi fills us in on what Alex Anthopoulos imparted to the media (read: a bunch of Sportsnet guys) this afternoon, following a busy day, in which the Jays acquired Maicer Izturis and Jeremy Jeffress. And much more than in previous years, you can almost see a rosy picture coming together– one that’s powered by actual, tangible things the front office has been saying and doing, rather than just hopefulness powered by the informational vacuum and the understanding that Rogers is a grotesquely moneyed uber-corporate monolith.

Tweeting out the link to his story, Davidi calls the Izturis signing– the longest-term and most expensive free agent signing of an outside free agent of the Anthopoulos area, ridiculous as that is– “a first step for #Jays, who now must tend to heavy lifting with some money to make things happen.”

“Going to the third year was what got it done early,” Anthopoulos says in Davidi’s full piece. “There was value to getting it done early. You can wait around and try to keep your options open and keep your flexibility open, but you can sometimes get paralyzed by that and almost miss a lot of opportunities.”

He adds that “there’s value to having some certainty with your roster,” and he’s not wrong: both in knocking off tasks for the off-season, and in the fact that it sends a message– minor as it may be– to players and agents alike that the Jays are actually out there willing to spend– willing to put a pile of money and term in front of a player that they like and let them decide whether or not to take it.

It may not mean anything at all, and saying otherwise may verge too deeply into blind optimism, but it certainly seems possible that it’s a better way than shutting down possibilities with players before even getting to the point of formally asking, the way it seems they’ve done in previous years– Jeff Blair and Dirk Hayhurst had an excellent exchange on this subject earlier in the week on the Jeff Blair Show.

And even though it’s the most lucrative free agent deal he’s inked a player to, Anthpoulos insists that, when it comes to second base, “the contract is such that it’s not so high that it prevents us from doing something else if something were to fall into our lap.”

“I think we’re positioned well. Again, it’s not a bottom-less pit and we can’t go sign 20 players, we have to be selective with the players, we have to be creative, but we have opportunities we didn’t have in the past,” the GM said, adding that– thanks to the influx of cash that all teams will receive from MLB’s national TV contract that kicks in come 2014– back-loading some deals “can certainly be done.”

Anthpoulos added a couple of extra tidbits that showed up in Davidi’s Twitter feed, first, explaining that the deal for Jeremy Jeffress is the equivalent of a waiver claim– a low cost acquisition of a guy who’s out of options and will have to make the team in order to not be exposed to waivers, assuming they don’t try to sneak him through at some point previous, and second, noting that there was interest in Mike Aviles from more clubs than just Cleveland. Guess those other suckers just weren’t offering shitty, hard-throwing relievers with cheap years of control remaining.

FanGraphs on Izturis

Jeff Sullivan wrote a rather favourable piece on the Izturis deal over at FanGraphs. Titled “Maicer Izturis finds a new place to be perfectly acceptable,” Sullivan counters such derision as Keith Law’s comment from today’s KLaw Chat at– “Hey, any time you can give a guy whose .320 OBP was higher than his slugging percentage a three-year, eight-figure deal, you have to do it, right?”– by noting that you can probably expect more from Izturis than you think.

“Since 2010, 351 position players have batted at least 600 times. In terms of WAR/600 PA, Izturis comes in at 2.3, basically dead even with guys like Colby Rasmus, Jeff Keppinger, and Michael Morse,” Sullivan explains. “While I know this is practically trolling, Derek Jeter‘s WAR/600 PA since 2010 is 2.4. Quibble all you want about the defensive inputs, but the general point is that Izturis has been just fine for a while, and he’s not so old that he should fall apart. There’s a pretty good chance he’s better than his 2012.”

Money quote: “This isn’t a contract that’s going to win Toronto a pennant, but it’s easier to see it going well than it is to see it going poorly. A three-year, $9-million contract can go only so poorly. Maicer Izturis isn’t much of a big splash for Alex Anthopoulos, but it’s a pretty safe splash, which isn’t bad as free agency goes.”

Today In MLBTR

Hiroki Kuroda is reportedly the Dodgers’ top choice as a rotation piece, which sounds fantastic to me, seeing as if the Dodgers turn their sights to a guy the Jays want– like Anibal Sanchez, Brandon McCarthy or Edwin Jackson– it makes it that much less likely that we’ll end up with him. Though… it’s not like there’s anything stopping LA from doing both.

MLBTR passes along a Bob Elliott tweet from earlier in the day, in which the Hall of Famer bluntly tells readers to not expect Justin Upton to be coming to Toronto. What, not even with Adam Lind heading the other way? You sure? Well, OK, then. I buy it.

Our old friend JP Ricciardi has apparently signed a three year deal to continue on as a special assistant to Mets GM Sandy Alderson.

Billy Beane insists that his A’s are not going to trade one of their young starting pitchers for a shortstop, so you should totally not even bother asking about it. It’s totally not something he’s even going to do. Better get ready to pay an exorbitant price, amiright? Because he’s so reluctant, guys.

The Red Sox are interested in Anibal Sanchez and Hiroki Kuroda, and this is why Alex Anthopoulos talking about striking early is important, but also why it’s kind of more important to remember that those fuckers have money, and the fact that the Jays were below them in the standings this year doesn’t change the prestige factor– as John Farrell. So we’re probably going to see them and Baltimore sign someone we’d much rather the Jays do– and it’s going to fucking suck. Hopefully Alex pays out big money fast and changes some perception.

Comments (161)

  1. Best photoshop work yet!

  2. “GM Meetings After Dark” sounds like it should be accompanied by smooth jazz in a dimly-lit bar.

  3. GM Meetings After Dark was my favourite late 90′s Showcase program

  4. Some tremendous news: The Jays have not contacted Jim Tracy.

  5. ya, I didn’t notice the other night that you photoshopped AA in. Money.

  6. I know it’s a high risk proposition, but as someone mentioned in another thread, why not make a play for RA Dickey centred around Aaron Cibia?

    Maybe add in another Ricciardi guy like Cecil or Sierra.

    Not only is Dickey extremely cheap in 2013, he’d likely be amenable to a contract extension seeing as he has never made a lot of money.

    • I’d throw the extra player in if they gave us a window to negotiate an extension. As I said in the other thread, getting him at $5 million this year or even $8-9 million for the first year if you did his contract over again, would give them that much more flexibility for another starter and a left fielder.

      • If I’m the Mets, don’t I want more than a package centred around a below average catcher? Even if he’s on the tail end of his career, he’s worth more to them than that.

        • Is 4 years of JPA really worth that much less than 1 year of a 37 year old?

          It’s hard to say because there isn’t a historical comparison for Dickey.

          If the reports are true that the Mets are looking for a C & OF, I think JPA & Sierra could get it done.

          • do other teams in the league really view Sierra as a surefire MLB player, or is the upside to the deal simply his years of control? not sure I’m convinced.

          • Neise, not Dickey, we dont want Wakefield 2.0.
            JPA + Sierra+ Marisnick+ Lind for Neise and Ike Davis

      • Agreed.

        Although, honestly, I’m not sure he’d even require an extension window.

        I’m pretty sure he’d sign an extension anywhere as long as the terms were reasonable seeing as how he has barely made any money in his career.

        He’s reportedly looking for 3/36, but I’d guess he could be talked down to 2/24 or 3/30 or something.

        How sweet would it be to have the probably NL Cy Young winner as the opening day starter.

        • I’d be fine getting Dickey if for no other reason than he’s a knuckleballer. They just don’t get hurt…..and he’s been pretty good for a bit..

  7. I wonder if you’ll see the Jays go the extra year more often this winter when it comes to offering guys contracts. If as AA said, “Going to the third year was what got it done early,” is the thing to push the Jays offers over the top or at least put them on more equal footing, I certainly hope they do it.

    Would offering someone like Sanchez 6 years instead of 5 be the key? As I said the other day. the beauty about the Jays payroll numbers going out to 2014 and 2015 is that there are no big spikes on the way. Considering that there is some real depth on the way if you end up having to move any of those guys 3 or 4 years out it wouldn’t be the end of the world.

    Personally I am interested to see who the Jays end up dealing if they make a trade. It really feels like they dumped a lot of their depth from the system over the last few months. It might not have all been quality, but having to move the guys of quality that are left feels like it’s going to sting more. I suppose that feeling would be lessened somewhat if the players coming back are substantial.

    • Thing is, it’s one thing to give an extra year when it’s $3M a year and a guy who profiles well off the bench. It’s a lot harder to do if it’s $15M a year.

      • But that’s the beauty of an extra year when that year is 4 or 5 more out. With the inflation of salaries, that money really doesn’t end up being nearly as expensive as it looks in year one of the deal. Not to mention you get 4 or 5 more years to potentially move that contract if you find yourself in a pinch later on. It’s also not nearly as much of a problem if the player is someone like Sanchez at age 28 or 29. If you’re talking about guys already in their mid 30′s, then yeah I would tend to agree a little more.

        • Sanchez’ age is a pretty big benefit to him.

          Morosi reported that Sanchez is asking for 6Y/$90M ($15M/year).

          • Indeed that’s why offering the extra year on his contract would be less prohibitive than someone like Lohse who is 34.

    • I don’t think “going the extra year” is something that needs to be done to reduce any Toronto “disadvantage” vis a vis other teams, but rather what AA was saying was that the extra year was what gave Izturis the piece of mind to sign on the dotted line this early in the process (regardless of team), where he probably hasn’t fully fleshed out his other options.

      Bear in mind that Izturis is literally the first FA off the board to any major league team. In years past, the FA market doesn’t really get cooking until the December winter meetings (although with compensation-based arbitration offers out of the picture in the new CBA, that timeline may move up).

      I don’t think AA was saying they went the extra year to put their offer on equal footing, but rather it was to make it enticing enough to induce Izturis to commit in the early stages of the process.

      • You have a good point and that’s certainly a fair way to look at it. That said, what do you see that the Jays can offer to reduce this disadvantage we all believe exists if a limited budget is actually still an issue?

        As for the effects of the CBA, I think you’re correct and you’ll see teams be active a lot quicker than they used to be. I really don’t see a reason to wait anymore. Hockey certainly seems to go that way these days.

    • good post. and when it comes to trading some of these higher echelon prospects the fact is that there isnt going to be room for ALL of these guys. i think you choose those guys that you hold on to at all costs unless someone blows you away (sanchez, gose) for me, but you shouldn’t be loathe to moving a niccolino or marisnick or even a syndergaard if thats the piece which puts the package over the top and nets you the IMPACT player you want. impact is the key word in that sentence though. I for one would trade JP plus a pitching prospect not named sanchez syndergaard or osuna for Dickey.

  8. “the contract is such that it’s not so high that it prevents us from doing something else if something were to fall into our lap.”

    ughhh it kind of makes me cringe that it seems the Jays’ free agency approach is waiting for “something to fall into our lap.” It doesn’t seem aggresive at all.

    This off season will tell us whether or not this is a fair characterization of the Blue Jays. If they end up waiting and Jackson, Sanchez, Haren, and Demspter all get signed and we end up with some C+ quality pitcher just because of the price then this fanbase is going to be disapointed as hell.

    He also might have alluded to the Jays taking on a big contract though. Who knows, time will tell, and so far so good for AA, but the most important work is still ahead.

    • I think you have to apply that comment to just the issue of a 2nd baseman. There are not a lot of options out there on the free agent market at 2nd and 2nd base is of secondary importance to the pitching needs. It just gives the team an out if the option ends up presenting itself. If they had signed someone else for $6 million, it’s unlikely they could justify forcing that much salary to the bench in a utility role.

      • Yes…pretty sure he was alluding to the possibility of a trade for a superior 2B than Izturis if that opportunity presents itself. I wouldn’t expect them to go out and sign a Scutaro, Johnson, or Keppinger type now that Izturis is under contract.

        • I’m with BFF on this one. I think it means if a Murphy, Kipnis, etc. becomes available for some reason, then the Jays can push Izturis to the bench.

        • I now agree that this is probably what he meant. But you wonder if spending a few extra million on Keppinger or Johnson might’ve been a better move. I guess AA talked to both agents and didn’t like what he heard.

          • It’s sounding that Keppinger is really intent on staying with Tampa, but he just wants to drive their price up as much as he can.

  9. I think we should go after Dickey, Sanchez and Jackson….i think 2 out of 3 is highly possible….and I also think Upton is possible if we give up the right young starter they said would consider the centrepiece of the deal….maybe one of our prospects? Alvarez…altho i dont see that being an option as the club seems to really like him….but i’d at least consider it.

    • I would be pleasantly suprised if the Jays landed Sanchez, but Sanchez and Jackson seems like a pipe dream. It would probably be a $25+ Million increase in salary per year right there.

      I think Sanchez ends up with either teams in LA or Texas. Please prove me wrong AA.

  10. Interesting WIlner bit at the end of his blog tonight:

    “Arencibia, by the way, is likely an attractive trade commodity, though the Blue Jays would more liely him in a deal had Travis d’Arnaud not missed the last three months of last season with a knee injury. There’s speculation that the Mets would be interested, and they have a starting pitcher the Blue Jays have coveted in lefty Jonathan Niese. However, the Mets wouldn’t be amenable to a one-for-one deal – the Jays would have to add to it.”

    • Certainly an interesting possibility. I suppose with the way teams look at years of control now, I imagine Neise would actually end up being more costly than Dickey. I guess the risk with is Neise is which pitcher would you get? The breakout of 2012 or fringe 5th starter he was in 2011. If I was a GM trading for him that would certainly give me pause in offering up too much for him.

      • Niese was basically the same guy as always in 2012, his ERA just finally improved to where his peripherals had always been.

        The concern with Niese would be that moving out the NL and the pitcher’s park in New York would be tough on him, but he doesn’t show any big home/road differences over his career.

        • Hmm while you’re right about the peripherals like his K/9 and BB/9 for instance, his BABIP dropped substantially from his previous 2 seasons by nearly 60 points. You could argue that he was just luckier in 2012. If his BABIP goes back to what it was the previous 2 years you’d get that same pitcher as 2010 and 2011 because those peripherals haven’t improved. Of course on the other hand I suppose you could argue he was just unlucky the other 3 years.

          I guess as a point in his favour you could also argue that his FIP only points to a slight regression for 2013.

          • How much better would Niese be pitching in a homerun ballpark than Brett Cecil?

            I’m not sure what the scouting reports are, but it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s just a #4/5 starter.

          • Well you’d think that a guy that pitched in such a pitcher friendly park would have horrible Home/Road splits but in 2010 and 2012 he actually had the opposite and did better on the road. 2011 was the only year that you got what you’d think you’d get when you factor in the park effects.

            I guess because he’s only got one really good year under his belt you’d be taking a greater risk. I suppose that’s where the scouts come in. I mean it’s not like the stats were particular favourable for someone like Morrow before we got him.

      • On this same subject, Davidi basically wrote the exact same in his article (linked on MLBTR last night).

        I suppose it could be the result of a conversation Wilner and Davidi had, but it does seem pretty weird that they both wrote that an Arencibia + for Niese deal could appeal to both teams.

    • I think I could say yes to niese for aaron cibia.

  11. Anyone see a possible 3 way deal with the Jays, Rays and Diamondbacks.

    Rays are interested in Justin Upton but don’t really have the 3rd base/shortstop. Rays are also interested in a young catcher. Jays send JPA and Escobar to Rays for pitching. Rays keep JPA, send Escobar in package to Diamondbacks for Justin Upton?

    Any thoughts?

    • Not crazy. I think it’s obvious the Jays and Rays match up well, the question is whether not they’d be willing to make a big trade in the division.

    • Yeah, but…that pushes Hech into the limelight at SS right away with-at this point- McCoy as backup. Hmmmmm

  12. seeing how Tampa has been good because of their pitching I would love this move. Not sure what JP and Escobar are worth though, probably not Price.

  13. Jeremy Jeffress warm up song??

    I love you sweet leaf . . . . .

  14. It feels like Jackson’s going to end up as a jay with a three year 30 mil contract

  15. Reading Anthopoulos’ quotes, and how Davidi and now Wilner phrase things, I have an eerie feeling there is going to be some justified bitterness/anger when it comes to what they actually do spend to improve this team. An awful lot of the talk of future is all of sudden rooted in TV deal money that will be available in 2014. It’s as though Beeston was a lying scumbag.

    • Sadly, a part of me really has the same feelings. Though I was a little happier when he said:

      “Again, it’s not a bottom-less pit and we can’t go sign 20 players, we have to be selective with the players, we have to be creative, but we have opportunities we didn’t have in the past.”

      Maybe I am just in a better frame of mind after the Izturis signing, but I see the 20 player comment more along the lines of don’t expect $150 million of payroll this year and more importantly, don’t believe everything you hear about us being linked to every free agent and their mother which we got so much of last year.

      The best thing about the money coming next year is it really allows them to back load the contracts and still get the guys they want this year. At least with Rogers deep pockets it’s not like they would have to go and hock the family jewels for an advance on a portion of that money for this season.

      • All the sweet nothings that Beeston whispered the last three years should be providing them ample room to play with the grown-ups and have more than $15M to spend on two quality SP’s, a LF of some value significantly better than Davis/Francisco/Thames/Snider and DH/1B. Unless, all along the monies Beetston was foretelling about would in fact turn out to be, the very money coming in from the 2014 National TV deals.

        • I dont think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that at some point in Beeston’s tenure (maybe even recently?) , some Rogers hack whispered in his ear to cool it on the $120 mill payroll speculation. They just seem a little more cautious lately.
          But! That could also be a strategy for dealing with agents.

  16. this is a great Sabbath walk up song though, those first 20 seconds build nicely as a warm up to a good AB – that mad fucking fingertipless bastard Tony Iommi

  17. I could see the Jays making a play for Jackson and maybe a trade for another pitcher. I can’t see it being Escobar or Arencibia though. My guess is if AA makes a trade splash it will be a deal with talent on multiple levels of the game. I could see AA sending JP, Norris and McGuire for a top notch pitcher but who to dance with and what pitcher would be worth it, or pair of pitchers for that matter.

    • that likely doesn’t land you a top-notch pitcher. McGuire doesn’t have much value right now. People are divided on Norris. JPA is of value, but probably not F.O.R. centerpiece value unless we are talking someone near the end of a contract.

      • There isnt an analyst out there who likes Mcguire. I’d be amazed if he made it out of the minors.

    • I like the idea of trading JP but not of trading Escobar. Escobar’s value isn’t at his highest plus it would be a bitch to replace him–unless a Hech/Izturis middle infield is good enough for 2013 which it almost certainly won’t be.

    • Yeah he could trade TDA for Trevor Bauer for all we know

      • that would definetly be a deal worth exploring. arz. isnt in the market for a C though…you’d probably have to include a 3rd team.

    • Given whatever payroll paramaters AA has been given by ownership (fuck you Rogers), I definitely see AA having the green light to sign one FA starter, and then trading for another.

      There are some solid guys who are available via trade who could help the Jays’ rotation (Niese, Masterson, Anderson, etc.). We can’t expect AA to sign two FA starters. Just getting one of them to come to Toronto would be a major step in the right direction.

      Then you look at your 40 man roster and your minor league prospects and decide who stays and who goes before making a trade for the other starter. AA certainly has intriguing assets that can be dealt.

      • What would it take to land Masterson?

        • I think you already have a Masterson in Alvarez. Granted Alvarez’ K/9 is half of what Masterson’s is but they are essentially the same type of sinker ball pitchers with Alvarez being the harder thrower and 5 years younger.

          To me Masterson is similar to Neise in that he’s had 2 poor seasons and one good one with no appreciable change in his peripherals other than his FB/HR rate. Which is the real one?

  18. Presented without comment, starters by xFIP from 2010-2012, minimum 450 IP.

    1. Cliff Lee 2.93
    2. Roy Halladay 2.96
    3. King Felix 3.16
    4. Zack Greinke 3.17
    13. David Price 3.42
    19. Dan Haren 3.56
    19. Hiroki Kuroda 3.56
    21. Jon Niese 3.58
    22. RA Dickey 3.63
    22. Anibal Sanchez 3.63
    24. Brandon Morrow 3.65
    26. Gio Gonzalez 3.72
    26. Ricky Nolasco 3.72
    26. Matt Garza 3.72
    29. Ryan Dempster 3.74
    29. Edwin Jackson 3.74

    • As a knuckleballer, FIP & xFIP don`t really do justice for Dickey. He`s had very low BABIPs during the last 3 years and an ERA under 3.

      Not that he`ll necessarily keep it up, but he`s arguably been one of the top 5 – 8 pitchers in baseball the last 3 years.

      • Indeed FIP is an estimator and one that doesn’t do justice to all types of pitchers. Best used to gauge how a pitcher is going to do in the coming year than what took place. ERA+ is far better for looking back.

    • jeremy “recently rumoured aa target” guthrie is second to last

    • you forgot liriano 3.77 who may offer better value than jackson 3.74, and if you expand teh search to include everyone with over 300 ip, you get joe blanton with 3.57, and scott baker at 3.73 who are also worth mentioning and a broke down oswalt still bring in a 3.52 since 2010.

      there’s a lot of warnings in my list which includes more of the available pitchers, anddoesn’t omit a large number of names to spatially close the gap between the top of the list and the middling arms like jackson, dempster, et al.

  19. Yup hopefully Alex gets a couple of those starters

  20. The thing that leads me to believe, and it’s a small one, that there’s going to be more than $95 million spent this year is this, go back to the 2006 – 2008 period where payroll rose from $71 million to $97 million. Adjust the 2008 for inflation and the rise in the dollar and you get roughly $104 million. Revenues are certainly going to be greater in 2013 than the were in 2008. If you apply even half of the gains in revenues generated from TV that other markets are seeing today, I think it’s safe to assume they are substantially greater than in 2008.

    The question we should then ask is does anyone believe that Rogers would actually have run the team at a loss for 2008? I certainly don’t. Therefore, spending at the $105-$110 million mark today shouldn’t seem like a huge stretch in a year where revenues stand to be far greater than in 2008.

    • rogers can make money here on a losing team.

      risk should have a reasonable chance of return, and i don’t think it’s there on mlb fa contracts.

      it sucks because rogers could sustain a dynasty here in terms of payroll, but i doubt we’re going to see a corporate philosophy change that sees them spend to contend. so, it’s a matter of waiting until the perfect storm of prospects arrives (if/when) and hoping that payroll rises with attendance.

      the formula is simple, it sucks, and rogers are cheap. get used to it. there are far more important things in the world to take to the streets for than a winning baseball team.

      if you don’t like it, the leafs play at christie pits on sundays for free. or better yet, grab a ball, bat, and a glove and go play! it’s fun and better than sitting around all day typing about rich bastards.

      • Lol yes, that’s me, Che Manimal, leading the charge to take to the streets and bring down Rogers.

    • here’s the thing though. AA has done what he can to field the team under a budget that leaves him some decent money to play in the FA, assuming starter pool.

      The thing though, is that a lot of teams have money to spend and all but maybe 3-4 teams don’t need pitching.

      We could see a few beltran situations, where we match or exceed in years and AAV but the player goes to a more desirable location. Just having the money to spend isn’t enough unfortunately.

    • There’s been no real excuse for a while now for Rogers not to be spending 120M+ on this team considering the huge market, inflation, the value of the dollar, and enormous increases in television revenue in recent years.

      And yet, somehow, they’ve created a situation in which most fans would actually be grateful for a $95-100M payroll. There are quite a few cheap ownership groups in professional sports, but this one is right near the very top.

      • +1

        Very well said . It seems that many fans suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome.

        They are grateful that Rogers has signed a 10 million free agent contract after 6 years.

        I hope AA gets to get 2 starting pitchers.One free agent & 1 trade.

        Other teams make these deals on a routine basis.

        The city is starved for a winning team.

        • I have not seen one fan say they are “grateful” that Rogers spent $9 mil on Izturis.

          People like the move because there is a good chance he will provide value above that $9 million.

          Nobody is using it as proof that Rogers is generous with the pursestrings.

    • jeff kent rage after getting kicked off survivor.

    • haha I can’t tell if he’s trying to be funny or if he’s actually that pissed off

      • He was always a little bitch. He’s really pissed. Wish we could vote him out of the country.

        • Except you donkey that toronto traded him for a nobody named DAVID CONE in 92,, Ahhhh the good old times when the Jays won regularly..

          • As I remember Cone got a game tying or winning run against Atlanta in the World Series that year.

            excellent trade!

    • ya Jeff kent – its those welfare mooches and Obama that take that $400K off of the winner’s $1M.. That money certainly doesn’t build baseball stadiums, or bail out banks or fight wars.. That dirty Obama, taking his cut of your “hard-earned” $60M from baseball.. what a whiny cunt.

  21. Can’t tell if its AA or Agent Smith from the matrix…

  22. i can say this, if those cheap f+cks at Rogers don’t give AA the money to sign a couple of legit starters this year, I’ll be cancelling all 3 of my Rogers accounts by xmas.

    • Rogers can fuck off with their “well we will expand the pay roll when attendance is better.” How about giving the fans a glimmer of fucking hope at the playoffs before bitching about attendance.

      • Not crazy about the attitude. After having read about their TV cash windfall of somewhere between 25-100 million (per team) for these weiners to sit on it and tamp down expectations with words like “selective” and “creative” is discouraging. They have got to get into the game.

    • + Billions and Billions (which apparently Rogers will not be spending, ironically enough)

  23. Good to see that JP Retardi has signed for three years. He probably couldn’t sign fast enough since no one in their right minds would hire this dumb fuck long term. Then again, this is the shit show called “The New York Mets”.

  24. Interesting that AA said he tried to get him mid season. I guess that could have been the end for Vizquel. Ah what could have been after Spring Training. ………

  25. To me, when I read things like “we have to be creative” to AA coupled with this talk about 2014 TV contracts, I hear in my mind “back loaded contracts”, with the thought being, “I only have $100M (or whatever) to spend this year, but I’ll get an extra $25M next year, plus if we’re good, our internal revenues will jump, which will allow me to go above and beyond these guys”.

    Or maybe I’m just being optimistic.

  26. Who here is up on their CBA language? I need clarification on these points:

    The Jays finished in the bottom 10 teams. Because of that they get to sign a type A free agent without having to give up their 1st round pick. Instead they forfeit their 2nd round pick for signing a Type A FA.

    1/ How does that apply if they sign a 2nd Type A FA?

    2/ If the Jays pick 2 non tendered guys, (say Jackson and Sanchez) do they give up any draft picks at all?

    • 1) I think they have to give up their next highest pick. I seem to recall the Jays getting screwed like this when Burnett (maybe?) signed with the Yankees? Yanks signed a couple Type “A” guys, and the Jays got the lower of the picks they had to give up. It happened a couple years ago, anyway.

      2) If players weren’t offered the minimum $13.3M contract (or whatever it is), there’s no need for compensation to my knowledge.

      • Thanks Alisauce, pretty sure we wont have to worry about question 1. And if their budget is realy as tight as it sounds, they’ll definitely be trading if they go for a 2nd pitcher.

      • Correct. If a team signs more than 2 FAs who had received but rejected their qualifying offer (there are no more Type A/Type B) the signing team gives up their highest and next highest pick (subject to the first 10 protected picks), from the CBA:
        “A Club that signs one Qualified Free Agent who is subject to compensation shall forfeit its highest available selection in the next Rule 4 Draft. AClub that signs more than one Qualified Free Agent subject to compensation shall forfeit its highest remaining selection in the next Rule 4 Draft for each additional Qualified Free Agent it signs. Notwithstanding the above, a Club shall not be required to forfeit a selection in the top ten of the first round of the Rule 4 Draft, and its highest available selection shall be deemed its first selection following the tenth selection of the first round.”
        On #2, if signing a FA who didn’t recieive and reject a qualifying offer (like Jackson), no pick is given up.

    • Well I havent heard from any KLaws or Rosenthal types that Sanchez was the Jays’ #1 target, but it’d be interesting to see if they even negotiate with the guy after hearing about his 6 year requirement.

      • I’m sure they’ll still negotiate.
        After all this is just his agent spouting off and trying to put a stake in the ground. But…. There always seems to be one nutty GM out there who will actually make that kind of offer…. and it only takes 1.

    • I don’t think he’s worth it, but he’s at least he wouldn’t be in his late 30s by the end of it.. Still he’s banking on the Dodgers at that rate.

      • Although saying that.. he only has 3 full seasons of real workload on his arm, his control has improved and his velocity has stayed consistent.. its an overpay but not so bad that it would be the worst given how contract values are going to increase with TV contract boons. He’s been forth 4.4, 3.8 & 3.8 wins over the last 3 seasons. $13M/per season would probably make more sense.. but with the market for pitching the way it is its not crazy.

    • It’s not too far off from what he’ll probably get.

      I’d guess he’ll be offered 5 years and $70M.

    • That seems to be par for the course when you’ve got practically every team out there with the exception of the Rays that has a boner for pitching. Not much you can do, it’s either pony up or have Happ and Alvarez start 40% of your games for you. Still if the Jays were to back load the last 3 or 4 years of the contract they could probably get him to come in at something like 12, 12, 16, 16, 17, 17.

      I doubt that $17 million in 6 years will be overly expensive. For instance go back to 2006-2007 and look at 3 of the top starters at the time. Oswalt, Halladay and Santana were all between 27 and 29 and made approximately $13 million a year. Considering that the best guys are getting $20+ million now, $17 million in 5 or 6 years isn’t going to be appear prohibitive at all.

  27. The askin prices and years for Jackson and Sanchez bother me. Two mid-rotation starters that are goin to command top starter deals.
    My plan A would be try and make a deal for Dickey and extend him to like 3yrs/35 mil. a handsome raise. Spend prospect assets on Justin Upton. Then, sit back and wait to see how the rest of the market develops. Maybe, Brandon McCarthy could be got after the dust settles at a decent short term deal. Sure, there’s risk but I’m just not comfortable payin 15 mill/5 or 6 seasons for a couple of mid rotation guys.
    If Upton can’t be got, go after Melky on a 1 year deal or 1 plus an option.

    • I’d be all in for some kind of trade for Dickey. However, considering he would likely cost you a major league player and a lesser prospect I am not sure you could make a move on Upton as well without your system taking a serious blow. Also the Jays are apparently on his no-trade list and Arizona seems to be asking a lot for him now. I’d say save the prospects and go hard after Melky instead even if it’s just for one year to let him set himself up again. Don’t forget Upton isn’t exactly cheap after this year. He’s set to make nearly $15 million in 2014 and 2015.

      • Ya. You’re right. I think Melky would be a better idea,saving the prospect capital. I just hope the Jays don’t tie up to much in mid to back of the rotation starters. If you are goin to consider Sanchez request of 6yrs at 90 mill , they may as well spend more and go hard after Greinke.Overpay but at least have a top starter.
        Again, I’d love to see them make a push for Dickey though.

  28. so Don Wakamatsu as likely manager (as per Wilner and Jeff Blair discussion this morning).

    That sounds just fine to me. Have Luis Rivera as bench coach (and infield coach??), add Sal Fasano (maybe as bullpen coach to start or 1st base), Pat Hentgen as pitching coach, Chad Motorola (Bat Flip) and Murph as hitting coaches, need someone for the outfielders(and 3rd/1st) and ready to go??

    • Wakamatsu would be fine with me. Like the idea of Rivera as bench coach. Beyond that, I hope the Jays let the manager have a major influence in the picking of his coaches.

    • @ dm

      Maybe Wakamatsu gets the job by default but his faults are,
      He plays small ball worse and more often than Farrett.
      Rumoured to have lost control of the Seattle clubhouse.
      Limited in his strategy to think outside the box and look at options.

      Hentgen won’t take the fob fulltime due to family.He had it and had to back down.

  29. Seeing as the Mets and Jays match up well on trade, which do you think AA would prefer?

    JPA & Sierra for Dickey


    JPA, one of Gose/Marisnick & one of Syndegaard/Nicolino

    For me, I much prefer trading for Dickey even if it’s only 1 year for a 38 year old. I can’t imagine his cost to be much higher than JPA considering his unique situation.

    • That should be JPA, Gose/Marisnick & Syndegaard/Nicolino for Niese…

      • The first one. If Neise had a second consecutive season of good results under his belt I might take youth and the years of control over Dickey.

      • Neither to be honest. The Jays should be setting their standards higher.

        • higher than one of the favorites for NL cy young? i don’t think walter johnson is available.

          • Where???? Other than Greinke the standards certainly aren’t higher on the free agent market.

          • He’s only a favorite because of his record.

            Kershaw or Gio should be the winner.. if Cy’s really matter that much these days.

          • Why give up a good portion of the farm for Niese, a guy who seems to be homer-prone and still hasn’t pitched 200 innings?

          • dickey was 3rd in the NL in era+… he led the NL in k’s and innings pitched. he has a decent case for the NL cy.

            WAR doesn’t do knuckleball pitchers justice because it normalizes for BABIP… and historically knuckle ball pitchers have maintained a lower than average BABIP.

          • His BABIP last year was .275, which isn’t too low, and has a career .291- about league-average.

            His fWAR should have been higher last season though. Probably a testament to that normalization of WAR you mentioned.

            I dunno though. Maybe I’m casting a light on Dickey that is incorrect. The one thing that scares me is his age, but his numbers are pretty good.

        • @Indestructible

          Knuckleballers are known to have lower BABIPs. At least according to Keith Law who is presumably basing this on data.

          Also, the Niese proposal was used to illustrate how much more he would cost.

          I’d love Dickey and even with all the risk due to his age, I’d gladly sacrifice 4 years of JPA & Sierra.

      • Thats straight up ridiculous

      • Thats fuckin what it took to aquire Roy Halladay pretty much. And you would give that for Jon fucking Niese?

        • @chanse

          No, I would not give up that much for Niese.

          But I do think that is around how much it would take to get him considering his team friendly contract.

  30. You don’t give up a good portion of the farm. You place a value on him, negotiate and if price to high you move on.

    • You’re ignoring the hypothetical trade proposal Jays2010 respectfully made.

      JPA, one of Gose/Marisnick & one of Syndegaard/Nicolino

      That’s an awful lot for a pitcher who has a career-best 2.7 fWAR, and the problems I noted above. That isn’t to say he’s a bad pitcher; I’d like him as a #4-5. But honestly, don’t the Jays have enough of those types right now?

      To continue with the hypothetical, if the Phillies were more open to trading Cliff Lee than they’re letting on, he’s the type of pitcher I’d go after.

      • I agree.

        I’m not saying I would pay that much for Niese, but I do think it would take a substantial proposal, like my hypothetical, to acquire him.

  31. I think that Jays fans are massively over-estimating the value that Sierra has.

  32. I think JPA could very well be a centre piece for Dickey. It was reported todfay that the Mets aren’t trading Ike Davis, because they want both him AND Duda as they are trying to get more power/HR’s.

    If that is important to them, a 25-30 HR hitting catcher should have a lot of appeal, regardless of the OBP. I think JPA+Sierra might be a LITTLE low, but I think it’s pretty close.

    And I think that’s a great deal. We could even rework Dickey’s deal to be 3/$25 million, starting in 2013. It would have be effectively (from Dickey’s perspective) of signing a 2/$20 extension, which is probably in line with what he would ask (as you’d be giving him a raise on the $5 million he’s getting for 2013) and he’d probably do it. He hasn’t made a lot of money in his career, so he’d probably be amenable.

    I would trade JPA+ for Dickey in a second.

    Remember, we can close the roof for all Dickey’s starts and give him a pretty good HF advantage (knuckleballs work best in controlled climates)

    • Yeah if it’s jpa plus Sierra but no more then

    • I too, would part with JPA and Sierra in a heartbeat for Dickey.

      I have no care that he is 37, Tim Wakefield pitched well into his 40′s as a knuckle baller.

  33. I’m not against trading for Dickey. You’re right about the dome. And I’ve always thought it would be good–for that reason–to get a knuckleballer in here. By the way, JPA was one of Ricciardi’s drafts wasn’t he? So I’m assuming the Special Advisor might quite like to have him back.

    In other news, Wilner and Blair both seem to think the manager is gonna be Wakamatsu. I’ve always been against that. But now I’ve got another reason to be against it. If they give it to Wakamatsu–who has been with the organization for two years now–after they knew Farrett was on his way out basically the entire season because Valentine exploded really early, why did they wait so long? I don’t think it’s exactly a ringing endorsement and I’m going to be interested to see how they spin that. The only explanation I can come up with is that AA and Beeston were going after Major ex-Manager X and trying hard to get him, and Wakamatsu was told ‘if we can’t get Torre, it’s gonna be you…’

    • Not likely someone like Torre was ever on the radar. Wakamatsu would be a decent choice and I see no reason there would be to “spin” anything. Wakamatsu was brought in by Alex because of his ability to work with the catchers. It would just be a promotion. Don’t see what the Farrell situation has to do with that.

    • If I was AA I wouldn’t waste my second manager on Waksmatsu.

      Try alomar or acta or Casanova.

    • @Isabella

      JPA (along with Cecil) were both Ricciardi picks from the once-promising 2007 draft crop.

      And I believe Sierra was acquired while JP was GM as well.

      As you suggest, there is a connection which is another reason I think the Jays and Mets match up well.

  34. The Farrell situation would have everything to do with that if AA thought Wakamatsu might be a decent managerial replacement. He had all the time in the world to think about that. Given that he doesn’t seem to have talked to many people if any people that reporters believe he might be interested in, and given that he could have promoted Wakamatsu anytime these past couple of weeks if that was really his guy, I have to believe that something is going on with someone we don’t know about and haven’t heard about. Torre’s name in the post was not serious. I’d be amazed if he went back to managing via the Jays. But I do think they are currently negotiating with one particular person and Wakamatsu might be a fall-back position if those negotiations fell through.

    I’m still not happy about it. I don’t think he’s a decent choice. I don’t remember him doing a stellar job when Farrett was sick. And the past couple of seasons the players have not looked good on the field and this season seemed to be particularly uninvolved and unreceptive to criticism. I don’t want to see anyone in a managerial position who was with the coaches last year. I’d like to see a manager that can actually get through to Brett Lawrie. For that I believe we need someone new coming in.

    • My issue with moving someone internally is that the role of ‘coach’ and the role of ‘manager’ requires completely different relationships with the players. Coaches are more ‘friendly’ with players and are the sounding boards for players vs the manager.

      It’s not an easy transition from one role to the other, and they’d have to be sure that Wak could make that transition.

  35. The only thing that should cause any hesitation on my part about promoting Wakamatsu would be the perceived lack of disipline on the club during last season and what role the coaching staff played in that. Maybe that is a reason AA is taking his time.
    Even though I think Wakamatsu wouldn’t be a bad choice, I like Alomar better.

  36. It wasn’t just the lack of discipline or the Escobar nonsense. It was also the fact that the players often looked completely unprepared in the batters box or in the field. I believe all of last year’s coaching staff bears some accountability which is why I really wouldn’t want to see any of them manage the team right now.

    • Ya. You are probably right on that. Wakamatsu’s credentials are fine and he ‘s a well respected baseball man. But I do find it strange that AA would consider hiring one of the former coaches in light of last season. Unless of course, Wakamatsu felt the same as Omar but just didn’t voice it publicly but did voice it to AA. Who knows? coaches seldom throw their skipper or fellow coaches under the bus. Maybe all this Wakamatsu stuff is just shit and he isn’t even considered.

    • alomar is the brother of roberto alomar. the only HoF’r to evvvvvvver go into cooperstown with a jays cap on. he’s still closely tied to the top of the front office. he has friends, probably, at rogers. in other words, roberto has the ability to go over aa’s head.

      you might remember such times as…a couple weeks ago when a manager here had ties to management and ownership in boston. he went over the head of the jays’ current gm, and a lot of people thought that made the team look bad.

      we also know that one of the things john “only a big market like boston can tame my heart” feral beefed with the gm about was that the gm wasn’t going out and spending like a drunken sailor on players the manager had deemed necessary. hmmm. a guy with questionable in-game evaluation of players’ ability in situations wanting input on personnel decisions?


      now almost every other poster here thinks signing a guy (Alomar Jr) that you KNOW has ties to the top of the organization (alomar, and by extension beeston…who else?) should be the manager. fine, but that’s a good hire if you think aa is a shitty gm, and that the “old boy’s club” should be in charge of a good-old-fashioned BASEBALL club, not some stupid math club for nerds.

      • Carbuncle, only you could come up with a theroy like that.

        • just because you have yet to reach a point in which you understand that social networks have topographical features that can be mapped, doesn’t mean they don’t exist.
          baseball is relatively small potatoes, but i’m sure you can find people that map how congressional reps and senators vote based on what companies their lobbied by, what board of directors they or their family are members of…etc…

          if aa hires alomar, it won’t be his choice. if it is, he’s way dumber than anyone thought.

          • *they’re lobbied by – ugh. gotta fuck up on friday. that’s what i get for editing a post on a site that doesn’t allow editing.

  37. Jeffress’ agent was with Blair this morning.

    The interesting tidbit was that it sounds like he has an inside track on a bullpen job out of spring training, as long as performs reasonably well.

    I had assumed the 5 rightys were Janssen, Santos, Lincoln, Delabar & Rogers with Loup and either Oliver or Cecil as the 2 lefties.

    Santos isn’t a lock to be ready and effective by spring training, but if he is I guess it’s possible someone from the above group gets optioned to Buffalo.

  38. Not Janssen…

  39. can we move Colby and get Michael Bourn in there instead? or move Colby to LF….or just get a LF after getting rid of Colby and getting Bourn lol

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