Not that this should come as any surprise, but apparently Alex Anthopoulos really wants to make a trade for some pitching:

Well, at least there’s something he’s itching to do– hiring a manager seems to be cramped in the back seat, insisting it has enough leg room.

And it seems as though picking up buy-low pitching options doesn’t seem to be on the radar quite yet either, as Scott Baker has moved from the Twins to the Cubs, signing a $5.5-million deal with incentives that could make it worth $7-million. Of course, as @BringVottoHome points out, a guy looking to rebuild value– there doesn’t even appear to be an option on Baker’s deal– aren’t usually jumping at coming to rather extreme hitter’s parks, let alone to the American League East.

The lack of an option makes it less of a blow, I think– less like the Paul Maholm deal that ended up netting the Cubs Arodys Vizcaino from the Braves at the trade deadline, and got Atlanta a nice arm for their rotation both last year and this. Plus, there are still a number of those types of buy-lowish guys out there to sign.

Of course, Alex is certainly aiming higher than the Bakers and Feldmans of the world– which is a fine posture to take, at least for as long as there are guys out there to theoretically sign. And perhaps his prospects get better with an acquisition of a pitcher via trade– aren’t the Jays a more attractive destination to a pitcher coming into a rotation with four spots solidly filled than three? As much as money is the biggest factor, the ability to be part of a winner certainly matters. Maybe this explains Alex’s jumpiness– y’know, in addition to the fact that Alex has almost certainly been readying himself to make some offers for months now, and perhaps is now just waiting for some return phone calls as other clubs wait for the market to develop.

Speaking of the trade market– and, perhaps, of posturing *COUGH*– if the Jays are going to make a deal with for one of the best targets out there, with one of their most obvious dance partners– the shortstop-deficient and robust with starting pitching Oakland A’s– Brad Pitt Billy Beane is going to have to go back his word about Brett Anderson. The A’s, according to a Rosenthal post from last night at FoxSports.com, “are informing clubs that they do not intend to trade him, according to major league sources.”

So… there’s that.

Comments (94)

  1. If AA is “itching” to make a trade, it sounds like he would be willing to overpay for a pitcher. Not necessarily a good thing…

  2. Seems to me like AA is gearing up for one major signing (not grienke) . I call it major to us, it wont be ground breaking or anything..

    but my biggest fear is..what if he sets himself up for the right player, lets say sanchez, overpays, because he has too.. and he still doesn’t take the Jays money?

    I’m not sure you can improve this team enough by trade only. And while I love toronto, if a winning team or a hot climate gives me the same amount of money, i’d probably go there. (a la Beltran)

    • Hot climate? During the baseball season, Toronto is about the same climate as NY, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Detroit, etc etc etc.

      • I don’t get how your post is in any way a rebuttal

        IF free agents have multiple offers around the same amount of money,
        they are going to either chose winning destinations, if thats whats important to them, so the yankees, tigers,rangers, etc

        or if they have a deal from, arizona, miami, dodgers, angels etc. the weather might be a deciding factor.

        a lot of teams have money to spend on not that many good players.

        • But our money is more colourful!

        • Yes, that’s why the Jays will have to overpay. They seem resigned to this, and are at least showing signs of doing it smartly, as with Izturis.

          • I agree, but with the extra 25 million and the extra playoff spot, wont a lot of teams be inclined to overpay as well?

            i’m just nervous for a beltran incident, where reports were that we were the highest, but it still wasn’t enough

          • Izturis is exactly the kind of “overpay” the Jays should be making.

            The Jays guaranteed him a few million more than anyone else, but he’s still likely to be “underpaid” in terms of his expected production.

            There are a few guys out there, such as Melky, that can offer the same benefit and I’d have no qualms about the Jays going a few million more on Melky than everyone else.

          • Overpay = the new fair value

        • I just don’t see climate being a deciding factor whatsoever in baseball. No player would rather go to Kansas City solely for the warmer climate. Summer’s in Toronto can be very hot.

          Have you been to Dallas or Phoenix in the summer? If you aren’t use to it, it’s near unbearable heat.

          • I think dc’s point was that it was possibly one of many factors. and not the most important one, no.

            my god… I just defended dc….

          • Agreed Toronto’s summer are just as nice as most MLB cities, and when it does get cooler the jays aren’t in the playoffs anyway

        • You clowns argue way too much on here. Less yakking more discussing the hot stove.

    • Climate is WAY WAY more of a factor for nba players than mlb players. Thats part of the reason why the raptors have trouble attracting quality free agents among many others (sigh). MLB players play during the summer months. Climate is a non issue.

      • of course climate is an issue. suggesting otherwise is naive.
        Angels have a steady flow of free agent signings

        • I would attribure that to 1) Lots more $$$ on the table , and 2) Lots of players are from SoCal.

          I doubt anyone chooses LA for the fresh air.

        • Absolutely, the suggestion that climate is not a big factor to baseball players is nonsense.

          The summer months in the north may be hot, but April-May and September-October can be cold.

          Yes, Toronto has a dome, though playing indoors isn’t to everyone’s liking. And it’s not just the playing, it’s the living and what wives and families want.

          A lot of baseball players make their offseason homes in southern states, like California, Texas and Florida. So there’s that too.

          Of course there are many who don’t care and will gladly play in cities like New York, Boston and Chicago. But unless Toronto is on the verge of competing for the World Series again, players won’t be tripping over themselves to play here, with climate and Canada being not insignificant factors.

    • Listen, the goal is to get the franchise to a point where they won’t have to overpay again. The Tigers had to overpay to get Pudge Rodriguez and Magglio Ordonez into Detroit when the team was garbage, coming off a 119-loss season and playing in a very depressing city. Then they made the World Series, Verlander developed into what he is today, and suddenly it doesn’t matter that Detroit is as dead and depressing as it was in 2003: the team is a destination for free agents to win.

      I’m just using the Tigers post-2003 splurges as an example. But my point is that if you overpay now, when you reach the playoffs and show it can be sustained you won’t have to overpay for those guys anymore, no matter what country or city you represent. (However, even if I was running the Yankees I still wouldn’t sign Sanchez at the price he wants. I ain’t paying my 3-4 starter $95 million).

      • And for the record, the Tigers gave Magglio Ordonez $85 million to leave the White Sox, who would win the World Series in 2005, and go to a Tigers club that at that time hadn’t had a winning season since 1993 and were in a string of 5 straight 90-loss seasons, including 100-loss years in 2002 and 2003.

    • I’m sure playing in constant sweltering heat is a deterrent to players going to hot climate cities more than an attraction.

  3. Let’s take a poll. What comes first, a new manager or a new starting pitcher?

  4. A team in desperate need of rotation help could move aggressively on Guthrie, and Olney wonders if his AL East track record with the Orioles makes him attractive to the Blue Jays.

    Read more at http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/

    Oh we’ll if the trade route fails

  5. But he is not known to be interested in a ‘belly itcher’ more to come…..

  6. AA has always been a GM that has favoured the trade route as opposed to free agency. Partially because Rogers are cheap fucks. Regardless, the only top of the roation starter on the FA market is Greinke and he ain’t coming here. So AA has to get a frontline pitcher via the trade route. Who that will be, i have no idea.

    • I’m not sure we can conclude anything about this offseason based on his past offseasons.

      Small Sample Size and all that (and completely different circumstances)

    • I have a hard time believing AA will even make a deal for a top of the rotation starter. I can see him adding a couple starters that could slot in the 3-4 spots of the rotation but I just don’t know what #1 or 2 starters are on the trading block. But we shall see, obviously we know nothing. Just hope SOMETHING happens soon!

      • Thing is, we never know all the players who are available through trade. Some like upton, yes. Every offseason their are a few trades involving players nobody thought were available.

      • Someone else’s #3 / #4 starter could be Jays #1 or #2 (Brandon Morrow notwithstanding). It’s all relative…

  7. The problem I see is that there are only so many pitchers available through free agency or trade. I can definitely foresee a situation where none of the top 3 or 4 FA guys land in Toronto. Also what will it take to get a player equivalent to that in a trade? Do the Jay’s match up with any teams? We can hypothetically talk like we know and come up with situations, but I can see this offseason being a another disappointment. Even if they get a solid #3 starter is that enough? I think they need more.

    • If we got two guys who were “solid #3s” we’d have a good rotation in my opinion.

      Solid #3 ain’t nothing to scoff at! As I said in a post a few days ago, there are only maybe 50 to 90 pitchers out there on the world who would qualify as “solid #3s”… and most of them are locked up.

      (My math: 30 teams X 3 to represent the 3 best pitchers they have = 90…. then factor in that there are some teams who actually don’t have 3 guys who’d be “#3″ or better)

      • Morrow is a #1 (maybe number #2), Romero is #3 and with the addition of 2 other #3 pitchers you’ve got a hell of a rotation. You can pick you who you want to use as your number 5. Personally I would start with Happ because of his experience, unless Alvarez shows he found some touch with the changeup or a breaking pitch.

        • Yeah, pretty much I’d like to see the Jays go out and get a couple of #3 or better pitchers (without emptying the farm in the process). A rotation of Morrow, Romero, #3+, #3+, Happ. With Alvarez spending the year in Buffelo to work on his secondary pitches, alongside the rehabbing Hutchison, McGowen, and Drabek. Add Jenkins and hopefully McGuire and that’s a pitching situation that can contend and has the depth to weather a 2012-esq injury storm.

        • Fuggineh!

          If you have 4 guys on your team who are as good as Romero (not 2012 Romero) then you’re dancin’

          • I think a lot of people forget that the back half of this rotation was rather weak this year. Adding in someone like Jackson or even a Dempster plus a trade could bolster the rotation dramatically. I chalk that up to the reason why AA “over payed” with prospects in the Happ deal. He needed something in the back of the rotation or else we would have ran Jesse Chavez out there for an entire year. Before Hutch and Drabek went to the volatility of the rotation was acceptable because of the youth and excitement they brought every game, But now its time to close out the question marks and have something in the resemblance of a surefire rotation. Morrow, Romero, Jackson, Neise, Happ\Alverez maybe? Morrow, Romero, Niese, Jackson, Marcum would be huge in my honest opinion.

        • Romero is a mop-up guy at best based on what he showed in 2012. If he could get most of the way back to where he was in 2011 he might have an outside chance at being #3 but we shouldn’t assume that’s automatic. AA should go into next year assuming there’s only one lock for the rotation (Morrow) and even he’s realistically probably only going to pitch half a season. So he’s got potentially 4.5 slots to fill. I don’t expect all of those to be filled with solid starters, but if he’s got nothing but Happ and Laffey types to fill them all, it’s going to be a long year.

          • And he was also the 30th best pitcher in baseball by fWAR from 2009-2011 (in other words, a really good #3 starter), so there’s also that. As atrocious as 2012 was, there’s no way he isn’t a lock for the rotation. Happ being the 4th or the 5th starter is almost a guarantee… I doubt Anthopoulos would have given up as much as he did if he saw him as a swing-man. If they acquire two middle-of-the-rotation starters, that’s a success. If he’s got 4.5 slots to fill, its going to be a long year regardless

        • Sorry Blooter, but when a pitcher has never even pitched 200 innings in a season you can’t call him a #1. It’s all just potential until you put it together for a few full seasons in a row. Then you’re a #1.

          • Mark, you’re very right on the potential, and him not being a true #1 but he is the closest thing to a #1 the Jays have.

    • I think the Jays match up well with a lot of teams. The Mets and Rangers are the first the come to mind. Both need catchers and close to becoming redundant at the major league level. IF the Rangers want JPA and a prospect they should be willing to trade a major league starter. The Mets could shop Dickey, Neise, or Gee. The catchers market is watered down and JPA offers years of control with a touch of marketability.

      • Blooter exactly what I’m trying to say. You are making hypothetical situations from information you read. You don’t actually have any idea the Rangers would be willing to trade a ML starter for a catcher. That really doesn’t make sense for a team trying to contend. Not saying it can’t happen but I’m sure they will be reluctant to trade arms.

        • Denny, I agree with you 100 percent. The only reason I think the Rangers could trade arms is they have a lot of high end prospects and are potentially trying to land Greinke. If that did happen they could hypothetically make a trade involving an established starter or even Ogando.

  8. I don’t think any of the top FA pitchers will sign here before the Winter Meetings. Maybe a lesser lite would, but the others will let the market forces play out in December.

    I suspect AA is trying to swing a trade over the next week or so.

  9. Sign Marcum, and trade for a #3 Pitcher,-Neise or Anderson #2, or Holland.

    This would resolve the issue, and gives the farm club a minimum of two years to develop and allow or Injured Reserve Squad to recover by 2014.

  10. Whats Roger Clemens doing next summer?

  11. The middle of this free agent market (ie. guys below Grienke) for pitchers is full of guys that will likely sign deals that will bury the snark-meter of many-an-analyst.

    I wonder if AA can offer a Burnett-style contract (5 years with opt-out after 2/3yrs) with updated dollars, of course, to Sanchez or whoever. It seems like a good way to incentivize the player, and artificially shorten the contract…which might be useful to both sides.

  12. “aren’t the Jays a more attractive destination to a pitcher coming into a rotation with four spots solidly filled than three?”

    I don’t see how that would be the case. If it’s a buy-low guy like Baker, Maholm or Millwood, it makes more sense to me that an additional opening in the rotation would make for an easier sell. “Look, there are 4 guys for 2 spots” sounds a lot better than “4 guys for 1 spot”.

  13. but, enough of that.
    Kevin Fucking Pillar.
    Small Sample Size Alert!

    In 51 PAs @ the AFL, Pillar has capped off his amazing 2012 by going berserk
    412/444/490

    okay, so the afl has really shitty pitching this year, but still, that’s impressive. i’m fired up.

  14. I’ve been thinking (fuck it hurts) that a possible landing spot for Arrencibia could be the Braves. They just picked up the option on McCann but I’m sure they’re scared shitless of what he has left which is why they didn’t give him a new contract. Catching is extremely scarce so I think AA could pry one of the young arms away (even if it required a prospect as a kicker). Arencibia would be a good insurance plan should McCann not heal up from the surgery he just got and would be a replacement if they lose Brian to FA next year.
    Arencibbia would also give them a great Righty Lefty platoon and since they lost David Ross to the Red Sux they are in the market.

    Braves pitchers, an embarrassment of riches, all can start:

    Beachy
    Delgado
    Hanson
    Hudson
    Medlen
    Minor
    Teheran
    Maholm
    Jurjjens

    • please take jurjens off that list

      braves would also be interested in a CF and a SS

      Gose, Escobar and Arencibia for???

    • They have some nice arms, yes, but the problem isJurjjens sucks, Beachy is out with TJ, and Hanson ain’t close to what he used to be. So that leaves six guys, two of whom are very unproven in Delgado and Teheran.

      Not sure they’re going to be THAT quick to deal someone.

  15. On another note I think Sean Nolin becomes what Ricky Ro used to be.
    I think he’s the first pitcher of our top-20 prospect porn that makes his debut outside of Marcus (who sprinkled steroids in my shreddies?) Stroman.
    I think Nolins going to be a beast.

    • for the umpteenth time Stroman did NOT take steroids! He took what amounts to a fukin food supplement for crissakes.
      If they had caught him with this on the 40 man roster all he would have got was a stern lecture but, according to baseball’s archaic rules, because he was on a minor league roster he got suspended. AA c/n fuked with the rules and put him on the 40 man to avoid it but chose not to for whatever reason. The shit he took as no bearing on his arm

      • …well yeah, if you’re gonna bring facts into it.

      • Yeah I know, I was one of the strongest defenders of the kid at the time. It was nothing stronger then ephedrine which I pop before a hockey game.
        I just thought it would make my comment funnier and therefore get the attention that I crave.

  16. I know I’m pissing into the wind but wouldn’t it be nice to sign Greinke to 6 or 7 years…with him, Morrow, (an improved) Romero, and Alvaraz, we would be in very good shape on the mound, not only for this year, but with the Lansing 3, and the others who went down last year, we would be in great shape for years to come without giving up a thing.

    I know, I know, it ain’t gonna happen…I’m just making up my Christmas list to Santa!

  17. Dear Toronto fans,
    I am only pretending I am going to buy players this offseason, but realistically I’m going to let you down. I just like to hype things up for fun.

  18. Well I just hope that AA can fill 2 starting spots if not 3 :)

  19. Itch scratched.

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