I think I can probably, by now, say for certain that this will stay as a regular feature around here for the early winter, as again today, with any number of rumblings out there 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…

First, Some Leftover, Non-MLBTR Links…

Alex Anthopoulos was on Prime Time Sports last week, following the announcement of John Gibbons as the club’s new-old manager, offering some interesting comments on the genesis of The Trade, and making it sound like he really values “energy guys”– players who bring energy both on the field and in the clubhouse. Really made me wonder if this is viewed as a kind of market inefficiency in the wake MLB’s outlawing of greenies. Ha!

Anthopoulos also spoke to WEEI.com in Boston at the end of last week– a radio hit I was going to write about at time, but… Friday.

And here’s yet another radio clip, from The Team in Vancouver, as a couple of disinterested-sounding guys talk to new Jays pitcher Josh Johnson, who goes over much of what he told Dan Le Batard last week, adding that Frank Thomas is his neighbour– their kids play on the same presumably-stacked tee-ball team– and that his dad was born in Calgary. Maple what??

Moving away from the radio, at his North of the Border blog, Gregor Chisholm transcribes John Gibbons’ comments from today’s conference call with reporters, wherein the manager spoke of rooming with his new bench coach, DeMarlo Hale, during a Hawaiian Winter League stint over a decade ago. Gregor also speculates that Pat Hentgen may be angling for a pitching coach job, but doesn’t seem to have as much interest in working with relievers, so therefore may not be interested in the club’s vacant bullpen coach position.



The Rays now have a $100-million player on their roster: Evan Longoria, who the club extended until twenty-freaking-twenty-two today, picking up all the options on his prior contract, and adding several more years to it. TV money matters.

Buster Olney writes that teams are concerned about Dan Haren’s hip more than his back. He remains an interesting option, though the more I think about it the sillier it gets to assume any pitcher is going to come here to rebuild value on a short-term deal at the kind of rate the Jays are likely to offer. Just not a great ballpark or division for that kind of thing. Buffalo, however, might attract some minor league free agent starters– at least more so than Vegas did.

It seems pretty clear at this point the Jays aren’t going to be in the running to sign Zack Greinke, but it looks like the Red Sox aren’t either, which is rather nice. At the very least they’re “shying away,” and the heavy interest seems to be coming from both L.A. teams– interest that could push his deal into the $150-million stratosphere.

The Sox do, however, have interest in Mike Napoli, who is seeking a four-year contract, apparently, which… seems like a lot. The speculation here says the Rangers don’t seem to want to give him more than three, but that the Mariners might, making him the centrepiece to a JP Ricciardi dream of an off-season.

Jeff Keppinger, a versatile free agent who sports a career .373 wOBA against lefties, has fractured his fibula in a fall down a flight of stairs at his home. He might be a little too expensive for the Jays’ tastes at this point, and probably would want more playing time than they could offer anyway, but he remains a name to watch– especially since the Jays need to platoon Adam Lind with someone– and will be healthy in time for the spring.

Guillermo Quiroz, the Jays’ pre-Robinzon Diaz catcher of the future and guy fans ridiculously evoke when trying to suggest Travis d’Arnaud may not work out either, is thirty damn years old. What a world. He’s signed a minor league deal with the Giants.

People are using “Josh Hamilton” and “Prince Fielder money” in the same sentence. Ruh-roh, Baltimore! Except… maybe they’re not interested, as an earlier MLBTR post notes that O’s GM Dan Duquette told Jim Bowden that he doesn’t see his club doing anything as major as what the Jays have already done this winter.

Mike Axisa chatted with MLBTR readers over the weekend, specifically about the AL East.

Comments (94)

  1. Guillermo Quiroz… Now, that’s a name I haven’t heard in a long time… A long time.

  2. someone is going to give hamilton everything he wants and more.

    i hope he remains awesome.

    i also hope, stupidly, that owners don’t pass the cost of big contracts onto the fans.

    • I don’t know about that. Everything he wants and more would be an A-Rod type 8-10 year $25 Million AAV contract. Hamilton is good but he is getting a little overhyped here, I would take Fielder over him, and looking at the numbers, Fielder has probably put together a better career so far and is three years younger.

  3. Josh Johnson, 28, and Frank Thomas, 44, have kids roughly the same age?

  4. The more I think about it, I really believe Greinke will be a massive overpay. Outside of that one season where everything just went perfect in 2009 he hasn’t come close to reproducing a season like that or even his 2008 season in terms of WAR.

    Take a look at some of the other free agents on the list below. Is Greinke worth $6 or $7 or even $10 million more a year for 10% – 15% better results that the estimator stats like FIP predict? The estimators give him a far bigger advantage than the actual results over the last 3 years show.

    For instance from 2010-2012 the following pitchers produced:
    Greinke: ERA+ of 100, 103, 114 and a bWAR total of 7.9.
    Sanchez ERA+ of 117, 106, 105 and a bWAR total of 9.
    Haren: ERA+ of 106, 119, 87 and a bWAR total of 6.2.
    Marcum, ERA+ of 115, 111, 111 and a bWAR total of 8.
    McCarthy ERA+ of 121, (DNP in 2011), 123 and a bWAR total of 4.9.

    Granted none of the starters on the list have ever had a single magical season that comes close to what Greinke did in 2009 (bWAR of 10.1) but do teams have to pay for that 3 year old season going forward? Again I’m not taking anything away from Greinke, but this is a guy that is likely to get paid the same as Hamels (133, 137, 131, bWAR 15.7) or Cain 124, 121, 125, bWAR 10.6) without being as good or as consistent as either for last few years.


    After you measure it all out I wonder if someone like McCarthy, Haren or Marcum, who all come with some big injury risks, would work out to be a better deal when you weigh those risks against tying up $150 million in payroll over 6 years.

  5. I hope the Jays take a gamble on TIM LINCECUM

  6. Would it really be that scary for a pitcher like Haren to sign with the Jays because of the ALE factor?

    Toronto and New York have stellar lineups. But none of Baltimore, Boston & Tbay are overly daunting.

    Of course, the Jays play in a hitter’s park which complicates the equation. But I don’t think it should be as unappealing for a pitcher to take a one year deal in Toronto as it used to be.

    • I think it’s somewhat overrated to be honest. If you’re a good pitcher you’re going to produce the results. Just look at the quality of the other pitchers in AL East. They put up good numbers overall despite of the narrative that saya the AL East is a horrible place to pitch. I won’t deny it’s certainly harder to pitch in the AL East but it’s not necessarily horrible. I think it comes to down to the individual pitcher more than anything else. Of course if it’s pure numbers he’s after he should probably go play in the NL West.

      Take Dan (my boy) Haren for instance.

      Here are his career numbers in the AL East parks (ERA/tOPS) the lower the tOPS the better.
      Camden Yards – 3.52/89
      Fenway Park – 4.08/120
      Old Yankee Stadium 3.15/90
      New Yankee Staidum 5.40/101 (1 start only)
      Rogers Centre – 5.87/131

      So by those numbers he’s done well pretty well with the exception of the Rogers Centre. However, the Jays have always fared pretty well against Haren putting up nearly a 4.00 ERA vs Haren in his home park, two of which have been pitcher’s parks in LA and Oak.

      Unfortunately, according to Gregor’s piece in the link above it doesn’t sound like the Jays will in on any of the remaining free agents.

    • Its interesting the the Dome is considered a hitters park, and I’m sure stats wise it is. It has nevertheless had 2 Cy Young winners, and at least 4, 20 games winning pitchers (Morris, Hentgen, Clemmens x2). I don’t think visiting teams will think the Rogers Centre is a hitters park in 2013

  7. Keppinger strikes me as an AA type of player that is very cheap on the rebound. Or am I wrong?

    • I thought he was the opposite.

      Didn’t he have a great year?

      Could be wrong and too lazy to look it up

      • Yup but the injury might scare some teams off although there aware of the incident. The jays just need a fucking platoon mate for Lind!

    • I thought so too until they signed izturis

      keppinger is roughly going to get the same contract, maybe just 2 years

  8. Hmmm. I hear crickets.

  9. Gibby watched the movie Old Yeller yesterday and laughed at the ending.

    • I see Gibby as the uncontrollably sobbing at unexpected moments kind of guy myself, so I don’t know.

    • Don’t forget the drinking game. A shot each time one of those fucking kids called out to Old Yeller.

  10. Hopefully the Royals don’t trade Myers to the fucking Red Sox for fucking Lester.

    • well, look at the flipside, then Boston has no solid starting pitching options (assuming Lester returns to form now that their Saviour is back)

  11. Here’s a question to ask yourselves: if Anthopoulous was done for the winter, would you be okay with it?

    I think I would be. Let’s talk about the problem areas:

    5th Starter, aka Happ: For a 5th starter, Happ is more than serviceable, especially given what most teams run out there every 5th day. Heck the 5th rotation spot gets skipped many times during a season–something you could do if it was Happ, but maybe less so if we signed Jackson or someone else. Further, Happ is only keeping the spot warm for half a season or so. Drabek will be back middle of next year, and with a good season Sanchez and Syndergaard could both be knocking on the door for MLB rotation spots late in 2013. With Hutchison returning shortly thereafter, is the 5th rotation spot really something you want to be locking down long-term, with all the starting wealth the Jays have needing a rotation spot within the next two years?

    DH, aka Lind: Did you see who started at DH last season for the rest of the AL? The DH WAR leaderboard, taking only pure DHs as opposed to people making spot starts there for injury related reasons (like, say, A-Rod or Mauer):
    Encarnacion: 4.4 –who later ended up moving to 1B and now isn’t really a 1B anymore
    Butler: 3.2
    Ortiz: 3.0
    Gomes: 2.1
    Davis: 2.1
    Morales: 1.8
    Now granted, Adam Lind’s 0.2 is putrid, but seeing how most teams treated the DH as a place for injury-rehab players to recover, or else to rotate players around when there’s a position overload, is it really such a bad idea to leave Lind as the DH when this team has so many injury concerns? At the very least it will leave open the option of calling up D’Arnaud and getting him into the lineup more often than he ordinarily would have been allowed.

    2B: Bonifacio is our guy.

    • If they add an extra pitcher for insurance, and find a platoon partner for Lind then the offseason will be complete. Barring A major singing or trade of course

    • Sanchez and Syndergaard won’t be making an appearance at the major league level unless there is another disaster among the pitching staff and if there is there really won’t be a point to it as the season will likely be a waste. They are starting in Dunedin this year and they will do well to make it to AA by the end of the season. Remember these guys went more than 5 innings a couple of times all of last year.

      While Drabek will likely be ready to pitch in the 2nd half of the year it’s not likely he’ll be at the top of his game so soon after the surgery. Don’t forget before the surgery he wasn’t exactly lighting it up and guys don’t usually get everything back until the 2nd season.

      Fact is this team’s pitching depth is still very shaky when it comes to starters. Happ has been basically Laffey and Cecil the last two years. Let’s just hope that he can come close to what his FIP is telling us for 2013. We really do have to hope AA can add someone else before the season starts.

      • Thanks NM.
        Saved me some typing.

        • That’s why a Haren-type would be perfect. 1 year deal to tide us over until the next offseason and won’t be a detriment to the rotation

          • I’m with you on that and constantly think how nice that would be, but the more I read, the more I think the Jays won’t do anything else of note free agent wise with a starter.

            Of course I’m not ruling out a trade at this point especially with what I am reading about the Mets and their problems in reaching deals with Dickey and Wright.

            I hope I am wrong though and AA is sitting on another $10 million or so for one more starter.

          • I think, there won’t be much done,unless it’s a substantial upgrade or a depth move for AAA.
            More likely,is waiting to see who performs and adding what you need before the July trade deadline, for the final push.

      • + 1 N-M.

        Just to add, the Jays have 5 MLB arms in the rotation going into the 2013 season. They need at least one more established arm (I would be happy with a FA pick-up like Haren, Marcum, Dempster, McCarthy), and they need to scour the rosters to find some minor league free agents to fill out the rotation in Buffalo. Guys like Hochevar, Laffey (if he is willing to return), and so forth.

        Boston is interested in Masterson apparently. I would call Cleveland and offer them a package involving Sierra, Cooper and some B prospects to see if we can get him before the Massholes get him.

        Teams do not skip the 5th start very often. Too much strain to your top 4 guys. Starters get injured, go on the DL, sometimes they suck, sometimes they drop from the face of the earth. Bottom line, you need at least 7 or 8 established arms to contend for a full 162 games.

        All the Jays have as minor league depth are Jenkins, McGuire, maybe Stillson. Not a whole fucking lot.

        A. Sanchez and Syndergaard are destined for Dunedin, in high-A ball. It will be a sad day if one of them needs to be called up to the Majors in 2013.

      • Valid point on Sanchez and Syndergaard, I guess being up late last night meant I forgot they still had a level to go.

        However, that still doesn’t change the fact that we’ve got pitching coming up the pipeline that we ought to leave room for.

        I would love to sign another pitcher on a one year deal, like Haren. I’m just saying, if it is Happ we go into the season with, it’s not the worst thing in the world. I didn’t even bother mentioning Jenkins, or McGowan as other potential 5th starter spots if Happ fails or someone gets injured. Neither pitched badly the last time they were starting.

    • I’m okay with Happ if his velocity stays up. But if it starts to dip, we could have a really hard time with 3 soft-tossing lefties in the rotation and another one in the bullpen (Cecil).

      Personally I think we need Perez back even more than Drabek or Hutchinson. Sanchez and Syndergaard are a loooong way away. I think part of why Toronto made this trade was to ensure that Sanchez, Syndergaard, Norris, Osuna, etc. can take all the time they need in the minors. An extension for Johnson mid-season would not shock me at all (although I think HE would be dumb to take it).

    • I wouldn’t mind them getting another starter. It seems unlikely all five of those guys are going to stay healthy throughout the year and having Cecil make 10-15 starts might just sewer a playoff run and fuck up the good PR the Jays having going right now.

    • FFS. If Drabek makes an appearance in the Jays rotation ins 2013 that will mean the season is lost yet again. have you looked at his career stats? do you think he is magically going to drop his WAR by 0.5 or more and ERA by 2 runs immediately after tommy john surgery. we need more SP depth, give you head a shake!

  12. I like Happ for the 5th starter spot because, on the weeks he doesnt start, he could be inserted against a strong lefty batting order.
    I dont think Drabek will be much good even after the All Star Break. He led the league in walks before he went down and it would serve him better to work at AAA (with a good pitching coach) on finding the strike zone.
    Hutch will have been out a year in late Aug 2013 because his surgery was late. We probably wont see him til 2014.
    It should be interesting what happens to McGowan in spring training. At some point he’s going to have to come off the injury list and take a spot on the 40 man roster. He’s out of options so he’d have to be waived through the league to go down to AAA. Syndergard and Sanchez will most likely be kicked up to AA at some point. but as for starting in the bigs, probabaly not til Sept IMO if that. I understand that Stroman had MLB-ready stuff and there were rumours before his suspension he would be coming up to the majors. That would be interesting.

  13. From @Sullivan_Ranger, Darren Oliver “might still play one more year if the Blue Jays are willing to trade him to the Rangers.”


    • http://trsullivan.mlblogs.com/2012/11/27/tuesday-morning-greinke-catching-oliver/

      There is the whole article that he posted earlier in this twitter feed with additional mentions on a possible JPA or Buck trade.

      If that is the case with Oliver then the Jays could possibly move him to Rangers along with Buck freeing up nearly that $10 million I mentioned above. Even if they get something back from the Rangers that they don’t necessarily need it’s always possible they can turn around that + something else for Dickey.

      Cecil and Loup or Delabar would be perfectly acceptable vs lefties. Remember a lot of Cecil’s numbers were as a starter which hampers him some.


    • http://trsullivan.mlblogs.com/2012/11/27/tuesday-morning-greinke-catching-oliver/

      There is the whole article that he posted earlier in this twitter feed with additional mentions on a possible JPA or Buck trade.

      If that is the case with Oliver then the Jays could possibly move him to Rangers along with Buck freeing up nearly that $10 million I mentioned above. Even if they get something back from the Rangers that they don’t necessarily need it’s always possible they can turn around that + something else for Dickey.

      Cecil and Loup or Delabar would be perfectly acceptable vs lefties. Remember a lot of Cecil’s numbers were as a starter which hampers him some.

      • http://tinyurl.com/c3bvs8x

        There are some lefty splits for Loup, Cecil, Delabar and Oliver.

        • I like Loup alot. Kills lefties. And Cecil is useful against them also, and with his changeup, can face one or two righties in a relief situation.

          I think AA picked up Oliver’s option as a means of getting some value should a trade request be made. Not surprising really, given his desire to stay in Texas.

  14. So you know how we’ve been hoping for a RH DH to platoon with Lind and crush lefties for us…. and you know how Johnny Gomes was a great fit but then he got snapped up.

    I hate to suggest this because it makes me throw up a little in my mouth, but Delmon Young kind of sort of fits the bill too… ugh.

    • Would it make more sense just to cycle Bautista,Lawrie and EE through the Dh spot against tough lefties? Instead of using up a bench spot for a one dimesional guy like Gomes.

      • We need to fill the final bench spot. If you do what you’re suggesting then your starting both Izturis and Bonifacio on a lot of days, which severly reduces their best asset (their versatility)

        The bench is currently Rajai, Buck and whichever of those two guys isn’t playing 2B…. There’s one more spot to fill and a good RH bat seems to be the best way to fill it in my view.

        • Sierra can hit lefties, is athletic (meaning, he can run and won’t clog the bases), and can play the outfield. I wouldn’t mind seeing him becoming the 4th bench guy as things stand right now.

          • I think that’s what you’re probably going to see if money is now as tight as reported. An .815 OPS is nothing to sneeze at vs lefties and the price is certainly right.

          • yeah I won’t freak out if it ends up being Sierra

  15. I doubt he’d want to come here, but if the Jays trade Oliver to Texas, why not attempt to sign Koji Uehara? Dude’s a beast.

  16. So I just read Janssen had shoulder surgery on November 16th. Man hope this is not starting up again already. They say he’ll be ready for spring training but again we’ve heard that old refrain plenty of times. Keeping my fingers crossed.

  17. So Feldman got $6 million + $1 million in incentives from the Cubs. You have to wonder if the Jays have even that much to spend now. He’s another guy that’s actually like Happ. Kind of iffy as a starter results wise, but has a very nice FIP pointing to potentially nicer things to come.


  18. AA likes high energy guys? Most reports from TDA state that, for all his talent, one thing he most definitely not is “an energy guy”

  19. Since Holland and Ogando prolly arent getting moved what about a package of Oliver and Buck/JPA for Neftali Feliz? Injured last year and not a starter yet but could be a young controllable guy to slowly bring along as your swing man then if Happ blows it or someone gets hurt bring him in for spot starts. Then move to the rotation once he’s stretched out or in 2014.

  20. Fuck! What do we call the “Lansing Three” now?

  21. How about Mark Reynolds to platoon with Lind. Or just replace him all together. He pretty much carried the O’s for 2 months.

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