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.