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…

Tonight at midnight is the deadline for clubs to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players, meaning that the free agent class is about to be expanded by several cheap players who might be of interest to the Jays. It also means that we’ll be keeping our eye on Bobby Wilson, the potential back-up catcher who currently gives Alex Anthopoulos the flexibility to deal one of his bigger pieces. Wilson won’t cost a whole lot if the Jays tender him a contract, and because contracts with arb-eligibles are non-guaranteed, the Jays could always cut him some point before mid-March and be on the hook for only 1/6th his salary– a hit of about $100K. That seems like a small price to pay to keep their options open, but if Wilson isn’t tendered a contract, it’s a very strong signal that the Jays are going to go forward with Arencibia starting, Buck as the backup and d’Arnaud in Triple-A.

Russell Martin has signed with the Pittsburgh Pirates, agreeing to a two-year, $17-million deal. The Bucs, apparently, went just far enough to put the Yankees out of the running to retain him, which is fantastic for a couple of reasons. The Yankees now have to go find someone else, it would seem, and will probably need to deal assets to do so. And while they almost certainly won’t be making that deal with the Jays, we do happen to have a catching surplus, and the value of JP Arencibia– and even John Buck– in contrast with the price tag on a very average free agent like Martin, has to be looking pretty good, right?

Oh, what could have been: the Mets have extended David Wright for seven years, and more than $100-million. Wright, of course, was once offered to the Blue Jays for Jose Cruz Jr., who in his walk year, and ended up not being traded at all. Fun times! And, rather ironically, a member of the front office that’s giving this massive extension to Wright is JP Ricciardi, who turned down the offer all those years ago.

The Mets also appear to be closing in on an extension with RA Dickey now, which should put an end to that pipe dream for Jays fans. And really… how much do you want to give up for one year of a knuckleballer whose value– and K%– spiked at age 38, in order to move him to a much tougher division and a damn domed stadium? Not a whole hell of a lot, by my estimation– though that didn’t stop a lot of people from talking about it. Sure, maybe Dickey truly got the feel for his pitch last year, and the production is sustainable– I’d love for it to be true, because he’s kinda awesome– but to risk all the cheap years of control it would have taken to get him? Can’t say I’m disappointed.

Speaking of deals, that don’t bother me as a Jays fan, the Angels have dealt reliever Jordan Walden to the Braves in exchange for starter Tommy Hanson, a couple of guys who some may have been pondering as possible options for the team, but who I’m pretty OK they didn’t give up anything of similar value to get. Money tweet from Dave Cameron of FanGraphs: “Tommy Hanson’s velocity chart might as well read “RUN AWAY!!!” He’s right. And I’ll have you know that J.A. Happ was worth almost a full win more than Hanson, in 30 fewer innings last seasons, and doesn’t have nearly the injury red flags or problematic velocity loss. But, of course, that’s not going to stop people arguing that the Jays should have jumped to get him, is it? They remember his name from the year he was good, after all.

It seems a foregone conclusion that the Dodgers will sign Zack Greinke, as its being reported that they view him as critical to their pitching staff, and are willing to outbid anyone to get him. They have the money to do so, and the Angels’ trade for Tommy Hanson certainly makes it look as though they’re perhaps already moving on– though it’s not like they only need one starter, so maybe not. The Rangers and Nationals can suck it, though, amiright?

The White Sox are keeping tabs on their own free agents, AJ Pierzynski and Kevin Youkilis– the latter of whom could be a fit for the Jays, says Touch ‘Em All, though I don’t quite see Youk coming in as a platoon guy, or the Jays being confident in him enough to pay him to not. If he doesn’t get the kind of offers he wants, though, you could certainly find worse places to recoup some value than here– though the same could be said of the Cell, as well.

Sticking with the Sox, apparently they’re still looking to find a taker for Gavin Floyd, whose $9.5-million option they picked up earlier in the off-season.

Lastly, not Jays-related but apparently the Pirates are trying to retain reliever Jason Grilli, whose agent is Gary Sheffield. The Gary Sheffield. And that. is. awesome.

Comments (150)

  1. I realize the Dodgers can (and probably will) outbid anyone for any player they want, but the idea of Greinke on the Nationals really interests me. Strasburg/Greinke/Gonzalez/Zimmerman is like the Phillies four aces (or so) from two years back, except far younger. Maybe not to the Dodgers extent, but the Nationals should certainly have a fair bit of money available to them.

    • As I said yesterday the Nats are looking good for years to come if they stay healthy. If they were to get Greinke they’d be in position to win for a long time with that rotation.

      • Yup.

        • The Nationals really show the value of “elite prospects.” Obviously they were able to get them through super-high draft picks, but even with guys like Harper, Strasburg, etc. in their system, they were never a very highly ranked system.

          But having a top-5 or so prospect really looks to be more valuable than having 5 guys in the 50-100 range. I think Anthopoulos realizes this too, which is why he focuses on upside guys that have a chance to become a top-10 prospects and is open to moving the guys like Nicolino that don’t have that kind of potential.

          • That’s bang on.

            Which is, again, why I would have been perfectly okay if he had simply traded Alvarez, Nicolino, Hech & Marisnick for Josh Johnson as none of those 4 look like elite talents; even though that is a lot of good-but-not-great pieces to give up for a top pitcher.

  2. Another little note here, on Dan Haren:

    “Haren’s most aggressive suitor thus far, according to a person with knowledge of his free agency: The Red Sox. The Nationals, Orioles, White Sox, Padres and Blue Jays are among other clubs that have expressed interest. Haren, however, is said to be in no hurry to sign, preferring to let a lot of the smoke clear before making his decision.”

    From MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez: http://mlb.mlblogs.com/2012/11/30/harens-market-leaning-east/

    This jives with another report from earlier that his most aggressive suitors have been east coast teams.

    I like the idea of the Jays going after one of these one-or-two year, buy low, mid rotation types, even if I can see why Toronto wouldn’t be high on their list (hitters park, AL East not good for rebuilding value). Certainly a more attractive destination that it would have been a month ago, though. Like you guys, McCarthy is the dream. Maybe we can intrigue him with our high quality baseball writing?

    • Ha! Beat me to it Bret. I was just about to post that too. At least the Jays are looking at him so there’s still a tiny bit of hope left.

  3. Michael Morse on the block.
    Oh, yes please.

    • He’s not on the block officially until Laroche is resigned by the Nats. If they dont get him they will keep Morse however I like the idea of Morse as a Jay, he could DH, play first or the corner outfield spots.

    • Would rather have a LHB.


      • +1000 to Morse

        Morse and his big framed, shaggy demeanour is like re-signing Adam Loewen on roids

        Red Sox apparently in on LaRoche but wouldnt they be smart to not get him considering he played for them before and will be overpaid this offseason?

        • Was about to comment on the Morse thing. He’s owed $6M for one season, lots of power but only one great year, so he can’t cost an exorbitant amount, can he? Would be a really slick 1B pickup.

  4. How about Mark Reynolds at 1B / DH with EE and perhaps Lind. Reynolds is a good defender at 1B and while he strikes out a lot might be of some interest.

    I love the idea of Wilson coming into the Jays pen. We all have to know that AA is very interested in an imposing figure that is flamboyant and throws hard out of the pen. If he is non tendered, I hope AA makes the move because its likely that he has the same doubts that we all do with Santos.

    • No to Reynolds – more consistent power threat than Lind but the Jays are moving away from one dimensional players who strike out a lot – Reynolds isn’t terribly different from Lind – gets on base a bit better but worse batting average and strikes out a lot more

      Jays can do better than that

    • “because its likely that he has the same doubts that we all do with Santos.”

      Please do not lump me in with this “we” you speak of and why the fuck would AA have traded for Santos if he had doubts in him?

    • Dunno about Reynolds. I think he’s a better fit for a team like Tampa Bay. He’s likely a FA as I doubt the Orioles tender him a contract. So basically, he would rather play everyday than to sit on the bench I would think.

      As for Wilson, I would take a pass. He’s probably going to draw some interest (Red Sox are apparently interested) but at what cost? And what is left of the beard? More importantly, who is going to be the machine on the Jays roster?

      Besides, Stoeten has the beard going for us already.

  5. Almost had Tulo, almost had Wright, almost had Lincecum/Cain….

  6. I kuv this Walden guy-throws 100 but has a weak curve, however is awesome for one inning.
    With Janssen just coming back, he w/b a great acquisiton for the pen.
    The Braves need a CF, and m/b we could package Davis and s/thing else to interest them as Davis could serve as their l/o hitter that they are looking for after losing Bourne. What da ya think Potatoes?

    • Upton is their CF now, pay attention lol.

      And PS, Walden doesnt have a weak curve and wouldnt be attainable for the likes of Rajai Davis.

      • Man you’re nutz!
        I just got off an atlanta blog and they want to play Upton in CF and get someone else for CF who can also lead off-pay attention!
        Walden does have a weak breaking ball which I call a curve and you can call it what you will if you wish to be a fukstik about it-lol, it’s why he has been relatively ineffective.
        and finally, who know what it’ll take to get him

        • Upton will play CF but wont lead off, theyre planning Simmons to lead off. Show us all the blog that suggests that Upton isnt planned for CF please.

          • If they can get someone for CF that they like Upton is going to left and now they are zeroing in on Victorino

    • It’s really that hard to type out; ‘would be’, ‘maybe’, ‘something’, ‘leadoff’, and ‘do you’? Really?

      • I also enjoy how he thinks Rajai Davis is a suitable replacement for Micheal fucking Bourn (no e on the end, no Matt Damon here).

        On Rajai Davis’ best day he is maybe 30% as good as Bourn.

        • when you learn what teams are willing to take, and for that matter, the attributes that make up a good player come and see me.Now, go back to your basement apartment and play with your toys and your wii game-you are a wee fellow aren’t you?

          • Youre an internet tough guy… wooo im scared. Please scary man stop trying to fight me over a DJF post. lol your life must suck.

      • +1 RD

        It cant really be any faster, if you know how to type properly. And it makes it ridiculously hard to read.

        Or, as I usually do, just not read that kind of teenage text-talk-typing.

      • go fuk yourself man-LOL1

    • I’m still googling all your short forms.
      These labour-saving devices are the bane of my existence.
      Bear with me fukstik.

      • My new favourite… FYYFF – which means fuck you you fucking fuck and is the best acronym of all time.

        • FYYFF!!!

          I kuv it!!!

        • I may borrow that TR.

          As for fukstik, I’m gonna cut him some slack. I also suffer from teh same typing speed syndrome. It’s because my fingers don’t work right, well except for the middle one.

  7. there’s no one I’d hate to see in a Jays uniform more than Youk.
    I just downright hate the man.

    • I hated him in Boston but I disagree I would LOVE to see him on this Jays team. He takes a lot of pitches, plays the game hard and would show lawrie how to do it the right way.

      • Youk would be just the cherry on the cake for me this off-season. He would be a great addition to the team. I would love to get him. And, yeah, I hated him for years. But I wouldn’t hate him if he was in a Jays uniform. I think he’d look real good in blue.

        • He is perfect for this Jays team, without question. Jays teams of old, no but THIS jays team.

          I dont think AA gives up on Lind yet though, I think he gives him a shot and in all honesty, with the line up they have in place, Lind will see more pitches in the zone to hit and with motivation, a new look coaching staff and team and being his make it or break it year, I believe Lind will have a good year.

          Dunno if there’s room for Youk and Lind on the roster but if I had to choose right now, Im choosing Youkilis all the way and then eating Lind’s salary while shipping him somewhere for a mid level prospect. Doubt AA will do that though.

      • “Euclis: The Greek God of Walks”

        • Youkilis: Greek God of killing people who mis-spell his name.

          But yeah, no, I always end up loving the players on the Jays who I hated on other teams. Except Rickey Henderson. I still hated him.

      • With the drainage issues on the field, Youk’s massive dripping sweat issues would be cause for concern.

      • do what the right way, asshole?
        Yeah we”ll sign a guy, pay him 10m just to show Lawrie..what exactly?? How does that win games, fukstik?

        • Too much coffee?

        • Wow man you have serious mental issues.

          For starters, Youk wont command 10 mil if he gets to stay in the east and play on a team that will likely shitpump the fuck sox all year. He would likely sign for around 7 by my guess.

          By teach Lawrie how to play the right way I mean Lawrie right now is intense, he’s playing the game too intense and making a lot of mental mistakes. Youkilis plays with the same level of intensity and fire but manages to keep it focused in the right direction. Lawrie could learn from that and no one on here would disagree with that.

          In addition, that 7-8 million would get the Jays a guy that if put in front of EE and Jose would draw a SHIT ton of walks and he is a great enough hitter that hitting behind reyes would be great for him as well if he hit in the two hole.

          Also why are you saying WE will do this and WE will do that? Are you in the front office or management? Are you a Jays player? I doubt it, so the proper term is THEY not WE.

          Just saying.

          • it’s the editorial “we” and I think you know that. It’s the way all passionate fans of a team talk. They, as a term, is viewed as being removed from the action which we certainly don’t feel we are.
            Just saying

    • Used to hate him. I changed my mind on him when he was the guy who got the game stopped when that poor guy was having a heart attack in the stands.

      • Yup. He’s a really good guy. Can’t stand him on the other side, but would love him on my team.

  8. Given all the supposed agony that AA had over reneging on his “commitment” to Mathis, I don’t think he would drag Wilson through the entire offseason only to cut him loose in the spring when every other major league team has probably filled their catcher needs already and Wilson wouldn’t be able to catch on with a team where has a shot at a major league roster spot. That’s the kind of thing that ends a guy’s career and is a far shittier thing to do than trading Mathis after signing him to an extension. At least Reed Johnson was an established major leaguer, Wilson practically has one foot out of baseball already. I bet he either gets non-tendered today or he’s staying in the Jays organization for the year (barring trade).

  9. What!??! Gavin Floyd isn’t already a Blue Jay?!?

    • Why trade an asset or two and take on a guy thats a free agent at year end. Leave the desperation moves to another team like maybe Boston.

      • hello josh

      • They’d only trade for Floyd if they could re-sign him probably.

        Depends how much ChiSox are asking for him too, at the moment doesn’t seem like a lot, but who knows with their crazy GM

      • I think he is joking.

        Y’know, because for what seems like forever, he has been rumored to be a Blue Jay.

      • We just made a similar move with JJ of Miami you buffoon-we have no guarantee of signing him either. If we can get him for a couple of spare parts then sure, let’s do that.
        You do know who JJ is don’t you or would you prefer that I spell it out for you? You must be a supporter of Adam vaughn for fuksakes, whining all the time like you do

  10. I’m still on the fence about the whole Jays’ catching situation.
    realize the prudent thing to do is to start JPA and Buck and keep TDA in Buffalo for a time ……BUT (giant BUT here) if catchers are a hot commodity now, I’d be tempted to shop around and see what another team will put on the table for either JPA or Buck.
    I mean, having Wilson as a backup until TDA arrives wouldn’t be horrible. Yeah, it’s a roll of the dice, hoping that TDA gets back to form sooner rather than later – but WTF, right??

    • Im totally fine with starting the season with buck as starter and wilson as backup. I really think buck is just as good of a hitter as arencibia and wilson is just as good of a hitter as mathis. Plus, arencibia has much more value than buck to other teams due to years of control, age, upside etc.

    • I agree. For the one or two games a week your backup catcher will see, I’d much rather get something (anything) of value for Buck and see Wilson as backup until TDA is ready to run the show

      • If a JPA or Buck package gets us a decent end-rotation guy, or a decent hitter off the bench – I’d be very tempted.

    • You realize that there is a trade deadline on July 31, 2013 right?

      Unless AA gets a pitcher he covets, I doubt that any of our many catchers gets moved.

      Remember that catchers get injured and dealing either JPA or Buck leaves the Jays pretty thin if a major injury occurs.

      AA flopped the boss hand this offseason. He’s not gonna start to fold his hands. He’s pushing his chips to win the table.

      Fuck all this talk about flipping Johnson, Buerhle, Buck. Who gives a fuck about value and cheap contracts and WAR $ wins or whatever the fuck they like to do at Fangraphs.

      I want to see AA add more pitching. Another proven MLB starter for the 5th spot, some minor league free agents for Buffalo, and maybe a lefty killer should Oliver bolt for Texas or retires.

      A power RH bat would be nice also, but we have internal options like Sierra should AA decide to pass on some what is on the market.

  11. The stock on our catchers just rose with Martin’s move forcing the Yanks to get shopping for a backstop. I have to think AA pulls off a deal. More Ninja shit please. Reading about pit bulls is starting to suck.

  12. Other than prospects what can the Yankees give us for JPA? Ivan nova, no thanks

    • I wasn’t suggesting that AA deal with the Yanks (if your question was to me). Just that if the New York is shopping, the price just went up. Any team needing a catcher may now be just that much more willing to give up pieces to get one. AA has set himself up nicely going into the winter meetings.

  13. RA Dickey has a funny name.

  14. Grilli using Sheff as his agent, priceless! As a Syracuse native, I’m proud of our hometown boy Grilli using his smarts. I wonder who Sheff’s other clientele is right now…

  15. Uh, not exactly sure where you’re getting the “Mets appear to be closing in on an extension with Dickey” from.

    The 2 year extension framework has allegedly been agreed upon for weeks. They still have not agreed upon AAV.

    In fact, if you read one of the articles in the Dickey links on MLBTR, it makes a case that the Mets are still weighing their options between an extension and trade.

    This will likely all be resolved by Thursday morning.

    However, until then, I’m keeping this pipe dream alive. Since, you know, it is more realistic than the Jays getting Johnson, Reyes & Buehrle from the Marlins which, you know, should shatter everyone’s notion of what is realistic with AA as GM.

  16. Rotoworld is saying that Joel Carreno passed through waivers and was assigned to Buffalo.


    Count me as happy to having him around as depth in Buffalo. Despite how poor his performance was in 2012, he was pretty decent his entire minor league career prior to that.

    • That is really good news. Can he be called up if he is not on the 40-man? I guess he gets added if there is an injury at this point.

      • If he’s not on the 40 man his contract can be purchased by the Jays. Unless he’s replacing someone on the 60-day DL they would have to knock someone off the 40-man to clear a spot.

        • Mike McCoy also cleared waivers. Gotta love the fucker. He’s also destined for AAA Buffalo.

          Mike McDade was claimed by the Indians. He might get a better shot to crack the 25 man roster with the Tribe.

  17. speaking of Morse again I forgot how good of a season Tyler Moore had last year for the Nats in his first MLB stint – 10 homers and a .263/.327 in only 75 games – if he can keep that up over a full season they might think he’d be a cheaper and more suitable OF/1b backup than Morse who is better now but also would command more dollars

  18. Tommy Hanson for Jordan Walden? What were the Angels smoking? They give up a flame-throwing reliever for a starter with problematic mechanical issues and declining velocity? Whatever, not a bad move for the Braves.

    • Walden was a closer whose K rates dont make you think “dominant guy” despite the big heater. what happens when that heater ticks down a few mph (as it always seems to do with these 100 mph closers)?

      • I browse the Angelswin.com forums occasionally, and their opinion of Walden isn’t high. It seemed they didn’t trust him in the late innings, and saw him as a bit of a gopher baller.

        • I feel that AA will add a starter during the winter meetings

        • That’s a fair point, Walden started off the 2012 campaign like crap before settling down a bit. I’ve kinda followed his career through my fantasy baseball league, and while he’s not great, I still think he’s got more upside moving forward than Hanson’s shoulder.

        • He was 5th on the Angels depth chart after they signed Madson. So to me that was like trading Lincoln or Delabar for Hanson. I would have done that deal and taken the risk and gone right back out and signed another reliever for a couple of million.

  19. Who do we want? MIKE MORSE!

    When do we want him? AA’s EARLIEST CONVENIENCE.

    • He’s just not that good. I dont get the lover for this dude.

      • Why do we want him? NOT A FULL TIME PLAYER

        Will hit home runs vs. lefties in rogers center? MOST LIKELY

        Have i looked up stats to back this up? NO, BUT I CAN IF YOU WANT ME TO

        • Morse is plenty good but all his value is derived from his bat, not his defense – he`s averaged no worse than .285/.340 w/ 20 homer/65 RBI over the last 3 years as a 3/4 time player – in his one next to full time season he put up 3.8 WAR

          That’s an improvement over Lind. And his splits are pretty even. He’ll cost slightly more than either Lind or the frequently pined for Gomes and he’s better than both.

          Considering he’s a health risk and so far in his career only been used as part time to 3/4 time player that’s pretty much fits the bill for the current Jays need – worth the risk as much as anyone else the Jays have acquired so far. And he can play multiple positions (although poorly)

          • Otherwise Kyle pretty much nailed it in fewer words – not sure what’s not to like about the prospect of this guy in a Jays uni considering what we perceive the Jays to need in a platoon 1b/DH type

        • If we could get rid of Buck’s contract we’d easily be able to take on Morse’s last year at 5M before he hits free agency. To be honest if we acquired him I wouldn’t een platoon him with Lind, his numbers vs. righties are better than Lind and he hits lefties at a .303 clip.

  20. Best DJF commentors names:

    Buck Martinez’ hair swoosh

    Dildo Baggins of TeaBag End

    BJ Ryans Mullet

    And my personal favorite:


    My name really is Morgan Burton, follow me on Twitter @morganburton

  21. Would you do janssen plus b level prospect for morse; I would

  22. “Sure, maybe Dickey truly got the feel for his pitch last year”

    I don’t get why people keep saying stuff like this. Dickey has been an excellent pitcher for three years now, it is just that in his latest season he went from excellent to arguably top 5 in all of baseball.

    • Indeed especially when you’re average 4 bWAR over the last 3 years. A 130 ERA+ over that time frame is pretty fucking good.

    • Knuckle Ball=Saved by the Bell

    • Dancing with Dickey is going completely into the unknown because there is no real comparable.

      However, I agree with Dave Cameron. The Mets would be wise to extend him, espescially since he won’t break the bank.

      A 2 year $25 million extension, for example, seems like a worthy risk espescially since knuckleballers age better than normal civilians.

      • If the Mets dont extend their cy young winner, theyre basically shitting on what little fan base they still have. Itd be a good move to add depth and strike while his value is as high as it will ever get but as a PR move,, terrible. Tough spot.

        • They have to be realistic as well. They’re not going to be better than the Braves, the Nats, or the Phillies in 2013 and probably 2014. With their young pitching they might be there in 2015. Dickey is probably dead money during that period.

          • Maybe AA will go up to the Mets office and say “You have something I want” all over again :D

            AA could put together an offer they would be foolish to turn down, although like Miami (to a lesser extent) they would have to deal with fan backlash

  23. How much would it cost to acquire mark trumbo?

    • For one I doubt the Angels are trading him. Two, the Jays would have to dump Lind’s contract first and that doesn’t seem like it’s going to happen. Three, which is the real Trumbo? First half of 2012 or second half of 2012. The power is certainly impressive but the OBP is too JPA like for my tastes. So much focus on finding a replacement for Lind. We really need more starting depth first and foremost imo.

    • Every prospect in the organization lol

    • A box of fresh air is an overpayment for Trumbo.

  24. “Lastly, not Jays-related but apparently the Pirates are trying to retain reliever Jason Grilli, whose agent is Gary Sheffield. The Gary Sheffield. And that. is. awesome.”

    When I first read thatt, for some reason I thought (and, more importantly, saw in my head):
    “THE Gary Shandling? Amazeballs!”

    So while yes: That. Is. Awesome…it’s not as awesome as if it were Gary Shandling.

  25. ***CALLING IT. The Dodgers have like 7 billion dollars coming to them over the next 30 years with their TV deal. This will result in them spending like crazy and a salary cap being implemented in baseball when the current CBA expires****

    • Doubt it , but I’ll give you credit if it happens.
      The new CBA is only a year old and there already is a luxury tax in place that even the Yanks and Boston are very reluctant to exceed.

  26. my free happy my mater merci

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