Jeff Blair of the Fan 590 and the Globe and Mail, along with the majority of the baseball establishment– including Alex Anthopoulos and the typically-small Jays contingent– has arrived in Nashville in anticipation of tomorrow’s beginning of the Winter Meetings, and he’s already given us some juicy dirt (far tastier than dry dirt– ask any cat) with his first filing from the event.

“The Blue Jays figure in a few odd rumours (Justin Morneau, anyone?) and sexy rumours (they’re lying in the weeds to make a surprise play for Dickey),” he writes, “but with his roster already overhauled Anthopoulos can be expected mostly to monitor other teams’ actions.”

Morneau, you say? Cue maple panting and moaning! (Y’know, from people who didn’t quite catch that he’s no less a platoon guy than Adam Lind– albeit with a 35 point wOBA advantage against right-handers last year).

Derek Holland and Homer Bailey could be shopped, Blair also tells us, before making the odd assertion– especially after also reminding us of the availability of David Price and James Shields– that a package involving Mark Buehrle and a prospect might get something done.

Uh… surely not with the Rays, though– not with Buehrle’s contract. And honestly, as much as I don’t want to read too much into the GM’s recent listing of his club’s 2013 rotation, I really do kinda think that Anthopoulos values Buehrle’s “veteran presence,” or whatever you want to call it, more than that.

He suggests that the Jays could have interest in non-tendered Nats pitcher John Lannan– “the Blue Jays had interest in last spring”– and that they should have a number of agents interested in discussing minor league free agents that could help the club in Buffalo, and that the club probably won’t look to spend a lot of money on left-handed relief pitching, despite the potential loss of Darren Oliver, all of which certainly makes sense. Well, as long as Lannan isn’t getting guaranteed money and pushing J.A. Happ out of the rotation,

So… there’s that.

And here’s a bonus: over in the pages of the Toronto Sun, Bob Elliott previews the Meetings as well, noting for the first time that I’m aware of that “the Detroit Tigers attempted to send pitching to the Jays for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria before the Jays made Hechavarria the cornerstone of the 12-team Miami Marlins deal.”

Double maple bonery bonus!: according to a tweet from Jon Morosi, Rich Harden “feels great” and is aiming to pitch again in 2013.


Image via Rusty Morris Design.

Comments (131)

  1. Justin Morneau? Maple cum everywhere!?!?

  2. I wondered if there may be a chance at a three way with Texas and Detroit. Jays catcher+ to Texas, Profar to Detroit, pitching to Toronto or something of that ilk.

  3. they probably offer porcello for hech.

    I’d still take Morneau on the team provided it doesn’t take any good prospects to land him.

    but you’re right he’s regressed to a borderline platoon.

    Adam Lind & Salary + Chad Jenkins, final offer

    • Borderline? He had a 55 wRC+ against LHP last year. In 95 PA the year before it was 7.

      No typo. 7.

      • Wish the Morneau talk would just go away and die in a corner somewhere unless the Twins were practically giving him away for nothing and paying most of his salary.

        • Morneau absolutely mashed RHP last season up to his career norms (.900 OPS) and he did it in a park that significantly suppresses power. He’d also be an upgrade defensively at 1B no matter who we throw out there (EE or Lind).

          Obviously, if you acquired him, you’d need to have a decent RHB on the bench in case he kept sucking against LHP (which this team should have anyway considering Lind’s presence), but I think it’s something that should be looked into, especially if you can move Lind in the same deal.

      • Also of note: in the Chisholm piece linked to earlier today, AA explicitly said Lind should only play against RHP:

        “If you look at his left-right splits, if you look at him as a player that doesn’t face the left-handers, he’ll only face right-handers, close to an .800 OPS, which is a pretty good player … if you use him only against right-handers, I still think he’ll be a very good player.”

        These are comments from the general manager of the team. There’s definitely nothing “borderline” about Lind’s status as a platoon player going forward.

        • were talking about morneau, not lind.

          but good effort ty

        • I don’t see any updates from his blog today saying this. Was this from awhile ago? I see you posted this on Tao’s blog as well and still cannot find where AA said this.

          • It’s on North of the Border from earlier in the week, I’m pretty sure. Not today, but his post-awards comments. He definitely said it.

      • right, but thats recent.

        career wise, he’s a respectable .728 OPS . Lind’s career OPS vs Lefties is .553 (LOL)

        the last 2 years he’s been a shell of the player he was before the head problems.

        Morneau’s only 31, he shouldn’t have declined so quickly, so you would have to bank on him getting over it.

        • I don’t know if it would be a very good idea to bank on a player getting over issues resulting from a head/brain injury. There are some success stories but also a lot of guys who were never the same post-concussion.

          • As someone that has been dealing with vertigo for the last 2 years I can tell you that you’re probably correct.

        • Not sure it’s real compelling to think he’ll get back to where he was, especially if you’re adding the risk he doesn’t to the risk you take by giving anything up for him.

          Night manimal is right: not worth giving up anything for him, really.

          • but thats why you can get him in a trade, is because his value is so low and his salary is decent.

            like AA said about rasmus and escobar, unless something happens, players like that don’t become available.

            Even Morneau now is much better than Lind. provided you don’t have to give up any top prospects, and realistically why would you, then its a no brainer.

            i’d give up lind jenkins and some cash in a heart beat.

          • Morneau has pretty big home/away splits too, with an .820 OPS on the road, and .728 at home last year.

          • Re@ Night manimal.

            not sure its fair to compare your condition to a major leaguer.

            they have better doctors, more frequent treatment and no other stresses, worries to have to deal with.

            granted head conditions are very serious, but he’s come back to be a decent player

          • Obviously he has better treatment. I am just saying that things that are head related like that aren’t so easy to get over even when you think you’re fully recovered. It’s amazing just how a slight movement in your head position or even your focus can fuck with you. For a pro athlete in need of serious motor/hand-eye control it’s a lot worse imo.

            Remember Corey Koskie?


          • Yah I get the severity of the issue,

            but by all accounts morneau has returned to acting and success, granted not the same MVP levels, but he’s still better then Adam Lind and would be a worth addition to the team.

            Lind has sub .800 OPS vs RHP the last 2 years, he’s barely a platoon player anymore, he’s essentially worthless.

          • I agree that in a vacuum I’d take Morneau straight up over Lind any day of the week. I am just thinking more along the lines of the $14 million he’s due this year and what I could do with the difference.

            Again I try and look at things this way.

            Lind+Potential Starter vs Morneau =$14,000,000.

            Which scenario gives the club more?

            Obviously there are other scenarios like the Twins paying some of that of course.

          • dc, the salary is nice? It’s $14-million for one year.

            And “much” better than Lind? That’s definitely debatable, especially at an additional $9-million plus whatever’s needed to get him.

          • @stoeten.

            i meant his salary is high, which makes him movable for the twins..

            if he was getting paid league minimum i’m sure the twins would have no interest in moving him.

            depends on what else the jays can spend 9 million on. but i don’t see it as such a massive no no as you do. given the fact that his value is low, and his ceiling is so high outside of injury, there is certainly a scenario in which it can make sense

  4. What Detroit pitching would have come to Toronto, I wonder.

  5. Wonder who the pitching coming back to Toronto would have been. Obviously not Verlander, and it would have to be a lot more than Hechavarria for Scherzer or Fister. Maybe Smiley?

  6. Not really sure what’s with all the Holland love. I’d take Niese over Holland any day of the week, but I get the sense that I’m in the minority on that one. Can anyone clarify why that is?

    • Not a Holland fan either but that’s just because he’s not anything more than #3 at best and pitched like a #5 last year. People see the results for a particular season, usually just one and fall in love.

    • Lefties that can throw up to 97 are pretty cool in everyones book

    • I think you’d have to take niese over holland.

      niese does pitch in a weaker division plus a pitchers park, but his numbers still trump all of hollands numbers.

      but theyre both the same age and niese has accomplished a heck of a lot more


        Actually if you compare Holland has the better ERA- which is adjusted for ballpark, which is needed in this case, since one pitches in a hitters park and one in a pitchers park. Other than that, their peripherals aren’t all that different except that Holland throws a good bit harder.

        The interesting thing is that both are probably better suited for each others parks because of their fly ball and ground ball tendencies.

      • Its a matter of preference imo. Not by coincidence, their contracts are almost identical (Holland’s got a little more guaranteed money). They’re both going into their age 26 seasons. Niese is a safer bet as a solid #3, Holland’s got a little more upside. I’d be happy to have either

    • Because he was so good in the playoffs 2 years ago. And he has heart! And because he had a dirt stache at some point! What’s not to like about him??

    • I’d take Niese too. I’m not that much higher on him than Holland, but Niese figures to be more available. I can see the Mets re-signing Dickey and shipping Niese to fill a hole or two at C and OF. It’d be much easier to sell to fans than dealing a Cy Young winner.

      Niese will spin 200 dirt, dirt cheap innings with a lot more upside than Buehrle.

      • I see it going the other way because if you look at their rebuild, Niese fits better for them 2 years out. However, as we saw last winter with guys like Gio, Cahill and Latos and moving, you just never know any more.

        • Oh I think it makes much more sense going the other way. The Mets are better down the road if they deal Dickey now, I just doubt they’ll do it.

    • To sum it up, it’s the difference in their stuff.

  7. I’d rather bet on morneau than lind. But i wouldn’t give up much to get him.

  8. Why would the Reds part with Homer Bailey?

    • Right now they have Cueto, Latos, Bailey, Arroyo, Leake and presumably Chapman as potential starters.

  9. I would like to see the Jays add Dick-ey, but I can’t see them doing anything that would be considered major, beyond that.

  10. Would have been pretty awesome for The Score to be able to send Drew and Stoeten to the winter meetings.

  11. Blair’s comment about the Rays and Buehrle is awfully confusing. If the Rays are trading a starter, they’re definitely not going to be looking for a less-good, more expensive starter in return.

    • Rays will need a pitcher when they trade price and shields to jays for the jays entire farm…

    • Agreed. As much as I have talked about liking the idea of moving Buehrle and signing cheaper pitching, I can’t see the Rays ever doing something like that because of his contract. Imo the Rays will move pitching only if they get major offense back in return or if they get a couple of major prospects that are close to being ready.

  12. Either way its going to be interesting to see what Dickey garners via trade. Everything points to the mets dealing him and it only makes sense.

    What other player at his age with his unique skill set has been on the block before. Kinda hard to gauge what he will command in trade.

    • A 38 year old knuckler with 600+ innings of 2.95 ERA ball under his belt in the past 3 years. I’d be glued to the screen for every one of his starts in a Jays cap.

      What a monumental splash that would be to cap off this insane offseason: fleece the Fish, sign the most controversial FA, trade for a Cy Young winner.

    • everything points to the mets re signing him

      they SHOULD trade him and wright
      but they won’t because they are the mets

      • The Mets have a very good to great rotation and a very good infield. If they can find one or two decentish OFers they’re good enough to sneak into the wild card.

  13. Also not sure why Blair is saying the Jays need left handed relief. They have Cecil, who is out of options, Loup and Delabar who has wicked reverse splits. That’s 3 guys that can dominate LHB out of 7 relievers. If the Jays do score another starter then Happ becomes your 3rd left hander and the long man while Loup goes to AAA.

    • To call Cecil’s pitching a dominance against anyone is a bit of a disservice. He has historically pitched better against LHB, but hasn’t proved that he can do that in relief.

      I don’t think Cecil should make the roster of any team that ‘s expected to compete.


        That chart vs LHB from 2010-2012 shows he’s been better than Oliver vs LHB and that’s while he’s started. The numbers should improve in relief if anything. My point is that the Jays have plenty of internal options without Oliver even though I’d love to have him back again.

        • Your chart is absolutely idiotic.

          You use Oliver’s stats all the way back to 1993.

          I didn’t say that that Cecil might not be successful in that role. But to say he should be expected to be successful doing something he’s never done (pitching out of pen only against LHB) is a stretch to say the least.

          • Are you saying he’s using Oliver’s stats from 1993, or that he should?

            Either way you’re wrong

          • Umm check again there bud, it’s from 2010 to 2012. Also hardly call it a stretch since that’s where most failed starters end up. Just my opinion of course, obviously you’ve got yours, but absolutely idiotic? You do understand the advantages of having to only pitch for one inning vs multiple innings right? I could dig up plenty of examples for you. Wade Davis perhaps? Hell how about Casey Janssen? Obviously nothing is guaranteed in sports but is it that much of a stretch for him to be a situational guy?

    • Janssen is very good against lefties as well

    • Cecil would be a fine late game LOOGY, I imagine. Just keep him away from facing RHBs.

  14. JPA and Gose for Dickey? Does that get it done? With a window for negotiation of course.

    • I’d be shocked if that didn’t get it done because it is a clear overpay.

      One of JPA, Rasmus or Gose and some secondary pieces.

      KC only wants to give up prospects and I assume that doesn’t include Wil Myers.

      Nobody is going to give up a massive package for a 38 year old pitcher like Dickey.

      Personally, I think the Mets would be best served by extending Dickey. Because if they try to trade him, they’ll be getting the likes of JPA which is nothing special, imo.

      • It would likely take a pitcher on top of that to get it done.

        38 years old or not, he just won the Cy young and has been pretty good for a while.

        • This is why it’s such an interesting topic. People are miles apart on their valuations of Dickey. Age, K-rate spike, pitcher’s park, not many miles on the arm.

          For me, he’s worth those two and maybe a farm arm but not one of the big ones.

          • Because there’s way more risk in a trade for Dickey than any other arm in recent memory, I truly believe he’ll resigning with the Mets. I’m not opposed to the idea, but there are clearer options to turn to.

          • I think you’re right, but aren’t factoring in the contract. It’s just one year of Dickey, don’t forget. We’re talking about two of Rasmus, four of Arencibia, potentially six of Gose and six of whatever prospect.

            If Arencibia and a B prospect doesn’t get it done, pass.

          • @Andrew

            That’s pretty much what I’ve said all along.

            One thing I think people overlook in regards to JPA is that there is a decent chance he gets non-tendered for hist last year of arbitration.

            He’ll get paid well as a catcher with nice HRs and RBIs.

            Is he worth $7-8 mill in arbitration, for example, in 2016 if he’s a 2 fWAR guy? Pretty borderline as there will be 20-25 catchers better than him, including some that are considered “backups”.

          • I should add that I don’t think Dickey will be particularly hard to extend as long as the team that acquires him doesn’t try and lowball like the Mets may very well be doing.

            And if he’s not extended, he’s hopefully eligible for a compensation pick and I’m not sure how many teams would give up a draft pick for a 39 year old.

    • JPA, Cecil and DJ Davis could get it done.

      Mets need a C in the worst way and you could do much worse than a cost controlled JPA.

      Davis is a legit prospect and the Mets need some OFs too.

      Cecil is a pitcher……

      Assuming the Jays extend Dickey for 2 years this is pretty fair.

      • dj davis can’t be traded yet..

      • Why are you assuming the Jays extend him? Can’t be a factor.

        That’s too much, and yeah, Davis can’t be dealt.

        • He can be dealt. He just can’t be named until after the June draft. Or so I seem to remember.

          • It’s 1 year from signing, so June 11. That would mean he would have to be dealt as a PTBNL no earlier than June 11 (6 months max before being named).

    • overpay imo.

      regardless of having a good last year, he’s 38 and yes knuckleballers last forever, but he doesn’t have a long body of work, his first good season came when he was 35.

      i’m intrigued to add him, but i can’t figure out his value given his age, no point in overpaying for him though..

      you need to leave some depth on the club, there will be injuries.

    • I’d be loathe to give away Gose. I would much rather part with more volatile prospects rather than a guy who will almost surely be a mlb regular, simply due to defense and speed.

  15. Dyson and Arencibia for Dickey?

    Stilson and Rasmus for Dickey?

    Jose Bautista bat; Brett Lawrie rookie card and Anthony Alford .45 beretta for Dickey?

    Too Far?

    • How bout we give old man Wilpon some of Radar’s blue pills for Dickey? Too much?

    • I like that you mention Sam ( Best stuff in the organization ,according to John Farrell evaluator extraordiaire) Dyson. WTF ever happened to him after he pitched all of 2/3 of an inning for the BJs?
      Seems like he fell off the depth chart-sort of like Evan “best chance to be a good re;iever “Crawford.
      Trade those 2 bohunks, maybe somebody will believe the press clippings, throw in JPA I guess and take a Mets pitcher

  16. I think the X factor in all this is what the yankees,red sox, rays and orioles do.

    Adding this much payroll, you have to assume there is some pretty big expectations internally to win.

    If the red sox go ham and sign grienke and hamilton, i think AA might be a bit more inclined to move some more prospects.

    • That’s my point about getting one more good stater while the going is good. If those teams make upgrades it just makes the Jays job harder even with their own upgrades. I figure if they’ve come this far and there’s so little depth of note it would be almost a given if they can swing the cash.

      Man the AL East is going to be brutal this year.

      • If Boston signs Greinke and Hamilton, does that really make them a good team?

        With Hamilton they’d have 2 guaranteed stud hitters (when healthy). Ortiz I still look at being an unknown given his age. The other being Pedroia.

        Greinke only gives them one sure great starter. Lester is an unknown, much like Romero is for a comparison. Lackey is hilariously awful, and Buchholz can’t miss bats and it’s caught up with him.

        If Boston goes and signs everyone, they’ll be like the 2006 Jays and really have to get all the breaks to succeed. If I am missing something, feel free to point it out.

        • ortiz is far from an unknown,

          lackey is also not as bad as you make him seem, he’s basically mark buerhle, outside of 2011 when he was pitching injured.

          red sox aren’t as bad as a team as you think, they can definitely improve.

          jays still have some holes/question marks in cf, c, lf, 2b, dh and rotation

      • It may be wishful thinking, but I see the Yankees taking a step back this year. Pineda’s a question mark when he eventually comes back. A-Rod sucks, Jeter’s older and they seem committed to not adding significant money. It could all work out for them, but there’s enough question marks that it could go south in a hurry.

  17. Soto just signed with the Rangers. Not sure if he’s going to be the starter or not though I would say probably. So there’s one trade avenue likely gone.

    • There’s no way they’re planning to start him regularly without bringing in someone else capable of starting. He was brutal last year.

    • I agree, Soto isn’t enough to blog a JPA trade. Seems like a depth / insurance signing.

  18. You have to think Hamilton gets a big offer from Boston.

    In that case Lester and the fellas better hide the coors lights

    • I’m not sure Boston is going to rush to reinvest the Crawford money they just got out from under into a guy like Hamilton.

      • They are desperate enough.

        And I havent heard anything yet of a rebuild.

        My friendly prediction is he goes to Boston. Time will tell

        • doubt it.

          i think he ends up re signing a very team friendly deal in texas. something like 4/90 or 5/110

          stoets is right, they just got rid of the crawford contract, no way they dump it right back in to a player with question marks

  19. Dickey is interesting; historically knucklers get lit up in a dome – so that could be cause for concern. On the opposite side, no one has mentioned his lack of a UCL, so his arm will last even longer than most… Really intriguing player, but I’d rather the Jays steer clear.

    • “historically knucklers get lit up in a dome ”

      Only dome game he played in last year was against Tampa Bay where he through a 1 hit complete game shutout with 12 K’s. It’s only one game but since it’s a hard knuckleball if might be dome friendly.

      • Obviously a very small sample size, and the dome isn’t closed all the time, so its worth exploring – but the price might be too much, especially for a guy who COULD be near the end of his career. Who really knows though…

        Too much grey area for it to be a worth investment.

  20. 1) Trade a prospect to the Twins for Willingham
    2) Pencil in Willingham at DH and Encarnacion at 1B
    3) Tell Adam Lind to sit his fat ass on the bench
    4) Smile and know that sanity has prevailed

    • I think Willingham would be a decent fit*. I also think (re: know) it would take more than just a prospect. Dude put up a .380 wOBA and 35 homers last year.

      *His splits against lefties over the last two years are absolutely atrocious. What’s even more weird is over the same time frame he’s been a monster in his home parks (both are heavily pitcher-friendly), and pretty bad on the road. I’d still do it though.

      • Would it though? They just traded Span for one pitcher (albeit a good prospect), the Twins are trying to stock their system up with pitching and getting rid of players that won’t likely be there when they can compete again anyways.

        • That’s actually a valid argument. I think in the Span case is was obviously far more quality than quantity, and I don’t see the Jays having that valuable of an arm in the system, mostly because they’re all still in the lower levels.

          I don’t even know what is in the Jays system that matches up well. Syndergaard? Seems like what it would take.

          • The pitcher they got for Span was in A ball last year, I would say maybe somebody like Nolin might get it done.

          • Meyers pitched in Lo/Hi-A last year, but his raw stuff blows Nolin’s stuff out of the water. Way higher ceiling

            And a lot of people thought the Twins didn’t get enough for Span

      • Also wouldn’t say his splits were atrocious at all: 2012 OPS vs RHP .877, OPS vs LHP .920. 2011 OPS vs RHP .823, OPS vs LHP .783, the low OPS vs LHP in 2011 being accounted for by a .216 BABIP well off his career BABIP vs LHP of .266

    • I like it.

    • One name I haven’t seen brought up is Adam Laroche. Same age, similar numbers to Willingham. Why not sign him to play first, keep the prospect, and keep the chicken wing in the coop and off the turf? Am I crazy?

  21. Not sure if they were interested, but I thought Soto was a terrific fit for the Mariners if they platooned him with Jaso:

    Jaso vs RHP: 270/368/421
    Soto vs LHP: 295/390/501

    A cheap, productive catching tandem that is still flexibile enough once Zunino is ready. A much better option than Napoli, imo.

  22. It’s probably been said, but if not — is it really worth worrying about guaranteed money to a guy like Lannan at this point who will probably only get a 1 year deal? It’s almost the old hot dog in a hallway analogy… Except less gross.

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