Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi just tweeted at us, bro, and here’s what he said that was different from the earlier tidbits by way of Barry Davis:

So… OK, what are we reading?

Basically we see that Davidi moving in the right direction earlier today when he indicated that Villanueva may be a fit to return to the club, and the fact that the player’s stance is softening is maybe a good sign, as is the fact that it sounds like both sides are open to a deal that could get it done. The Jays will surely need more than five starters to get through the season with, so if they can convince Villanueva to accept a lesser role, even if it takes a salary more in line with what a starter would get, I do think it makes total sense.

The stuff about the acquisition of a starter being unlikely sounds awfully familiar, but it rings a little more hollow this time around. You wouldn’t expect Anthopoulos to go announcing that he’s got money he wants to piss around, but you would expect that now, as a club that looks more like a 90- than an 85-win group, the value in adding a guy worth a couple additional wins is a lot more real. And it’s not like AA is clamming up with stuff about payroll parameters. Mike Wilner tweets that GM added that he thinks “it would have to be a significant piece that we’d really feel would impact the club” in order to add payroll. So… it’s certainly not ruled out, is it? And there are certainly guys still out there. Plus Wilner adds that AA told reporters, “ I definitely get the sense that more players are interested in coming to Toronto all of a sudden. Very positive feedback on that front.”

The fact that Alex has visited Oliver– Wilner adds that the GM said he’s had “extensive conversations”– and that the reliever has yet to make his mind up has to be taken as a good sign, right? At least he hasn’t already said no. And Wilner adds that the GM responded to the suggestion that Oliver has made some kind of indication that he’d only pitch for Texas, explaining that “that isn’t the case. I’m just so sick of false reports.” So… good too, right? Come back, Black Magic!

The catching stuff is interesting. JP Arencibia certainly would know better than I, but I just can’t see how it’s remotely fucking possible that he’s been assured he’ll be with the Jays come spring, given that we’re only still on day one of the Winter Meetings, and the club has two potential starters in Buck and d’Arnaud, and again a capable depth piece in Whiteside. I’m not saying JP hasn’t been, but… how does that make any sense? The Wilson stuff is somewhat interesting– the fact that it was his decision to hit the open market, not the Jays’– but I think I’ve probably gone to that well enough. Maybe the club wants a veteran to mentor d’Arnaud in Buffalo, maybe they just want insurance, or maybe they really are looking to deal… I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

The Lind thing… it doesn’t get any more fucking preposterous the more I look at it. Sure, there are enough better options against LHP already in the organization that they don’t have to bring in a platoon partner, but… there are also enough better options against LHP already in the organization that they don’t have to let fucking Lind, after three years in the fucking wilderness, hit against a fucking lefty ever. Ever.

That’s some great news, though, about Joel Carreno. Glad to hear it.

So… there’s that.

Comments (79)

  1. Maybe Lind will have his usual back injury early this season from lack of stretching or exercise or whatever his deal is and we won’t even have to watch him hack away at all.

  2. Fucking Lind! The more i hear what JP is saying the more I hope he’s traded.

  3. Getting a true #1 catcher has got to be AA’s #1 priority. Everything else can be picked up during the season

    • How many true #1 catchers are available? The jays have a shell of a #1 catcher and he’s available… So I’m assuming that’s not even close to the top priority for AA.

      • Hey Dumpty, if its not a priority, we arn’t winning. So there are at least 10 guys that fit….AA has to make it happen. We have some valuable guys on the farm to trade.

        • @Birddawg, Name a #1 catcher who you would give up some value for?

        • Birddawg, I usually can get what you’re saying but I don’t think the Jays need any help at catching at all. In fact it’s a strength. So much so that we keep trying to find a 3rd string insurance policy(Wilson, Whiteside..etc) so that after we trade JPA we have a ML ready guy who could serve as backup if Buck or Darnaud get hurt.

          • What happens if TDA walks into spring training camp and totally lights the fucking world on fire. Would they still send him down and run Buck out every night? Or would they give TDA the job. I’m talking if he has an incredible spring, not a Lawrie first time around spring, but much much better.

          • And why would you want to aquire a “true” number 1 catcher and block the best prospect we have had in 20 years?

          • I know everyone here is a Jays fan, but aren’t we forgetting how awesome TDA might be? We were excited for JPA to come up and hit 25 homeruns even though he had a terrible OBP and shitty shitty defense. TDA is the most highly touted jays prospect in 20 years to quote The Smasher. And we are worried about him being a bust? He would have to be so bad to be any worse than JPA. He could catch and throw and hit 10HR with a 330 OBP and still way out perform JPA.

            • Travis Snider was 4th overall prospect one year if I recall (ignorantly not looking it up, I know)

              • Sorry, 6th. I had to look.

                In 2009 behind Wieters, Price, Rasmus, Hanson and Heyward.

                Snider was a highly regarded prospect, more than TDA.

          • If TDA lights the world on fire, he still gets sent down to AAA. Believe the Jays did that with Snider last year when Thames won the job.

            He still doesn’t walk much, and needs to play in a more controlled environment rather than Las Vegas. Buffalo will help him with both these.

          • @Indestructable What are the Walk rates between TDA vs JPA? I don’t know where to find these.

          • Gentlemen, AA invested a lot of capital in his pitching, we are now a contender. JPA has a lot of flaws and will now be a detriment to the Jays. Morrow has already volunteered to drive JP to the airport when traded. There is a catcher we can get but we have to give up another good prospect

          • Let’s not get too crazy here. TDA is not the most highly touted prospect of the last 20 years. He might come in as a top ten prospect, but so have plenty others. Heck Snider was probably even more highly touted (#6 on BA in 2009). Alex Rios was #6 in 2006. Vernon Wells was #4 in 2000. Halladay was #12 in 1999. S. Green was #6 in 1995. Alex Gonzalez was #8 in 1995 and #4 in 1994. Delgado was #5 in 1994.

          • Who is it birddawg? I need to know!

          • When Arencibia was called up, his walk rate was 8.3%. TDA was 6.3% last season, and with Arencibia we can see how these numbers may likely regress once at the MLB level (Arencibia walked at a 4.8% rate last year, and for his career can’t stop striking out).

          • @Indestructable this is good to know. What about the contact? I’m sorry for asking I just seem to suck at finding these fucking things.

          • You can find pretty much everything an FanGraphs. Nothing about contact though, at least not there.

    • Birddawg is, apparently, an idiot.

    • I work for a government agcney that provides and funds services for individuals with developmental disabilities. I would like to use your idea of a care map with a focus group of parents to indentify what their barriers are to find out how we can better assist in overcoming them. Also, looking at areas that are less complete (recreation) we may be able to identify new opportunities for expanded services. Thank you, your map will help make the lives of several thousand people better in my small geographic area of the world.

  4. Disappointed quite a bit by some of the comments coming out of the winter meetings but then again my expectations were pretty fucking high so I guess I will have to settle for AAAA guys for now.

    Maybe it’s AA learning from his mistakes from the last winter meetings where he denied or said nothing and they were subsequently linked to everyone and their brother. That said, AA for all of his guardedness is a pretty straight shooter and hasn’t really bullshitted any of the local reporters when answering questions directly. Therefore, as much as I would like for him to make one more splash, I seriously doubt we’ll see anything happen.

    As for Lind, man, what a horrible thing to say. I just don’t understand it to be honest.

    • He says the same thing every year at this time. Not sure what there is to be disappointed about. If something significanty presents itself, he’ll jump on it. If nothing does, he won’t.

    • You shouldn’t be disappointed NM.
      Look at the big picture.
      At this stage, the moves will be more specific.
      Get Haren out of your head.
      IMHO

      • Meh I know it’s totally irrational but I worry that it might not be enough starting pitching to compete with the Rays when they finish doing everything. My old man reminded me today that I was complaining to him a few years ago, just around the time Burnett was leaving, that even though the Jays increased the payroll nicely between 06-08, it still wasn’t enough and that Rogers didn’t do enough at the time. Now the rational part of me knows without question that this is a good team. I just had hoped that they could really nail things down with one more good starter. I guess I’m just being a negative Nancy right now, so please excuse me. Probably read too many of Tao of Stieb’s tweets lately. Shit, if Karma really exists, then the Jays pitchers are due some of the good kind.

        • Ya gotta remember NM. The team that breaks in the spring will unlikely be the one in Sept.The July trade deadline will be interesting.
          You can’t blow your load now.
          Patience.

          • True enough and I have said that before as well with regards to JPA and Rasmus potentially being more valuable come the all-star break.

        • Yes, as I’ve always said, Tao does try to suck the fun out of everything.

    • Funny how we signed one of the better FAs and his brother. Prophecies were fulfilled

  5. Even though I’m aware how unlikely it is, I’d like to see Hamilton signed. Normally he’d be out of range for the Jays, mainly due to years but in this case, something within the Jays 5 years max for position plays is possible. He’d be a nice lefty in between Jose and Edwin. Also Colby would be trade bait then for pitching. Not happening of course but I ain’t ruling anything out this offseason.

  6. No talk of trading for my girthy penis? I promise to stand behind little ginger dick Lind in every interview.

    http://pregamesheiza.wordpress.com/

  7. I really want to believe Darren Oliver has the voice and personality of Lester Freeman from the Wire.

  8. that is exactly what I was telling Shanandahr Singh by the slurpee machine today

    • My son has special needs and has a snlige plan of care meeting in a few weeks at school. I would love to show all 15 of them how they fit into the bigger picture. Also we just got a new bus driver who is causing the entire family much grief Basically she is not a safe driver and her attitude is bad School principal thinks I am over reacting I like that this map not only shows the incredible number of people we juggle, but also how each and every one of them must be managed, responsible and functional. Would be cool to have a living map with red, yellow and green blinking lights )

  9. I love how the trade has made it so that fans are lusting for everything with a pulse, no matter how unreasonable.

    Set your sights lower, guys. AA has long been a Happ fan and will likely give him every chance to be the fifth starter.

    Realistically, we’re looking at a few more Justin Germano-type signings — Triple A depth with the ability to make some spot starts in a “hope we can score 8 runs this game and get into our bullpen in the fifth” situation.

    They’ll give Lind the chance to start at DH. Who knows, he seemed to respond well to working with Cell Phone in Vegas — they’ll probably give him the chance to start the season as an everyday player and if he shits the bed, he’ll be the strong half of a platoon with Davis. Failing that, there’s a reason they have two super-sub types, and “days off” for players like Bautista and Lawrie will be “days playing DH.”

    I mean, if some GM has a braincramp or AA’s penchant for threeways causes something to fall into his lap (SEE WHAT I DID THERE), he’ll strike, but otherwise, I think this is pretty much the team we’ll head to spring training with, and, people losing their shit about RA Dickey aside, we should be fucking happy about that.

    • I SEE WHAT YOU DID THERE…

      • I keep coming back to this post, it’s rellay clarified for me just why I often feel like I’m running a multinational company rather than bringing up a child! Thanks again for the inspiration for my illustration.

    • This.

      • I am a parent of a spicael needs adult child. I also teach pre-service teachers (general and spicael education) about an overview of spicael education. We talk about many types of disabilities and all of the services that they need. I do my best to make certain future teachers are aware of what parents deal with I would like your permission to share your story and show Gabe’s Care Map to my classes.In appreciation,Anita

  10. I like Happ as the number 5 starter. I like having three lefties in the rotation again with balls out right handed relievers to come in. The core and complementary pieces are in place. Alex has done a tremendous job of getting in front of things this offseason. It doesn’t really matter what the names are because the role of depth will be the same.

    Time to put up our feet and enjoy watching other teams scramble to pick up the scraps left by the crazy-ass Dodgers.

  11. Does Arencibia believe he’s more valuable with the team than he is as trade bait? Serious?

    WTF is this shit with Lind? Everyday at-bats? I guess Gibbons hasn’t watched a Jays game in the last few years, because science has proven that Lind is hella-bad.

    • Maybe Lind knew he had Cito in his back pocket and that Farrell was a major bitch. So now that John “Punch Me in the Face” Gibbons is back he will actually lift a weight in the off season. Didn’t someone around here say that Gibbons didn’t like Lind a few years back?

      • IF and I mean IF,Lind will be motivated at all, it’ll be cause he wants his option picked up.
        Money baby money.
        At this time next year,Lind could be out of baseball.
        If that doesn’t motivate him ,nothing will.

  12. Totally agreed on Lind. Since Bonifacio is so versatile, all you need to do is bench Lind against a lefty, play EE at first, play Bonifacio in the field and whoever he replaced (Reyes, Rasmus, Cabrera, Izturis, Lawrie) can DH. Or, Bonifacio can DH. Or Rajai. Or, ANY-FUCKING-ONE other than Lind!

  13. Lind just won’t die. It’s gonna blow watching him flail around.

  14. Interesting that when Yunel Escobar was in Toronto he was a horrible person & a bad shortstop. Slings & arrows from every media outlet. Now with Tampa Bay & Oak interested, U.S. Media: he’s not so bad!

    @Buster_ESPN

    OAK passed on Yunel Escobar last summer, but he fits now: Cheap, great contract, good OBP — and if he grates on them, low cost to dump.

  15. When the dust clears, if AA signs Villanueva it would be a nice little score. Promise him a chance to compete, then send his ass to the bullpen to be the swing man/6th starter. Then fucking PLAY BALL!!!

  16. AA basically said the same thing last offseason (when he likely bid on Darvish) and he said the same thing before THE TRADE and signing of Cabrera.

    Why would he show his hand this early in the offseason?

    AA hasn’t decided whether or not to spend more money, trade or keep JPA & Buck, trade more prospects for another pitcher or anything else.

    Everything is fluid including the payroll situation.

    There’s no need to have high expectations for another impact player or two because there’s a good chance it leads to disappointment.

    But being resigned to the current roster, more or less, being the opening day roster when it’s only December 3rd? Fuck that.

  17. I can’t wait to see everyone losing their shit in the spring when this team goes .500 or something.

    Seeing SkyDome sold out beyond the home opener will be a sight for sore eyes.

    • Meh long as they come through spring training healthy and not completely full of themselves unlike this year.

    • We were starting to see it this year at times. Weren’t there something like 12 games after the home opener that had 40k+?

      • Okay just checked at bbref, they had 11 crowds 40 000 or more, including the home opener.

      • I don’t think that’s rare for Yanks/Sux games. But there was a marked improvement in attendance

        • I was there for 25 games last year. Four or five were over 40 000 and all but one or two of the rest were right around 30 000. Most of the good seats were sold. Considering new “baseball only” stadiums like Cincinnati and Philadelphia seat around 35 000, Jays have no complaints on attendance. Those nosebleeds on either side of the hotel would not even exist were it not for Godfrey’s pipe dream of an NFL team in Toronto. If they draw 40-42, that is outstanding.

  18. Here’s what I think AA told Arencibia (not that I know anything, but it makes logical sense to me):

    Hey JPA,

    So as you can imagine with a club that just finished with 70-something wins, we’re going to be making big moves this offseason, and no one on the roster is untouchable. Hell, if Anaheim offered us Trout for Bautista, we’d do that deal in a heartbeat.

    But with that giant caveat, as far as we’re concerned, you’re our starting catcher, and we’re not looking to move you. If someone wants to blow us out of the water to try and land you, we’ll do what we feel is best for the ballclub, but my intention is to be seeing you in Dunedin in February.

    Now once Spring Training starts, there’s this guy named Travis down in AAA who as you know many believe will be better than you. I don’t think you’re as bad as people say you are. I think you have real potential to be one of the top catchers in baseball. The starting role is yours to lose.

    You can lose it, don’t get me wrong. If you come down in spring and start batting .190 like Lind did this past year, you’re not going to be the starting catcher for this ballclub for very long. But as far as I’m concerned, it’s on you. Perform and the job is yours. Fail and we find someone else.

    That sound fair to you?

    • Sure.. but see all JP has to do is actually hit the ball more often. If he does holy fucktruck he would be a pretty good catcher..but apperantly 20 HR isn’t enough anymore for a catcher. I don’t buy the trade talk no matter what anyone think. I think TDA gets you a better deal than JP does, service years aside. I still think JP has stone hands though.. so if he didn’t catch and only hit… maybe he could be a decent platoon guy for Adam Lind..or did he hit lefties at all last year.

  19. TDA is pretty fuckig good

  20. I think I would give Lind a chance. Only if he comes into camp looking more like Heman and with a half roll of duct tape around his lips.

  21. AA just said ruledout expensive free-agent pitchers. There are such things as trades and that’s the route he will go I imagine. Villanueva would be a nice pick-up but I expect a trade for pitching will come sooner or later.

  22. Stoeten, why the fuck do you even quote that twat Wilner. Grow some balls.

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