Shi Davidi of Sportsnet checks in from Nashville, and he says something that we all probably should have been thinking for a while now, though I know that, at least for me, it’s been too often overlooked:

“[Carlos Villanueva] is a free agent and is looking for a team to make a commitment to him as a starter. He should have no trouble finding one to do that. But during the summer he also said he would consider returning as a swingman if he was paid as a starter, and that may be the compromise needed to keep him in Toronto.”

From the very few things that I’ve been able to hear, my sense is that Villanueva has been a well-liked member of the clubhouse– or at the very least is a smart guy and a good interview– and shit… the more I think about it, the more I don’t quite understand where this 30 start commitment stuff is coming from, or at the very least, why its being made out as absurdly binding.

Does any pitcher have some kind of guarantee that he’ll start every game as long as he’s healthy? Sure, there are lots of guys for whom removing them from the rotation is unthinkable, and there was also the situation we saw last year with Ricky Romero, but even with him there were reports that the club had at least toyed with the idea of a minor league stint.

If he isn’t getting the job done as a starter, you flip him back to the ‘pen and go with Happ. Should be easy, shouldn’t it? And by signing him you go a long way to solving your rotational depth problem– at least at the big league level.

The other interesting tidbit that Davidi lays on us, though it offers no change from what we’ve already been hearing, is that “clarity on Darren Oliver’s status would help but the left-hander remains undecided about playing another season, according to a source.”

Figure it out, Black Magic! Figure it out all the way back onto this king hell roster.

So… there’s that.

Comments (47)

  1. Re: Villanueva

    If the Jays are willing to pay him what he’s looking for, do you think he’d object to “merely” being given a pretty guaranteed spot in the Opening Day rotation? Essentially saying – “hey, as long as you’re performing, there’s a starters job for you.”

    • CV is perfect insurance, has stepped in nicely last 2 years, meanwhile also perfect long man out of BP. The guy can pitch. BTW, why all the angst with Happ? he looked real good here, more concerned with Ricky finding his head.
      (and Jose finding his swing)

  2. is there that though? is there really?

  3. Re: Oliver

    Whatever the hell he’s still debating after two months of an offseason, is it anything that $1M can’t correct?

    • They’ve already picked up his option so if he comes back he’s theirs. Now, whether they make a separate pact to trade him is up to Oliver and the Rangers but I’m inclined to think a Texas deal could very well include JPA.

  4. I could live with Carlos though I will be honest and admit I would still be disappointed we didn’t get someone like Dickey, Haren or McCarthy instead. Greedy without a doubt, but I still believe starting pitching is going to make or break this team and I guess I still have a few doubts about Romero, Happ and Buehrle.

    • Yeah I’m with you. The Marlins trade has made me totally greedy as a fan too.

    • Yes but getting Villaneuva does not mean not getting Dickey because that would be a trade. It probably does not mean not getting Haren or McCarthy either unless CV’s idea of how much he is worth is grossly over-estimated, and given that no one has broken the door down to get to him, it’s probably floated back to earth right now.

      I’d like to re-sign him, He’s decent insurance and an excellent long-man.

    • I’ve got no prob with Buehrle and his perennial 200 IPs. RR is scaring me a bit because I couldnt see any tangible progress in him even at the end of the season. Moreover I think a LOT of CV’s problem last summer was that there WAS NO rotation and he was called on to do way more than his share.

      • Lol Carl Carlos pitched 113 innings last year and was never forced to star more than every 5 days, how the hell can you state CV’s problem last summer was that he was called on to do way more than his share? For a regular commenter, you sure know jackshit.

  5. Wonder how much term/$ Carlos V wants… If he wants starter money I’d rather give more $ to a Marcum or a MacCarthy

  6. That ‘Black Magic’ tag next to the news story made me laugh a lot for some reason. Kudos.

    PS. – Please come back Oliver.

  7. Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal

    #BlueJays claim Eli Whiteside. Becomes fourth catcher. Non-tendered Bobby Wilson last week. Still could trade Arencibia or Buck.

    Damn there you go Stoeten one more post to make.

    What’s your daily record? You’re tooling along at a pretty good clip so far today.

  8. Even though it’s not totally up to him, it seems like if Oliver does pitch again it won’t be as a Blue Jay, so I’m finding it hard to care whether or not he returns for another season.

    • Indeed. I have no problem with using Cecil in his spot and putting his $3 million towards a starter.


    jays claim another catcher….. one may be on the move!

  10. I wonder if Carlos does 2 yrs/10-12M with a promise of a start every fifth day until his arm gives out in August (like clockwork, isn’t it).

    Dickey would be amazing. I wonder what it would take to get him. JPA + Jenkins + a bit piece? I’d love a knuckballer between Johnson and Morrow…

  11. If Carlos is willing to be a swingman at a SP’s price, pay up. Guy has been a stud.

    Between him and Happ you could get a 2.5 WAR pitcher and pay much less in prospects or price.

    He started 17 games last year and put up 1.7 WAR (not all of that from starting no doubt)

    Happ FWIW has managed to put up 0.5 to 1.0 WAR in about the same amount of games with most of that history coming from playing on a shitty Astros team.

    Not the easiest of solutions b/c you got 2 guys competing for a 5th spot who both show flashes of being good enough to have it full time, but this would probably be the cheapest route AA could take

  12. I keep looking for Villanueva type swingmen that could fill in some starts for The Jays as well. Why not just go for the man himself. Really does fit in with the team’s needs very well.

  13. If the Jays end up settling for someone like CV, it should be at the end of January, not the beginning of December.

    I’d much rather there be a legitimate attempt to open the season with Romero as the 5th starter as opposed to someone like Happ or CV.

  14. Perfect solution is to sign Villanueva. He and Happ can compete for the 5th spot in the spring, loser goes to the pen. The swingman will get starts over the course of the season anyway.

  15. I think I like Happ more. He at least keeps the ball in the park far better, and on the ground.

  16. CV or one of the others suggested could be the 4th/5th/6th guy along with Happ and Romero. That would likely push Cecil to the minors if he cleared waivers. I’d be ok with that.
    Remember 3yr ago when the Yankees gave $1m minor league contracts to each of Colon, Garcia and Millwood? All three guys got called up and turned the “opportunity” into full time gigs for the following season(s.) AA needs to make one or two of those kinds of deals. Find the guy who does not get a major league gig, offer him enough that a) he will take it and b) it will inhibit other teams from making a waiver claim when they try to get him to Buffalo. With a couple of those kinds of guys in Buffalo, they’d be much better prepared for 162 games and the chaos that usually comes with it.

  17. what would Villy command? 2 yr deal for sure, but like 2 yrs 9 mil?

    Jays have 8 mil from Miami – so that’s right there

    I’d do it – knows and likes the Jays

    To me, both Happ and Villy are good enough that they can always be flipped at the deadline for something else – those kinda guys are valuable to a team just for that alone

  18. I wonder if other GMs cry a little inside when AA approaches them.

  19. I think signing CV is a great option to provide depth. This team needs someone you know can jump in there. Can’t see committing to a rotation spot though. He’s gotta earn it. Between him and Happ, possibly a few minor league signs (Karstens? Braden? Both?) it would set up some much needed depth.


    at least 3-4 of us said this already, numerous times.

    sometimes you ought to pay attention to some of the ‘bat shit crazies’ down here you know.


  21. This isn’t a terribly insightful take on it. Is CV a clear favourite over Happ? Why pay him starter money when there are starters still out there that are better (Marcum)? And fuck, after the whole big controversy about whether he has the stamina and health to be a starter, the guy turned back into a pumpkin.

    • Can we please stop with the “starter money” comments.

      What the fuck is starter money?

      Broxton just signed a 3/$27 mill contract that a lot of starters would love to have. Soriano is gunning for more.

      Carlos V will get what the market thinks he’s worth whether he starts it not. And I bet it’s less than both of these guys.

  22. I have no problem signing CV at a fair price. He’s worth it and I think he would have the endurance to last a year if he has a rotation and a BP around him that can carry the load. It also sounds as if the Jays may have been talking with him which could mean that all is not lost. I like that it was Davidi who reported this. He knows stuff.

  23. Hmmmm, assuming Texas lets Hamilton walk, Black Magic’s option, Buck, and the centre fielder formerly known as “Dueling Banjos” for Alex Ogando works for me. I could offer the same to the NYM’s for Dickey, I would rather have the 29 year old top of the rotation arm who is under control through 2016….just a thought…

    • Not sure why everyone is giving up on Rasmus.

      Reports are that lots of people are asking about him. There is a reason for that.

  24. why pay someone to start that isn’t going to start.

  25. I would love to see Oliver on this team. He was by far our most consistent reliever last year and watching him pitch is just a thing of beauty.

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