Monday was not a particularly eventful first day of the Winter Meetings, though that didn’t seem to have much of an impact on the post count around here, as all kinds of things happened quickly, and all kinds of interesting tidbits came to the fore. Some of them, it turns out, may have gotten a bit lost in translation– or, at the very least, lost when being condensed into 140 characters– as, thanks to the excellent work of Gregor Chisholm at his North of the Border blog, we can see a full transcript of comments Alex Anthopous made when speaking to the media earlier.
Here are a few spots that ought to be noted, given some of the other things posted here over the course of Day One…
Those old ominous feelings started creeping into our previous post, after Shi Davidi suggested over at Sportsnet that it would be “a tough sell” for the club to go back to ownership for more money, after leaving the previously-set payroll ballpark in the dust after the Marlins trade. The raw quote, as Gregor transcribes it, however, softens Davidi’s harsh buzz considerably, I think.
The relevant passage begins when Anthopoulos is asked about adding “depth to rotation, minor league free agents, why not aim higher?”
I think you can do both. I always get asked about payroll and it’s not a bottomless pit and we talked about the parameters or the areas, and for where we’re at now, we blew by whatever the area was, that’s in the dust, the rear-view mirror of where I thought we were going to be. The Marlins trade really changed that. It’s not a bottomless pit but I also know the right trade, the right player, I always have that ability to have the conversation with Paul and he in turn takes that up to ownership.
I mean… that doesn’t really sound so bad at all, does it? And it seems to be all assumption– a fair one, knowing how they’ve operated– when Davidi suggests adding dollars will be a tough sell (assuming that all he’s basing it on is the quotes given).
In fact, he adds that, “if somebody came up that would push someone out of the rotation, great, I just don’t necessarily see that occurring, and we’re happy with the talent of the starting five.”
So… J.A. Happ is spared from being thrown under the bus, but I’m not sure anything else has really happened in this statement.
Well holy shit, here’s where Twitter’s limitations really come into focus, as the notion– which maaaay have set me off earlier in the day– that Adam Lind is again being gifted some ridiculous amount of rope appears to be pretty much entirely untrue.
Platoon partner for Lind a top priority?
I think Davis certainly can do that. We’ve talked about it, I think Gibby’s thought – we were talking about it a little bit today – I think his thought would be to give him one more crack at facing some left-handers early but knowing that obviously we have some other options. But his thought today, and obviously he’ll make those decisions going forward and he could change his mind in the spring and during the season, but he did bring it up today that he thought you know what, maybe to let those guys get the Abs early even against some left-handers, take a look at the results and maybe then make the adjustment, but clearly you look at the left-right splits and we do have some options with some right-handed bats and we’ve looked at who’s our 25th guy going to be and it might make sense to get a right-handed bat. We don’t really have anybody right now who would be the 25th guy.
I mean… that’s way, way softer than the hysteria-inducing tweets we were fed on Monday afternoon.
Gibbers is just kinda sorta thinking about giving him “one more crack,” but only “early,” and things can still change, and there are lots of other options– because “clearly you look at the left-right splits and” Adam Lind fucking sucks against left-handers– and a right-handed bat still to come for the bench???
And… uh… y’know… that stuff from earlier… um… disregard?
Not to too terribly pound the living fuck out of this dead horse, but as you may have sensed earlier, JP Arencibia’s confidence thoroughly confuses me– which, again, isn’t to say I think he must be wrong, just that the guarantee he’s expecting us to believe he’s received doesn’t seem like something the club would have given.
This exact kind of issue was addressed during the media scrum when Alex Anthopoulos was asked about Carlos Villanueva– currently a free agent, but a player with whom the Jays appear to have had at least some level of contract discussions during the season.
“I told him this during the summer, that the reason I couldn’t lock into a spot is one, if I did, I would keep my word to him,” the GM explained, “but I didn’t want to be prevented if a trade presented itself, all of a sudden we made a commitment and I had to turn down a trade.”
Right? Because nobody could possibly know what kind of fantastic deals might come about as teams move forward, acting and reacting to each other through out the off-season, and it would have been horribly irresponsible of him as an executive to make some kind of verbal guarantee that could have prevented him from making his club better– just as he ultimately decided it would be irresponsible to let the fact that he’d signed Jeff Mathis to a multi-year extension prevent him from making The Trade happen.
It just doesn’t make sense that things are the way Arencibia says they are, especially because– as Anthopoulos himself points out– the market is extremely volatile and constantly changing. Asked if acquiring a front-line starter was a possibility, the GM told reporters he felt it was unlikely, but made clear to leave open the possibility that even he doesn’t know everything that’s going on.
“If something changed tonight, tomorrow, the day after,” he said. “I just think there is so much going on. There’s so many teams having dialogue it’s hard to really pin anybody down.”
Right? And certainly not pre-arb catchers who’ve yet to crack the .285 OBP mark and have two viable-ish replacements already on the roster.
I’m not saying Arencibia will get dealt– odds are he won’t– but, again, I refuse to believe that because he says so there’s zero chance of it happening. I’d believe Anthopoulos, if he said it, but I have a ridiculously hard time imagining he ever would– certainly not publicly, and probably not privately, either. I could be way wrong on that, but saying he knows things just seems to me to be a somewhat clever way for Arencibia to deflect the torrent of innuendo that’s flowed in his direction. At the moment, I simply can’t believe it.
So… there’s that.