They may not always do it on the record, but Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun sure is a wizard when it comes to getting people to talk– especially scouts and executives with juicy, interesting things to say about the Toronto Blue Jays.

I don’t know if it’s just because he’s got so many connections he can simply print a source’s title– even including the league he works in!– and still no one will be able work backwards to figure out who’s dishing him the goods, but it’s a pretty remarkable trick he pulls, and at a big conference like the Winter Meetings, he lands some invaluable stuff.

I’ve already pulled some from his latest to us in the Escobar piece below, but there’s much more in there, and two things, in particular that stand out…

First, Elliott speaks to someone who knows John Gibbons “well” and Brett Lawrie “even better” (guesses?) who tells him, among other things, “my guess for an over/under is Aug. 1, the two are on a collision course,” prompting Elliott to wonder how well Lawrie– “a runaway wild stallion on the bases” last year– is going to deal with the hard-ass shrapnel-assed hardness of John Gibbons.

It’s an interesting question, and one whose answer should be fun to find out!

Meanwhile, Elliott laid this on us regarding the potential deal of RA Dickey:

The Mets need outfield help and a starting catcher.

“If I was Toronto I’d deal Colby Rasmus and J.P. Arencibia and keep Anthony Gose and John Buck,” said an American League general manager. “They have enough offence with the rest of their lineup. Gose is probably a year away from being an offensive force and in a year Travis d’Arnaud would be ready. That’s what we’d do.”

The Kansas City Royals, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Dodgers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Boston Red Sox are interested.

Gose an offensive force? That’s a little more confident-sounding evaluation of him than I’ve ever heard, but damn it, I’ll take it!

Question, though: do the Royals, Orioles, Rangers, Dodgers, Diamondbacks and Red Sox have interest in Dickey? Or does he mean interest in Arencibia and Rasmus? Because if it’s the latter– and I think that it is– yeah, for the right price I could totally go with what the rival GM is saying. It makes you awfully thin in case of injury, of course, so I can understand why the Jays probably won’t, but the markets both behind the plate and in centre seem to be an excellent place to be if you’re a seller right now.

So… there’s that.

Comments (119)

  1. source = adam lind

  2. No way I would trade rasmus and play gose. Jays need power from the left handed side. Rasmus is a better hitter than gose, anyways. Arencibia, sure.

    • At this point I think if anyone gets moved from CF or C it is done at the All-Star break.

      • It’s a safe bet, sure, but you absolutely do not know that.

        • Ha! Of course not. It is all speculation here obviously. I figured that was a given. Sorry I should have included a “imo”that time. On my phone now trying to save characters.

          • You did say “I think” hardly seems like you were suggesting you knowfor certain. Stoeten despises you and RADAR though so he always rips your guys posts up.

    • Yep – you’re exactly right on all points, although I guess what counts most is what we’re getting back. Certainly not for one year of Dickey.

    • Not suggesting it’s a great idea, but Emilio Bonifacio was the Miami Marlins CFer last season, so he could be a stopgap until Gose was ready.

  3. I think it’s too soon to think about trading Rasmus. If we can trade jpa for a pitcher I say we do it, but I don’t think I’d want dickey .

    • i have from a great source that you indeed want dickey very badly

    • I think you would want Dickey if JPA is the main piece being traded. Because JPA probably won’t get back much. Also if somehow JPA+ was traded for Dickey it would be fucking awesome.

  4. Jays have more than enough in CF imo for them to deal Gose or Rasmus. I mean I wouldnt want a combination of Bonifacio and Davis there for a whole season but they would be fine for a little while. Of course it depends on who you would get back obviously and under wgat terms.

  5. I know it’s far too small a sample, but…

    Rasmus wRC+: August: 36, September 59
    Gose wRC+: August 41, September 105

    Also… holy fuck.

    • nooooooooo i just got a rasmus jersey.

    • The tune has changed a shit ton since it was holy fuck look at Rasmus’ 2010 season. Still can’t see how doing that age 23 was a fucking mirage. Age 26-28 seasons will have to produce at least one similar to that level.

    • Just think of Colby’s value if he has a really strong first half. Remember how unlucky he was the first few weeks of 2012? If he can steady the ship for a solid 2nd half like AA thinks is possible the numbers will be pretty impressive.

  6. Bob Melvin?

  7. Trade Gose for a 1990 Frank Wills replica jersey

    • Now that’s a beauty of handle, probably one of the finest yet.

      Hassey looked like a silver back that found his way into a Rawlings outlet.

    • I’ve got a game used Greg Myers Orioles bat I can throw in the deal….

  8. Gose needs a year in Buffalo.

    • Could use, sure. Needs? Probably.

      But you could try it.

      Bonifacio can play CF, too.

      • that was my thought

        boneface in CF half a year, then gose wins mvp ala trout by stealing 2 bases a game with a BB rate of 20%

      • Not particularly well. And Bonifacio does it while hitting for a career .343 SLG.

        Let’s hold off on the trade Colby thing.

      • Mmmmmmmmhmmmmmmn.

        First time in have outrightly agreed with you in a long time. You must be boozing or something.

  9. Did anyone from Milwaukee work with Gibbons ever?

  10. RE: Lawrie:
    Hell, the source could be a Gregg Zaun or a Dirk Hayhurst, seems like the kind of thing they’d muse about off the record after a couple rye & gingers.
    But really, the source could be any one of us, it doesn’t take a brilliant baseball mind to see conflict coming between a brash hothead young gun and a gruff no-nonsense veteran manager. Hell, it’s basically like predicting the plot of half the sports movies/cop shows in existence. The second they hired Gibby my first thought was “He’s going to smack the shit out of Brett Lawrie at some point.”

    RE: Mystery GM says we should deal Rasmus and Arencibia:
    For all we know this could be some loser like Terry Ryan of the Twins or that chubby turtle-looking dude who runs the Mariners, why should we take any stock in what a rival GM thinks the Jays should do? I’m pretty sure if there’s a possible worthwhile trade on the table, AA has called, called again, texted, run an Excel pivot table of regression scenarios and then called back a few times.
    To trade two very serviceable, high-upside pieces like our starting CF and a starting C, 2 of the hardest positions to fill, and to replace them with the drying husk that was once John Buck and an unproven rookie with a swing like a sugar-high 3rd grader at a pinata party, I’d need a PRETTY fucking decent return.

  11. I just hope to be in the stands the day Lawrie runs through a stop sign and Gibbons charges out of the dugout to tackle him halfway down the third base line.

  12. I’d like for the Jays to keep Colby but it all depends on what the price is. I trust AA to not “sell low” on him.

    JPA? Meh. It’s been said many times but if D’Arnaud never got injured, JPA would most certainly be on the way out. The uncertainty with D’Arnaud coming back from injury is the main thing still keeping him here.

  13. So…….. Escobar says “I wanna play SS” = he ends up with the Tampa Bay Rays…. wtf lmao

  14. Or maybe Lawrie finds a mentor in Gibbons and excels. Stranger things eh?

    • Wouldn’t shock me
      Wonder who that GM was.

      “They have enough offence with the rest of their lineup.”

      I agree with this. The priority need now is pitching. Nothing against Rasmus, actually I like the guy, but if they can get another quality starter, he’s expendable. Of course I’d prefer to unload Davis and Sierra instead, but they’re not going to bring anything back.

  15. Wait, so the Royals with Salvador Perez and Lorenzo Cain, the D-backs with Montero and an overcrowded OF, the Orioles with Weiters and Adam Jones, and the dodgers with an overcrowded OF are interested in JPA and Rasmus? Ummm…. don’t think so

  16. And also, I’m getting tired of people saying “the Jays have enough offense”. There’s no such thing as too much offense or too much pitching. There are no extra points in baseball for having a balanced team. We have a hole at DH, for example, and even with all the offense in the world already, filling that hole would do just as much good as adding another pitcher.

    • Yep, you can always use more offense, especially if your DH is Adam Lind.

      • Lind will either get his act together or will be out of baseball by this time next year.
        And it could be by the allstar break he’s out of baseball.
        It’s been shown already that no other team wants him.

  17. Considering Bonifacio, Davis & even Cabrera can cover CF, the Jays could theoretically move Rasmus & sign a stopgap LF for the 1 year and approximately $4.5 mil Colby is set to earn through arbitration.

    I mean, that’s probably something like Ichiro or even less than that.

    On the other hand, Colby has been pretty shitty for 2 years so it’s not like the Jays are counting on him to be very good.

    I guess it depends on the return, but Rasmus & JPA+ could bring back a pretty nice player.

    • I’d take Ichiro.

      • The accidental racism in the media representing Toronto’s Asian community would be worth it on it’s own.

    • @ Jays 2010

      There’s a reason he was bad two years ago and the beginning of last year.He’s a good candidate for a rebound.

      • STRONGLY agree. IMO it is pretty clear Colby will benefit from having an actual MLB lineup mashing around him. Once he was moved to the 2 spot last season he was in all star form, then the injuries happened and as the team became shittier, so did he. It’s like he saw the writing on the wall and just didn’t have the extra push of meaningful baseball. That’s what I saw anyway. I think trading him would be a huge mistake. Also, as far as Lawrie goes…how far does a maple boner get you? If he clashes with Gibbons and things go wrong, fuck him. If he doesn’t want to play ball (pun intended) he can go be a selfish dickhead elsewhere! Now if everything works out and he is the stud we hope, I’ll take all this back and drool over his knob like everyone else.

  18. In the Gibbons interview posted earlier, Gibbons referred to a conversation that he had with a friend of his who coached Lawrie in AA ball. My guess as to the source.

  19. shit maybe the Jays go ape-shit funny and trade for Choo to play LF and put Melky in CF, who knows anymore in these post-halycon days where payroll parameters are as a loose as a wizard’s sleeve

  20. Hey Hey Hey Hey, WHAT is going ON here?

  21. Sara, I want to lick your ass.

  22. Good catching market ? Yup Martin got 17 mil. Good cf market? Not so much? Span brought back a B prospect 3 years away

    • this is very true, but things might change with Upton, Pagan and Victorino signing new contracts (or soon to sign if Victorino’s case, I can’t keep up anymore). There might also be a discrepancy in the FA market and in the trade market for young, cheap, controllable, high upside players

  23. I won’t be heartbroken if AA doesn’t make another significant move prior to spring (aside from a bench guy/surplus arm). This is a talented team. I know it’s only ink on paper at this point and cynics can get into the what-ifs, but this is a talented team.

    I’d share some of the concerns if AA had only brought in sluggish boppers to put at every position. Instead he brought in some explosive athletes to share the field with our own explosive athletes. Hitters can slump, sluggers can suffer power outages but true athletic guys like Reyes/Colby/Bonifacio/Lawrie/Gose/Davis will remain athletes.

    Speed doesn’t slump. This team will be fast, athletic, and will make some great plays with the ball and on the paths.

    Teams and players avoid slumps when you can hit a 2 hopper to short and beat it out to start or extend an inning. It’s not too ridiculous a proposition to suggest that we could lead the AL in infield hits/stolen bases/and homers next year. It’s a pretty dynamic offense.

    More is nice, but we look pretty fuckin good right now.

    And as for Lawrie and Gibby, it’s too easy to suggest that these two will be at odds.
    Strong minded, talented guys who want to win.

    I think the opposite could just as easily be true, Lawrie finds a father figure who can mix just the right amount of “go get em kid” and “let’s pull back the reigns a little”.

    I stated earlier that I think Lawrie will be the most improved Jay next year.
    He’s already loaded with talent, now you remove pressure and expectation. – sky’s the limit for Lawrie in my mind.

    • I agree put your post doesn’t go into detail about pitching. Pitching wins championships. The Rays, for example, are good because of ptching. What happens if Romero stays the same, and Johnson gets injured. This isn’t all that unlikely of a scenario. Buehrle + Morrow are not enough to carry the team. One more above average starting pitcher is the biggest missing piece I think.

      • @ Jimmy,

        I agree with you about the pitching but in my first sentence I said “prior to the spring”. Prices are high now for pitching. As spring training nears guys get cut or don’t get the contracts they want and sign one year deals like Ryan Madson last year. Until Victor Martinez’s knee blewup there was talk Prince was gonna take a 1 year 20 million deal and hit free agency in 13 because there wasn’t much interest. Soooo, you can get a premium type guy without investing all the years.

        Point is that right now the Jays look good. You talk about probable injuries, you can’t prepare a team for injuries you insulate a team with viable options in case your worst fears come true.

        Currently the Jays have 5 very viable starters, in fact there rotation is probably envied by 20 of the teams in MLB. I don’t see it as wise to go out and get a 6th proven starter just in case because the cost (prospect/cash) is just too high. I think it’s smarter to get a guy who CAN step in if needed but otherwise can be your longman out of the pen. (not unlike/but not suggesting – Carlos Villuenueva)

        Pitching wins as the Giants can atest. Over the top offense can too, or are you forgetting our first world series? We won one of those games 17-15.

        We were so loaded with hitting that we SAT the AL batting title winner when we were in Atlanta.

        Unless something falls from the heavens I say we sign AAAA guys and stand pat. If an injury happens in season and we don’t feel our in house options are going to keep us on or near the top then we will still have that stable of ponies we can flip. (Syndergard/Sanches/Smoral/DJ Davis/Stroman/Nolin/ etc…)

    • Well said, I agree. I do think another arm or two is paramount though, considering how Tommy John dresses in the Grim Reaper cloak and hides on the bench.

      My sleeper for next year is…………………. Here’ssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss ADAM! That’s right, because he is going to lay off the fried chicken this year and have way less pressure to perform. It’s in his personality, you can just see it in his body language.

      By the way, if you put Mike Ditka, Gibbons, Sweet Lou Pinella , a face eating ape,

      • Bobby Knight, George The Animal Steel and Brett Lawrie in a battle royal, Gibbies walkin out hands down.

        • I wouldn’t fuck with Ditka but I’d definitly buy the pay per view for this event.

      • Gonna have to disagree on Mr. Lind though. If you put that guy in one of Tony Starks Iron Man suits he’d still manage to come up lame.

        His bones are made out of Doritos.

  24. I am somewhat sad to hear AA’s comments that seem to suggest he is probably only going after depth players. This team is 1-2 players away from being unstoppable.

    • Sadly there’s virtually no such thing as an unstoppable team, so it’s better not to put all your eggs in one basket for a one or two year window and hope injuries don’t derail you.

      • this is true, the phillies’ best rotation of all time can atest to that. but I can just imagine needing another proven arm in early august, perhaps after a pitcher got injured or someone like Happ or Romero isn’t pitching well. also would trading for and extending dickey for 3 more years be putting the eggs in one basket? or signing marcum for 2 years 25 million (random guess at his value)? a team can never have enough quality pitching, and if the team has the resources to get another proven arm, now could be the time to use them.

        but on the other hand it also worries me that probably the best pitcher on the team isn’t signed long term. if Johnson walks that is a huge hole to fill. if AA is near the limit of his spending (which he surely is) then perhaps money to sign a guy like marcum could be better used to work on an extension for johnson

        • Don’t worry too much about Johnson.It’s a good problem.
          By mid season if he’s great –sign him
          if he’s not, trade him to the NL for what you need.
          If he goes at the end of the season -you offer 13 mil in arb,let him walk and get a draft pick.

          • except if he is good and we dick around he ends up going to the Bosox or Stankees and we lose twice. They get stronger and we get weaker. A GD draft pick that might pan out to a third rate pitcher 5 years from next June is hardly worth very much.
            I say if he lloks good in the spring get him extended. Don’t way until he starts 7-2

  25. the market for catchers is good, going base on what ross, martin and even soto have received so far, crop of catchers is sad which brings up JPA’s value.

    However I don’t the Cf market is as good, Twins only got a B pitcher in high A for Span.

    I wouldn’t move Rasmus right now, as bad as he was to end the year, his value isn’t high.

    and ps whats with everyone sayin rasmus was playing hurt.. what was the purpose of playing hurt? why do players do this, i heard the same thing about vernon once, but for a 4th or 5th place team down the stretch what do you need a guy to play hurt for?

  26. How fast the Escobar wagon crashed……went from maybe netting a solid SP to getting a fringe prospect

  27. Rasmus and JPA for one year of a soft tossing old knuckleballer? I’m sorry – I’d rather not give up either of them for him. They both are under control cheaply. They can have Buck and eat his salary and take Rasmus if they throw us a prospect back. Final offer.

  28. My guess is that the scuttlebutt is coming from the Boston camp, via Farrell, relayed to his reporter messenger minions, that Elliott stumbled into drunk out of his mind at 3 a.m. at Opryland, or whatever the fuck they call that hotel in Nashville.

  29. So.. is there an over/under on when Gibby Jerseys Lawrie? I think its a little too soon for that kind of talk.. then again…I have a feeling that they will get along. Maybe Lawrie will come to work this year ready to do his managers bidding… or at least stop throwing helmets and stealing home.

  30. What do you think Gose’s value would be right now if the Jays hadn’t exposed him to big league pitching last August and September?

    I think Alex may have missed this point when expressing his belief that bringing up prospects early doesn’t harm their development. Maybe that’s true, but perhaps it exposes their (real) trade value. It’s sort of like driving a new car off the lot, depreciating its value even though a car with an odometer reading 1,000 is functionally the same as the car with 0 miles on it.

  31. +1 to m2

    In general I think prospects that could be traded shortly should be coddled and given meatballs to hit in their AA/AAA nests. Bringing them up exposes weaknesses we’d rather not let other people know about. That having been said, I don’t think AA had any choice last year. At one point I think we only had 2 major-league players in the game. Everything else was minor-league players and what passed for our bench.

  32. Everyone seems to think that Gibby and Lawrie will clash.. It could be that Lawrie actually needs a straight shooter like Gibby to know exactly what is expected of him. Make it easy. An obvious line to what he expects means the young guy isn’t guessing – or making his own decisions.

  33. I also would like to see at least half of a season of Rasmus before we cut bait.

    Ya he’s been inconsistent, but remember when they switched him and Lawrie to the top of the order? We had 1-4 covered beautifully. With Melky and Reyes here we could have one gangster ass lineup if things go smoothly. And if they don’t – you could still build a package for a starter once teams start to slide out of contention around the all star break.

  34. Ugh, why all the Rasmus hate? It’s like most people on here, and Stoeten, can’t wait to move him fast enough. The guy is a solid ball player. Sure, he slumped in the second half last year, as did practically everyone on the team not named EE, but he proved in the first half he can be a big bat and his fielding is a plus. He is still young, and seems to be continuing to figure things out and progress. He’s also a good clubhouse guy, though quiet. I like Colby and like his production and potential for more moving forward with our current line-up. If we can trade him for someone who is factually better, of course (I mean, I don’t LOVE the guy), but I’m not trading a young starting center-fielder and our starting catcher (JPA is annoying as hell but hits home-runs for a catcher, and don’t say otherwise) for a potentially over-the-hill in t-12 months knuckleballer!!!!

  35. Dickey was on The Daily Show (John Stewart) last night. Not your average dummy ballplayer. I didn’t realize he throws his knuckler in the EIGHTIES. Hmmm

  36. tom cheek baby!

  37. Check my twitter tweet. I ain’t goin’ nowhere

  38. Wow, marvelous weblog structure! How lengthy have you ever been running a blog for? you made running a blog glance easy. The full glance of your website is great, let alone the content material!

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