Clearly, with the way these Winter Meetings have been going, he didn’t have a whole hell of a lot better to do (though he did say he’d just been meeting with an agent), so Alex Anthopoulos jumped onto Wednesday’s edition of Prime Time Sports on the Fan590, offering nothing more than he has so far about the behind-the-scenes in Nashville, but a couple interesting items nonetheless.
On the progress of closer Sergio Santos, here’s what he told Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt:
“He feels great. He actually wants to throw right now and we’re not allowing him to throw. We don’t need to have him throwing right now, but he feels unbelievable. I know everyone says these things when someone’s coming back off rehab– ‘it’s the best I’ve felt in years,’ and so on– but he’s told us that, and our doctors and trainers feel very confident that he should be fine.”
Anthopoulos added that he’s on schedule to start throwing with the relievers, with “no restrictions.”
“Obviously that could change, as we go through Spring Training, if he does have any complications,” he explained.
Dustin McGowan, in a similar situation, doesn’t have quite the same rosy outlook. Mostly, there’s “more uncertainty with him than there is Santos,” Anthopoulos explained, “just because of the years of injury problems he has had.”
“Santos is not necessarily in the same boat,” we were assured. “He’s a reliever, and the injury was not nearly as severe, and obviously the past hasn’t been as severe as McGowan.”
In one other, brief, injury update, Anthlpoulos also told us that Kyle Drabek and Drew Hutchison won’t be available to the club until after the All-Star break at the earliest. So… there’s that.
But there’s more!
The JP Arencibia business came up again, as Stephen Brunt asked GM why his player seemed so certain that he wasn’t going anywhere, and whether a conversation had taken place assuring Arencibia that he’d still be in Toronto come April.
“No, I never have a conversation to that extent, where I promise a player you can never be traded,” the GM explained. “I’ve told all of our players at various times, ‘we don’t have no-trade clauses on the roster, we don’t do them as an organizational policy– that being said, we don’t look to trade our core players and we certainly don’t look to trade players that are signed to multi-year deals.’; So, from that respect, I expect JP to say he expects to be starter. I told him that when we made The Trade, that John Buck was coming here to be the backup, and JP was going to be the starter. I didn’t give any guarantees beyond that. From that standpoint, I don’t expect JP to come out in the media and say ‘I expect to be traded,’ or ‘I’m worried about it.’ He knows he can’t concern himself with that, and his focus should be on the team and preparing to start the season with us.”
Not quite satisfied, Brunt suggested that, rather than Arencibia being worried, he’d been making it sound like– wink, wink, nudge, nudge– someone’s given him some assurances, Anthopoulos continued:
“If that’s the way it came across, I certainly didn’t. I’ve never have told JP, ‘You will never be traded.’ I’d never tell any player that, so– the way it came across, I can’t speak for him, but JP is our starter. I expect him to be our starter Opening Day. Like anybody, and this isn’t to be cryptic or to foreshadow: anything can happen– and I say that about anybody on the roster. But I do expect JP to be the starter.”
So… there’s that. Finally.