Now it’s time for all the stuff I don’t figure on making full posts out of (and that I need to distract myself with in order to keep from arguing with the commenters), with the spiffy graphic by Matt English (aka @mattomic). It’s your Afternoon Snack… er… Afternoon Hangover… er… links!!!

Awesomeness at FanGraphs, as Kiley McDaniel checks in again from instructs, giving us the scouting low-down on a few of the Jays’ just-drafted prospects, like Tyler Gonzales and Chase De Jong. “Gonzales looks like he can develop into a reliever with two plus pitches and average command, which would be closer upside,” he says, “but it’s optimistic to see that as a likely outcome at this juncture.” Meanwhile, “DeJong has a chance for three above-average pitches with solid-average command but there’s plenty of work to be done and a decent amount of risk. The upside is a number three starter and the three-pitch mix, bigger frame and 11 months of youth DeJong has over Gonzales give him a better chance to stick in the rotation, though both are far from sure things.”

Awesome, as always, Jon Hale of The Mockingbird goes deep into the Pitch F/X to look at Josh Johnson’s curve. Must-read stuff.

Dirk Hayhurst’s next book is going to be a page-turner for Jays fans, and he gives us an excerpt over at his blog, featuring story from his time with Vegas in 2009, and a rather off-putting character with a bad case thinking he’s Big League, referred to only as “Brice Jared”– a high draft pick and newly minted big leaguer who had started the year with the big club but was busted back down to the minors early in the season, and had accrued two months of MLB service time to that point. Those clues are enough to make me think it’s maybe Travis Snider, though later in the story Dirk suggests there’s a more highly touted prospect on the plane– “Shy Country,” a pitcher– which at the very least gives him plausible deniability on that front. Maybe Brett Cecil is “Shy Country”? No idea. And I don’t know this guy either, but I really want it to be Jeremy Accardo: “One of our best relievers tied on a white tiger-print headband, got smashed at an ‘80s tribute concert, and spent the night passed out in a shrub outside the Luxor.”

Here’s something resembling the kind of the Triple-A depth the Jays are looking for: according to a tweet from the Metis Sports agency, their client, Claudio Vargas, has signed a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training with the club. He posted a 3.69 ERA over 109 innings for Nashville of the PCL in 2012, and also spent some time playing in Mexico.

John Lott of the National Post catches up with Carlos Delgado, recently revealed as the club’s next addition to the Level Of Excellence. King Carlos also spoke with Jeff Blair on the Fan 590 this morning.

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun speaks to a number of friends of Tom Cheek, who share their remembrances as the legendary announcer is selected as the Ford C. Frick Award winner, enshrining him in the broadcasters’ wing in Cooperstown. More here.

At Minor League Ball, John Sickels looks at the Miami Marlins’ top prospects. Justin Nicolino comes third, while Jake Marisnick and Adeiny Hechavarria are six and seven.

Charlie Caskey of Jays Journal looks at the potential Lansing rotation for next season, and figures on yet another treat for the fans there, with Robert Osuna and Dan Norris potentially being the next Jays prospects to hit the piggybacking system.

All kinds of gems from around the league at Getting Blanked, including: Josh Beckett looking less-than-svelte, Zack Greinke’s opt-out options (and the yeoman’s work done by Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports on the topic), Michael Young’s somewhat comical landing in Philadelphia, and the lamest shots ever fired.

At ESPN.com, Jim Bowden looks at the diverging groups of GMs in the league, which he separates into “old school” and “new school” categories. Arizona GM Kevin Towers says “GMs are peppering him with ’9 million ideas’ every minute via texts and emails from all directions, and Towers has more bells ringing than the pinball machines he used to play as a kid.” That’s our AA!

Want a Blue Jays browser theme for Chrome or Firefox, or whatever other web browser you might use? You probably don’t. But if for some reason you did, you could snag one from over at BlueJays.com.

At Bluebird Banter, Minor Leaguer doesn’t care for the Toronto Star’s Jays-related gift idea.

Jay Jaffe talks JAWS– the Jaffe WAR Score system– with CBS Sports, as the Hall of Fame debate heats up.

More from FanGraphs, as Carson Cistulli looks at what every utility infielder was worth in 2012. Omar Vizquel? Not a whole lot. Oh, but the clubhouse factors, people. Remember the clubhouse factors!

Jason Churchill of Baseball Prospectus ranks and reports on the prospects who had been traded so far in the off season, prior to Sunday’s deal between the Rays and Royals. It’s a paywall’d piece, but the top three prospects are visible for everybody, and they include ex-Jays Justin Nicolino and Jake Marisnick.

Lastly, reverberations are still being felt around from last night’s big trade between the Rays and Royals, and because of its implications on the Jays’ chances– in 2013, they’re improved at least slightly, though the Rays’ long-term outlook looks considerably better now than it did yesterday– as well as the market for high-end starting pitching, there are all kinds of reactions worth taking note of:

- At Getting Blanked, Drew tries to make sense of the senseless, scoffing at the rush to discredit Shields’ track record, and the foundation of road ERA that it’s built on. Flags fly forever, he doesn’t say, but he implies it. And he’s hit on the main reason this deal makes sense for the Royals, regardless of optics. Well, that plus the fact that the front office is desperate to keep their jobs. He also quotes Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus, in explaining that “Myers looks like a player but his ‘tools aren’t so loud or the holes not so small’ that he does not project as an untouchable superstar beyond reproach or trade request.”

- Dave Cameron of FanGraphs panned the trade in its immediate wake, then today took on the oft-repeated, reductive “unknown prospect” versus “proven big leaguer” narrative, insisting that “it’s lazy to lump every prospect into one barrel and pretend that they all have the same odds of success and failure,” and imploring that we “not pretend that future performance variance only exists around Myers, or around prospects in general.” He adds that “James Shields comes with a significant amount of bust potential himself, much of it simply due to the fact that he throws a ball with his right arm for a living.”

- Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports is one of those using the all-prospects-as-complete-unknowns crutch.

- Jerry Crasnick talks to a bunch of executives about the deal in a post for ESPN.com.

- Andy Martino of the New York Daily News tweets that a deal was offered to the Mets last week wherein they’d receive Myers straight up in exchange for Jon Niese and Zack Wheeler. Hmmm…

- JJ Cooper of Baseball America talks to executives who don’t think the Royals got fleeced here at all.

Comments (51)

  1. Could it be David Purcey instead of Snider?

    • nah purcey plasy in 2008 as well.

      Who made the team for the first time in 2009? Bret Cecil.

      • russ adams?

      • Dirk already said via Twitter that it wasn’t Brett Cecil who was ‘Brice Jared’.

        Brett’s wife even replied to him via Twitter saying there was no way in hell that it was Brett, as he was the one who was usually picked on. She also said that she remembers being told that particular story and laughing her ass off. I think, therefore, that Stoeten is bang-on in guessing that ‘Shy Country’ is Cecil.

        Also, I can guaran-frickin’-tee that it was Accardo who got plastered and spent the night in a shrub.

    • hayhurst, to avoid being beat up, made his bad guys a culmination of bat traits from several people..

      shy country seems more like Snider if you ask me, the douche could be accardo.

      pure speculation. but when he says something like a more highly touted prospect was on flight, no one was higher ranked than Snider

      • I read this too.

        The possibility exists that “Brice Jared” existed as one player, but no one will ever be able to pinpoint it – because there is no way Hayhurst is going to give away other info that would let you track it down with player movement.

        So if we allow that thee character could be a compilation – we really shouldn’t be treating the details of his call-ups etc as (bullpen) gospel. (heh.)

  2. If you go exactly by Hayhurt’s description – that the player made the big leagues for the first time out of Spring Training in 2009 – then it can’t be Snider, who was called up at in August, 2008.

    Ricky Romero actually fits, though he was never really demoted to AAA, he just stopped in there during a rehab stint.

    • Romero seems to fit best- sent down for ten days in May (“roster shuffling”), he never was on the DL. It’s probably a compilation of sorts, but I’m betting Romero is the biggest part of it. Shy Country seems more like Snider.

      • i sincerely doubt its romero. hes not much of the outgoing type

        • compared to Snider? Frankly, Romero has always seemed a fair bit more outgoing than Snider.

          Plus, of course, Snider had 2 months in the majors in 2008, and was the highest prospect in the organization.

      • hmmm… if Shy Country was a pitcher, then Brett Cecil fits. Cecil was at the time a bigger prospect than Romero. Although, he only spent a few days at Vegas with Romero, as he had his first cup of coffee just as Romero was being sent down.

        This at least is closer to not having been in the Majors before, and Cecil was a pitcher, which fits Hayhurst’s description.

      • Date at the start of the entry is “June 2, 2009″ so Romero would have been long gone by then (he was back pitching with the Jays by May 26). Also “Shy Country” is introduced as “first timer here in Triple A” – which cannot be Snider in June of 2009.

        • My first thought was Kyle Drabek is Brice…

        • I expect that Hayhurst would be most willing to fool around with the details (or misremember)- Snider had time in AAA before (though Syracuse not Vegas), but so did Cecil, who had also spent April in Vegas.

          A few days of plausible deniability seems about right for Hayhurst anyway. I think the almost all the details are wrong (nobody quite fits) but my best guess is it’s Romero and Cecil…

  3. My guess is Zach Stewart

  4. Big fan of Claudio Vargas’ representation – Metis Sports Agency. I really like their slogan “WE KEEP IT RIEL”

  5. The forest face made my afternoon.

  6. Stoeten I hear ya on the TB/KC trade….but Buster actually just tweeted some food for thought:

    Wil Myers is sport’s No. 3 prospect. Baseball America’s No. 3 prospect 2006-2010: Brandon Wood; Delmon Young; Joba; Rasmus; Mike Stanton.

    • Right… but… so? See what Cameron is saying. There’s no curse on the number three prospect in baseball. Yes, lots of prospects bust, but talking in generalities like that doesn’t really help anybody understand the deal.

      • would you agree that it is more of a certainty for shields to have success at the major league level going forward, because he already has proven that he can sustain success at that level?

        • said ned colletti about casey blake before trading santana

          • there’s going to be examples of the this type of deal working out better in both directions, otherwise they would never happen. Doesn’t really negate my question.

          • yes it does..

            because the value in a prospect is in their potential. Sure potentials fall short all the time, but if you actively trade higher potential for established players, you are bound to get burned.

            lets not forget that major leaguers, especially pitchers, are never garantees. Shields is 3 years removed from being one of the worst starters in all of the AL. He may have less questions marks than Myers, obviously but its a calculated risk

      • agreed.

        All I meant, and I think you might agree, is that we have to look at the probabilities of each individual player. I still think TB won the trade, but obviously Shileds and Wade are closer to sure things (no sure things in baseball) than the KC prospects. An example being the failure of formerly highly touted prospects. i.e. Buster’s tweet

        • I love the trade for the Rays, but If I were forced to play devil’s advocate I can think of several names from the past 2-3 years (ie. Matt Laporta, Justin Smoak, Jesus Montero, Eric Hosmer) of prospects touted for their potentially elite bats who faltered severely once exposed to ML pitching.

          • a lot of people around here get really snarky when you suggest a blue chip guy may not blossom immediately.
            I’m really not sure why the thought is so offensive to some.

      • Sure we don’t have to speak in generalities about top prospects, but there’s nothing about Myers that suggests he’s any more special or less risky than your typical top prospect, be he a #3 or otherwise.

        In fact the evidence is that he isn’t special, since the Royals, a team with a loaded farm, saw him as expendable.

    • why is that food for thought? Rankings are completely dependent on the field of prospects competing for the spots.

    • Obviously there is risk involved. If you know 100 per cent Myers becomes Stanton then this deal is the worst in the history of life. It’s about risk. How likely is it that Myers becomes good? (somewhat likely) That is what makes it a poor trade.

      • Its a bad trade because of what KC is.

        Had the rangers traded a Myers or Profar, for shields, you suck it up as the cost of doing business, and putting the team over the top. It will always suck to lose a Myers but if it gets you in to the playoffs, you deal with it.

        Problem is KC is not a Shields/Davis away from the playoffs and aren’t in a position to overpay for pitching.

        • Agreed, but while I think the club isn’t in that position (though I’d argue they’re closer than you’re giving credit for), I think their front office definitely is.

          • btw would you give up tda for shields/davis?

          • I just don’t see it.. their offense is gordon and butler.. Hosmer took a massive step back last year so who knows what kind of year he will have..

            rotation still isn’t very good, offense is lacklustre.. They’ll be more competitive, and they get to beat up on the twins, but so will the white sox and tigers, both whom have better teams than the royals.

  7. Finally, my love of baseball and gossip blind items collide!

  8. Brice Jared and Shy Country, WTF?

  9. But Myers played in the PCL; therefore, his stats are completely meaningless and we should assume he can’t actually hit!

    C’mon, somebody had to say it.

  10. Agreed. “Brice Jared” is almost certainly Travis Snider judging by the timing. Not as sure about Cecil being the other guy, but he was a pretty major prospect too at the time.

  11. Regarding Hayhurt’s aryticle, my best guess is

    Brice Jared = Snider No other prospect in the Jays org had significant bonus money at that time and Snider played in 77 games in 2009 before getitng sent down which corresponds well with the date of July 2 when Hayhurst wrote that entry. Not too mention it’s been well documented Snider did not take his demotion well in 2009.

    Shy Country = Zach Stewart While Brett Cecil fits the profile he saw action in AAA in 2008, whereas Zach Stewart was just traded for the Jays in 2009, and was actually our #1 prospect that year hence Hayhurts’s statement that the player was arguably a bigger prospect than Brice Jared.

    Finally the reliever who passed out in the bus was either Jonah bayliss or Accardo. Bullington, Bayliss and Accardo were easily the three best relievers on the 2009 51′s and judging by Bullington’s reputation I doubt it was him, really fits Accardo’s profile.

    All this being said it’s completely possible Brice Jared is some combination of Travis Snider and Jeremy Accardo and some other unknown bad personalities on the team.

  12. How about D’arnaud for Niese and Wheeler then?

    Premium position compared to Myers…

  13. Scouts and columnists have been writing all day that the Jays and other teams in the AL East have benefitted from the TB/KC trade. All who wrote in that vein last night were heavily chastised.

    The trades a win for the Rays organization long term and for the Jays playoff chances for the next few years.

  14. Just curious….. where the fuck is Hamilton going? As long as those fuckers from Boston don’t get him. If Texas doesn’t get him, that’s a huge fucken blow for them. I heard that Seattle is pushing for him. Should we believe that shit

  15. Zach Stewart definitely seems like shy country. Accardo was the first person who popped into my head as passing out in the bushes guy and I thought Brice jared could be either Snider or Cecil.

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