I’m not sure how entirely new this is, but… it’s Friday, the link dump is coming along slowly, and when the hell else am I ever going to get a chance to post something from Global TV in Saskatoon?
That’s where the Jays’ winter tour is making its latest stop, and where Alex Anthopoulos sat down this morning to answer a few questions– some of them twice!– on the airwaves of the local station. At the end of it he even manages to say something rather interesting!
“We’d love to have a reliever if we could. We’re still talking to Darren Oliver– I’m not necessarily optimistic that he comes back. But we’d love to add one more reliever. We think that would solidify things for us.”
“We have a lot of talent,” he later says of the bullpen, “but they’re very young and not necessarily proven. So that’s the one area I’m a little concerned about, but it could also certainly be a strength.”
It makes sense– though I may have preferred him say he wants a right-handed bat of some kind, as he did in his scrum with the assembled media hordes following the RA Dickey presser (as per North of the Border)– and it’s definitely interesting to hear Alex not sounding quite as outright dismissive of Oliver’s tactics as I’d thought he was.
Also interesting (though probably nothing): over at ESPN.com (Insider only) Jim Bowden continues to predict that the Jays may eventually be the landing spot for free agent closer Rafael Soriano.
I’m not much for throwing money– assuming we’re just talking about a one year pillow contract here– at relievers, but they sure would have themselves a hell of a bullpen if they added Soriano to it. And as much of a revelation as Casey Janssen was last year, I think you could certainly displace him as the closer, given how that seems to be Soriano’s demand.
The draft pick they’d have to give up, however, throws the whole thing into serious doubt.
Sure, the Jays’ 10th overall pick is protected, meaning that they’d only have to give up a second-rounder, but– even in a world where the Jays could keep tossing cash around– I don’t think that makes much of a difference.
Baseball America estimates the Jays’ bonus pool for the 2013 draft to be around $5.9-million for the first ten rounds, and Perfect Game estimates the second round of the draft as beginning at pick 43, meaning the pick the Jays would forfeit would be the fifty-second. Last year’s 52nd pick, used by the Cardinals to select Patrick Wisdom, had a bonus of $970K attached to it, while tenth overall pick David Dahl signed with the Rockies for $2.6-million.
Those figures aren’t concrete, but they give you a pretty good idea of what little pool money would be left should the Jays forfeit their second-rounder and sign their first rounder somewhere around slot. And given the hit their farm system just took, and how successfully they snared high-end talent from the draft’s later rounds with some creative accounting last year, I’d be surprised if that was the approach they took.
Then again, it’s not like they have a whole lot of high picks to spend that money on anyway, and there’s the chance that Soriano is worth making a qualifying offer to again in a year’s time, meaning that they’d either get him on a one-year for around $14-million, or they’d get back an even higher pick than the one they’d stand to lose.
Crotch grab in the direction of @abstractmonkey for the clip.