Minnesota Twins v Chicago White Sox

Take this supposed quote from a supposed friend of a Twitterer who had supposedly spoke briefly with Paul Beeston for what little it’s worth (then double it because of that avatar), but yesterday this floated my way across the interwebs…

I’ve actually spoken to a player agent (no, really!) who said he figured that was essentially the Jays’ plan before the Miami deal came around, too– though I have no idea if that was entirely his speculation or if there was a kernel of inside information in what he was saying.

Regardless, to think about what could– or, in this winter’s case, may not– have been is already rather warped. Weirdly, while it may not have entirely sunk in for us yet that we’ll be watching R.A. goddamn Dickey work his magic every fifth day, it feels to me like we’ve already been so over the moon with the Jays for so long that contemplating these other possibilities kinda makes the brain hurt– especially when we start thinking of what may have been the real alternatives.

Which isn’t to say that I think anybody ought to believe the suggestions being made in the tweets above, or that the information made it from “Beeston’s” mouth to our screens without some twists along the way. I mean, it’s a bit silly to think that the Jays could have had such tunnel vision, locking their sights in so tightly on one specific pitcher. Yet it makes a little bit of sense when you think about the timeline, which, as far as I can see, points directly at the White Sox’ Jake Peavy.

A quick look at the excellent Transaction Tracker at MLB Trade Rumors, shows that between the extension Cole Hamels inked with the Phillies in July, and New Year’s Day, there were really only two “name” pitchers to either extend with their current club, or hit the open market only to return: Jake Peavy and Anibal Sanchez.

If you really want to pretend Hiroki Kuroda was going anywhere else, or that Jeremy Guthrie is a “big name” guy, I suppose you could include them as well, but in those cases the point is actually moot, as neither they nor Sanchez quite fit the timeline– all three didn’t re-sign until after the Jays had completed their big move. Peavy, on the other hand, signed a contract extension that was announced officially more than two weeks prior, on October 30th, after it seemed certain for much of the month that he’d hit the open market, with rumours suggesting the White Sox would buy out, rather than exercise his $22-million contract option for 2013.

True, the deal was signed a week before talks between the Jays and Marlins got hot and heavy at the GM Meetings, but we know, thanks to Bob Elliott’s excellent Toronto Sun piece on the anatomy of The Trade, that the framework for the start of the Jays-Marlins blockbuster was by then already in place, with the Jays having refused to part with Adeiny Hechavarria and Justin Nicolino for Josh Johnson at the trade deadline. Elliott also tells us that it was about a week before the Peavy extension that the Marlins higher ups got together and made the decision to blow up the team and start restocking the farm system, with their eyes on the Jays’ surplus.

We also know that last month Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged to reporters that some kind of “mega-deal”– one that would have added similarly astronomical amounts to the club’s payroll– had been nixed shortly prior to Marlins blockbuster. “Beeston’s” comments seem to acknowledge the same event, adding the important clue about the pitcher re-signing instead, which would seem to put Peavy squarely in the timeline. His $22-million option would have also gone a long way to adding to the payroll in the way the nixed deal supposedly did. And, in fact, back in the fall we’d even speculated around here on the possibility of the Jays trading for a pitcher like Peavy, or Dan Haren, whose option was likely too rich for his current club, but palatable enough to a Jays organization desperate for both pitching and some big ticket player to actually take their money.

Of course, “Beeston” supposedly said that the aim was to sign this mystery pitcher, so maybe he wasn’t necessarily talking about the same thing. Plus, Elliott’s timeline suggests that the framework for the deal with the Marlins wasn’t close to firmly in place until the teams met at the GM Meetings. So to believe the tweeted information we’d either have to quibble with his reportage, or believe that the “Plan B” wasn’t so much The Trade, fully formed, but maybe another run at Johnson– whose price was already known to Anthopoulos– which evolved from there.

Actually… I can buy that.

And how’s this for one more twist: just four days before the re-signing of what we thought was a market-bound Peavy, the White Sox officially promoted former GM Kenny Williams up to the office of executive VP, and made Rick Hahn their full-on GM.

Is it possible that the White Sox’ changing of the guard was the odd catalyst for the Jays’ spectacular off-season? Did Hahn take the reins and nix a Peavy “megadeal,” or pull his pitcher back from the brink of free agency, which forced Alex Anthopoulos to return to the Miami Marlins to explore building around a proposed deal for Josh Johnson that had come about back in July?

I dunno. Maybe?

If so, though… uh… thanks, White Sox!

Comments (56)

  1. anyone got the “exclusive sale” email for single game tickets that’s suppose to go online for purchase at 10am today?

    how do we proceed to purchase tickets?!

    • All gone.

    • Ridiculous. I was willing (as i do every year) to fork out the $$ for 100 level behind first base… best I could get were section 509. Ooof. Sucky.

      For interests sake I chose the June 17th game against the Rockies to see what sort of tickets were theoretically available. The first 30-40 rows of the ENTIRE lower bowl is already sold out for that random game. Insane. I knew they were going to be more popular, but June 17th against the Rockies and you can’t even get good tickets?!

  2. that was fast…

    • Check your email though for the link if you want to buy for non-home opener games

    • Didn’t bother trying for the opener. Did get tickets for the first Red Sox game. Fuck Farrell! That should be fun. Got tickets later in the season for the Yankees. Never been to see them yet. We’ll go to one more game but that’ll be walk up in July for sunny seats.

      Got to love the non-stress testing they do on ticket purchasing sites. Brutal. They wound up turning off the interactive seating map.

  3. I actually find it really fun to imagine an alternate offseason – one where this miraculous confluence of events where the Jays can take 3 stars from the Marlins doesn’t happen.

    Peavy makes a lot of sense – with the three degrees of separation from Beeston to this winding up in Stoeten’s Twitter feed, I wouldn’t put much stock in the “sign” vs. trade term. Based on AA’s earlier statements about almost making a major trade right after the World Series, and Peavy extending with the White Sox less than a week after the World Series, the timeline fits pretty perfectly.

    As for what would have made this into a blockbuster deal? Hard to piece together anything that matches the Marlins deal, but I can see the Jays having interest in Peavy, Floyd, Beckham (they needed a 2B at the time) and Alexei Ramirez (seems like they wanted to move on from Yunel).

    • Thank God Noodles Hahn took over, I wouldn’t have wanted any of those guys other then the Cuban Missle.
      Maybe Konerko was in the deal too, he is 36 or 37.
      Other then him I don’t see anyone they could call a “big bat”.

      Hopefully the ground work has been laid to get Big Pauly later in the year.

      • Interesting thought about Konerko being available at the deadline. Also someone like Corey Hart might be dangled at the deadline and could be useful depending on what our dh situation looks like at that point

  4. Big name bat – would be interesting to know who we were aiming for?

    • That’s interesting too. Not many available in free agency, if “sign” is the right word. It seems like they’d had their sights on Melky Cabrera, but I’m not sure if he’d be considered a “big bat” (maybe he would?). If they do grab him, Josh Hamilton probably wouldn’t have been a fit. The other top bats are Boras guys that I can’t imagine the Jays targeting, though Nick Swisher for 1B would be an interesting possibility.

  5. Wow AA said no to Johnson for Hech and Nicolino?? If you ever needed proof that AA isn’t afraid to try to maximize the fuck out of every trade that’s it right there. I know getting Johnson at the trade deadline doesn’t help the 2012 Jays but if I was AA (thank God I’m not) I wouldn’t have even hesistated to do that knowing I have him for 2013 before anyone else got him

    • 1.5 years of Johnson vs. 6 years of Hech and 6 years of Nicolino. Puts a little different light on it, no?

  6. Really nice work Stoeten.
    Hell of a lot of effort,especially with the timelines.
    Talking to a player agent?Blurring the lines with MSM?
    I kid.
    Again good stuff.

  7. Given AA’s past interactions with the White Sox, I think its a safe bet to think that Peavy would have been the guy the Jays were looking at. Especially given that he noted that the difference between the deal that happened and the one that didn’t was the impact on the payroll after the next few years.

  8. Talking to player agents? This blogger?

    Sounds like someone is taking steps towards MSM creds! Lqtm.

  9. The home opener is fun because baseball is back, but there’s too much of a big deal about it. I’ve been to enough of them to know that crowd is 90% drunks, thinking about streaking, and idiots throwing shit at the opposing outfielders (remember when some asshat threw a baseball at the Tigers LF and Leyland actually pulled his team off the field?). I’d rather go to the second game when the idiots who are there for the overpriced beer and nothing else are gone and there’s more real fans in the seats.

  10. To add some clarity to my tweet, Beeston was speaking at a Chamber of Commerce event in Cambridge and my friend who’s an accountant there had a chance to talk to him and get some info. I guess Beeston and AA went to Rogers with Plan A for this pitcher and ‘a big bat’, and said there was a plan B in case Plan A fell through (which it did when the pitcher ‘resigned’). In reality though, Beeston says plan B wasn’t finalized at that time yet and the Marlins deal became the Plan B later on. So…lots of second hand information and stuff that can maybe be assumed to have come from Beeston’s mouth…but still kinda somewhat interesting right!

    More interestingly though, yet equally as unreliable, Beeston said Rogers is just loving spending money right now, which is somewhat true through the massive increase in payroll and future renos to the Rogers Centre that could total $250 million over ten years or whatever it is. So seems like asking Rogers for money has been going well.

    And my avatar was pulled from your site Stoeten, haha.

  11. They should should build a monorail direct from Toronto to Chicago. It sure would make things a lot easier since the Jays/ChiSox seem to make a trade almost every year.

  12. Excellent piece Stoeten. It’s entertaining to look at the possibilities of what could have been. If the Jays were indeed working on a “mega-deal” with the White Sox, I’m curious as to what else would have come the Jays’ way, because the White Sox really don’t have much going for them in terms of talent. Also, for comparison, Alexei Ramirez for Yunel Escobar really wouldn’t have made sense for the Jays. At least, not in the same vain that Jose Reyes does.

    In any case, I think the Jays’ trade with the Marlins would have ended up being the best possible outcome for the team.

  13. Interesting analysis Stoeten.

    My guess was that the other mystery team was the Cubs, centered around Garza perhaps and Soriano, with some other pieces going back and forth.

    Really, who the fuck knows. Moral of the story is that AA’s hyperactivity led to the suits at Rogers to finally loosen their pocketbooks before the Marlins deal was consummated. I truly believe that AA had the quickest draw and was thus the only GM at the big boys table when the Marlins decided to blow the team up.

    Following the Marlins trade, reaction from other markets like Boston was mostly shock and awe. As a further illustration, Cherington said that they would have never traded away some of their prized prospects for the Marlins haul. In reality, I think that Cherington had no fucking clue AA was one stop shopping. I think that AA had the store to himself and other GM’s were left outside looking in.

    • He would have had to keep it all from Farrell during that time as well, at least while he was still technically manager of the Jays, otherwise the word would have gotten to Cherington and the Sox. It really is amazing how it was kept secret that whole time, with Twitter and the way media is now. I don’t know how AA does it.

      • I think that Farrell was cut from the loop much earlier. If we are to believe Farrell that he expressed his desire to manage in Boston was communicated to the Jays back in the prior offseason, my thinking is that AA kept Farrell in the loop on a need to know basis only.

        Probably made Farrell pine for the Boston job even more, as he was not involved in strategic planning and such.

        Well, he can suck it .

        • That’s why I say he was technically still employed. He was so checked out by the end I think it’s pretty obvious he had zero contact with the Jays after that last game, outside of getting access to clean out his office.

          Suck it Farrell.

        • I’d agree with that. The minute Farrell asked back to Boston at the end of the first season was the minute his contract with the Jays ended. Didn’t matter what Beeston replied to that ‘are we good here?’ question, I think Beeston and AA were beyond pissed and Farrell was out the door. Last season he would have been a need-to-know basis and nothing further. Otherwise he wouldn’t have made the point that he asked the front office to go after pitching at the trade deadline and they didn’t. Clearly they did. They wanted Johnson and were trying to negotiate for him. But, also clearly, Farrell didn’t know that. And didn’t find out after the deal fell through either.

    • IMHO
      I don’t think it was AA’s hyperactivity that caused Rogers to loosen the purse strings.
      They were already primed to do it.
      And while other teams may be envious of the Marlins deal,there weren’t a lot of teams who could add 30 mil plus to their payroll and have the prospects to give up.
      Even the Bosox and Yanks have a mandate to avoid the luxury tax and woulda been hard pressed to do it.

  14. peavy and dunn? sweet.

    no matter what the trade could have been. there is no way we would have had a pitcher of JJ’s quality and a SS of jose reyes’s quality with out trading with the marlins.

    so yes, its fun to wonder what could have been, like the rios for lincecum thing.. but it looks like we got the best deal for us.

    also re; inside pitch early sales, complete bullshit, the opener was sold out in a minute. total fuckery. I unsubscribed immediately

  15. AA is way to smart and handsome to give peavey money. He had his good year. He will be on the DL by mid May

  16. I find it a bit hard to believe AA would have been so hard after Peavy. 2010 and 11 were awful. Don’t get me wrong, I like Peavy a lot, but I can’t see him being Plan A with the injury history.

  17. Thanks!
    Xavier Bolden

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