AA-Gibby

At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith has a rundown of comments that Alex Anthopoulos made on today’s Brady and Lang on the Fan 590, and while Ben does an excellent job of pulling key strands, I can’t very well just paste a link to his work and wash my hands of it, as much as I may want to. So I’ll go one better and add my own thoughts to what he’s relaying to us as well!

Ricky Romero

“He’s going to get a clean slate again next spring. Very good chance he comes off of the roster in the off-season. I told him that ahead of time, just for the 40-man spot. He’ll come in next spring, he’ll come in and compete and hopefully he’ll start fresh and he can get it turned around.”

I wrote earlier in the week that Romero could elect free agency if he’s outrighted a second time, which is true, though if my reading of the CBA is correct this time– and that’s always going to be dicey– the Jays would not be on the hook for the rest of his deal in the same way they would be if they’d released him and he signed elsewhere. Romero, then, wouldn’t have any incentive to elect free agency, which is why Anthopoulos suggests that he’ll be back in the spring, trying again to earn himself a place on the roster.

In the piece linked above, I argue that it’s possible that the club has promoted and shown faith in him, despite an inconsistent (to put it politely) year in Triple-A, largely in the hope that such a message is received by other clubs who may have interest in Romero as a reclamation project, and not so much because they hope to get anything out of him on the field. Both Anthopoulos and Romero– who spoke on yesterday’s radio broadcast– have been saying the right things, though, and being positive about a bad situation, so… maybe I’m wrong. And maybe the market isn’t nearly so desperate for bad pitching as I want to believe.

Jose Bautista

“You never know where discussions will lead, but we’re very reluctant to move our better players and you would do everything you can to make deals without having to talk about those guys,” Anthopoulos said.

He went on to explain that trading a star player such as Bautista would solve one problem while creating another.

It would be easy, given the fact that Jose Bautista has now had his second straight season ended prematurely by injury, to maybe get a little worried about his future viability as an everyday right fielder. Or as a player who can be counted on to stay on the field at all. Or as someone who won’t contribute to the mess the Jays already have on their hands at DH heading into 2014.

And that, naturally, is going to lead to trade talk– strictly, I believe, among fans and media provocateurs.

But I don’t think it means a whole lot, precisely because of what Anthopoulos says.  And because Jose’s contract is so good. And because the rest of baseball sees what we see, too, meaning that the dream scenario where the Jays actually manage to get a cheap front line pitcher and some kind of offensive production back in a deal for the soon-to-be 33-year-old Bautista just isn’t really in the cards.

I’ve said for a long time now, the Jays for this three year period really were built in tandem with Jose Bautista, and I’d be shocked if they actually sent him away. Of course, I don’t believe any of the bullshit fans want to put on him about a lack of leadership, so I guess I can understand that those poor souls who do might have a different viewpoint.

But honestly– and maybe this is just wishful thinking on my part– I think that when the Jays went to Rogers to raise the payroll last season, they must have done it knowing that there was a chance that things may not work out. That maybe, despite the $110-million they’d committed for 2014 (before arbitration raises, options on Janssen and Lind, and a potential qualifying offer to Josh Johnson), they’d have to go even higher. So maybe that $14-million earmarked for Johnson will be around regardless. Maybe, if the right player was willing to take their money, they could go even higher.

They would have had to plan for it, right? They couldn’t have just made these deals, edged up to the very top of their theoretical pay structure, and then decided to sink or swim.

So… I think some money is going to be there. I think some money has to be there or Rogers’ and the club will be in for one hell of a crisis of consumer confidence. And while the cost may be exorbitant, Matt Garza and Masahiro Tanaka are out there on the market. Neither will cost a draft pick, and Tanaka doesn’t even have to be wooed– just straight up bought. As we discussed ad nauseam during the Yu Darvish debacle of two years ago, Japan’s posting system is very advantageous for a team like the Jays.

I think they could maybe even convince ownership that it would be the last real big outlay needed, since if things don’t work out in 2014, the club might wind up looking to rework itself and shed some of their high-salary contracts. Or, at the very least, a tonne of cash will be coming off the books follow 2015 anyway.

Do it, Rogers. For fuck sakes, do it!

Josh Johnson

“Once he’s had his full rest and we get to talk to our doctors and our trainers and so on, just to get a sense of how they feel he’s progressing. That would be the final piece of information that we need.”

Part of the reason I’m deluding myself into thinking that money might be there to help the 2014 Jays is the fact that Anthopoulos can still, presumably with a straight face, talk about the possibility of making a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson.

Apart from the fact that doing so means that the Jays will assuredly retain him, it’s a pretty preposterous notion, at this point. I just can’t see the market for a guy who had the year he did, with the injury history he already had, being– at this point– in the range of $14-million. Maybe, if I said all along, he had shown anything in the season’s last few weeks, but with him being hurt, it’s just not really plausible.

They do have exclusive negotiating rights until after the World Series, though, and could maybe use the time to work out something incentive-laden (though, yes, Anthopoulos doesn’t really do that), or structured with a team-friendly option or two that might work out for both sides. And to that end, I can understand why Alex might be laying it on a bit thick when it comes to the possibility that they’re considering offering him a whack of dough.

If they do retain him for a reasonable price, though, they sure as fuck had better not just stop there when it comes to pitching. I mean, it’s not like this system is just going to pop out a fully formed Noah Syndergaard or something, ready to take the bull by the horns by mid-season [slits wrists].

Ryan Goins

“I know he’s done fairly well with the bat in a limited sample size, but I don’t know that I would put a whole lot of stock in it, because we have a whole lot of minor league time with him and we have a sense of what type of hitter he is.”

Thank fuck!

As Nicholson-Smith notes, Anthopoulos– which may be Greek for “Captain fucking Obvious”– acknowledges that the club maybe didn’t quite think enough about defence as they put together their 2013 roster. That said, while he praises Ryan Goins and puts him in the same breath as the outstanding Orlando Hudson as a defensive second baseman, obviously recognizes that the bat, despite some very early success, leaves a lot to be desired. He’ll obviously be looking elsewhere for help at second.

I’ll say it again: thank fuck.

Comments (78)

  1. Off topic trivia: the Jays yesterday were the first team since the 1970 Reds to play an extra inning game and not leave a single baserunner on.

  2. I can’t see the Romero call-up as anything other than a “what have we got to lose” situation. Given the year he’s had at AAA, his on-field results quite literally cannot get any worse, so why not give him a shot and see if some kind of September miracle turns things around?

  3. “I think they could maybe even convince ownership that it would be the last real big outlay needed, since if things don’t work out in 2014, the club might wind up looking to rework itself and shed some of their high-salary contracts.”

    Exactly. If we are in 5th at the deadline next year, we can move Bautista, EE, Reyes and Buehrle and our payroll will be cut in half. So why not add 30-40M this offseason?

  4. Doesn’t the 25M/year TV deal with MLB kick in in 2014 for all 30 teams? One would think this was considered when planning payroll in the coming years.

    GET TANAKA.

    • TANAKA AND CHOO FOR LF

      • They’re going to put a bid in for 2 million, then turn around and said they tried.

        • Is the consensus not that they bid ~30M for Darvish? Because if so, you are basically completely wrong. 30M is a serious bid.

          • Well, not really. It was well known that it would take something around the Matsuzaka posting fee to get it done. That posting fee was $51.11 Million.

      • Choo would be awesome. A high OBP guy who would play a very good LF and fit right into the second spot in the order. Assuming Cabrera is kept and his legs will play, allows you to put Cabrera in LF, Choo in right and Bautista at DH. This assumes Lind is given his walking papers.

  5. Re: Darvish

    I’m sure I’m not the first one to say this, but I think a lot of problems with this team (both present and future) could have been solved by getting him when he was available. Admittedly, this line of thinking involves some wish casting and assumptions but if they DID (in my opinion) and 2012 ended up similar (ie – not a playoff team):

    - They probably would still make the Marlins deal
    - They’d head into this season after that deal looking at incumbents Morrow, Johnson, Buerhle, Romero, Darvish, Happ
    - Based on that rotation, I’m not sure they would need to trade for Dickey
    - Assuming they didn’t we’d have TDA in the system, and no real concern about the C position going forward like we do now (royal “we”, obviously)
    - Syndergaard and Sanchez are still in the system

    I mean, I know that’s a lot of assuming and “probablies” , but I don’t think it’s TOO far fetched? What I’m getting at is to go and spend some money and get Tanaka (no pick attached).

    • I haven’t thought about it because I’ve tried so damn hard not to, but yeah, if the Jays win the Darvish posting everything is just much, much better. And in the end, the way that was handled by the Jays management, allowing the speculation to run rampant and then have nothing to show for it, it’s a case study in how NOT to manage the expectations of your clientele. AA was always dealing from a position of weakness from that point on.

      • I don’t think AA was always dealing from weakness. But, yeah, that Darvish mess was a completely avoidable disaster. All they had to do was say what they did say finally but say it much earlier in the process. I’m not at all sure how that debacle happened because Beeston and AA are not stupid guys but they handled whole thing that stupidly.

    • Is there a super-hyped Japanese post who didn’t turn out? Dice-K might have been a disappointment for his cost, but let’s not forget he actually got Cy Young votes during that contract.

      Sure, there are Japanese busts like Igawa. But he was never viewed on the same level as Dice-K or Darvish.

      • Canard you have named 3 pitchers and only one really worked out and STILL cost 100M.

        Though I do hope they go for this new guy cause… why not. But still.

      • Well, there was Hideki Irabu – the “fat toad”. Taking a look at all the past Japanese players, very few have made positive impacts in MLB.

    • Fielder and Darvish in 2012, Reyes (-all the other marlins) in 2013..Jays look a lot better right now guaranteed.

  6. “He’ll obviously be looking elsewhere for help at second…thank fuck!”

    Yes, because AA’s history with filling 2B has shown he is totally adept at filling this role.

    • Well hey, if the next 2B we get magically turns into crap, we can just call Goins back up.

    • Geez… he inherited a crappy Hill. Then he traded for Johnson, who we now would probably be glad to get back. Then he got Bonifacio who happened to have his worst year ever and is already gone.

      So two guys. You’re talking as if he has been at it for 10 years.

      • Shitty track record is a shitty track record. He’s had 4 years now to get it right. And he could’ve re-signed Johnson, if he wanted, but him and everyone else thought he was terrible.

        • hindsight is a beautiful thing isn’t it?

        • Every fan was screaming last off season that they never, ever wanted to see Johnson play in toronto again. What’s he supposed to do? Fuckin’ hypocrites.

    • Because solid second baseman are obviously very easy to find.

      • Are you giving me a reason to get my hopes up? No? Then there’s surely no way the writer should be getting his hopes up because AA plans to address the situation, given his 4 years of not being able to do that.

    • Acquiring a veteran 2B, be it signing the likes of Kelly Johnson or trading for the likes of Dustin Ackley and having Goins at Buffalo makes total sense.

      There will be injuries and having a guy in AAA who can come in and play plus defense is a very nice security blanket.

      If he further develops his hit tool and forces his way into the lineup, so much the better.

      • I would love ackley.

        • Ackley… ugh… he, believe it or not, make less contact than JP. There was an article on SI earlier this year about how big of a bust he was, for someone who was suppose to be a professional hitter. Don’t really think a guy with .300 obp is a desirable 2B, more of a player you would settle on. He has ripped up AAA this year when he was sent down, but that’s in the PCL, and we all know how hallow those numbers can be. We need a player to plug in and be able to depend on, not a younger player who is a project that may never pan out.

          Sign EE off season training buddy, yo might of heard of him, Robinson Cano. Probably a million to one chance, but no one thought Clemons would leave Boston for the Jays, and that happened. That would take a massive commitment from Rogers, and some definite wooing, but you’d have to like plugging him in the two hole behind reyes, and ahead of Bautista and EE. Fucking do it AA. And get Tanaka while your at it.

    • Kelly Johnson was ok. I was saying we should have stuck with him. I think AA tried to replace him with cheaper options and got burned badly. Boner and Izzy are not as good offensively or defensively. so, to say AA has a history of not being able to find 2Bman is pretty stupid….he had a solid starter and then fucked up by letting him go.

  7. In terms of Bautista… I don’t think he’s injury prone, but given his range I wonder if a move to first should be considered? I know that it seems like they’d be wasting his arm, but in a limited sample size he seems to be a much better defender there than EE, and you could change your defence a bit so that he’s the one acting as the cut off man. You then move EE to DH and jettison Lind. This means filling a hole in RF and letting Melky come back to play LF though, and they may prefer to jettison Lind and let Melky DH.

    • I guess it depends on Melky’s health but yeah, I think it might be better for him to play most of he season at DH.

    • Bautista has had back, hip and wrist issues. He plays on turf, he has a high leg kick and a very violent swing that requires perfect balance and timing. Just try it and feel the stress it puts on your back and wrist. He’s not getting any younger and it figures he’ll miss some time.

      Red Sox have several starters who figure to miss time: Napoli, Victorino, Ellsbury and Drew all are good for at least one trip to the DL. What they have though, is a Daniel Nava & a Jose Iglesasis, now gone and replaced by Xander Bogarts, and a Mike Carp, and a Jonny Gomes and a Jackie Bradley.

      The point is, you can have key guys like Bautista and Reyes who figure to miss time. But if you’re going to win, you’d better have competent depth guys ready to step in a play a run of games. Jays have not had that.

      • Based on your recommendation, I tried it. Now I can’t lift my beer with my right hand. And I had to get the kid to lift the case up to where I could reach it. Small sample size but I suspect you are on to something. Ow ow ow.

  8. Will Nelson Cruz be offered arbitration?

    • Another DH?

      • Do we really have one now?

        Can’t he play RF if Jose is dealt?

        • If Jose is dealt? what kind of crack are you smoking?

          Lind is good vs RHP and Davis is good vs LHP. Davis can also pinch run and backup OF in a pinch. I don’t see why we wouldn’t go with that for DH. we have far more pressing issues than this.

          • I see both Lind and Davis gone next season.

            • Agreed. Move Melky to DH, maybe see if he can play 1B to rest EE occasionally. Maybe let him play LF in small grass parks (Boston?) if he’s up to it. Gose replaces Davis; Lind goes bye-bye. Save money for other things…

  9. Did Rasmus hit enough this year to be a viable option in LF next year?

    I know he’s valuable in CF, but his arm strength is not incredible.

    What about the notion of having a killer defence if there just isn’t much out there in the off season?

    Lawrie
    Reyes
    Goins
    EE

    Rasmus
    Gose
    Jose

    A.J. Pierzynski

    DH Melky

  10. “And because Jose’s contract is so good.”

    This is, to me, another reason why you may trade him. The return you’d get would be massive because the contract is one that all 30 teams can easily accommodate to get a premium bat (and average defense in RF).

    It’s very possible that his injuries were attributed to the fucking concrete turf, so his age shouldn’t be of major concern, yet.

  11. Who’s Johnson Goins?

    If only it was Groins, and we could have a 2013 season lineup of Johnson, Wang, Dickie and Groins.

  12. im hearing EE has already made the call to Robinson Cano, and hes going to be a BJ next year..haha

  13. Well, since it is almost time for the daily hypothesizing, let me reiterate that I think one of Dickey/Morrow/Buerhle will be moved to try and shore up either 2b or C or LF. I am also on record as saying one of our position players will be moved as part of a deal to land a front line, no 2 type pitcher and I think it will be Rasmus as it is time to sell high on him, just like we should do with Janssen.
    While I acknowledge that AA has to listen to deals for JB and EE and it would have seemed impossible a year ago but I think he has to listen at least. I mean maybe the Tigers flame out and offer us MIGGY. However, realistically Ithink the probability is really low, maybe 1%, diito for Lawrie-he is not going anywhere.
    So, there you have some food for thought from the current roster. My personal ideas for pitching are to sign this cunt Tanaka as Andrew says, and fuck, sign Phil Hugnes FFS, he has Burnett type stuff and the Yanks are going to let him go. and he will NOT costa draft choice ( 4years and 44m should do it )These two deals would only cost $$$ and then we can make ONE big trade for a nO 2pitcher ( see Rasmus/Buerhle above perhaps moved to Cincinnatti or San Francisco). More later

  14. Could bringing Romero up be part of a strategy to finish among the bottom 10 teams and protect their draft pick?

  15. What about catcher?? We can’t win with such poor catchers!

    • I haven’t heard AA criticize JPA recently or even the catcher position. There were some vague comments before Blanco was dealt (generic to C; possibly linked to passed [knuckle-]balls) but I cannot recall anything suggesting that AA plans to replace JPA. Lots of discussion amoung “fans and media provocateurs” (nice one, Stoeten) but not from AA. Have I missed it? Otherwise, prepare for another year of poor O and shoddy D…

      • Don’t be a fucking idiot, please.

        The reasons to get rid of Arencibia are as obvious as the reasons the Bautista garbage is pretty absurd. No need for Anthopoulos to acknowledge it publicly to understand that he knows his catcher is a bag of shit.

  16. What is the relative timing of the Josh Johnson and Tanaka signing processes? IIRC, the Darvish bid process lasted until at least December. Same for Tanaka? What is the window for a Johnson QO?
    What I’m wanderingly wondering is if there is value in giving JJ a QO and then, if you don’t get Tanaka (or other good SP), you cross your fingers and pray he regresses to his mean. Otherwise, get other upgrades by offering JJ as a questionable Christmas present (likely to NL) while eating some of the $14M and sweetening the pot with other pieces (Lind?, Izturis?). Then AA can have some control over the process, the destination and the timing. You’re not going to get a top-line SP for a $14M JJ post-2013. But you might get one from a weaker team for JJ plus $$$ plus others. [FWIW, I see Goins as a cheaper Izturis with better D.]

  17. AA has officially become just another GM…….this is a quote from a friend with reference to his former ninja status.
    Thoughts?

    • I’d agree. The ninja thing is in abeyance for now. The Wells deal was so four years ago!

      • @isabella

        +1. As much as Jays fans, media & bloggers worship AA, he still has to bring a playoff team/ meaningful Sept games to Toronto.

        2B has been a mess since Hill left.

        AA bet on JPA & that turned out to be bad. TDA would have given Jays fans a few more years of hope.

        Looking forward to spring trainung 2014 & at least 73 wins in 2013.

    • Idiots…. One minute he’s a genius, a bit of shit luck later and of course they jump off the bandwagon. Yes, results are poor, but the window is still open an the plan is sound.

  18. Good post Stoeten.

    Rogers has invested too much money now on the team with guarantted payroll through 2015.

    They have to invest an extra 20-30 million per year for the next 2 years to fix the holes at C , 2B & Starting rotation.
    A 20 million expense is immaterial in terms of the Rogers empire spending.

    If the extra $$ gets the Jays into playoff contention or a playoff spot, Rogers will become heroes.

    I am happy that AA acknowledged the defense problems.

    AA also admited that half the team was away during spring training due to WBC.

    Lawrie got hurt at the WBC.

    I think that 2014 will have better defense & hopefully better pitching & a catcher that can be at least mediocre.

  19. [...] the 40 man roster this offseason. Here`s is where it could get interesting Andrew Stoeten over at Drunk Jays Fans seems to be under the impression that since this would be the second time that Romero is taken off [...]

  20. bonif had 4 hits tonight, what a joke this team is

    • …and bonifacio having 4 hits has what exactly to do with the jays?

    • @ Slobber

      And JPA hit 2 home runs, a double and (I think) a single in his major-league debut. We really need to hang on to this very talented hitter…

  21. Heard on MLB on XM today a wild stat the Blue Jays have played 101 of 133 vs teams with a 500 record or better when they played them compared to the Reds who had played 64. Look s like we hit a lot of hot teams at wrong time

    • AL east may have contributed to the number as well, but yeah, that seems like a lot of unfortunate scheduling.

  22. Well, then, I guess KC will ahve to pay him whateveer the arbitrator says this winter which could be upwards of 3m-good luck with that. As they will find out in time that cunt plays 5 postions all of them poorly. We’ll know by 9/15 what we got for him in the seal, but it smells like cash only

  23. Haven’t heard anyone mention this name, but what about Curtis Granderson? Is he pretty much a lock to return with the Yankees?
    I’d consider him if he hits the market. Move him to left, Melky to DH. Adds a solid left handed bat to the lineup. Maybe try to sign him quietly while everyone’s focusing on Ellsbury.

    • Hell, and then get really progressive and slot Bautista in the two hole, EE in the four. Split them with Granderson. Puts your two best hitters two and four, lineup goes switch-righty-lefty-righty-lefty-righty.

    • Would be a nifty addition but I imagine he’s going to ask for a ludicrous amount of money.

    • Granderson would be really good. Power, on base ability, looks like Urkel. What’s not to like? The thing is he’ll probably ask for a lot. And he’ll get it.

  24. [...] AA did some talking, Ben Nicholson-Smith did some transcribing, and Andrew Stoeten did some analyzing, and it’s all right here. [DJF] [...]

  25. Speaking of thanking fuck… Marisinick has a .188 BA in the majors … D’Arnaud has a .161 BA in the majors… they will both always be terrible and fuck you small sample size they will always be the worst

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