Ricky Romero and Mike Nickeas have been outrighted off of the Jays’ 40-man roster, according to an annoucement from the club, which comes via a tweet from Brendan Kennedy (and others). Alex Anthopoulos said that he told Ricky this would likely happen, so… nothing to see here.
“Every player on a team has a range of possible performance outcomes. Everyone has a high end, a low end and the most likely outcome in the middle. And if more players are performing toward the top half of that range, and the manager has something to do with that, the manager is absolutely valuable. It’s still players first. You have to have talent to win. But I dismiss that a manager can’t be more than his strategy,” says Red Sox GM Ben Cherington in a Jeff Passan piece at Yahoo! Sports, sort of trying to deify John Farrell. There is, of course, no way to say whether the manager does have something to do with that, but it’s not an unfair statement. Of course, we all know Farrell wasn’t magic here, and the Red Sox sure have been helped by adding Shane Victorino, Mike Napoli, Ryan Dempster, Jake Peavy, Koji Uehara, Stephen Drew, Mike Carp, Jonny Gomes, a healthier Jacoby Ellsbury, a healthy David Ortiz, a not shitty Buchholz, Lester, and Doubrount, and a breakout from Daniel Nava. So…
How do you spell non-tender? Based on MLBTR‘s look at the Jays’ arbitration eligibles, I’d spell it: “they project $2.8-million for J.P. Arencibia.”
Richard Griffin wrote this week in the Toronto Star that the Jays need to make catching a priority, because a catcher will magically make pitchers better. In doing so, he suggests Alex Anthopoulos is delusional if he thinks, as the GM said, that adding one starter is the place to spend all of his extra payroll– I’d suggest, however, that it’s probably more delusional to take too seriously the words of a GM not looking to tip his hand as the trade market heats up. He also writes this absolute fucking horseshit: “At the Jays’ Sunday presser, Anthopoulos admitted that perhaps they didn’t value defence highly enough when it came to building the 2013 Jays. This coming from a guy that has been GM and an assistant GM with a major-league club since 2003,” adding, “Unbelievable it took this long.” Yes, because the guy who had to have Anthony Gose, aggressively promoted A.J. Jimenez, stuck with Colby Rasmus through two bad seasons at the plate, traded for Yunel Escobar, signed Adeiny Hechavarria out of Cuba, and acquired Jose Molina in the first place (and left him only when it meant a draft pick) just learned in 2013 that defence is a thing. Like, for fuck sakes.
Bluebird Banter picked apart Griff’s ridiculousness from another angle.
Another ridiculous Griff piece came earlier in the week, as he called Henderson Alvarez a “cast-off” (uh… wasn’t he involved in some kind of a trade for a tonne of valuable pieces?), and tried to suggest that the turnarounds this season from Cleveland and Boston had something to do with their managers, and not– y’know– big infusions and improvements in talent. Ugh.
Griff also had a new Bullpen post up this week, where revealed his– surprisingly completely sensible, given what we discussed above– list of five things the Jays need to do this winter, including a nugget about Mark Buehrle, who he says “has spoken to the GM about his respect for the Jays organization and the environment, wondering why it remains one of baseball’s hidden treasures.” Nice!
Elsewhere in the Star, Brendan Kennedy wonders if the Jays’ increased attendance could factor into a payroll increase this winter. I think Rogers would be awfully silly if they didn’t see the cost/benefit of making sure the GM has the resources to make this right. But… y’know, if they didn’t, it wouldn’t be the first time they did something I thought was awfully silly.
At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith talks to Anthony Gose, who says he just wants to take a break from baseball after a long, uneven season– and who also says that he’d embrace being the club’s fourth outfielder “100 percent.” I don’t think more reps would kill him, especially after changes made to his swing– particularly his leg kick– at the end of the season.
Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks at the Jays’ bullpen picture, and says that picking up the option the club holds on Casey Janssen is a no-brainer.
Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail– ol’ Snappy The Turtle– takes an excellent look at some silver linings after this most dispiriting of seasons.
Jon Heyman of CBS Sports looks inside the Reds firing of Dusty Baker. Fuck no, the Jays shouldn’t hire him.
Mop Up Duty wonders about the Jays’ poor record against the AL East so far during the Anthopoulos era. Uh… if they were a better team, I suspect the record would change.
FanGraphs has started rolling out their Contract Crowdsourcing feature for this year, and have one up on Adam Lind. Go take the survey!
The Toronto Sun passes on a feed story that quotes Magic Johnson referring to Robinson Cano (though not by name), saying that he “is going to be paid. No by us, but he’s getting paid.”
A couple Jays-related tidbits in yesterday’s Keith Law’s chat at ESPN.com (we clearly need a new catcher, and Noah Syndergaard is very good, but “he’s not Verlander or Harvey”), but the one that stuck out to me was this one that’ll sure deflate a few maple dicks: asked whether the Jays would be in position to draft Canadian prospect Gareth Morgan– who one coach actually suggested to BlueJays.com could be the first overall pick if he really puts together a great spring (uh… Rodon much?)– KLaw replied, “A hundred percent since he’s not that good of a prospect and every team should get a couple of shots to draft him. Note, however, that, contrary to popular belief, the Blue Jays do not receive bonus runs for employing Canadian players.”
Lastly, yesterday we got the band back together, as Drew, Scott, Parkes and I got together and recorded a Getting Blanked Podcast– a playoff preview-ish on the eve of the non-play-in playoffs beginning. Do listen.