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Clear the thoroughfare! Blind pedestrian.

An interesting tidbit via Gideon Turk of Blue Jays Plus, who passes along a note from ChicagoNow’s John Arguello, suggesting that the Jays are among the teams to have called the Cubs on right-hander Jeff Samardzija. A power pitcher who fits the timeline the Jays are looking for (he’s got two arbitration years left), he so far has shown good health (though I’m sure the Jays could fuck that up), and if the reports that the Cubs wanted Double-A centre fielder Brian Goodwin from the Nationals for him, it follows– as Blue Jays Plus points out– that maybe Anthony Gose would be of interest. Getting a pitcher in a deal with Gose as the centrepiece would be a huge win, as it minimizes the damage to the rest of the prospect pipeline, while also not taking away from the big league roster. As much as I’d prefer to see them spend money to get the pitching they need, if Gose is the price, that’s very livable. The Shark! Do it!

On this subject, in Gregor Chisholm’s latest Inbox at BlueJays.com, he agrees that Gose is one of the club’s top trade chips, among other things.

One of those other things, MLBTR points out, is his suggestion that the Jays have shown interest in catcher Wilson Ramos of the Nationals. Alex Anthopoulos is “determined to make an upgrade behind the plate,” Gregor says, and it doesn’t seem likely– with a salary slated to be a shade under $3-million– that the club would bring back J.P. Arencibia as a backup.

John Sickels doesn’t care for the command or durability shown by Aaron Sanchez, and in his post-season top 75 prospects list at Minor League Ball, has him down nine spots, to 64, and just second-best in the organization, behind Marcus Stroman.

In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin points out that the words of both Alex Anthopoulos, and Josh Johnson’s agent Matt Sosnick– plus a press release from the club after the free-agent-to-be had elbow surgery– suggest that the club isn’t finished with their huge and hugely disappointing right-hander. Seems a good fit to me.

At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith talks to Sergio Santos about finally feeling good and healthy, and wanting to build on his outstanding end to 2013.

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi wonders about Chad Mottola’s firing, and specifically whether he’s been made a scapegoat for the club’s failings this season. I have a hard time with that one, given how confused so many people were by it. I did see a suggestion last night that perhaps they’ll sell it as having to do with the club’s failings when it came to bunting and situational hitting, but… man, what a feeble attempt at scapegoating that would be.

I don’t think this one means anything, but it’s worth noting that in Bob Elliott’s piece for the Toronto Sun, he writes that Dwayne Murphy was also fired. Thing is, he doesn’t actually note that that’s any different from the official release, so until I hear otherwise I’d suspect it’s just an error and not a scoop.

“Murphy’s retirement broke up the hitting coach tandem and somehow changed a dynamic generally assumed to be working for the hitters,” writes John Lott of the National Post. “Neither general manager Alex Anthopoulos nor manager John Gibbons returned messages seeking an explanation for Mottola’s dismissal.” Hmmm.

Bluebird Banter has a piece about the coaching changes as well, which is a little results-focused in its viewpoint for my taste, but does point out that Tony Rasmus took to twitter last night to say that he found Mottola’s dismissal perplexing, and that it was also noted that Mottola was slated to do a bunch of work this winter with Anthony Gose. One kind of can’t help but wonder if that last bit is some kind of indication that they’re looking to deal Gose, and to not be too personally involved with him once the rumours start to swirl. But I base that, of course, on absolutely nothing.

Lastly, I don’t normally do this, but stay tuned for this afternoon’s Playoff Post (Mortem), which I assure you covers a whole lot more ground than just the player mentioned in the title. I’ll be sure to get it up with lots of time for you to read it before the games start at 5:00…

Comments (50)

  1. I agree about the scapegoat thing. If it was Walker I would understand a bit better.

    On a side note: I did some checking and the Jays were tied for 5th in wRC+ with runners in scoring position. 7th in wOBA.

  2. The link to the Griff piece is missing.

  3. Stoeten, agree it doesn’t make sense to pay Arencibia $3 mil to back up. I got clarification that he will make about 300k in the minors.

    • Link for that? Who from? I still do not believe that’s correct.

      Edited to add: It just doesn’t make sense– it subverts the arbitration system. Plus, you never hear about salary losses when guys end up getting stashed down there. Was there any talk of the Jays saving money by optioning J.A. Happ to the minors last year, when that was the case and he was on a one-year arbitration process deal? Or John Lannan when he went down with Washington a couple years ago?

      Remembering that, I’m now certain it’s not correct.

      • People keep saying that because he has options we can send him down and pay a minor league salary. On the one hand, he probably needs some time in the minors. But I doubt the CBA allows it to get out of arb salary..

    • Hey G man…this only applies to entry level deals or minor league deals. Does not apply to MLB deals…just thought I would clarify.

      So for example. Wil Myers might make an annualized salary of 90K per year in the minors (which he does not, he was a stud prospect, maybe its a bad example, ya well, you fuck off too….) but when he gets called up he has to make the MLB league minimum.

      Make sense? No, well fuck. I’m not a teacher….

  4. Doesn’t seem like Anthopoulos style to scapegoat anyone. There must be more to this story.

    • It could be as simple as John Gibbons wanting his own guy in there. Though that makes me wonder why they didn’t simply demote Mottola back to AAA. Maybe they offered and he declined? I’m sure we’ll find out soon enough.

  5. Pretty sure that Elliott’s original article didn’t say Murphy was fired, but it was changed to “fired” later.

  6. “he so far has shown good health (though I’m sure the Jays could fuck that up)”

    We know you are making fun of people who truly believe that. But at the same time, you’ll gain new followers among those people. Win-win for you lol.

  7. getting Samardzija with gose as the primary prospect would be amazing. Maybe gose and a reliever would get it done.

  8. clicked the link to the Elliot story in the SUN. They have a picture of Murph with Farrell. Seriously SUN, you don’t have a pic of the guy in your files that is less than a year old?

  9. Sounds like Mottola and Gibby may have had some professional disagreements. AA is way to willing to throw himself under the bus for this to be a scapegoat thing. He’s already thrown the complainers a huge bone about “undervaluing defense”. And he didn’t blame Gibby at all (or any others coaches) publicly.

    Plus even if hitting was out problem (it wasn’t) and he fired the hitting coach, it would hardly satisfy anyone calling for Gibby or AA’s head.

    • It doesn’t sound like that at all.

      • No?

        When no one will even comment on a guy leaving… when they won’t even put on a good PR face and say that he’ll be missed… that’s when I assume something went sour between them.

        (Not that I care one way or the other or see some deeper meaning in it even if right)

  10. Will the jays add a pitcher this offseason?

  11. Yes please use Gose and not a Sanchez or Stroman or someone else. A fourth OFer for a team that’s planning on contending next season should always be traded for a starting pitcher, even if he’s just starting his MLB career.

  12. I kind of don’t care about prospect rankings, they seem to not matter all that much.
    Remember when they played the Indians and they called up some rookie no one had ever heard of and they were like, oh he’s not even ranked in their system bla bla bla, then he threw 97 mph smoke with a wipe out slider and sat them down for eight innings?

  13. I understand how good a trade chip Gose is, but I hate to give up that speed in that outfield.

    As for scapegoating Mottola, that really doesn’t make sense to me. If they really wanted a scapegoat they would have fired Walker. And the media would have reported it and moved on. This way–especially as Davidi noted in his tweet that the front office aren’t commenting further–suggests that something went on behind the scenes that no one from the media caught a whiff of and AA and the guys want to keep it that way. And if Murphy was fired, then whatever it was involved both Murphy and Mottola. No idea what that could be and I am suspecting some kind of systemic disagreement with Gibbons.

    • Except, he’s mostly going to be on the bench.

      • You’re right. He is the obvious candidate for a trade. There’s no one else you’d want to give up either. Just that an outfield that included Rasmus and Gose would likely be an excellent outfield.

  14. Samardjia would be a huge get.
    There’s no way the Cubs do it for Gose alone but this is the type of pitcher he needs to be targeting to improve this team. Most of the free agents look shitty.

  15. Not a rosy outlook for this kid. I wish he’d give up the pigskin, doesn’t he know he’ll get alzheimer’s?

    http://www.baseballamerica.com/minors/ask-ba-where-did-anthony-alford-go/

    • Football is a ridiculous sport to willingly play over baseball. And I love watching football. Shorter careers, shorter life.

  16. Batters Box posed the hypothetical question of whether you would trade Bautista or EE for a # 2 pitcher

    I personally would not do it. If there were bats in free agency that could replicate Bautista’s or EE prduction I might consider it, but either one of those bats would be a very big hole to fill.

    • Would you do a trade of Bautista for Profar and a SP?

    • Hell no.

      Position players are typically worth more wins than a starter. That alone makes dealing Bautista or Encarnacion for a starting pitcher a somewhat silly idea, especially a number two.

      Then consider that if we deal either of the two, we’re going to be left with a black hole either in right field or at first.

  17. Sanchez news is disturbing. His K/BB isn’t improving, in fact its regressing. And he’s never broken 100 innings. Given that the Jays like to slowly increase their starter’s workloads, even if everything goes right, he’ll only be able to fully contribute in at best in 3 seasons.

    And that’s not to mention all the red flags.

    Time to reanalyze Toronto’s draft strategy? Its looking worse every year…

    • Re: workload

      Sanchez is pitching in the AFL so the innings total will increase. He missed some time this year due to injury.

      Really its his command that’s the only issue, albeit a big one. He K’s plenty and he’s hard to hit (.202 OPP AVG).

    • No, but maybe time to re-evaluate their internal scouts and turf the ones that said keep Sanchez over Syndergaard.

  18. ok whats it gonna take to get wilson ramos?

  19. I wouldn’t like the Jays trading Sanchez. I love the idea of a homegrown star. Assuming, of course, that he becomes a star.

    It would also take more than just Gose to get Smardjza (however you spell it). Brian Goodwin had got five tool potential. Gose doesn’t have that anymore. He can’t hit. Especially not lefties.

  20. Why aren’t the Jays going after Alex Guerrero out of Cuba?
    No prospect costs, just cash.
    Trade lil’ Maic for whatever you can get, and have Goins as INF utility guy.

    • I was also wondering why they haven’t been mentioned as a possible spot for Guerrero. The need seems more pressing than some of the other clubs that have been mentioned (e.g., Dodgers, Red Sox, Rangers)

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