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…