Nick Cafardo sure seems to know where his bread is buttered. Earlier this month I’d pivoted off something that the Boston Globe man had written as I explored the notion that the Jays could have interest in Bronson Arroyo, beginning the post like this: “We had posts on this site in May, June, and August, that referred to something Nick Cafardo had written about as ‘insanity.’ If you wanted to surmise that I’m somewhat suspicious of his attempts to throw a bunch of shit at the wall and see what sticks (note: most likely shit), that should tell you everything you need to know.”
So… the same caveats obviously apply with his latest from the Globe, but it actually makes a lot more sense than Arroyo, or claiming free-agent-to-be Justin Morneau on waivers for no reason, or whatever the other stuff was about.
6. Signs point to the Blue Jays spending to acquire another big bat, two starting pitchers, and a bullpen piece. And maybe I’ll pick them again.
Yeah, sure, maybe that’s coming straight from the mouth of an agent, or completely made up, but I’ll sure take it! And there’s more!
7. Brandon Phillips, 2B, Reds — USA Today first reported that Phillips was being shopped. There’s no shortage of teams looking for a second baseman, including the Dodgers, Orioles, Royals, and Blue Jays. Imagine a Phillips/Jose Reyes double play combination in Toronto. Phillips looked tired at the end of the season. At 32, he may not be what he was, but the Reds should get some feelers.
9. Josh Johnson, RHP, free agent — We all know about Johnson’s poor season and season-ending elbow surgery (bone spurs), which is why it’s not far-fetched he could return to the Blue Jays to make amends. The Jays had so much hope for Johnson, who was virtually unhittable in spring training. The dilemma they face: Do they make Johnson a qualifying offer in hopes he reverts to his talented ways? The Jays, according to two of their baseball operations staff, need two quality starting pitchers to go with Brandon Morrow, Mark Buehrle, and R.A. Dickey.
OK, so the second two aren’t maybe the newest of tidbits, but they’re still somewhat interesting. I mentioned Brandon Phillips as a possibility for the Jays earlier this week myself, though it came when I spitballed some kind of a blockbuster involving Jose Bautista. Like everybody else, I’d be wary of that contract, especially after a down year– which is why I included Homer Bailey coming this way too in my little hypothetical– but it’s not like 32 is a death sentence, and it could be an opportunity to buy low. On the other hand, it’d be a risky opportunity– and it’s not like risks have been working out so well for Alex Anthopoulos lately– especially considering that you not only would have to imagine a Reyes/Phillips double play combo for the Jays right now, you’d have to imagine it in 2017, too, when they’re 34 and 36 respectively (and, if we follow through on the hypothetical, probably worn down from years of playing on shit turf, too).
I don’t know if Phillips, defensively, is even the guy you’d want at second base for the future anyway– I think Alex Anthopoulos was probably right when he admitted at the end of the year that you’d probably like to have a guy on the level shortstop there, at the very least, and while Phillips is well-regarded at second, I think it’d be a worry. But… whatever, that’s not really the most important tidbit in Cafardo’s piece anyway.
The stuff about Josh Johnson is interesting, if a little obvious. I understand that the gaping negative suckhole fucks who follow this team are probable aghast at the prospect of bringing back a pitcher who looked so terrible this season and trying to pass him off as one of these two “quality starting pitchers” that the Jays’ baseball operations staff members have told Cafardo they’re aiming for, but those people probably don’t see a future in Brandon Morrow, either, and are simply too hopeless to worry about. With the depth the Jays should maintain behind their front five– especially if they’re not dealing away the Stromans and Hutchisons of the world– grabbing a guy like Johnson on the cheap is a no-brainer.
There’s a certain set of fans who mistake sarcasm for wit, and think it’s sufficient to just dumbly joke at the idea of the Jays again relying on pitchers who have such health concerns, but it takes a pretty large disconnect from reality to think that it’s remotely possible to construct a rotation without those kinds of guys.
Shit, look at the rotation the vaunted fucking Red Sox put together, for example. Clay Buchholz has made as many big league starts since 2010 as Brandon Morrow. John Lackey pitched exactly zero innings in 2012 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, and he missed three weeks in April of this year with a biceps strain. Even Ryan Dempster, who has a pretty good track record of health, was on the DL for three weeks with a shoulder problem around the time he was dealt to the Rangers last year, after which he pitched to a 5.09 ERA (though the FIP, xFIP, and other peripherals did look better).
Then they went and traded for Jake fucking Peavy!
Hey, but Ben Cherington looks like a genius now, right? And Anthopoulos is a ninny who can’t wrap his head around risk, right?
I wrote the following before the season (a passage I’m totally going to keep dragging out):
Even the Red Sox– who will hit, especially in their ballpark, with Pedroia, Napoli, Gomes against lefties, and full health from Ellsbury and (eventually) Ortiz– need only for Jon Lester and Clay Buchholz to regain their form of two years ago in order to be a club capable of winning the division themselves, really. It’s a tall order, but I suppose the point I’m trying to make is, so is having Dickey pick up where he left off in 2012, keeping Johnson on the path to regaining his dominance, getting a healthy season from Brandon Morrow, and keeping the regression demons at bay when it comes to Mark Buehrle.
Uh… can we not somewhat reasonably envision a world in which the roles are reversed next spring, if– to bring things full circle– the Jays do continue to spend, don’t spread their assets too thinly, and manage to do better than dogshit at second, in left, and behind the plate? A lot of people refuse to believe that we can. A lot of people are kinda ridiculous.
Not that that’s a reason to believe whatever “signs” Cafardo is supposedly seeing about spending, but seriously they should. No excuses.