“Mr. Crews” will do nicely. Although I can’t say the same for that winged collar.
Be sure to keep an eye on MLBTR, as all kinds of news and rumours regarding qualifying offers and the opening of free agency. At the time of this writing we’ve learned that A.J. Burnett (note: DO IT!), Bronson Arroyo, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, and others have not been extended qualifying offers. No offer for Bartolo Colon, either. I mean, yeah, it’s the A’s but… OK, maybe the Johnson decision looks a little more reasonable in this light?
Brian McCann, Kendrys Morales, Shin-Soo Choo, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda, and, of course, Robinson Cano, have all been given qualifying offers, it should be noted.
At Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks at the challenges Alex Anthopoulos faces this winter, as he… well… y’know… tries to do better than this year’s disasterfuck.
Gregor Chisholm writes at BlueJays.com that Anthopoulos is likely to try to fill his club’s needs this winter via trade, and gives us an excellent breakdown of where the club’s roster is at, as the off-season begins in earnest.
Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail writes about the thin free agent crop, which he suggests will test the Jays’ budget– especially with so many other big money players entering the fray this year, thanks to all the TV money that is filling the pockets of formerly small-market clubs.
Elsewhere in the Globe, a Canadian Press piece from Steph Rogers gives us some insight into how Drew Hutchison is doing, both in Fall League and in terms of his recovery from Tommy John. Interestingly, he says he’s also made a small tweak to his delivery, not throwing quite as much across his body as he used to, which worked to great success in the AFL, for whatever that’s worth.
MLBTR lists their top 50 free agents, with predictions, guessing Josh Johnson (30) will wind up with the Royals, with Ubaldo Jimenez (11) coming here. Yeah, I’d do that.
At Bluebird Banter, Jays182 wonders whether the Jays should target free agent second baseman Mark Ellis (answer: probably, yeah), while Minor Leaguer reviews the new Shi Davidi and John Lott book, offering a few more nuggets than the ones we looked at in an excerpt last week– including more interest in Hisashi Iwakuma.
The Japan Times reports on the seventh game of the Japan Series, which Masahiro Tanaka saved for his victorious Tohoku Rakuten Golden Eagles. That’s good! He did it a day after throwing 160 pitches in Game Six. That’s bad!
A couple of gems from Blue Jays plus, as Gideon Turk lays out his off-season plan for the Jays– which is already blown apart now that Josh Johnson hasn’t ben qualified, but which includes other interesting ideas (make a move for Jeff Samardzija? Yes. Sign Jose Molina and make Arencibia his backup? Holy shit no!)– while Alex Hume takes a depressing look at what Kevin Seitzer might bring as the Jays hitting coach, which I think is more “a friendly face for ol’ Gibbers” than anything too deeply philosophical, but there’s definitely food for thought there, too.
Speaking of Seitzer, Gregor Chisholm transcribes, at his North of the Border blog, the club’s new hitting coach’s first conversation with the media.
MLB.com is doing something called the GIBBY Awards, and, surprisingly, they are given out for neither the best shrapnel-assed walk, nor the best Boomhauer impression. Gregor lets us know about the Jays’ nominees.
At Jays Journal, Kyle Matte looks into the data and isn’t sure if, once he’s healthy, we should continue to see the pitch-to-contact Brandon Morrow that was so successful in 2012. Elsewhere there, Kyle Franzoni asks an interesting question: will the flooded relief pitching market cost the Jays this winter?
And now a bunch of stuff from FanGraphs: Jays hitters show up twice on the list of the slowest pitches hit for home runs this year, with a Jose Bautista bomb off Paul Maholm coming second behind… Dewayne Wise off of Yu Darvish? The Jays are in the bottom third of 2013 rookie classes by WAR, because obviously; the hand out their annual Jays-related Carter-Batista award, which recognizes the players whose RBI total most grossly overstate their offensive contribution; and Max Weinstein looks at whether the “change of scenery” effect is real.
Rob Neyer reminisces about Tim McCarver at Baseball Nation, and notes how in McCarver’s book he writes about the one-sided feud he had with Cito Gaston.
Elsewhere at SB Nation, Steve Goldman looks at the 2014 draft order, giving notes on each team, including some harsh ones– yet not unfair ones– about the Jays.
MLBTR lets us know that the Jays have come to a minor league agreement with Andy LaRoche– the other LaRoche, not that either is all that valuable at this point.
Not Jays-related, but Barry Petchesky of Deadspin has an awesome retrospective on the mythical “gyroball” of Daisuke Matsuzaka, and how it became such a “thing,” when, in fact, it didn’t really exist– at least not in the way that we were led to believe. Read it.
Lastly, read this, too: as our friend Mr. Fairservice branches out into other sports, writing at Fanatico about how the World Series of Poker went from boom to bust. Great stuff.