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Alex Anthopoulos showed up on the Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports this afternoon (audio here), as well as on TSN 1050′s TSN Drive (though I’ll be citing the Sportsnet interview in this post, unless otherwise noted), and he offered up all kinds of interesting unicorn dust for the ol’ rumour mill, some of which actually sounded quite hopeful. Aaaaaand some of which that… well… didn’t so much.

At the very least it was intriguing, mostly because he offered a little more insight than usual into where the market is at and– at least as much as he is able to reveal– what his plans are. It’s a little disappointing, however, that despite his initial facade of insistence that they could involve any type of transaction, those plans would appear to revolve quite heavily around trades:

I would say that there’s a lot of variations to what we’d like to do, but there is definitely a short list of players that we’d like to get, and there are priorities; whether some are in trade, some are in free agency, those are the players we’d like to get– they’re the ones we’d like to acquire. And at the same time you have backup plans or other scenarios to protect yourself, but from our standpoint it’s a very focussed group, and a very focussed list, and some– I’d say actually a lot of them– are not out there in the media and not on the internet, and they’re harder to acquire, and the likelihood you acquire them is probably not high, but that’s what we’re trying to do. From there you have a backup list of free agency, and some other trade options that you still feel can make your club better. So, you really have to be flexible, and I think that’s why it’s so important to have the information of what the free agent market is doing, what the agents are going to ask for, where the dollars are going, and what other clubs needs are. Keeping your finger on the pulse at this time of year, I think, is very important.

Obviously we need to take anything that a GM says at this time of year with some giant grains of salt, but… if “a lot of them” aren’t in the media, and the contingencies are “other” trades, my suspicion is that we’re probably not talking about free agents here.

This isn’t shocking, though. What he says here fits quite entirely with everything we’ve ever heard about how the Jays are approaching the winter. It’s just, unfortunately, it maybe doesn’t quite fit our fantasies, in which the club looks to spend first and trade on-field assets later.

That would be doubly unfortunate because it’s not like Anthopoulos doesn’t understand the preferred route.

“In a perfect scenario you’d rather sign a free agent, if you can find the right value, and keep the assets you have, rather than make the trade,” he explained. “So, I know that for some trades that we’re trying to make, we’re being slowed up by teams waiting on free agents.”

OK, but… Alex, are you waiting on any free agents that are slowing up your own trades that are contingent on them?

I’d like to believe that could be the case, but it certainly sounded like he’s firmly on the other side of the equation. Interestingly, though, it also almost sounded– particularly in the TSN hit– as though he’s got some things that are essentially agreed to in principle and will go through as soon as a particular domino falls.

During the Fan 590 hit, he explained:

I was just having a conversation with a team last night; they have some interest in our players, but they basically said the interest is predicated on whether they lose out on some free agents, and those free agents are going to take a little bit of time. So I think this is going to be a very late-developing market. I think you’re going to have it going to the Winter Meetings, and absolutely you’re going to see a bunch of signings, potentially, off of the way to read it right now, going to January.

At least that leaves plenty of time for other things to develop. And just because nothing is imminent today doesn’t mean that things can’t change– “all of a sudden, you don’t think you have a need at a certain spot, but someone has interest in one of your players, and you may need to replace that player,” as Anthopoulos explained.

It’s still quite early in the process, in other words, even though that process is behind schedule as compared to last year.

“I can’t speak for clubs to say that they’re nervous about setting the bar,” he continued, trying to explain the slow-moving market. “Right now there’s so many options out there, you’ve got 30 clubs looking to trade, you’ve got a tonne of free agents out there, and you know that once you make a decision one way it really sets your whole off-season up, so I think everyone’s really careful before they jump in and they make that first move because of the chain reaction.”

One thing that could set off that kind of chain reaction is some kind of gigantic deal, and Anthopoulos has at least been kicking a couple of them around, even though whatever he has in his sights may mean having to part with some of the prospects that so many of us are terrified he’ll end up feeling he has no choice but to deal:

“I think you’d always prefer to keep your prospects if you can, but it comes down to what kind of value you’re going to get, the control you’re going to get back, how you value those players. So I think in the right circumstance, you can talk about anything. And I can tell you, there’s a player or two out there on the market that we’d have no problem surrendering our top guys [for]. I just don’t know that we’ll be able to make those deals, or those clubs will be motivated to move those players, or we’ll have the right fit. In a perfect world you’d always like to keep your young players– your young assets– but we definitely haven’t ruled it out in the right scenario.”

That’s… scary– unless he’s being far less evasive that we suspect, and is talking about someone like David Price– but at least it’s all theoretical for the moment.

Also theoretical: the notion that the club could end up keeping J.P. Arencibia– another scary idea that especially took hold among a few fans thanks to a tweet from Ben Nicholson-Smith that, in my view, didn’t quite have enough space in which to fully convey what was actually said during the chat.

Yes, as the tweet says, Anthopoulos admitted, “I don’t think we’ve ever looked at a scenario where J.P. would be a backup for us, or something like that. We’ve never talked about that as an option.”

And yes, he also said that he thinks Arencibia can bounce back, while also hinting that there may not be much on the horizon when it comes to the position. But that doesn’t mean we have to take such posturing seriously, or that he wasn’t actually damning his catcher with some seriously faint praise.

“Do we believe he’s the player he was last year? I would say no, at least from an offensive standpoint,” Anthopoulos explained. Meaning… uh… they think he is the guy that we saw on defence? That’s… uh… that’s not good.

He also added that he thinks Arencibia can hit more like the guy we saw in 2011 and 2012, which… uh… is also not good, since those would be seasons of 91 and 88 wRC+, and on-base percentages of .282 and .275.

Referring to internal metrics [note: swoon!] the GM also explained that Arencibia “hit the ball a lot harder than the results show,” which… I mean, obviously Arencibia hit the ball hard when his flailing, futile swings actually managed to square it up, it’s just that wasn’t remotely the issue. Nice item to bring up, though, if you’re trying to find whatever tiny speck of good you can in a still-movable players a-fucking-bysmal 2013.

So… yes, once again Anthopoulos failed to throw an asset he’s hoping to move under the bus as thoroughly as fans inexplicably expect, and failed to admit that a deal to land a replacement was imminent, but why the hell would he???

It’s funny that fans seem to want so badly to torture themselves with thoughts of Arencibia coming back when it is just so screamingly bloody obvious that a return is completely untenable. Especially given AA’s comments about Carlos Ruiz earlier in the interview; playing a little coy (not that coy, mind you, but a little) as he admitted that he had “ touched base with him– I don’t know that I’d get into anything more specific than that, but we had dialogue with the agent and we liked the player.”

Frankly, given the fact Anthopoulos admitted that Arencibia isn’t considered a possible backup for the club– which, let’s be honest, is precisely what he fucking is at this point– I’d actually think he’d almost have to be gone. No?

Personally, I find no need to worry in that. Nor do I find any need to worry that Anthopoulos won’t be able to do something that at least tries– and probably tries hard– to set up the 2014 season to be better than the last.

No, really!

What’s still worrisome, however, is what it will look like if he once again ends up trying a little too hard, especially since it’s no longer clear whether the GM’s long-term interests line up with ours as fans, or whether parting with major prospects– in lieu of deeper financial reinforcements from Rogers– will end up becoming necessary in order to put together a 2014 roster that gives him the best possible chance of keeping his job. Ricciardi Redux.

Ultimately that’s what he’s playing for, and we don’t have much of a choice but to sit back and wait to see whether our possibly-diverging interests meet.

A GM with job security could play this off-season quite conservatively, banking on his prior acquisitions to rebound, looking to bridge to the future while hoping for the best for 2014, but quietly wondering what sorts of assets he might be able to get come July, should everything fall apart again. That, I’d say, is pretty close to where Ben Cherington was at last year, after saving his bosses so much money in his deal with the Dodgers, and where Anthopoulos once was too. No more, though. And while we’d all like to see a 2014 season that goes as well as it possibly can, shooting for the moon and missing again, and doing further damage to the years to follow, would be very troubling thing to see done ostensibly in the name of saving the GM’s job.

I’m not saying I necessarily think it’s going to end up that way, but the potential is hanging there, and Anthopoulos certainly didn’t do a whole lot today to dissuade anyone from thinking that trades– possibly big ones– are his main focus, even as he acknowledged that they’re not ideal in terms of maintaining his on-field assets. Ugh.

Then again, it’s all a P.R. game anyway, innit? I mean, why would he announce his intentions to spend big, or wink at the camera while telling us about the “big prospects” he’s unafraid to move, or the greatness he still sees in J.P. Arencibia? We can’t very well start cursing the franchise now, with everything this off-season still left to do, right?

Right!

We can, however, get bad feelings about what may be about to transpire, and I guess I’d be lying if I said Anthopoulos had done much today to prevent me from having one. But shit, this is always the worst part of the roller coaster ride and it usually ends up being a fuckin’ king hell of a blast. Hold on tight!

 

Miscellany

- Anthopoulos addressed the phony Bautista rumours again, “sometimes there’s rumours, and there might be 20% truth to them,” but the Domonic Brown one was like someone literally decided to make it up. “Sometimes when it’s so far off base you almost want to out the person who just makes stuff up,” he added.

- The basic principle of the phony deal, though, wasn’t necessarily so off-base. “If the right guy’s out there, and it’s a five-year deal, or a four-year deal, we wouldn’t be afraid to do that,” he said. “And in trade, obviously you’re going to target someone, most likely, who’s got some control and who’s young– the more the control and the better the contract, the more we’d be willing to surrender in young players.”

- Still, three years obviously was too much for Ruiz– though he praised the agent for the Phillies’ catcher, and noted that they were pretty clear that last year’s Russell Martin deal (two-years, $17-million) was the comp used. Ruiz wanted to come in north of that number, and waited on a three-year offer, Anthopoulos explained, because they were very confident they’d receive two. Doesn’t necessarily sound like just “touching base,” does it?

- The GM continued to be as non-committal on the Masahiro Tanaka issue as ever. “I think everyone would acknowledge that he’s talented and he can help a lot of teams,” he explained.

- Robinson Cano was briefly touched on, though not with respect to any interest the Jays might have. “I think he’s an outlier,” Anthopoulos said, referring to the fact that he didn’t think teams were waiting on a Cano deal to set the market.

- Even though it was much ballyhooed last year– mistakenly, it turns out– Alex says that he’s happier now than he was last year with his rotation depth, suggesting that they’re ten or eleven arms deep. “To put it into context,  last off-season we had to sign a whole Triple-A rotation for the minor leagues, because we knew didn’t have the upper level depth because of guys coming back off of Tommy John. This off-season we haven’t targeted any minor league free agents for the starting rotation.”

- The door has essentially been closed on Josh Johnson. “Not to say that we won’t take some risk or some chances but, again, it comes down to, how much are you going to be paying for that risk? What’s the opportunity cost? There are obviously a lot of other guys still out there who we could get. So I think that the door’s still open, the conversation’s still there, but I would say that there might be better options for him in some other spots.”

- Another hollow point brought up by Anthopoulos in tepid defence of Arencibia was the fact that the only starter he’d caught all year was Mark Buehrle, who pitched pretty much exactly as expected. I’d bother quibbling with that if I thought it was a remotely reasonable way in which to evaluate a catcher.

- Extra tidbits from the TSN clip include the fact that AA said he’d spoken to Tim Hudson’s agent before the pitcher signed with San Francisco, his admission that Marcus Stroman is a guy who could compete for a job in Spring Training, and that, even though much may not be happening just yet, he has had plenty of dialogue and has all kinds of balls in the air.

Comments (114)

  1. This team is gonna suck ass again next year.

  2. I was so convinced Arencibia would be gone after this season that I didn’t prepare for the possibility of him coming back. Now AA has me second-guessing…

    To be sure though, it’s not like he’s going to come out and say he’s looking for a starting catcher.

  3. Remember when Lind was all but gone? Could AA be hoping for rebirth into usefulness from JPA? Like sands through the hourglass, these are the Jays of our lives.

    • Completely different scenario for the team, though. They’re not in “let’s see what we’ve got” or “let’s see if we can turn this guy into a real asset” mode, they’re in “improve or lose my job” mode. I’ve been wrong lots of times, but I’m not worried for a second that Arencibia will actually be back next year. Just the risk of getting fucking skewered all summer about it alone is enough to make it untenable– AA’s on thin enough ice as it is to put that kind of a target on his back if he endorses JP and he comes back and sucks shit again.

      I also think that the end-of-season comments about defensive improvement, though mostly focused on the infield, are telling– as is the one today where he basically conceded (by clarifying that he was only speaking about offence) that Arencibia is what he is defensively. He knows that is isn’t good enough.

      • I don’t think that means you spend your time minimising risk. You want to maximise the probability that the team clears a certain bar around 90 wins, and that might mean taking a risk on a guy like JP.

        • I think it’s a little more complicated than that, but yes, in a different environment (i.e. one where he just kept quiet last year, or didn’t get exposed so very badly) you might well take a risk on a guy like that. I think that’s why another team will. I just don’t think AA can.

      • There’s also the fact that Lind had a guaranteed contract and JP is a 1st year arb guy. Fans find “cutting loose” on a multi-million dollar investment a better idea than GMs do.

  4. “I was just having a conversation with a team last night; they have some interest in our players, but they basically said the interest is predicated on whether they lose out on some free agents, and those free agents are going to take a little bit of time.”

    I’ve gotta feel like that’s a team that’s either looking for a CF or back-end of bullpen arms. Those are the only two positions where we have some depth and where there also a few marquee FA names that could leave some suitors empty handed after the deals are signed.

  5. Thanks for the detailed write-up Andrew. I think that there is always some merit in taking anything any sports executive says with giant grains of salt.

    Reading between the lines, as you encouraged us readers to do in the other thread, would seem to suggest that AA is still trying to recoup value in someone like JPA. In fact, I would assume he HAS some value because so many catchers are so fucking terrible. As I said before, it seems to me that AA has confirmed JP will not be a backup in Toronto, and I think him starting would be bad for the team on field and as a brand, ergo…

    • Agreed. See my reply to Tom W for more on why I’m really not concerned about this stuff at all.

      • Yeah. Good points all. This got me to thinking, though, what is the timeline on arbitration. Because if AA thinks the market will be slower to develop this year, will an arbitration award in the 2.8MM range bandied about force the Jays’ hand to cut bait rather than move JPA as a potential asset in a deal? Or would the cost certainty be helpful?

        • Tender deadline is December 2nd, so it could be an issue– Winter Meetings aren’t until the 9th. I could see them tendering him and then still working on trading him, I think.

          • I could see that too. The tender will lead to mass outrage amongst the fanbase I’m guessing, but I would think that’s the best plan if there’s a player movement chill.

            Thanks for the replies. You’ve been killing it lately.

            • Thanks. Sorry for being dickish there a bit.

              • Arbitration awards are technically non-guaranteed and so we/ or the acquiring team could do what we did to reed johnson and cut JP in spring training still for 1/6th the cost. Not ideal obviously but an option nonetheless if something foreseen came up (like a better option falls into your lap or he gets injured) plus the hearing wouldn’t be til much later so there’d likely be time to workout a deal in between as well.

            • i think we’d be surprised by the lack of mass outrage among the fanbase. the readers of this site and others like it would certainly be outraged but there are still a lot of people out there who think he’s a great catcher.’hit’s lots of homers, drive’s guys in, you know. plus he’s great got great defence and the pitchers love him’ those are actual words i heard said about jpa in september of this year.

      • Are any of the likes of Johan Santana, Shaun Marcum and Gavin Floyd worth cheap, one year deals? Way less then what JJ got.

        Just spitballing.

        • Not sure why this showed up here…

        • The issue is that they’re horrible. Or, maybe not so much that as not really any better than the Todd Redmonds of the world, at this point. Do you really want the club to feel beholden to any of those guys, to the point where they keep running them out there instead of a Hutchison or Stroman?

  6. Thanks for all of this, Stoeten.

    Gets your mind wondering about the deals kind of in place if a team misses out on a free agent. Hard to see that referring to stars. I doubt AA has talked a deal for Bautista that is contingent on Choo signing elsewhere, for example.

    Could see it with lesser players though, such as a deal for Happ depending on Vargas, or Jansenn after Nathan and Balfour sign.

  7. The jays have always been a trade first, free agency second team under AA. This should come as no surprise. That could be partially because of rogers and players not wanting to play on turf in canada. However, I think AA realizes FA is a fool’s game and big contracts almost never work out. Also, I think he was just being a GM when he was talking about arencibia. He isnt going to say”hes terrible and we dont want him back”.

    • You’re right that they’ve always been trade-first, but that’s always made either a whole lot more sense (acquiring assets) or been a necessity (undesirable FA landing spot). They did offer Beltran a bunch of money, and have been reported to have been on some others.

  8. Just who might be on that “short list?”

    Could they be targeting just now ready for prime time pitching
    like Taijuan Walker or James Paxton or Carlos Martinez or Trevor Rosenthal or similar?

    Could it be a high upside risky guy like Brett Anderson? (who we’ve heard before)
    or are they looking only for proven guys like the previously suggested Iwakuma?

    Or could it be a middle of the road guy like John Danks
    who is a $14m contract thru ’16 on a club headed nowhere?

    Any ideas?

    • Not seeing why teams are moving any of those first ones.

      • Would not get any of those first four guys unless
        it was a multi player trade involving someone like Bautista.
        Seattle craves a big bat so you never know.
        Not sure what the Cards are seeking.

        And then there are the Royals with Zimmer and Ventura,
        but they don’t match up real well as they will likely lose
        Santana and need both SP & 2B while having
        an excess of bullpen arms and lots of outfielders.

      • And I doubt the jays would go for unproven assets at this point, especially if we think AA’s in the hot seat a bit.

      • there have been some rumblings about Shelby Miller being out there… and the cards, theoretically, could move a starter to fill a hole elsewhere on the roster.

        • They’ll look to move pretty much every other young starter first.

          • probably… but the fact that they trusted kelly and lynn more in the playoffs makes me think he might not be as high on the cards internal depth chart as most of us would assume. might be just wishful thinking on my part… but with 5 years of control and top of the rotation upside he is exactly the type of guy AA would probably go all in for.

            • I’d say it’s wishful thinking. And I don’t know how AA gets him with other pitching prospects.

              • yeah – was thinking more along the lines of something big involving ML talent.

                there could be a fit where the main pieces are texas get bautista… cards get andrus (profar?)… blue jays get miller. with other pieces involved to balance out the deal.

                I understand the price would be sky high… but if you are willing to consider moving a major part like bautista it is probably to get a guy like miller.

                • That’s actually somewhat interesting. The money owed is so different for each though, I’m not sure it would actually work.

  9. One other thing: A white sox reporter tweeted that the team has become increasingly engaged in trade talks and we all know the history of the jays and white sox making trades. Could be something to keep an eye on (Beckham, Sale?).

    • The Beckham thing was rubbished last week, but Sale… man that price would be astronomical, but that’d be a hell of a pickup.

    • Really?

    • Read somewhere, I think it was on one of the MLBTR blurbs where the White Sox said that Sale was not for sale. But as Stoeten says, he’d be a hell of a pick up.

      • We need to find a way to get Sale and Price into this rotation. The headlines practically write themselves!

        • Ah the good old Dickey, Johnson and Wang trifecta.

          2013 sucked on the field, but doubt we get pun opportunities like this again in our lifetimes.

    • AA might be more interested in Marcus Semien than in Beckham. Sox also have Leury Garcia so Semien might be available.

  10. Call me crazy, but despite what moves may happen this offseason, I remain an optimist for 2014. I can’t help but feel even if we don’t move that many players, we will have a much better season than last year. It seemed, between fluke injuries, uncharacteristic performances, and plain bad luck, much many more players hit their floors than even performed up to career standards, let alone hit their ceilings (with a few exceptions like Cecil, Delabar, Lind, etc.). This shouldn’t be seen a tacit endorsement of doing nothing this offseason, the doing of which I am a proponent, however I’d just like to take some time to remind everyone how good we thought this team could be around this time last year and how that is still mostly possible, and reflect on that a bit.

    2014 is going to be fun despite what happens now everyone! Sorry for the diatribe; I respect opposing viewpoints and just wanted to inject some optimism into the conversation.

    Keep up the great work Stoeten; the offseason posts are even more engaging than their summer equivalents. I’m sure only the tip of the iceberg has been exposed thus far and I look forward to the next month or so of entertaining updates.

  11. Apparently JJ signed with SD for 8 million.

    • I’ve been thinking about this today since the earlier rumours about SD or SF. Does this kind of deal really rebuild value? I guess we’ll see next offseason, but I’d be loathe to risk much on him even if he’s kind of lights out this year.

      I really wish he’d worked out here…

      • I had high hopes for him too but now he’s off to the hinterland.

      • He pitches half his games in Petco next year. That’ll probably make his stats look good.

        (I don’t know if pitchers’ ballparks exaggerate good pitchers’ stats more than bad pitchers’ stats. Seems plausible, though. If so, it makes a hell of a lot of sense to go there to rebuild value.)

        • Hell of a pitcher’s paradise compared to the Rog Mahal.

        • Wait, is he a good pitcher or a bad one?

          • JJ’s issues aren’t necessarily that he was good or bad but that he wasn’t healthy and this probably led to his suckiness … if he had started 30 times for the Jays, he probably would have been most of what he was supposed to be at the very least .. if he is healthy he should have great results .. enough to ever command a $100 contract? I mean he still has this large history of health issues ..

            JJ basically picked his IDEAL spot and settled on a # that was ok .. I would like to assume that he left $ on the table from KC, or whoever .. meaning I still with the Jays signed him to the QO .. however AA’s comments about risk, etc. probably is related mainly to budget ,,, ugh

          • Good pitcher who sucked last year, in my book. His stuff is filthy.

  12. It’s funny how an interview packed full of all the tried, tested and true AA question dodges, run in circles type answers and smoke and mirrors has people talking. Read it all again, he basically said absolutely nothing of even the slightest value. Good old AA :)

  13. I was surprised as well to hear that AA may be thinking much bigger than most of the rational end of the fanbase has been. Could be AA getting a little nervous about his job, or it could be just that the front office has taken a lot more critical eye to their 77 win team than most of us have and they think major additions are needed. I was one of the ones thinking they needed only to cut out the dead weight and add some good old average ballplayers to fill the void, but I guess the other way of thinking is that with so much risk among the core members of this team (mostly health from reyes, lawrie, bautista, etc., but also is colby a 4 win player going forward? Can melky bounce back?), they need more than a little additional talent to cover themselves.

    • I don’t see how AA can’t be concerned for his job. And really, the team has so many question marks, it’s a legit concern. Sure, every team has question marks, but after getting burned last year, I don’t see how anyone can be rationally optimistic. Personally, I see the Jays as a .500 team right now and I just hope they don’t trade off prospects for more aging mediocrity.

  14. AA said Opportunity Cost! As an economist I can only say: swoon!

    • AA studied economics in university. I don’t think he completed the degree due to family reasons

      I agree that it definitely seems to have influenced his style of management

  15. WILIN ROSARIO

  16. Please don’t say things like Riccardi Redux. It makes me sad.

    • In the Riccardi Redux version you get the deleted scene where he locks himself in his hotel room in Saigon, drinks a 40 of scotch, does LSD and then almost bleeds to death after smashing a mirror.

      • Riccardi is responsible for EE and JB being on this team. Where would we be without them?

        He did what he could do given the constraints he was under.

        The year he “spurged” and spent big money on ryan and AJ? well ryan was fine for a couple years…AJ was a solid pitcher. didnt work out but hardly the albatross that the wells contract was.

        and he was forced to sign wells to that deal by higher ups

        • Riccardi is not. Anthopoulos signed Edwin back after they got rid of him.

          AJ was actually great.

      • Hearts of Darkness is so good.

        Dennis fucking Hopper, man.

      • Nah that’s the Rob Ford Version…

    • Sorry.

  17. Ho Lee Shit. I just hope Alex has a solid grasp on the expected future value of his assets and isn’t looking at value coming back in trade just in terms of underpaid and/or years of control. I don’t think he showed well on these criteria on the Happ deal nor in deciding to run with Arencibia. The Marlins deal isn’t a clear win in this regard either. And is he kind of saying that deal has taken him off the FA market?

    Isn’t this roster already at the point where you just have to plug holes and not worry about overpaying a guy like Navarro or Arroyo?

  18. What’s wrong with Shawn Marcum as a guy? Bad teammate? Bad influence? Party-guy? What!!!?

  19. This is pure double speak…

    “And I can tell you, there’s a player or two out there on the market that we’d have no problem surrendering our top guys [for]. I just don’t know that we’ll be able to make those deals, or those clubs will be motivated to move those players,”

    so…..first he says there are players ON THE MARKET that he would give up top talent for…but then he says he isnt sure “clubs will be motivated to move those players”

    what? if they are on the market, then by definition their clubs are interested in moving them. …..

    • there’s ‘on the market,’ and then ‘ON THE MARKET’

      like, david price is probably, technically, ‘on the market,’ but i can’t imagine that TB is MOTIVATED to move him, even if AA loaded up a van with the jays’ top prospects & drove it down to the trop.

    • I don’t think it’s doublespeak at all. You can be putting out feelers on guys you’re not particularly motivated to move– see: Bautista, Jose. On the market, but not a motivated seller either.

    • Ya its that comment that makes me think (or at least hope to hell) he means that they would move Sanchez/Stroman only for a young ace caliber pitcher with years of control (Shelby Miller anyone). I realize this makes no sense from Cards perspective, hence AA saying teams may not be motivated to move them. At least I hope he wouldn’t be considering redoing the Dickey trade with a mid to late 30s pitcher or someone who will be a free agent in a year or two!

  20. Please note: if you noticed that a comment calling me out for being confident Johnson would get a qualifying offer has disappeared, that’s not because of what it said, but who said it. The OCD troll doesn’t get to play here. Sad that all these years later it still comes up, huh?

  21. Does anyone know if Chooch has a no trade clause in his freshly minted contract? He could be part of a major trade involving Bautista and others.

    • I am pretty sure that MLB rules state there is a period of time that must elapse before a trade can happen involving a newly signed FA. I looked it up and can’t find anything but i swear this is the case.
      In basketball, a sign and trade is fairly common but I don’t think you can in the MLB. I think baseball’s version of sign and trade would situations like dickey last year where we negotiated prior to making the trade.

      • Also, not sure if it was mentioned earlier but did anyone notice that the padres included a $4 million dollar team option for a second year? Looks like its only triggered only if jj makes fewer than 7 starts.
        I think this is brilliant really. Love the thought that goes into creative contracts. Takes a little bit of risk off the padres. Too bad AA didn’t think of something like this (although I’m fairly sure JJ didn’t want to come back.)

    • Fa

    • Yeah, you can’t trade a guy you just signed.

    • I seem to remember it was a 4 team no trade wasn’t it?

  22. Well, AA is certainly not going to slag a player he’s trying to move in the media, especially a player he’s hoping to get an asset in return.
    And with the ginormous sums of money asked for by these free agents – I can see a lot of teams sitting on the bench waiting to see if some ding-dong spend 300M and ten years on Cano or a guy like that. Free agent moves like that are now GENERATIONAL signings, not just a year or two like they used to be.
    Yeah, it’s gonna take some time until the big players are either off the board – or team have decided to fold and officially exit the sweepstakes.

  23. Drafting Bickford seemed to me to be a pretty confident move by AA if he was really worried about his job. Granted shit continued to go pretty South for the Jays after the draft. I’d be surprised if AA’s job were in jeopardy if the Jays are still in wild card contention mid-September (which they should be given talent).

  24. excellent write-up.

    AA’s actual words on Arencibia are a bit open to interpretation. But I heard it live and his tone and cadence were quite clear that 1) JP will not be a back-up on the Jays and 2) they are definitely looking to move him.

    I got the feeling that it is a 95% chance that he isn’t with the Jays Opening Day.

  25. Nothing he said suggests he’s got a buyer for Bautista. I don’t think that’s a player who is left hanging around in a possible trade while the other team considers free agents. As for JPA, I agree, he’s gotta go and everyone knows this. AA is making sure the word has gotten out that for a while there he wasn’t a terrible power hitter.

    The Trade is still around with the exception of JJ. And we were all excited about the amazing players that were coming our way. They still have a chance to be amazing. We need a catcher desperately and we could do with one more pitcher but AA doesn’t have to mortgage the farm to get what he needs this year. I can live with an Iszturis/Goins combo at 2nd base. Goins can at least play the field. I’d rather he stuck with what we have at most positions than go out and tinker some more and bring back yet another player who hasn’t played on turf or in the AL East and is in for a nasty surprise on both counts.

  26. When Alex made this comment:

    “And I can tell you, there’s a player or two out there on the market that we’d have no problem surrendering our top guys [for].”

    I am comfortable with this so long as he’s aiming high. Do I want Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman moved? No. But if you’re shooting high (David Price was referenced), then fuck, obviously you’re moving those guys. It’s just, my first thought was a Jeff Samardzija type, whom I like, but not as much as I like the upside of Stroman and Sanchez. Yes, he’s “established”, but it’s not like he’s 26. Ideally its a guy with 2-3 years of control and upside.

  27. [...] manager Alex Anthopoulos Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports to help feed the fires himself, as detailed by Andrew Stoeten at Drunk Jays Fans. Among the nuggets of wisdom conveyed by Anthopoulos was the desire of the team to explore the free [...]

  28. And I was just wonneridg about that too!

  29. What a miserable, sad joke of a spinster. What a shit offseason.

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