Daily? Also, as the US begins its Thanksgiving ExcessFest today, things are likely going to be mighty quiet on the baseball front. Deadline to tender contracts to arbitration eligible players is Monday, though, so maybe things will heat up a little by the end of the weekend, but don’t hold your breath. Which…uh… is totally why I’ve been sitting on all these links here. Uh… yeah. That’s the ticket.
Ben Nicholson-Smith explains what’s been holding up the process, suggesting that it looks like things will finally start to happen soon.
Benny Fresh’s colleague, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet, talks about the relief market, as Alex Anthopoulos tells him that he thinks the club’s bullpen surplus will only increase as the winter goes on. Anthopoulos, like everyone else, seems like he’s slow-playing this one. (Also from the piece: “While a fresh start somewhere else might do Romero some good, the Blue Jays right now have no incentive to give him one. They owe him $16.1 million through the next two seasons, and there’s no point in buying him out so he can try to rebuild himself with another club.” Ugh.)
Related, we have some great stuff from Blue Jays Plus, as they look at the entirety of the Jays’ bullpen option, with a view to each player’s trade value. The conclusion isn’t entirely surprising, but still an excellent breakdown.
Elsewhere at Blue Jays Plus, Chris Sherwin writes a paean to Marcus Stroman. (Also: title pun!)
Meanwhile, Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus chats with readers, saying that he thinks trading Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez for Jeff Samardzija would be a bit reckless, that trading both and D.J. Davis would be too much for David Price, let alone the Shark, and that he’s higher on Stroman than he is on Sanchez, mostly because of the latter’s “iffy” command. Four years as a pro without reaching Double-A will quite rightly make people start to wonder, though I think part of that has been the Jays’ babying of him, coupled with some injury issues this season that might have hastened his promotion had they been avoided.
Michael Grange writes that the Jays and Alex Anthopoulos must spend if they want to win, which… yeah, I’m down with that. Whoever wrote the headline on that one probably should add another name to that demand: Rogers.
Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider Olney) lists the Jays among a number of dark horse candidates to land Robinson Cano, but he’s not terribly confident that such a thing would ever really happen. “Cano would make them better,” he explains, “and they’re just enough of a wild card, in how they’re operated, to wonder … but still, can’t see it.”
MLBTR stuff: Not sure how I didn’t end up mentioning this when it was fresh, but apparently the Jays asked about Matt Kemp at the GM meeting. Last week Nick Cafardo thought the Jays, along with the Twins, were “circling” Ricky Nolasco– he eventually signed with Minnesota for four years and $49-million. Rumours yesterday that there could be issues with Jarrod Saltalamacchia’s medicals, though they were quickly denied by his agent. Jeff Samardzija has likely thrown his last pitch for the Cubs, some say, though… uh… others do not. Ted Lilly’s comeback attempt has stalled, and he’s decided to retire. Too bad– was a very solid pitcher in his three years with the Jays.
I was holding this one with the thoughts of hijacking it with my own answers, but Gregor Chisholm pretty much nails it: his five burning off-season questions post at BlueJays.com.
Gregor also takes an excellent, er… deep look at the Jays’ rotation depth.
More BlueJays.com stuff: Brett Lawrie is among the finalists for the Tip O’Neill Award. Jack Morris is on the Hall of Fame ballot for the final time, and while I found his commentary this season far more enjoyable than I thought I would this year, I can’t say I’m in favour of him making the cut– basically for reasons like what Dan Szymborski cites here– and with all the worthy names ahead of him it’s going to be tough. A look at the connection between Roberto Alomar’s new company and Jays Care. Sergio Santos hopes his injury troubles are behind him.
Bluebird Banter takes a look at the Jays’ promotional giveaways for 2014, which don’t quite measure up to what the Giants are doing, but hey, bucket hats!
Elsewhere at Bluebird Banter, Minor Leaguer has created a ridiculously great roster tree map. I’m not going to explain it– just go have a look.
Mark Hulet of FanGraphs looks at some unprotected Rule Five names of note, and he thinks the Jays’ Ryan Tepera is the most notable among them. Marcus Walden and former Jays prospect catcher Carlos Perez are on there too. Two things on Perez: being unprotected in the Rule Five draft doesn’t really speak well to his value, and should hopefully calm some of those concerned about him being traded. On the other… um… maybe pick him up?
Speaking of, another FanGraphs piece, this one by Bradley Woodrum, looks at the thinning catching market.
I’m not usually one to believe in things like showcasing players for trade, since most teams already have a pretty good idea of who can do what, which isn’t likely to change based on a few appearances, but Jays Journal wonders if that might be the case with Kevin Pillar, who is heading to the Dominican Winter League, and it at least sounds somewhat plausible.
This isn’t going to be easy, but please, if you’ve been pining for the Jays to make a play for Roy Halladay this off-season, read this report card on the pitcher’s 2013 season with the Phillies over at Crashburn Alley. But do it sitting down. In a word: grim.
Jose Bautista taking an awkward selfie at a Miami Heat game? Jose Bautista taking an awkward selfie at a Miami Heat game.
Marlins blog Fish Stripes looks at the mixed results that team has seen from last year’s big trade with the Jays.
Drew gives a good rundown on the newly-loaded Hall of Fame ballot over at Getting Blanked.
Lastly, Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus re-links a piece of his on Jeff Mathis, and the impact the ex-Blue Jay had on Marlins ace Jose Fernandez.