Interesting stuff from Foul Territory, the blog home of Rangers beat writers Jeff Wilson and Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as they wonder if J.P. Arencibia might be a fit now that he’s eminently available. Or… y’know… now that his availability is known more publicly than it was prior to the Jays’ acquisition of Dioner Navarro.

The idea that Wilson puts forth is that Arencibia could be a fit to pair with the Rangers’ top backstop Geovany Soto– in fact, he says that Texas has discussed the idea internally. Of course, “discussed” can mean a whole lot of things without knowing how far the idea advanced, but they seem to think there could be a little bit of interest there, especially given the low cost– and also because “the Blue Jays have been studying the Rangers this off-season.”

Hmm. They continue:

Early in November the Blue Jays looked into left-hander Derek Holland and second baseman Ian Kinsler for a possible trade for outfielder Jose Bautista, according to a source.

Again, “looked into” can mean a lot, but it’s not like this is the first we’re hearing of these sorts of rumblings– it is, however, I think the most specific that we’ve heard about such a thing. Or maybe it isn’t– it’s definitely been speculated by fans… and probably shot down around here as being more than the Rangers would be willing to give up. And maybe it was, not that it matters now anyway, with Kinsler off to Detroit.

So… there’s that.

There’s also this:

Maybe I’m a hopeless optimist on this front, but I kind of have a hard time believing that the Jays would have gone down this road without having something close to lined up. Guess I’ll be here all night waiting on it…

In the meantime, holy shit, Scott Kazmir got a two-year, $22-million deal from the A’s. The market for pitching is kind of nuts, huh? Which I suppose explains– as we’ve known all along– why the Jays would potentially consider dangling Bautista to get themselves some. Also: the A’s certainly have a surplus in their rotation now.

In his piece in favour of the deal at (Insider Only), Keith Law explains:

The A’s look likely go into 2014 with a rotatin of Kazmir, Jarrod Parker, Sonny Gray, Dan Straily and A.J. Griffin, with Tom Milone a potential sixth starter (or maybe a home-only pitcher, if they want to be clever about it), which means Brett Anderson, due $8 million for 2014 and effective when healthy, should be an attractive trade piece for a team with the flexibility to risk losing that money to the disabled list.

Texas and Toronto are obvious fits, as are the Nationals, who tried this with Dan Haren last year and might be willing to do the same, while the Angels could certainly use Anderson even if he only gives them 15 starts.

The Jays, we know, have been interested in Anderson for a while. I wrote about their supposed pursuit in September of last year– though it was noted in the source report on that post that they were also watching Detroit’s Anibal Sanchez, who they reportedly were very interested in last winter as well. Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported last month about it as well, explaining that “It’s possible that the A’s will pick up Anderson’s option and then deal him; there are numerous interested teams, particularly Toronto, which has pursued the A’s Opening Day starter for two years and which had a scout following him again at the end of this season.”

Obviously Arencibia isn’t the piece who’s going to get that sort of a deal done– though he does have some value, as Jeff Sullivan’s warm fuzzy of a piece at FanGraphs about the Jays’ big upgrade today makes clear– and yeah, Anderson’s injury history coupled with the Jays’ atrocious track record of keeping arms healthy is a concern, but… shit, they’ve got to hit on one at some point right? Plus the health concerns could keep the cost down, and as long as they’re not relying on him to be anything more than their fifth-best starter (which… wouldn’t they???) I could see the appeal– especially if they could do it without giving up too much off their big league roster, and avoiding moving their biggest prospects.

Especially since the club’s minor league system, especially at the lower levels, isn’t anywhere remotely close to as bare as some of the folks who only look superficially at that kind of stuff would have you believe. To wit:

Anyway, at this point, we have no idea what the cost is going to be– and with the way deals like the one to Kazmir are looking, it could get crazy. That certainly seems to be the thinking of a lot of folks at this point, and I suspect it’s not going to change just yet.

“The Cubs endgame on Jeff Samardzija is to let the market play out,” wrote Peter Gammons to that point over the weekend. “Several teams including the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays have called on the righthander who will be 29 come January 25, but the Cubs’ feeling is that when the Masahiro Tanaka posting saga has played itself out and the free agent scrum has cleared, Samardzija and Tampa Bay’s David Price will be the jewels of the market. And their trades will lead us to and probably past Groundhog Day.”

Sure, there has been a bit of a backlog of rumours and minor deals coming into focus today, as the league wakes up from its Thanksgiving fog and begins looking to tonight’s non-tender deadline, but as far as anything major goes, Alex Anthopoulos told Shi Davidi last week the same basic thing that Gammons has heard:

“My early sense of the relief market is that it could be a very lucrative one for the players, and I think the value of our players and our relievers is actually going to climb,” he said. “I could be wrong, but I kind of see it (that) the longer the off-season goes along, their value is going to climb just because of the control and some of the contracts these guys are under, as well.”

It’s strange that Tanaka, who most seem to be simply assuming will land with the Yankees as they try to undo their luxury tax problems in one fell swoop, would be the reason that so much of the market is being held up. Maybe the Kazmir deal will change that– or maybe the Nolasco or Phil Hughes deals already did– but it definitely doesn’t seem like guys like Santana, Jimenez, or Garza are going to go anywhere until the Tanaka question is settled, and it probably won’t be until that stuff gets sorted before the trade option is explored by teams left holding the bag.

So what of Tanaka?

Tim Brown of Yahoo gives us a small update on the talks between the league and NPB, which appear to have resumed following a break over the Thanksgiving long weekend in the States:

That doesn’t sound particularly favourable for the Jays, who’d be much better off under a system where they’d get exclusive negotiating rights with the player. Of course, that assumes that they might actually make a serious bid, which I think they should, but… we’ve been down this road before, haven’t we?

Speaking of which, it was this time two years ago that Yu Darvish fever was hitting its height, and while it feels like it was a long time between when he was posted and when we finally learned who had won the bidding, it really wasn’t: he was posted on December 8th (note: beware of photo), and the Rangers’ winning bid was revealed on December 20th.

With no system in place yet, we’re still looking at more than a couple weeks before we know what’s up with Tanaka– assuming his posting process follows about the same timeline as Darvish’s did– and maybe at least that long before things really heat up. Or maybe they’re about to tonight! So far, though, it’s all talk. But with the Winter Meetings getting underway next week in Orlando, and a bunch of rumours already flying as the non-tender deadline approaches, it should at least be an interesting few weeks.

So… there’s that.

Comments (109)

  1. What’s really ridiculous, is wishcasting on short-season arms. Still, if that means they have value as trade chips, then I am very pleased.

    • ridiculous? you should pen a letter to Jason Parks…

    • I think with the proper perspective you can wishcast just fine on short season arms, thanks.

    • Lots of the Jays’ international signings look like they have some pretty high upside at least, though they’re obviously a long way from being impact players at the MLB level. Barreto and Tirado and Osuna look stupidly good in particular. The Jays will be back to being a top 5 minor league system in another year if they don’t trade too many guys away this winter. There was some good scouting and good planning going on there with the international signings.
      (Its too bad they laid so many of those scouts off. I’m not convinced that getting rid of them was a very good move. Good scouts are a lot cheaper than backup catchers and they can pay off big time).
      I could see some of those lower level guys getting traded in the next couple months and bringing a serious return. If you have to trade prospects, these are guys that didn’t cost a lot and won’t be contributing in this window of opportunity so AA should be dangling them in trade discussions I’d think. Then again, I thought the Jays screwed up when they got Bautista from Pittsburgh and started giving him regular at bats.
      In short, I see the Jays cashing in on some of these guys this offseason and getting a high return for them.

      • As hyped as these prospects are and as hyped as the Jays system has generally been under AA’s watch, we’ve yet to see any of these players deliver anything at all on the big league level. Admittedly, it’s only been four years, so I’m not throwing AA under the bus yet. But going back to the Ricciardi era, this franchise has been horrible at developing homegrown stars. The key to New York and Boston’s success isn’t their big payrolls, it’s the fact that they were able to generate Jeter, Rivera, Posada, Pettitte, Pedroia, Lester, Buchholz, Ellsbury, etc. all from within. When you’ve got those cornerstones in place during their cheap seasons, that gives you a ton more leeway to spend in free agency or acquire talent in trades.

        Or who knows, maybe AA is using the Jays’ inability to develop minor leaguers as the new market inefficiency — he’ll trade them all while they’re full of potential rather than becoming busts in Toronto.

        • You’re right about the 4 years but about the only guys AA has had anything to do with in 2009 are just finishing their 1st year or are getting to the bigs now. (D’Arnaud, Drabek Gose etc). As for his 1st draft in 2010, AA’s 1st few picks (McGuire, Sanchez, Syndergaard, Wocjeihowski) (?), won’t be in MLB for a year or so. The trades that took place last off season had as much to do with the fact that they had no pitching at all at the upper levels as it had to do with fielding a competitive team for 2013. Hopefully they’ll hold on to their elite minor leaguers this off season (Sanchez, Stroman Osuna) and let them develop.

  2. Really liking the positivity coming from BP about our farm system.

  3. I can see JP’s OBP sky rocketing when he’s hitting 8th for the Padres next year

  4. I read another tweet saying the team with the worse record who posts the max, wins.

  5. “shit, they’ve got to hit on one at some point right? ”

    … well… Burnett I guess, would count.

  6. If the Jays could somehow parlay JPA into Derek Holland, in any way, shape or form – that would be ideal.

    • Release JPA and then trade some other assets for Holland…?


    • In what universe would that be remotely possible?

      Please tell me that’s not what you took from all these words I wrote here.

      • No I didnt.

        Obviously it would be an alternate universe where that trade one for one would happen – and I understand that.

        My comment was a pretty lazy one, in retrospect. Thats all.

  7. This is turning out to be a great day. Not only is the hot stove heating up, jpa is done with the jays.

  8. Am I missing something – but shouldn’t there be SOMETHING after the “to wit”??

    • Never mind – the system is super-slow, and the twitter-verse comments have just come up.
      Carry on everyone…carry on as if you were normal.

  9. I am happy that I don’t have to see another JPA at-bat but what his Jays career has reminded me is how moronic and fucked up the baseball media in this town is. Just an year ago people were destroying anyone who had the temerity to say that the jays should deal JPA and start d’arnaud. Year later, these fuckterds are ripping JPA because he called them out rightfully or wrongfully. I guess its who you know and who you blow and not how good you are! I hope these guys kill themselves!

  10. I say trade jpa to the red sox for cash. Watch that lineup crash and burn because of his presence.

    • I actually think JP would rake in fenway…. he consistently hits fly balls to left field

      • other than the 30% of the time he Ks

      • if he can actually hit the ball, which he doesnt do much. He would be an easy out in a key AL East rivals lineup is what im saying.

        • I’ve seen enough used up Blue Jays come back and stick a thorn in our ass when playing head to head, to even give him the chance. Overbay and Wells had quite mediocre seasons last year, but didn’t stop them from burning their former employers. I hope he goes to the N.L., but sooner or later, he is going to be a AAAA player, bouncing from AAA to the majors to the waiver wire and so on. You know, because baseball is harder than it looks. Lol. His moronic quotes will be the biggest lost of all.

    • The Red Sox treasure patience at the plate over anything else, whether it’s walks or just taking a lot of pitches. Arencibia is literally the last player Boston would go after.

  11. 1. This whole posting system for Japanese players annoys the hell out of me. Not sure who to blame (I don’t understand any of it) but why the hell haven’t the rules been put in place already? Couldn’t this have been figured out prior to the off season?

    2. Can JPA be used as a charitable donation?

    3. AA buy some Cubans god damit! (Please)

  12. Two years ago, Darvish signed for 6yr/$56m (looks like a bargain now)

    This year, Haren got 1yr/$10m
    Hudson 2yr/23m
    Hughes 3yr/24m
    Nolasco 4yr/49m
    Vargas 4yr/32

    Looks like the Darvish contract will be below the floor of any Tanaka deal.
    Maybe he gets six or seven years at about $12m- $14m per.

    Santana and Ubaldo will be between Tanaka and the Nolasco/Vargas deals.
    To get either one, it is going to take at least 5yr
    and guessing at about $14m per.
    Will be very surprised if AA goes there..more because of the term than the AAV.

  13. Rosenthal reports that Navarro “could grow into an everyday role” in Toronto, with Josh Thole backing him up and catching knuckleballer R.A. Dickey, which suggests 2013 starter J.P. Arencibia will be traded after a horrendous season in which he hit .194 with a GHASTLY.227 on-base percentage and .592 OPS despite 21 homers.

    • I predict the only thing Navarro grows into is a larger pair of pants.
      Seems like a low rent signing rather than a buy low to me, but we will see in the spring

  14. Assuming there are no MLB roster moves to come at catcher;

    Why is having Arencibia in the minors not being considered as an option? As insurance in case of injury or horrible production from Navarro or Thole. Thole was worse than Arencebia last year and Navarro is one year removed from being a veteran spending 3 years in the minors? You would hope JP could make some adjustments and improve his plate discipline / defensive skills and could easily become a decent option for years to come. Maybe he didn’t have enough time to hone these before being called up to begin with.

    Yes he is going to make about 2.5M+ which is not peanuts. It isn’t a lot compared to the overall payroll – doubt it would factor in being able to sign any particular free agent.

    No he didn’t have anything resembling good year. His first two were not horrible and as ra is eluding to he was hyped in Toronto and considered a core piece – likely over hyped – but is he under hyped now by being considered a non tender option? Signed Thole to an extension and he is worse minus being able to catch a knuckle ball.

    Are we really confident having Navarro and Thole as our only options? What happens if they both are terrible – something that could easily happen. I guess then you over pay in a trade to bring in somebody competent. Its not like we are talking LF here, good catchers are not that common.

    Not comfortable at all going into the year with Navarro and Thole – not even a whole lot more than with Arencebia and Thole. Hopefully if not a MLB player the Jays get some AAA depth with some catch and throw guys.

    • @Tony Fernandez.

      +1. I assume the Jays can send him down to Buffalo but pay him 2.8 million.

      It’s cheap insurance.

      On the other hand, JPA deserves a fresh start with a new team. I am hopeful he will do better.

      I liked JPA as a personality. Sad to see him go.

    • 3 million for a cacther with horrible defense, no plate discipline, a complete inability to even accept his short comings, let alone work on them, and actually came out to say that he was going to remove taking walks out of his game completely. His only plus is power. That’s 3 million that could help pay for another players contract that will actually be playing in Toronto, not Buffalo.

      • I’m pretty sure the eliminating walks article you are referring to is the parody of fan graphs ‘not graphs’ website

    • Agree completely. I don’t like the argument that Bringing JPA back is untenable because it’s not grounded in baseball logic.. The only way I can rationalize him being non-tendered is if it comes out that he continued to defy reason and refused to change his approach at the plate…despite his historically terrible season.

    • It’s fairly reasonable to assume that JPA has an attitude problem, based on the quotes he’s given to the media. In light of that, it’s difficult to imagine him as the player who would take a minor league assignment well.

      Still, once upon a time, Arencibia was one of our bright prospects. It’s not a point entirely without merit. At 27, though, he’s running out of time.

  15. Arencibia, Gose, Delabar, Jenkins and Goins for Profar?

  16. @ Who Says No?

    Mate, this isn’t a video game…sigh.

  17. 2014, JPA wins MVP….in the PCL

  18. that taint a pic of Darvish is it? heehee

  19. Trade him back to JPR we shouldn’t be the only ones reminded that all his drafts sucked

  20. With the A’s signing of Kazmir, could big, fat Bartolo Colon be a relatively cheap, stop-gap starting pitching solution that gives quality innings?

    No prospect capital has to be surrended. A 1-year deal is an easy option since the player is really fucking old. But a ‘fall of the cliff’ decline is not to be expected.

    Why not?

    • Actually would make alot of sense. He could be effective enough to keep us in ball games, and could bridge the gap until we see which one of our young pitchers rises to the top first, and becomes an everyday starter in 2015.

  21. Being forced to move the Triple-A team to Las Vegas was one of the more underrated worst things to happen to the Jays in recent years. Seems like it screwed up a whole generation of prospects — the team simply couldn’t properly evaluate hitters or pitchers thanks to the skewed PCL environment. For instance, Arencibia has one big year in a hitter-friendly league and fooled the Jays into wasting three years of catcher at-bats on him.

    • Sort of, kind of. I mean, they knew stats were skewed, but for sure it messed with prospects. Especially pitchers being sent from AA to MLB without stopping in Vegas.

  22. Fister to Nats….very interested to see what the cost was

    • Ditto. Not that it guarantees anything for the Jays, but wonder if this takes Washington out of the running for Anderson.

    • According to one guy who had Fister to Washington on Twitter last week, Tyler Clippard is part of the return. Can’t be one-for-one or DD would be fired immediately right?

      Maybe Clippard and. someone like Span?

      • Guy who first reported deal today now has four players going back to Detroit including Ray, Lombardozzi, and “Krol maybe”

        • Holy fuck. That’s confirmed. How I wish we could have offered the Tigers 3 scrubs for Fister…

          What would the comps of these three guys in the Jays system be…?

    • damn… seems light for Fister,,, tigers must love Robbie Ray.

      Fister would have been a nice fit here.

      • Ridiculous in this starting pitcher market. I’m still trying to think of Jays comps. Doesn’t this sound something like Loup, Goins/Pillar, and Drabek/Hutch?

        I suppose Robbie Ray might be better than Goins/Pillar. He’s a bench/utility guy, though, on a team with pretty paltry offence.

        • ray is the wild card… he really improved his stock … fastball changeup guy… velocity jumped up this year… but he was up and down prior to 2013. the tigers must love Ray because most people would probably have lombardozzi and krol as spare parts.

          I wouldn’t be surprised if there were teams that like ray a lot… I think he’d have a lot more value than drabek or hutch both coming off TJS.

          • Lots of reports on some control issues on Ray, but thanks for the info.

            I suppose the Tigers think that this doesn’t really affect their win now mode and they get a pitching prospect.

  23. Wonder if AA will be able to get anything for JPA. Time is running out…

  24. Jeeeesus….
    I don’t often talk in absolutes but, how in sweet flying fuck could we have not got Fister for what the Nats reportedly paid for him.
    Sounds like a colossal fucking missed opportunity

  25. The only explanation I can come up with is that somehow Dombrowski put a premium on Fister and asked for more from the Jays because they were trading him within A.L. I just simply can’t fucking fathom otherwise.

    • Fister is really quite good. Maybe you’re right that the Tigers went after better players from the Jays than the Nats, but come on…

  26. Holy fuck I can’t believe it. Glad we never traded the farm for the Shark than read about this deal.

  27. The Tigers must not have shopped Fister much. If they shopped him around and sold him to the highest bidder, the price would have been way more. Strange trade.

  28. It’s like a Nolin/Norris, Loup/Cecil, and Goins I think and that’s probably a better package. But I agree they may have wanted him out of the A.L., seems ridiculous they couldn’t get more though.

    • I was thinking Drabek/Hutch, but Norris/Nolin is probably a better comp. Norris/Nolin, Pillar/Sierra, and Loup maybe (if only because Cecil showed last year he’s not JUST a LOOGY, where Loup kind of is…)

      • Yeah either way I don’t think anyone loses sleep over any combination of those packages for 2 years of Fister.

        • Ryan:
          If the comp was Stroman or Sanchez even, I think I’d give up one of the two plus Loup and Pillar/Sierra say. And I’m not sure Ray comps out at Stroman/Sanchez heights, but I don’t know. I don’t follow the NL minor leaguers beyond reading some stuff sometimes.

          • Among qualified SPs, Doug Fister ranks 9th in fWAR over last three years, between Price and Hamels.

    • ray is a hell of a lot better prospect than any of nolin, Norris, drabek or hutch… but the whole package still seems a lot light to me. fister is really good.

      • Based on what? BA had him as the 18th best prospect in the Nats system last year and he had an OK 58.0 innings in AA this season. I haven’t heard anything about him though scouting wise.

        • BA has him 5th in a pretty good system this year… velocity went from 87-90 last year to 91-96 this year… changeup is pretty good. command / control improved this year, too.

          he is not an A+ prospect… stroman will be rated higher in year end lists… but I suspect there are a decent number of teams that would value ray over stroman, for example.

  29. Man, did the Tigers seemingly whiff on this one:

    Also – story broken by a high schooler. Seriously. Insane.

  30. Guess we’ll just have to trust that Rogers and A.A. are going to throw big money at Ubaldo or Garza because this is exactly the type of trade that the Jays could/should make.

  31. Trust me the Jays would have been all over this one given the chance. Fister would have been a great asset for the Jays.

  32. Wow. Fister got traded for a pile of shit and he is much better than Samahjghjgkja.

  33. What if we added Melky to the package to the Texas Rangers. That would be Melky, Arencibia, Delabar, Jenkins and Goins for Profar. Is that too much to give up?

    • And Gose. I left out Gose. Melky, Arencibia, Gose, Delabar, Jenkins and Goins. I think they’d have to say yes.

    • One, you’re just adding more shit to shit. Delabar is worthwhile in that trade as a minor piece, but here you’re including him as the most valuable piece.

      Two, Texas just traded Kinsler for Fielder to make room for Profar; they’re not going to trade Profar anymore, because doing so would create holes.

  34. Daniel Hudson non-tendered by the D-bags.

    FIP and xFIP suggest that he’s been kind of unlucky. Another 5th starter type to bring in cheap? I have never seen the guy, so have no idea what his arsenal is really like…

  35. [...] Stoeten also asks if Brett Anderson remains an option for the Blue Jays now that the Oakland Athletics have acquired Scott Kazmir. [...]

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