Alex Anthopoulos joined guest host Elliotte Friedman and Michael Grange this evening on Prime Time Sports and– hold onto your hats– there’s a small move coming! But… uh… it’s probably not one that’s going to blow your effing hat off, so actually, maybe you should stop looking like a damn dickhead and let go of the thing.

To wit, here’s what the GM said right near the end of the conversation, which can be found– at least in part– at Fan590.com.

We’re working on a small deal right now– maybe we’ll have it announced tonight. Small, though. I’m not trying get buzz going that this is going to move the needle or be breaking news, so it might go tomorrow, but we’re hopeful can get it done tonight. For the most part– like the three-way deal, we were aware of that last week. I think we’ve been active, in terms of dialogue and been aware of what’s going on. We’ve been close on some things– we’re definitely having dialogue, but I don’t know that we’re close to anything significant.

It’s like Christmas! Y’know… shitty Christmas.

I mean, do I really have to devote every waking moment for the next several hours to watching Twitter for the news to break? Because I was thinking real hard about getting drunk. So… you may be left to your own devices here. Don’t say you weren’t warned.

Otherwise, there was a treasure trove (note: not literally) of comments coming our way from Anthopoulos this evening, including some fully expected stuff on J.P Arencibia and Dionner “good friends with Joey Votto” Navarro (much of which I’m not going to bother typing out), some illuminating stuff about how Doug Fister slipped through his– and much of the league’s– fingers, and this little tidbit about a suddenly-healthy (fingers crossed!) Brandon Morrow:

He’s thrown two bullpens and a simulated game, and he’s thrown everything– fastballs, sliders, curveballs– and not at 60% or 80%, it’s at 100%, full go, and he’s not feeling a thing– he feeling great. I think when we look back at the issues he had, he never really had an extended period of rest– it would be three or four days off, then keep playing catch– and he never could allow his arm to heal and his arm to rest. I think he just needed that extended period of rest. And not that he’s thrown ten innings in a game, but multiple bullpens, sim games, things like that– going max effort, because he wanted to really have a good feeling about going into the off-season. He didn’t anything back in every pitch and everything else. So he should be 100% full go for Spring Training.

I want to believe– I really, really do!

Meanwhile, on his new catcher, he conceded basically everything that is in plain view about Navarro, while trying to put the most optimistic shine on him possible. “We think he’s turned the corner swinging the bat as well– we think we might have found something here. But there’s certainly some risk, too,” he explained.

The risky business– particularly concerning his durability and his lack of full-time work over the last several years– is clearly part of the whole enterprise. “That was absolutely a long part of the dialogue and a big part of the risk that we were going to take on,” he said, “and I think the price point– the salary is reflected in that.” Meaning, he explained, just one year of a less risky full-time catcher like A.J. Pierzynski went for the same money Navarro took for two, while it took a three year commitment (at $7-million in average annual value) for the Marlins to land Jarrod Saltalamacchia in the bargain bin tonight.

There’s good news for Josh Thole, too, as it sounds like he’ll receive a bit more playing time, given that Anthopoulos explained that “we don’t think it’s that big of a stretch for Navarro to catch 100 games, or maybe beyond that.”

Maybe? Great.

But the decision to move away from Arencibia was, obviously, a sound one. Skipping past all the stuff about what a great guy JPA is– which I honestly don’t doubt– he told us a little bit about the process, and the point at which he knew that he needed to find someone else to fill the position.

You always try to wait until the end of the season, so you can take a giant step back. It’s so easy to get emotional in-season when things happen. I remember when we outrighted Encarnacion in 2010 when Cito was still here, and we had talked about it, but he made another throwing error at third base, and I’m up in the box and it’s just like, ‘I can’t watch this anymore,’ and you just react. And it’s like, ‘It’s time, we’re sending him down tonight.’ I went down and I talked to Cito and we did it. And you can overreact in-season, and at any point in time a decision is going to get made and [even] turn around. Encarnacion coming back– and I’m not trying to harp on him, but, I remember he had a nice September the one year for us, and he hit some home runs– I think he hit two or three home runs against the Twins– and he really had a strong end to the season, and that factored into him coming back. Even a guy like Lind had a monster September for us– seven home runs, really swung the bat well– that certainly factored into the decision to bring him back. It is a six month year, and I know we like make decisions after four or five months, but that sixth month still is a part of the evaluation process. So, we waited until the off-season, we canvassed all the clubs in trade, we found out every price on all the free agents, looked at all the files from a medical standpoint, and when we added it all up, Navarro– at what we felt Arencibia would make over the next two years; Navarro’s probably going to make the same thing– we felt it was just the right fit for the team.

He also addressed some o the process stuff when he was asked by Friedman whether he would make Aaron Sanchez an untouchable commodity when someone asked about him in trade:

No. I’ve actually been asked about him a lot– the same with Stroman and Sean Nolin and guys like that. I don’t want to cut off trade dialogue right out of the chute, so when teams ask about him I say, ‘Look, obviously we value him highly, and we like him quite a bit, but in the right context we’d be open-minded,’ and I say that about every single player on the team. Sometimes I’m reluctant when I ask for someone’s star player, I basically qualify it, I say, ‘Look, I understand you don’t want to move this guy, I understand the price would be steep, but is there any way there you would talk about him, and I would pay,’ and so on. You don’t want to insult anybody, and things like that, and I try to encourage everybody to have that dialogue with us, so, even nine times out of ten it’s not going to go anywhere, just by having conversation and having dialogue, you don’t know where discussions might lead.

Most interestingly, though, Anthopoulos told us about some of what led to the Tigers making last night’s puzzling trade with the Nationals– and certainly didn’t do much to dispel the perception that Detroit was a) narrow in their demands, and b) quiet about much of the process.

We definitely contacted Detroit earlier in the off-season, knowing that they had depth in starters, and mentioned to them that we would have interest if they saw fit, and at the time it just sounded like they had better fits with other clubs– so it wasn’t even a matter of having a deal to say no to, it was just one of those things that, again, some clubs line up a little bit better with other clubs. And, again, Dave Dombrowski has been doing this job longer than probably all of us combined, and has had great success doing it, and I think they felt like– I can’t to speak for him, but I don’t know that we had the right mix of players for them relative to what they were able to get.

. . .

Some GMs do that– they do come back [when they've got a more favourable offer on a player]– they’ll tell you that right out of the chute, that look, ‘we’re going to be moving player X, and we’ll make this an auction and we’ll go back to everybody, and we’re going to take the best deal.’ Some will work a little bit more quietly. I know that when we made the Sergio Santos deal with the White Sox, people said they were surprised that he got moved and that he was available, and we just quietly worked on it. So, there’s times that you don’t want it out there that you’re talking about a player and you try to keep things quiet.

With respect to Detroit, I definitely reached out to them. One, you always reach out to every team in the off-season to see where you might line up, in a sense, but we knew– they were very candid to say that they were going to look see if they could move one of their starters. They weren’t necessarily committed to who would be moved, but one of them was probably going to be moved and Smyly was going to go into the rotation, so, it was one of those things that– Dave’s great to deal with, he’s very candid and up front– he just said, ‘We looked at all of the organizations, and we’re looking for certain players, and we don’t know that we line up in trade with you guys.’

So it was one of those things where we didn’t necessarily line up in trade– we didn’t have a fit– and I remember having to tell some clubs the same thing with Roy Halladay. I got calls from all the clubs, and there was a bunch where we just said, ‘You have good players, but you probably don’t fit exactly what we’re going to look to get.’ We we’re looking for a certain player, a certain type of control, all those type of things. With Detroit, I’m sure they got a lot of phone calls, but for us, I just don’t think we had the right mix of players.

. . .

I asked him, ‘Anybody that fits?’ He was looking for very specific things. He said, look, for a deal like this, and what he was going to look to do, we didn’t necessarily have the right fit.

Damn it, Dombrowski! Holy piss, Fister would have been a tremendous, tremendous fit here for that price. Anywhere, really.

So would have Mat Latos or Gio Gonzalez– one of whom I’m pretty sure Anthopoulos is talking about here (assuming he’s got the timing wrong, that is) as he continued on about the process of lining up on deals:

I was just actually talking to someone earlier– I remember being in on a young starter three years ago, and it was going to be a prospect type deal, but the team trading him told me that they wanted– and their ownership wanted– that they wanted players that were pretty much going to go onto the big league roster right away, or by mid-season were going to go onto the big league roster. So the talent that we were offering was down low in A-ball, but probably higher ceiling, maybe more long term value– and the team even acknowledged that for me. But there was a dynamic there, from an ownership perspective, that the other team had the better fit, maybe not the better players long-term, but the better fit because they were able to put some guys on the 25-man. Those are some of the things that don’t necessarily get out to the media, or don’t get out to the fans, but there are other dynamics when you’re dealing with some of these things.

OK, fair enough. And what about the stuff that does get out into the media? Like, say, about a certain GM’s infatuation with a certain oft-injured Oakland A’s pitcher?

I saw that too. It was kind of funny, I was in a conversation with someone– I actually joked about it– that I guess we were in love and no one told us anything about it. I guess all I can say is that I just don’t know how another Major League executive would know who we’re after or really want, because I definitely don’t get into the habit of talking to other GMs and saying, ‘Look, by the way, just so you know, this other club, they have this player, we love this guy. We’re dying to get this guy– have to have him. Spread the word! Get it out there.’

Sometimes, I’ve seen it before, when players are getting moved there is gamesmanship and things that go on, and we get lumped in with players and so on, but it just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense for us to go advertise something like that if we really did like a player.

Oh well, you’re no fucking fun at all, are you? I’ll take it all back, though, Alex, if you just hold off on that deal until tomorrow morning so I can sober up– whaddaya say???

No? You’re going to ruin my night? Well… fine. At least it won’t be as bad as those people who paid all kinds of money to witness the bloodbath that’s going down at the Air Canada Centre, right?

So… there’s that.

Comments (240)

  1. I really really think you can take the edge off at least Stoeten. This might be the kind of deal that you can dispense with in a Tweet, followed by a somewhat-slurred “an another thing…”

  2. You could – at the same time! – get drunk and watch Twitter for the next several hours. Your readers need you to do this.

  3. Small deal = Cano

  4. So what, the guy wants to have a couple of drinks….It’s not a crime.

  5. Oh, AA.
    You’re so coy and mysterious.
    You say so much – but say so little.

  6. Well that makes a lot more sense about the Jays not being involved in the Tigers trade though I still can’t understand it from Detroit’s side of things looking at what they got. I wonder if trading him out of the league also played a big part in the decision.

    Anyway, get me one more starter, a #2 and or a good #3 please, and a second baseman and I’ll be satisfied for this winter. I really think the Jays are a much better team than they showed last year. Just get them all healthy for most of the season!

    • If trading people ouf of the league means you get 80 cents on the dollar, then you are fucking stupid for taking that trade just to get him out of the league. If he’s that fucking good that you fear him beating you time after time after time…then you really should expect to get a TON back for him.

    • who invited you back?

  7. Im really hoping this small deal involves trading a reliever for a decent 2b.

  8. “Dave’s great to deal with, he’s very candid and up front– he just said, ‘We looked at all of the organizations, and we’re looking for certain players, and we don’t know that we line up in trade with you guys.’”

    I just don’t get this. At all. I find it amazing you can not find guys you like to fill needs off of the Toronto Blue Jays roster and farm.

    • It probably had something to do with Dombrowski looking at the Jays and deciding they had no one he wanted.

    • The fact that it was part of Sun media should have been a huge red flag.

    • Bah this team, if healthy, is waaaay better than a lot of the naysayers are giving them credit for. Again from the way AA says the Jays work, he’s not going to be so quick out of the gate with the free agents. If spring training comes around and he hasn’t added a second basemen and a legit #2 or #3 with all those prospects at his disposal then I would be upset. Just have to wait and see if it happens now.

  9. Heyman saying Yanks and Elsbury closing in on 7 year deal.

    • Wow does that mean theyre giving up on cano? OR can they actually afford ellsbury, cano, tanaka, and mccann?

      • Guess it depends on two things. How married are they to the $189 million luxury cap and what happens with A-Rod?

      • As much as I hate ARod, I am now hoping he wins his appeal.

        • Yep you, me and the other 29 teams. However, with the way MLB has gone about things, I wouldn’t be surprised if they and the Yanks know exactly what the outcome is already.

      • I was thinking the same thing. They can’t possibly afford all these guys unless they are reversing stance on the luxury tax situation.

        Any conjecture on this minor move? Reliever for something else? Maicer for a pouch of big-league chew? Kawasaki for 5,000 cubic metres of sod?

        • L.o.l

          • I’m doubting that MLB can make that penalty to ARod stand (211 games) on a first time offence. Guess it depends on what kind of evidence they have but I don’t think ARod (if the penalty is upheld) will stop at the arbitration decision.

      • That’s probably it right there–they’re giving Ellsbury the money that was slated to go to A-Rod, meaning they still fit under the cap.

        Further, they only need A-Rod to be suspended for all or most of a season, and then their tax gets reset.

    • Wonderful

    • I guess they’ll platoon Ellsbury with Wells.

  10. Yankees about to give Ellsbury a lot of money. Presumably he replaces Granderson. Yankees fans don’t seem to like this much.

  11. Funny stuff again from AA, yeah I thought the same thing when I saw that rumor on MLBTR(don’t remember which sports journalist reported it) the word infatuated and thought the same thing, what are the Jays in love with this player.

    • To be honest though, for all we know it could have been an A’s exec telling that to the beat writer. They would know since they talk to the jays in trade talks.

    • He’ll hit 30 hr’s in that fucking joke of a sadium with a 365 right center fiedl gap and short wall.

  12. Woe the Yankees just signed Ellsbury

  13. Has there ever been a day with more activity than today? This is jsut crazy. Cant ever remember a day like this. Its more action packed than the winter meetings.

  14. Wtf I thought the Yankees were on this budget we’ve been hearing about for the last four years, one of the reasons the sports media cited the Jays could compete in the AL Beast.
    McCann, Jacoby, offers to Cano and Kurdoa, Maybe the Yankees feel very comfortable that A Rod will be suspended but these are multiple years they are paying for in Jacoby, McCann and possibly Cano and A rod will be collecting that 27 million when he comes back. Again WTF.

    • Wasnt that last year? And they held off on signing anyone and had to settle for guys like Wells and Overbay?
      I believe once they’re under the 189 MM cap they get to start over again on the surtax at a much lower %

      • Ur correct.
        The tax resets at a lower rate.

        • http://www.fangraphs.com/library/business/luxury-tax/
          So if the Yanks go over the 189MM this year their tax rate on the overage will be 17.5%.
          and if they are still over in 2015 it goes to 30%, 2016 40%, and 2017 50%.
          But if at any time they sneak under that cap for a season, then the penalties reset to those rates. (17.5%,30%,40%,50%)
          I think if ARod is still a Yankee at the start of 2014, they’ll probably be paying the 17.5%

  15. Serious question, did people actually believe the Yankees had a self-imposed limit at any time?

    • I only believed it because MLBTR always had links to respected sports media saying this Yankee budget things is the real deal. But to answer your question deep down did I truly believe it……….. No!
      But damn it all, f’ckn Yanks do it again. Sports media Keep thinking they need to develop talent eventually, well if you keep on buying guys you only need to develop a few players for holes now and again with injuries and such.

  16. So 7 and $153 mil for Ellsbury. That’s a huge chunk of A-Rod’s $25 million a year right there with the AAV at $21.85 million.

    At least they weakened Boston while they were at it.

  17. 7 years of Ellsbury… good luck with that. I can’t see those legs looking so good on the back end of that deal.

    • I always thought ellsbury was a little overrrated. He is definitely good but I wouldnt call him elite.

    • The way these long term deals are going, it seems like teams are looking to get productive years for about the first 2/3 of the term and then just eat the back end of the contract. Its like they’re prepared to pay $150m for five productive years and anything they get beyond that is a bonus. Not for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.

  18. How many GM’s have joked about all the calls they get from AA concerning their players. You know he was all over Detroit..

  19. With the way the players keep cashing in on money every year as much as I’d like to believe the Yankees will regret all these deals and the tail end if the market keeps skyrocketing like it has maybe these crazy deals that are happening aren’t actually going be that regrettable in the end.
    Ervin Santana is going to get close to 20 mill a year……. Ervin Santana

    • 5 years from now Ramon Ortiz might get 12 million, these prices are sky high, Ricky Nolasco and Scott Kazmir are making 12 mill a year.

  20. I’m gonna guess… reliever for prospect.

  21. Wonder if AA will wait to announce his small deal tomorrow lol. Will look sort of comical next to the Ellsbury signing.

  22. So who will be the Yanks starting 5? Sabathia, Kuroda, Nova, Pineda, Phelps?

    Their position players look pretty good, but their rotation doesn’t terrify me.

  23. Cano for 8 years and $27.5 per year. Do you do it, AA??

    • At 18% of rumored team salary, that does seem crazy but . . . what percentage was Delgado making those last couple of years?

    • I doubt it, but in light of all the talks here about big contracts for guys like Fielder over the last couple of years, he’d be a much better risk to take. I’d still rather spend that coin on a FA starter and trade for someone like Kendrick or Philips (yes he’s not the player he was but he’s still a great defender with a league average bat). Two birds with one stone, and greater flexibility going forward. Then again after 2015 this team only has $27 million booked with Reyes being owed the biggest chunk at $22 million.

    • Absolutely. Because…

      a). He’s an MVP candidate at a position of need
      b). You’d be taking him from a division rival
      c). He’s in his prime during this teams window
      d). You can flip him for prospects in 2 years at full value if you haven’t won it yet.

  24. Lol at the Yanks. But then again, I laughed at Boston last off-season, so maybe I should be worried. Let’s just sign every free agent, except JPA, and call it a day.

  25. Why aren’t the jays spending any money?

  26. On a different note
    Goins can’t be the 2nd baseman

  27. He can if they don’t find anyone better. At least the kid can play his position.

  28. Pipe-dream time!!! The market for Cano seems to be drying up. Maybe Cano takes a shorter deal with a high annual salary. Something like 5-years $130 million.


  29. Would Infante be a small deal? Cause that’d be kinda OK.

    • Maybe AA’s messing with us. Maybe its a … big deal!

    • I think he’s going to score a fairy nice deal considering how weak the 2nd base market is in general. Doesn’t hurt he’s coming a career year either.

  30. And there’s the small deal: Lincoln to Philly for two other guys.

  31. So Lincoln for Kratz and a reliever from the Phillies woo hoo.

  32. 590:

    “AL East just got tougher with the Yankees signing Ellsbury.”

    I laughed.

  33. There’s your JPA replacement/ catcher insurance.

  34. Hey, Erik Kratz was drafted by the Blue Jays in the 29th round of the 2002 Major League Baseball Draft. Hehe @ his batting averages with the Fisher Cats and Chiefs.

    So the Jays’ habit of bringing people they had interest in a long time ago continues!

  35. Well, that really is a small deal

  36. Was going to lose Lincoln anyways, since he was out of options. Mind as well get some minor leaguers for him.

    • I read stuff like this occasionally. It is true, I suppose, but the Jays actually have to let someone else go (kind of) in order to make room for the two new players. So unless the minor league guys are players you like (at least more than someone you have), you don’t need to do it.

  37. So basically Snider = back up catcher and minor league reliever.

    Here’s the link to Rasmussen’s stats for some reason FanGraphs and BR only have the Dodger’s prospect of the same name.


  38. lincoln trade makes sense because he was out of options but since kratz is mlb player and not minor depth how does this play into the narrative catcher to catch knuckle ball?

    • never mind although 33 kratz does not look like he is out of options, and neither is the other minor league reliever. Thus the jays traded Lincoln (out of options) and not making the team unless they made trades, for 2 guys with options who are filler. Meh.

      • Apparently Kratz is an amazing defensive catcher with a cannon of an arm. Isn’t the greatest hitter(long swing), but has decent pop. Good depth move, flipping a pitcher that would have went on waivers for a controllable catcher, who adds a little depth to a position that was a black hole last year. The pitcher they acquired is still young, and maybe he can feed off of Stroman’s hunger to succeed, as he is listed at 5 foot 8, 160 pounds.

  39. Boy. AA wasn’t just being coy, was he?

  40. Nothing wrong in adding depth at the catcher spot. Especially for a reliever who Argos noted was out of options.

  41. Here’s hoping Stoeten made the right call and got drunk.

  42. Choo to Detroit

  43. Here’s a little info on Rasmussen. Looks like AA is trying to exploit the new market inefficiency – short pitchers.


    Seems like a pretty good trade all around. Got some depth for a guy that become even more of a spare part with the return of McGowan, Drabek, Hutchison and Perez.

    • Sorry I am bored.

      Ben Badler ‏@BenBadler 1m

      4th one since ’10 draft. I see reliever, back-end SP upside RT @Coach_Wellik how many times has Ramussen been traded? Seems a solid prospect

  44. Kratz has no options. If he can’t catch Dickey he gets DFA’d. Lincoln is out of options, whereas Rasmussen is a lefty who has 3 options. For that reason alone it’s a good deal. Why does AA hate to leave empty spots on the 40?

  45. Makes you wonder why AA is the least paid GM in baseball. He has lost his touch . Rogers is a worse owner then OTPP. Spend money on NHL TV rights and shaft the bluejays lets prepare to finish in the basement until the NHL TV rights run out.

    • You don’t actually know that Anthopoulos is the least paid GM in baseball.

      • i’m going to go out on a limb here & guess that that’s not the only thing mr. grumpy here doesn’t know about.

  46. And so Travis begat Brad, who begat Erik and Rob. And still the Blue Jays remained in the wilderness. When do these middle relievers start picking up value again?

  47. Article that is a must read on kratz. After reading, I swear he will become one of your favourite players. A 32 year old rookie last year.
    Please read. Very good. By the way, I did not find this article myself. Crotch grab to a commenter on bbb for mentioning it.


    • This part made me laugh.

      3. Kratz has some shot at being the most valuable player taken by the Blue Jays in that year’s draft. Only three players taken by the Blue Jays that year have produced a positive WARP total: pitcher Jordan De Jong (0.1 WARP in nine career innings), Kratz (1.1 WARP), and Dave Bush. Well, okay, Bush is sitting on 6.0 WARP, which is probably a bit out of Kratz’ range. But if you let your cheating eyes wander around the internet to one of those other player-value models, you can find a more optimistic total: Kratz at 1.0 wins and Bush at 2.5 wins.

    • You’re right! I love the collisions, competitiveness, the refusal to give up and, especially, the canon arm throwing from the knees. He could be this year’s Munenori Kawasaki if he can beat out Thole.

  48. And the deals keep coming. Morneau 2 years $13 million from the Rockies.

  49. If you guys want a good laugh, read the comments on the tsn article about this trade. The Tsn audience is top-notch.
    You would think we traded ee for the ghost of rob deere.

  50. I think AA and Rogers are still pissed about losing out on Darvish and are getting ready to toss big cash at him. The only free agent pitchers I could see The Jays making a play for are Tommy Hanson, Gavin Floyd, maybe Barry Zito, someone cheap and potentially low risk high reward, guys like that. If you are waiting for a pitching splash, I think you will see it in the form of Tanaka. I think Rogers will want to flex their wallet with that situation.

    Apart from pitching, I could see them offering Omar Infante a deal, he would be perfect for the Jays because he can play the whole infield. For the veteran Mark Derosa replacement, why not give Kevin Youkilis a call? Have him play first and third with a little DH? He would be a good guy to have around while he still has gas in the tank.

    Just some spit balling.

  51. Tommy Hanson is high risk low reward.

    Barry Zito is low risk low reward.

    Gavin Floyd is intermediate risk, intermediate reward.

    • c/mon FFS-they are all 10lbs of shit stuffed in a 5lb bag. Either we get serious about signing a valid SP that costs only money like a Jiminez or Burnett ( if he would come back) or forget the whole fukin thing and go with Stroman. I still think we will land a whopper as we do not have to forfeit a first round draft choice this year and they may never get another chance in the tenure of AA to do so. Now..back to the funnies

    • AA has always been involved in rumours involving trades for Gavin Floyd. I recall a fee from over the years. I’m thinking this might be a realistic option, that is as a backup plan, in the case the big names don’t sign here. I’d much rather see that, rather than us absolutely overpaying for one of the big names, ubaldo, garza, etc.

  52. have to say stoets. its pieces like that that have me logged on to this site every day.

    perfect blend of baseball knowledge and vulgarity. seriously keep up the good work.

  53. As a public service, could you please photoshop a better hairstyle on AA?

  54. Kratz is a really good defender, Thole better show up to ST inspired.

  55. If the Yankees really are on the cusp of signing Kelly Johnson, that would really stick it up Cano’s ass. Without the possibility of his returning to New York for big $$$, being taken off the board, Cano wouldn’t have enough big spenders bidding on him to drive up his market value. Maybe he could land in TO after all..

  56. Lincoln was fucking awful. In a few short days AA has managed to rid us of our two worst players and actually gain a bit of depth from it. Fine moves.

  57. Peace out Lincoln, would rather have Kratz than Thole anyways to be honest.

    I was late so i didn’t read all 139 comments that were posted before mine but I did read “some illuminating stuff about how Doug Fister” as “some illuminati stuff about Doug Fister” which almost makes more fucking sens considering how bad that trade appears right now lmao.

  58. with the yanks signing Jacoby why don’t the Jays go out and get choo, then move bats to 3rd and Lawrie to 2nd

    Reyes – ss
    Choo – RF
    Bats – 3b
    EE – 1b
    Lind – DH
    lawrie – 2b
    Rasmus – CF
    Melky – LF
    Navarro – C

    • Because they learned last year that defence matters.

      • yeah but they just plugged in Lawrie without a proper spring training for 2B…this time he will have the ability to do so…and you don’t have much of a drop off at third with Bats there and Choo in RF is fine

        • If they’re going to sign Choo I’d rather they trade Lind and make Melky the DH.

        • Stop with the bautista at 3rd and lawrie at second, they are both defensively worse at those positions. Why do you think they moved lawrie from second to third when they traded for him in the first place.

          • they did it because at the time we had Aaron Hill…

            • Ok fair point, but the point still stands with Bautista. He prefers RF to 3rd base (and he’s better at RF), plus now he suffered from a number of injuries now. Do you really want to move him to a more physically demanding position, where he will obviously be worse at?

              Lawrie sure, why not, move him to second he’ll probably be ok there as long as he starts geting reps like starting now. But he’s already an elite defensive thrid baseman now, moving him to second does not guarentee that. More importantly, who do you put at third? There is like no 3rd baseman on the free agent market and no good in-house options. At least at second there some flexible options.

              Just because Bautista and Lawrie can probably play multiple positions doesnt mean you should.

    • please leave Lawrie at 3B. Did you see his defense last year? He is a 3B now. Same goes for Bautista, why would you take that arm out of RF?

  59. I hear Kratz was Halladay’s personal catcher.

    Sorry, just had to…

  60. Rasmussen is a RP… but he has 6 years of control… and he was a 2nd round pick so you know there is something there in terms of stuff. he was the #3 in the ucla rotation behind gerrit cole and trevor bauer. odds are pretty good that he ends up as a useful bullpen piece.

    katz is probably insurance in buffalo in case someone gets hurt and aj jiminez insn’t ready.

  61. http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/yankees-close-to-signing-kelly-johnson.html

    Fucking fuck. 3M for Kelly Johnson? If you told me we could get him for 1 year @5M I would say to do it in an instant. Or even 2 years, 8M.

    Am I wrong? Isn’t that awfully cheap?

    • meh, the guy is exactly league average so….

      • Yeah but there is a difference of 2.3 WAR between KJ and Izturis (last year).

        Wouldn’t you pay an extra 2 or 3M a year even just for a 1 WAR difference?

    • Yankees discount. They get all these fucks who would be too expensive for anyone else and dangle championship rings in front of their eyes to make sure they always have the best depth you could ever have.

    • It’s probably a little bit more than what I’d pay for a utility infielder. It’s probably bang on accurate.

      (Then he goes all Vernon first two months and hits .400 with 75 doubles, or something.)

  62. So this thing with Ellsbury, does this impact the Yankees signing Cano at all? If I’m Cano, I look at that deal and stay a hard line for like $250M. They’re paying Ellsbury 7 years at 22 per, and Cano is a better player and much more healthy. If I’m him I’m asking for 9 or 10 years at at least the same AAV…so 9 or ten years at 22-25 per. If I come down to 7 years then I ask for more AAV, probably 28-30 mill per season. Either way you’re looking at having to pay out 200-250 million.

    There’s no way New York can do the Ellsbury deal, then stay at 7 years 160 or whatever they were offering Cano.

    • MLBTR seems to indicate that it doesn’t impact their budget as far as Cano/Choo goes but I think you’re right that it sets a dangerous baseline for what Cano is worth. It’s a lot to pay for Ellsbury and if you extrapolate Cano’s worth from there, well, he gets truckloads of money,

  63. Not sure if Stoeten would have got around to linking this but here’s a link to a podcast with Jason Parks going over the Jays top prospects in great detail. The interviewing skills are pretty poor, they probably could take a lesson or two from Drew, but the info makes it well worth a listen.


    • He’s probably knuckles deep in greasy McEggers, washing it down with Advil LiQu-Gels and Grape G2. Cures all.
      Except space herpes.

      Thanks for the link.

    • that was interesting… thanks for the link.

  64. Interesting take on Cano.

    Quote “That list covers eight of the top nine teams in terms of 2013 payroll, with the Blue Jays the only one I haven’t included. Maybe they’ll be Cano’s mystery team.”

    With the KJ rumors and Seattle rumors, I don’t think the Jays will be players.
    The comment section pointed out middle infielder decline after the age of 33.
    Also gotta wonder what the Yanks know or calculate to make their decision about $ and years for Cano.Especially when they are the kings of overpay.
    The Jays smartest move on Cano may be no move.

    • Well if you go by what DaVidi is projecting their payroll to be there’s no chance in hell. He was wrong last year and hopefully is this year, but there’s also the 5 year limit on contracts the Jays give out to consider.

      Between the payroll limitations and the contract length I just don’t see it happening. I would love it of course, but as Jays fans we don’t get to see the unicorn like dreams of a mega free agent coming here come true.

    • Those WAR predictions are hopelessly optimistic.

      • Well he goes through a bunch of different WAR estimates.

        To me, it is reasonable to hope for 30 WAR over 8 years. And that is easily worth 180M to the Jays.

        And unless he does really badly in the first 2-3 years of the deal, I’m sure you could move him at the same time as Bautista and everyone else’s contracts are up.

        Hell, Buehrle at 20M probably has positive value still.

        • Yeah, and don’t forget to factor in inflation. The way money is coming into the game, salaries could continue to get higher than they are now in the future of the deal.

  65. What is weird about the whole Cano thing so far is that the jays haven’t been victims of bullshit AL executive reports saying they are in on Cano. With the very select few teams that actually have the need and ability to sign him, you’d think Cano’s camp would be quick to exploit the jays’ cone of silence to drive up the price. Cano signing with the jays would be a disaster for the yankees. I’m not suggesting the lack of rumors here means there’s anything to it (I still think he resigns in New York for 9 yrs/$225mill), but it is curious that the jays have been linked to every half decent pitcher on the market (even obvious non-fits like Nolasco) and yet nothing on Cano, even though they are one of the very few teams that could potentially be a fit.

    • Indeed, regardless of the extemely low chance we sign him, he would easily be the biggest gain in our roster and probably single handedly put us in contention, even if we don’t sign a free agent pitcher.

    • I agree – I expected at least a little chatter about it. Toronto as a city is getting lots of attention thanks to a decent economy, Rob Ford and Drake. We need a 2B. Cano and Edwin have trained together. We have rich owners. We have a strong Dominican presence already on the team. The fan base is restless after getting so excited and being let down so hard.

    • The elephant in the room is the turf. We know what De Rosa said about it.

      Beeston admitted that Crawford refused to discuss coming here (thankfully)
      and that Beltran was offered more $ here than in St. Louis
      but would not come here, at least partly, because of the turf.

      A top free agent with choices, especially one entering or in his 30′s
      is going to have severe reservations about signing to play on that crap.

      • the turf is obviously a big issue… the crazy part is that it seems replacing the turf is doable but evicting the argos is not. blows my mind, really… especially when you consider that the cfl is a big money making property for the competition over at TSN.

      • this is a good point..

        lose the useless CFL and put some real grass in that place.

  66. According to Jason Stark at Espn the Pirates are kicking the tires on Lind.

    If they were to trade him, EE could play first and it would open all sorts of possibilities.

    Including my personal pipe dream of Matt Kemp as our new LF’er and Melky as DH.

    Think of an outfield of Kemp, Colby and Bats with Gose as the 4th outfielder.
    It would also afford you opportunities to give guys a break by cycling them through DH and have Melky play the odd game in the OF.

    I still believe Kemp is closer to the guy who should have won the MVP over Braun then his recent stats show.

    • First I guess you would have to believe that what he did last year was just a blip. Otherwise he’s relatively cheap for someone who put up at 132 wRC+ last year. You WILL NOT find another bat for that kind of money on the free agent market for that kind of money. Of course after watching his shitacular performance the prior 3 years you’ve got to wonder.

      After that it all comes down to budget. Do the Jays even have enough to bid of top free agent starter which is what they need most? Going to be interesting to see but I’d be more than happy having a combo of Lind/Sierra as my DH. Personally, I think Melky will bounce back this year and will be more than fine in left. Get me a starter and a legit 2b first.

      • At Jays Journal they mentioned Jordy Mercer (SS/2B) in return but that he’d probably cost more than just Lind.

      • I agree about Melky, I was banging his drum most of last year.
        I worry about Lind, he seems to shit all over the field and then just do enough that he sticks around. Last year was a good year for him, if you can get value though I’d love to remove the risk.

        As for Kemp, the Dodgers have an abundance of pitching (quantity over quality) and tthey are the front runners for Tanaka from what I’ve read, all due respect to Cashman.

        Espn has been saying that the Dodgers are willing to eat salary on any of Crawford, Ethier or Kemp. They aslso say that the first two could be got for nothing but Kemp would still require “a few” mid level prospects.

        If you could get Kemp (and salary relief) for a few guys in the 10-20 range then pull the trigger, like now.

        Dodgeers have Kershaw, Greinke, Ryu, Beckett, Billingsley, Dan Haren and prospects Zack Lee and Ross Stipling. That’s 6 MLB arms and 2 MLB ready arms.
        They will also quite possibly have Tanaka when the posting gets figured.

        Seems you could do a lot of shopping from the Dodger surplus, and they are motivated to sell.

        • Who do you think is realistically available for a fair price? They may a surplus but I hell dont want Billingsley or Beckett

          • Ryu would be all right, 26 year old lefty. Now that the Yanks are loaded with LH hitters it would be nice to have another southpaw. Only 6 million.
            I can see him being the odd man out if Tanaka got signed.

  67. A Colby update.

    Tony_Rasmus_IV ‏@FlorenceFalcon0 1h
    @BlueJaysAggr @BlueJays colby has worked tirelessly this offseason on a better 2 strike approach. And claims to be stealing 30 bags in 2014.

    • the first ‘best shape of his life’ report for the 2014 season!

    • I hope they lock him up with an extension this winter. One thing about the Jays system is that it’s very thin on good position players in the upper minors. I also don’t think Gose’s bat is going to turn out as good as what I once thought. I see Gose being more of a future Rajai Davis, lesser bat, better d.

  68. JPA hates walking so much that he actually had to be non-tendered to take one.


  69. Why no post on the Kratz deal? I want analysis!

  70. A’s picked up Kazmir: 2/22

  71. Apparently Pittsburgh is interested in Adam Lind.

  72. Feed me, AA.
    Feed me MORE!!

  73. I’m kind of desperate for a meaningful move but I guess it is still early…oh shit where have I heard that before.

  74. since Kemp keeps coming up, what would you rather: shell out for Choo or pick up the remainder of Kemp’s tab in a trade that we’ll assume includes some salary relief from LAD?

    for argument’s sake let’s say 5 yrs, 100 mil for Choo, i.e. AAV of 20 mil, plus draft pick compensation


    trade for Kemp minus salary relief (20 million) @ an AAV of around 17.5 mil per for 6 tears

    Choo I see as more consistent but you lose a draft pick and pay more for a guy who is declining in speed, defense and ability to hit lefties very quickly

    Kemp seems to have higher upside but also comes at the price of giving up more players in order to reduce cost which isn’t a drastically lower cut from what it would take to just sign Choo

    • I think I would rather have Choo and his consistently high OBP. Kemp is far too sporadic with his play.

    • Choo.

    • Agreed – I’d take Choo as well. Especially if Buerhle were to ever get traded, I’d have no problem paying 20 mil for Choo in his stead.

      OBP should be a priority for the Jays.

      Losing a draft pick would suck but AA can’t always skirt draft pick compensation anyway

      Would rather pay money and hoard prospects for a trade for a pitcher or middle infield position player.

      If Lind ever gets traded, Choo and Melky would be great LF/DH platoons

      • It’s only a second round pick, and it’s highly likely that Choo in a Jays uniform would amount to way more value than that draft pick ever will. The more I talk about Choo, the more I love the idea of him in LF/RF and have the DH spot alternate to give all 3 players a day off the concrete. Of course, this idea is dependent on the Jays trading Lind.

    • Choo is probably the safer play and I like his ability to get on base but guys like Kemp are pretty rare.
      Kemp is only one injury riddled year away from a .303/.357/.538 slash.
      And only 2 years away from being the rightful owner of an MVP award when he was .324/.399/.586 with 8.1 WAR.

      He could slide into left, Melky could DH or split time with Lind if he wasn’t dealt.

      I totally see the argument for Choo even with surrendering a pick, but damn, Kemps upside…….

      • Also, Choo is 31 to Kemps 29.

        Plus he used to crush Rhianna.

      • yea its tough call either way

        i think both would be great fits, just prefer Choo solely on the idea of hoarding prospects for deals requiring a pitcher

        then again if Jays could pick up a Tanaka, ship those trade chips for Kemp!

    • If we were fortunate enough to get either of these guys I’d do hot yoga in a phone booth with Rosie Odonnel.

  75. Excellent, excellent article! Says everything that I have thought for years and years and years. And articulates his point much better than I could.


    • He raises some good points, particularly regarding some questionable asset management by AA, but the whole “guiding principle” thing sounds a bit nebulous to me.

    • Yes, it was articulate….but I’m not sure exactly about a few things.
      Like he implies that the Jays somehow mishandled Rickey Romero when he started to struggle. Other than taking the ball and lobbing it across home plate for him, what the heck is a pitching coach to do with a guy who’s lost his control. Remember Chuck Knoblauch and his yips trying to throw to first? I think it was the Yankees that tried everything up to, and including, hypnosis to get Chuck to throw somewhere in the general vicinity of first base.
      As for signing their first round picks….what’s a guy to do? Start basing your draft on guys that WILL sign with you, or talent? Start grossly overpaying to get guys to change their mind? That sends a hell of a message to agents out there.
      Bottom line is ….. just start winning. Start winning, and be a destination on the list of every guy who wants a chance at a WS ring. Guys want to play on a winner…not in Kansas City/Pittsburgh North. Start winning, and all that changes.

    • Anyone who brings up the unsigned first round draft picks as some kind of failing on AA’s part instantly loses a lot of credibility, particularly when he later laments the team not calling up Marcus Stroman.

      I agree with a lot of it, but it’s just so easy to look at everything that’s happened the last two decades as having contributed to mediocrity. They don’t give rookies a chance late in the season, but they ruined Snider by rushing him when he wasn’t ready. They don’t know what to do with Ricky Romero, yet there’s really nothing they CAN do with him. Someone said some nice things about Sam Dyson, as everyone says about all of their own prospects, so it’s automatically a bad move to let him go, even when he struggles to miss bats as a 25 year old in AA.

      Everything that goes wrong can’t automatically be chalked up as some overarching organizational failure. A lot of things just don’t work out.

      • However, as the article points out, the Jays have been unusually stable in their mediocrity. And that by itself is anomalous.

  76. Loney wants 3 yrs 30 mil. Pretty sure that takes Pittsburgh out of the equation. Come on down Adam Lind!

  77. Fucking Red Sox sign A.J. Pierzynski for 8.25M.

  78. [...] in the day, Blue Jays’ General Manager Alex Anthopoulos gave a candid interview, going in depth on his talks with Tigers’ GM Dave Dombrowski in regards to Doug Fister. While [...]

  79. [...] of types of players when they set out to move a pitcher. Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, via DJF,  on Detroit’s Dave Dombrowski and his process for this move: “Dave’s great to deal [...]

  80. [...] Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos talks candidly about putting trades together (no specifics), and it’s an interesting peak behind the curtain, particularly in light of a deal like the Doug Fister trade, where no one could seem to understand how the Tigers couldn’t do better. Very interesting background read. [...]

  81. [...] is a quote from Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, courtesy of Andrew Stoeten: “[Tigers GM Dave Dombrowsiki] was looking for very specific things. He said, look, for a [...]

  82. [...] is a quote from Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, courtesy of Andrew Stoeten: “[Tigers GM …read [...]

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