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According to Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star, Alex Anthopoulos “held court” with members of the local BBWAA today, as the organization got together to name some award winners. Shi Davidi tweets that Edwin Encarnacion is the club’s player of the year, according to the local scribes, with Casey Janssen being named pitcher of the year, the rookie of the year being Todd Redmond, and Brett Cecil being named most improved. He adds that “Mark DeRosa gets John Cerutti Award from Toronto chapter BBWAA as person associated with #BlueJays who represents spirit of late pitcher”

But you didn’t come here to hear about that, did you? Let’s get to the juicy-ish tidbits! Because during the court-holding, the GM offered up a few of those on what the team is up to, both with regard to the moves made this week, and with a view to next week’s Winter Meetings.

What was said, exactly? Turns out Brendan was kind enough to tweet it out!

As I noted in my roundup of the trade in today’s MLBTR piece, Thole probably needs to watch his back, because there is actually quite a bit to like about Kratz. Relative to the expectations on a backup catcher, at least. Yeah, maybe our expectations are completely warped by the catcher play we’ve seen here over the last three years, but in 129 big league games– the bulk of which have come in the last two seasons– Kratz has put up a .220/.281/.407. Horrible, yes, but he’s a catcher. And… uh… J.P. Arencibia’s best offensive season produced a .219/.282/.438 line. So… really not that awful. Especially since…

The defence sounds like a real nice thing, and the knuckleball experience is just gravy. Think about it this way: in Arencibia’s best offensive season, as noted above, he was worth half a win over 486 plate appearances. With a very similar line for 417 plate appearances over his career, Kratz has been worth 1.8 wins.

I know, I know, using Arencibia as the bar is not exactly the path to finding quality baseball players. I know.

So I guess they really think that Jimenez’s bat needs a bit of work. That actually sounds pretty reasonable, right? No need to rush him.

Exactly what he said last night, as I noted in my post then. Still, though: damn.

I noted this in the MLBTR post today, but it bears repeating: just because Anthopoulos is saying this doesn’t mean he necessarily believes it. It’s maybe a bit silly, but he’s not going to give anyone leverage by announcing that he needs to fill this position– just like he refused to throw J.P. Arencibia under the bus until his time here had all but expired.

Otherwise, yeah, this sounds like a really horrible idea. Izturis was an atrocity last year, and– as I noted yesterday on Twitter, and in the podcast– Goins is basically John McDonald, but playing at a position of way less defensive importance. Love him as we do, Johnny Mac at his height was barely good enough as a big league regular, if that.

#RainesForHOF!

I hear Rajai Davis is available.

Hmmmm.

So, yeah, I guess pitching is a little bit difference, in terms of the openness with which Anthopoulos feels he can speak about his needs. Maybe I’m just making excuses for him, or maybe I just really don’t want to believe he’s seriously contemplating going with Goins and Izturis at second base, but it would seem to me that since everybody wants pitching, it’s not quite a matter of leverage to admit that you’re after it.

So… there’s that.

Comments (83)

  1. mark ellis?

    • +1 seems like he might be the best (realistic) option left at 2nd. Unless something else is there via trade that we do not know yet.

      • I know its hard to justify Izturis after 2 pretty bad years back to back, but Ellis at 36 or 37 cant really be any sort of improvement over Izturis. If he is it will be marginal enough that it won’t make sense to pay both of them.

        • Well, aside from a down year in 2009, Ellis has been worth more than two wins pretty much every season he’s played, whereas Izturis has not been worth two wins since 2009! And looking at just last year, Ellis was lightyears ahead of Izturis. Even with decline, I’d still bet on Ellis being a tidy upgrade on izturis, though I am not suggesting getting rid of Maicer either, keep him as a backup/super utility/platoon guy/insurance all you want. And I would not go more than 2 years with Ellis…but why not see if you can get him at a reasonable-ish price?

          • ellis and izturis are redundant so keeping both on the roster seems inefficient to be honest, especially considering neither is really a super utility type defensively.

            Also, Izturis was worth 2 WAR in 2011 and 3.2 WAR in 2009.

            That being said, Izturis is 4 years younger and when we’re talking about infield turf I’d go with the younger player, betting that he is able to bounce back a bit as opposed to betting on mark ellis to stave off regression.

            • I was going by Baseball Reference WAR which has Izturis at 1.6 in 2011. Yes they are both redundant to some degree, but given Izturis is a switch hitter, and could play 3rd, he would still have some utility, and I would still rather Izturis over Goins in the backup role. Frankly Izturis should be a backup anyway – not a starter. And as for the durability issue, see my response below.

    • IF Jays wanted Ellis why wouldn’t they have got him in a trade from Dodgers for a bag of balls and picked up his 5M option that the Dodgers turned down allowing him to be a FA

  2. Ellis would be a-ok by me

  3. Puke ! Maybe goins and izturis can get ADHD exemptions and get on the addaral or whatever that is lol

  4. Mark ellis does not have range any longer to play second on the turf

    • Huh? By UZR he’s pretty close to what he has always been. He has varied between 5 and 12 ish over the last few years. Seems to still be fine.

      • 36-37 year old legs may not perform up to standard on turf, not to mention the fact that he is at the point where range can evaporate over night

        • Aside from a few muscle strains he has no history of knee problems of anything that would be a particular red flag on turf according to BP. Other than that, I don’t really think you can make an assumption that he is going to blow out his knees because he is in his mid 30s with no history to suggest it. He certainly would not be more injury prone than Izturis, who is not THAT much younger and seems to be regressing much faster than Ellis.

          • I’m not sure why you are speaking about injuries. I’m purely talking about the turf effecting the range of a 37 year old.

            Players get slower as they age, add the turf in to the mix and it just doesn’t seem like a great combination

            • The main problem with Turf is that it is much harder on your knees, which would accentuate the aging process and cause the player to slow down faster, hence my talk about knee problems and whether or not Ellis is predisposed to those issues. Turf itself does not make you slower just because it is turf, sure the ball plays faster, which exagerates a bad range and makes it seem horrible. However, if you want to argue just range, Ellis had a +5 UZR last year, Izturis was -8.9 at 2nd according to FG. Therefore I do think Ellis still has better range than Izturis. Is he due for some regression, sure but I still think he is a better bet than Izturis, even being 3 years older.

    • From watching last year either does Izturis.

  5. Robinson Cano.

  6. Adam Lind, Ryan Goins & Sean Nolin for Neil Walker.

    Who says no?

  7. I get the Goins to Johnny Mac comparisons, and it seems that it is an accurate comparison.

    but it doesn’t appear a 2B option makes sense in free agency. I’m sure there is one in trade but any upgrade over Izturis is going to cost you assets.

    I guess its because I know (hope) that Reyes,Melky, Rasmus, Bautista, Lawrie, & EE can provide a good enough offense, that batting either Izturis or Goins ninth and letting them put up a 650 OPS doesnt bother me.

    No team has no holes in their lineup, and at the very least goins and izturis will provide defensive value at a premium defensive position.

    That being said, the best case scenario is Izturis rebounding, he’s posted near 800 OPS’s a few times, the talents there, hopefully he can bounce back.

  8. That would be totally inexcusable if they started the season with goins and izturis at 2b. AA has to find an upgrade through through trade or free agency.

    • Jays won a world series with shitty Manny Lee at SS hitting an empty .263 with suspect defence.

      Gruber was in his serious regression faze and hit .229 with 11 homers, but a good glove.

      Point is, you can have deficiencies as long as the rest of the team is sound.

      If AA takes care of the starters then I’m fine with Goins and Izturis to start the year.
      And getting a useful 2b midseason won’t be too difficult if those guys suck.

      • I’m ok with a Goins/Izturis platoon at 2B. Goins has a plus glove and not so great bat and Izturis still has a career BA of .269. Moreover, the Jays offence should be able to handle it.

  9. Another post on MLBTR says that the NRP is amenable to the idea of a $20m maximum bid for the posting fee.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/latest-on-the-posting-system-negotiations.html

    If that comes to fruition, AA should have a hat in the ring for Tanaka at the max.
    If the guy can choose the Yankees anyway, there may not be much point,
    but all he can do is try.

    • The reality is that the max bid cap is all well and good, but in the end it will still go to the highest bidder, at least now the player will get the bulk of the money as opposed to the posting team.

      How pissed do you think Darvish is with these new rules? He probably would have commanded double what he took from the rangers with these new rules.

    • Yep, you would like to think that the multicultural nature of the city would be a benefit in a system like that where the player chooses among the max bids. Although, the winning history of this team the last two decades is well, nonexistent.

      • there really aren’t a lot of japanese people in toronto.

      • What’s Tony Fernandez up to? Seriously, with all the dominican players, and the fact he is a blue jay through and through, I would love to see him annouced as the first base coach. He would be an excellent infield instructer. I know it probably won’t happen, but a man can dream.

      • To quote Tim and Sid, that’s so TFC. I love when people in Toronto think the the presence of ethnic neighbourhood X in the city means an athlete will want to come here. I’m sure Tanaka is sitting at home now with his buddies thinking new York, LA, Seattle, Chicago, or Toronto.
        My guess is there is one of those cities in that list that he hasn’t heard of.

        • That’s meant for the post by adfg

        • Point is, toronto is a lot more multicultural than most mlb cities. Sure, he would probably rather go to LA or NY, but the fact that he can feel slightly more at home here can be a good thing. Instead of going to someplace like Milwaukee or Cincinnati where I doubt they know what sushi is (kidding).

      • If we’re going with the ethnic familiarity card, then Seattle wins hands down. Any other scenario (most money, fame, etc) he goes to a big market- New York most likely.

    • Uhg… I hope they stick to the awarding the bid in priority of reverse standing. Letting the player pick from the teams with the max bid… not a fan of that.

  10. What’s Tony Fernandez up to? Seriously, with all the dominican players, and the fact he is a blue jay through and through, I would love to see him annouced as the first base coach. He would be an excellent infield instructer. I know it probably won’t happen, but a man can dream.

    • What makes you think he’d be an excellent instructor?

      • He was an awesome short stop for a long time. I guess that doesn’t mean he would be a good instructor, but his knoeledge of the game and playing various positions later in his career, certainly would work in his favor. Like I said though, it’s probably never going to happen.

        • Roberto Alomar is a Hall of Famer. he didn’t help the disaster that was Izturis/Bonifacio/DeRosa at second base.

          • Actually the Jays called on Robbie to come in and instruct the mid infielders with the anemic double-play half way through the season and by all accounts it improved.

    • Rangers hired him last year

      • Wasn’t aware of that. Special assistant to GM Daneils. Apparently before he was hired with the Rangers, the Blue Jays had hired him the previous winter to “coach Yunel Escobar over the winter”, what ever that means.

    • Greatest post ever!!!!

      My vote is to sign Tony to play second base. Would put money on him hitting better than Goins.

  11. I just really hope not you can’t have 3 and possibly four by the time the offseason is over being the worst on paper at their respected postions in the division.
    How I see it
    Al East worst in division
    Catcher(is still an upgrade of what we had)
    2B
    LF
    Possibly by the end of the offseason 1B
    Then of course your SP being among the worst last year in the Majors.
    But we have a really, we have a f’ckn really good bullpen.

  12. Not that I really thought we had a chance but I think we’re fucked either way the posting system shakes out.

    Assuming we throw in 20 bills, the Cubs do, the Yanks do, Sox etc….

    If the pitcher gets to pick from the top bidders he’s not picking T-Oh, if it’s by reverse order standings then Hoyer and Theo Epstein get Tanaka.

    • Agree, especially if back door shenanigans happen with the Jays competing against any big spenders who can call the players agent and assure they will make the player the largest contract offer p. leaving money to once again decide where a player goes

    • The 20 million cap makes it worse if you ask me. Now many more teams will enter the ring and potentially be able to negotiate. In the old system, at least if Rogers decided they really wanted him they could open the purse and just splooge.

  13. Damn I hate it when I am on a previous post spreading my wisdom only to find out I’m the last dumb fuck in the playground.

  14. Spuds weigh in here or are you only late nights with Merlot?

  15. I hear Robinson Cano is available for 254 million over 9 years…

  16. I never though I’d be rooting for ARod’s suspension to be overturned…..

    http://espn.go.com/mlb/blog/_/name/stark_jayson/id/10079924/do-new-york-yankees-enough-left-pay-cano

  17. So the three starters we’re looking at are Samardzija, Anderson and . . . . ?

  18. First base coach market getting thin. Not even Eric Hinske is available anymore.

  19. man, mark ellis’ ability to put the ball in play and move runnners would be so refrershing on this team

  20. I BLESS TIME RAINES IN THE FIIIIIRST BASE BOOOOX

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