There were a couple items that I figured came up too late last night for it to be worth making a post about them at that point, so I’ve saved them all for one big post here this morning. And… uh… this is that post.
Arencibia Almost A Ranger?
According to Rangers beat writer T.R. Sullivan, J.P. Arencibia was almost dealt to Texas in the hours before the non-tender deadline. He explains at his blog, Postcards From Elysian Fields:
A trade was close to being completed but the Rangers were reluctant to add another arbitration-eligible player. The Rangers were willing to do a trade if Arencibia was willing to agree to a contract that would have avoided arbitration. But it never got worked out and now Arencibia, who hit .194 last year, is another free agent under consideration.
If it isn’t entirely clear, here’s what happened: had they acquired the rights to Arencibia before the deadline with no contract in place, the Rangers would have had to then tender him a contract, and he would have still been eligible for arbitration. Since it’s projected he’ll earn about $2.8-million through the arbitration process, and since he’ll probably not get close to that much on the open market, Texas wanted to agree to terms first. The terms they were trying to get Arencibia and his agent to agree to, however, must have been a bit lower, in their view, than what he could command on the open market, so they didn’t feel it was in their interest to take the deal, and thus the trade was nixed.
Hard to blame Arencibia, but that’s too bad for the Jays.
Also of note in this: Jon Daniels is most certainly not a dumb GM. Make of that what you will.
Jays Interested In David Price?
Well, of course they are! Who wouldn’t be? But according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports, the club’s interest may not be limited to mere idle daydreaming about the Rays lefty ace.
Passan includes the Jays “among the teams that not only have an interest in Price but believe they can put together the sort of package to pry Price from the Rays, sources said.”
Both of those things, I’m sure, are true, but does that mean we should believe that there’s any there there?
Not according to the “generalities” Alex Anthopoulos gave when asked specifically about Price during the Fan 590 segment that I wrote about on Tuesday (in comments I didn’t include in the original post).
I’m not allowed to talk about other players, but I can say that he’s great, and I think that any team can really upgrade with a front of the rotation starter. I can talk in general terms, saying, for the most part there’s a bit of a rule of thumb– I know we saw a trade between Oakland and the Rangers today, and it was a small type of deal, but for the most part GMs would rather, one) trade guys out of the division, if they can, two) trade them out of league if they can. I don’t know at the expense of not getting a great deal, but I think if it’s anywhere close, I think if trades are made, GMs would always rather not have to see a guy come back and haunt them in their division. So, not being specific about anybody you asked about, that probably gives you a little bit of a sense of, as player get moved, how things would work.
Hello, Mr. Thompson!
Posting System Changes As Expected
I wrote about the upcoming changes to the posting system last night, before they were made official, which it appears as though they have now been.
MLBTR lays out the details, largely from a Japan Times report. They add, “The Times report says the final details are being ironed out, but Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports spoke with a source who told him that if multiple teams submit the same bid, the player will be allowed to negotiate with all of those clubs. Only the signing club would be required to pay the posting fee, which still will not count against MLB’s luxury tax (the ensuing contract, of course, will count).”
Pretty much what we figured last night, then. Here’s what I said at that point (edited for concision):
Does this mean that the Tanaka dream– pipe-shaped as it may have been– is over for Jays fans? Not necessarily. In fact, it’s far more intact on the word of this news that it would have been had one of the other rumoured proposals been true– the one that had been going around that suggested the max-bid team with the lowest winning percentage the year before would get exclusive negotiating rights with the player. … Tanaka now … will simply be negotiated with like any other free agent– which is surely the fair way to do it anyway. That doesn’t put the Jays in as astronomically great a position as they would have been if they’d won the posting on Yu Darvish *COUGH*, but they still certainly could be suitors for him. In fact, if the Yankees are still concerned about their luxury tax issue, maybe it helps.
So… there’s that.
Toronto Sun Does Toronto Sun Things
And lastly we have the Toronto Sun, throwing gasoline on the moron fire– which, actually would seem to be their M.O. whether we’re talking about the sports pages or anything else– in a piece by Mike Rutsey that puts the most negative, panicky spin imaginable on comments from Alex Anthopoulos that are… basically not new in the slightest.
Get ready to get bummed out.
There’s a possibility — a good one, in fact — that no significant pitching additions will be coming the Blue Jays’ way.
He goes on to say that Anthopoulos “set the bar low” in his chat with members of the local BBWAA when it came to the sorts of additions he thinks he’s going to be able to make. “To begin with,” he continues, “if help arrives at all, it will likely be in the form of one starter, not two.”
That’s interesting, I suppose– but since Anthopoulos said this week that Brandon Morrow feels 100% healthy, and since he was really high on Drew Hutchison, and since everyone seems to be high on Marcus Stroman, not entirely surprising, right?
“If the Blue Jays general manager can negotiate a trade — the free-agent route is weak and overpriced — it will not be a Clayton Kershaw, a Zack Greinke or a David Price. It won’t be a top of the rotation guy,” he continues. “If help arrives, it will be in the form of an upper middle arm, a solid and dependable arm that can give the Jays 190-plus innings and win 10-14 games.”
Uh… no shit, Sherlock! Isn’t this pretty much exactly what we’ve been thinking all along? Why the slant words to empower the darkest, dumbest thoughts of doom that are floating around out there here on December 5th, with so much of the off-season yet to come. We haven’t even got to the Winter Meetings yet! I mean, I know Rutsey’s just doing his job, but good lord.
And frankly, if Anthopoulos feels he has the kind of job security to mostly double down on the roster he constructed last year and the help that’s coming through the pipeline, that’s a good thing. We’ve got to the point of pining for him to do something truly damaging to the franchise now, just for the sake of doing it? Or we just are too irrational to be able to comprehend how difficult it was always going to be to pull an ace-calibre rabbit out of his hat without taking a giant, giant hit? Gah!
There’s a balance that needs to be struck between win-now and kill-the-future. If that balance can’t be met, what is he supposed to do? Surely not admit in the media beforehand how absolutely desperate he is, just to calm the fears of the mouth breather set, right???
The comments on that piece, by the way, are basically an anthology of the fucking monumentally dumbest thoughts you could ever imagine the most half-brained Jays fans having. Do yourself a favour and LOOK AWAY.
So… there’s that.