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Some interesting stuff here from Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet, who has tweeted out a statement from Alex Anthopoulos. Which appears to be just the tip of the iceberg from the GM’s main media session for the day– in which case, more updates may be to follow (not looking a whole lot like it though).

Here’s what Ben has given us so far:

This is not exactly surprising for a couple of reasons: first, the market for free agent pitchers just hasn’t heated up yet, as clubs continue to wait on the status of Masahiro Tanaka– who Ben indicates in another tweet the Jays may bid on. Anthopoulos wouldn’t say for sure, “but he made it clear that they’d have dialogue about all top arms.”

Secondly, two of the remaining top pitching targets– Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana– have draft picks tied to them that could really hurt their markets. And since the Jays would only have to give up a second-rounder– neither of their two first-round picks– in order to sign one, they have an advantage, and a reason to think they may be able to keep waiting out the market. I don’t think we’ll be talking full-on Kyle Lohse situation here, but I could definitely see those players getting a little bit desperate if the interest doesn’t pick up the way they’d like in January, and the Jays potentially being able to swoop in and make a deal. It’s just that much more palatable to them to do so than it would be for a team giving up a first.

Then again, they may not have room for those guys by then, because the trade market sure is simmering– even if, as Ben tells us, Anthopoulos says he hasn’t had to cast a terribly wide net in his search for a top quality starter, because there just aren’t that many available.

But he also adds this bit of intrigue:

Sounds like the kind of terms we heard being thrown around a year ago, as all kinds of crazy-big things were coming together behind the scenes at the GM meetings, doesn’t it?

Or… uh… maybe they were the terms put on the Jake Peavy stuff as that crazy-big thing was falling apart. Who can remember?

Dirk Hayhurst adds some context– not only to that statement, but to the Encarnacion-Price rumour I wrote about in the previous post:

I think that makes absolute sense, right? Not that we’ve never heard this before, but doing something one-for-one just creates a hole in one spot to patch another. Those sorts of big trades can be fun to speculate about, but unless the Jays are moving a piece out of a spot where they have surplus to cover it– like the bullpen, the back of the rotation, or maybe centre field– it probably doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. The dilemma is, of course, that the pieces in those parts of the roster probably aren’t enough alone to get them the kind of pitcher that they covet. Add some prospects, address the needs of multiple other teams, and maybe you figure something out. I’d assume that’s the sort of “longshot” complicated thing he’s working on at the moment, but obviously we’ll have to wait and see.

Hey! Just like we’ll have to wait and see about the free agent pitching market, as well. Hard not to get frustrated by how little has happened so far, and by how many big moves have been made around us, but it all really does make sense, I think. Y’know unless they come up short. And even still– dare I say it!– it won’t be that bad.

So… there’s that. Unless there’s still more…

Which there is.

3:01 PM Update

A couple of items here from Richard Griffin, relating to the comments from Anthopoulos addressed here. Now, these are a bit opinion-y in nature, but still worth having a look at.

So… pretty much what I’ve said and have been saying– but it’s definitely interesting to hear Griffin suggest, after hearing from Anthopoulos, that they really do seem willing to lose a draft pick in the process of signing a guy like Ubaldo or Santana. Letting that be known– though, technically, he didn’t– isn’t exactly like the AA we’ve seen in the past. Then again, it could be gamesmanship in its own right, indicating to other teams that they might as well back off and not hope for too steep a discount, because there are teams that will be willing to give up a pick for these guys.

Of course, since he didn’t actually say anything like that, maybe I’m trying too hard to look into it.

Interestingly, though, there’s also this:

Getting more of a feeling that they may actually land somebody?

Me too.

And while I’m not sure it will be Masahiro Tanaka, it’s definitely interesting that it seems, in Griffin’s view, like the Jays could make a play for him as well.

That’s my sense as well, because while the entire posting process may no longer favour the Jays, the $20-million posting fee seems palatable enough, and you only pay if you win the bid anyway. They might as effing well, right?

So… there’s that.

Comments (76)

  1. Stroman and Sanchez + for Sale!!!!!! DO IT

  2. I dont get how tanaka is holding up the market. He has never pitched a game in mlb, yet these teams are so sure he is the best thing out there and other agents want him to set the FA starters market. Just doesnt make any sense. So if the jays offer garza say 5 yrs/70M right now, his agent is going to say “were waiting for tanaka”. Just fucking stupid. Jays would be smart to make an aggressive offer for garza while these teams are waiting for tanaka.

    • i agree, but i think Gaza is giong to go for 17-18mil per

    • I imagine, rightly or wrongly, the Jays feel that would be an overpay. Probably hoping someone sticks around long enough they can get on a one yr deal.

    • It’s a game of chicken right now. The longer they wait (up to a point), the higher the offers are going to be. Let’s face there’s always teams that are going to to overpay. They just can’t help themselves.

      The same goes for teams offering guys like Anderson and Samardzija, it’s going to be a feeding frenzy for them.

      Part of me would really love to wait and see what guys like Stroman and Hutchison could do and just forget the rest and get a 2nd basemen. Unfortunately, this team is pretty much built for now and they some less risker propositions than a couple of very inexperienced starters.

      • It’s tempting but I don’t know if you want to go into 2014 with Happ as # 4 and Hutch/Strom as #5

    • I don’t think it’s the free agents waiting on Tanaka, it’s the teams.

      If they can sign Tanaka for a lesser price they are going to do that, rather than commit big money and time to one of the premier free agent starters out there.

      In prior years where one team won the posting and then had exclusive rights this was more of an issue I think. This year, where all the teams could bid $20 million then Tanaka would be treated just like any other free agent pitcher. However he would probably get less guarantee as he’s got zero MLB experience.

      • Another way to look at is if Tanaka is perceived to be of similar if slightly lesser talent than Darvish, then he is still going to be better than guys like Garza. Both players come with risks, Tanaka having obviously never pitched in the majors, and Garza with coming off a couple of so so seasons with shoulder troubles. Even with the posting fee Garza has the chance to be just as expensive.

    • Its also more or less whos gonna have the money left to spend. A team going for tanaka will have to spend 20 million plus contract. regardless of whether it goes against the “cap” teams have finite budgets. Agents want to know who and how much they can try an extract..it doesnt matter how good he is

    • Garza for 17M a year would be a steal if less than 6 years long. Noloasco who has been a reliably mediocre pitcher his whole career got 4Yr at 49M. Garza has been very very good whenever he is on the mound with some time missed due to injury. He has got to at least be worth 80M over 4 seasons considering what these other guys are getting.

      Santana and Jiminez have both been entirely crappy half of their time on the mound in MLB. They are not even close to a sure thing. They are not the same tier as Garza and please dont sign them to 4+ / 20M+ AAV deals – Garza yes.

  3. For some reason the whole “too expensive” vibe we’re getting from AA bothers me a bit more this year than in the past. I know there are budgets, but for once I would just love to be able to hold onto hard earned and long germinating prospects instead of having to trade them away for a couple of years of another teams players.

    From all indications the bidding war for the few players that are available via trade is going to be just as expensive if not more so after all is said and done. Short-term it might be better for the payroll by going that route, but when you add up all the costs to the team long-term, making a trade like that has the potential to much much more expensive.

  4. Indians closing in on David Cooper; perhaps they will teach him the fine art of tagging.

  5. Question, how would everyone feel about the off season so far if Johnson got a QO and he had accepted it. I think I would be feeling a little bit better.

    • JJ proved unreliable. and jays cant wait for him to sort things out.

      So that scenario wouldn’t have changed the jays needs, just given them 14 million less to spend.

      • Agreed, the Jays need a bit more certainty for the rotation more than ever. Otherwise let Hutchison or Stroman and whoever else go at it for the final two spots. Unfortunately, we all thought they were rock solid in the rotation last year too.

      • I agree with that but a bird in the hand is worth two in the sand maybe….

    • Meh, we’re trying to go all the way, having JJ as a dice roll for 14 million didn’t really fit our goal.

    • I would not be feeling good about a pitcher coming off a 6+ ERA season occupying close to 10% of our team payroll no. We already have a guy unlikely to play in MLB taking up 5%+ of payroll.

      Spend some extra cash and get someone who is fairly likely to be good with a consistent track record – like Garza but not like Santana and Jiminez who seem just as likely to have a 5+ ERA than a 3.5- ERA

  6. Re: And even still– dare I say it!– it won’t be that bad.

    Agreed, it wouldn’t be that bad.

    The SP depth on the Jays has been discussed much and the Jays are not in a must over pay situation. The music will stop, and pitcher will not be in a chair, it happens every year. In the mean time, AA can play the trade game.

    As for the Kyle Lohse comp, It’s not just the Draft slot pool issue, it’s also the international signing cap issue too. Teams do not have the luxury of emptying the cupboard with the opportunity of throwing money at amatures to replenish.

    I would be surprised to see a Kyle Lohse or two every year.

    • *I WOULDN’T be surprised to see a Kyle Lohse or two every year.*

    • Richard Griffin ‏@RGriffinStar 3m

      AA admitted has agreement with several agents to make sure they get back to him before client signs. Said may not go into Jan. #BlueJays

      Now that’s rather interesting. Seems like he is telling them that he wants a possible final crack at them all. Makes sense but kind of at odds from what he’s been saying earlier regarding the price. At least he’s giving himself a chance to go back and change his mind.

  7. I think AA will go all in on Taneka. With the impact that Kawasaki had last year, they’ll be looking to build on the Japanese fan base.

  8. i still dont under why he wont sign a free agent pitcher. that way the jays dont give up any prospects in a trade like last year!

  9. Hmm. REFRESH. Hmm. REFRESH. Hmm. Click MLBTRADERUMORS. Hmm. REFRESH.

  10. @JonHeymanCBS: “LoMo @LoMoMarlins trade market getting a bit warmer. Brewers jays pirates rays possibles.”

    Interesting…

  11. Shi Davidi says Bluejays have invited Halladay to join organization in some capacity……ahhhh COACH DOC?

    • I doubt he takes it now, he’ll probably take a couple of years off to spend with his family.

      • do you have kids? do you want to spend all that time with them? isn’t the weekends enough?

        hes 36, he has time to play lawn bowling 20 years from now down in Boka Raton

        • This is true, but didn’t oliver spend an agonizing time deciding to pitch for more money or spend time with his family?

    • Probably an ambassador like Robbie Alomar has been. Hang around for photo ops, spend some time with the young pitchers, and bide your time til Cooperstown comes calling.

  12. Nice pick up by the White Sox in signing Paulino. He looked like a potential Morrowesque starter before he had his TJ surgery.

    For those of you that play fantasy baseball there’s a sleeper for this coming year.

  13. So hotstove is heating up.

    Logan Morrison is about to be traded from the Marlins and Jays are lsited as potential suitors I dunno why we would want him but…

    Colon might be signed soon and blue jays are potential suitors.

    • Want nothing to do with colon. Especially in the AL East. Could be just another case of agent using jays to build his client’s leverage.

  14. Looks like AA is sniffing around Rugor Nass. He won’t win many beauty contests but he was 6th in Cy Young voting last year for Oakland.

  15. More than half of the impact players projected to be available given free agency and trade rumours are off the board. Seems like the Jays aren’t going to add any impact players via free agency given recent sentiments. .

    I dont like this and want the Jays to be serious contenders – the Jays / Rogers should be spending up to the limit on payroll given the markey and vast potential value of the content to Rogers. We have room until luxary tax limit to add 2 more impact players via FA. Do it already instead of staying mediocre for years – there are only 2 quality FA left, Choo and Garza. Mix in trades for a couple more quality players and now you can actually reliably contend for years instead of hoping everything breaks right

    Imagine these moves that are not out of realm of possibility albeit far fetched to pull them all off. These keep Jays under luxury tax limit, dont bankrupt farm especially for near term, and make the Jays serious contenders for next four years

    Trade:
    Price for Sanchez, Lind, Gose, Matthew Dean, Griffen Murphy
    Sign Price to backloaded long term deal

    Sign Garza to 5Yr 120M backloaded deal

    Sign Choo to 5Yr 120M backloaded deal

    Trade for Kemp
    Kemp for Daniel Norris, Jacob Anderson, Dalton Pompey (likely less if eating all salary)
    Pay Kemp 21M per year for 5 years he is owed

    Trade Bautista (Seattle desperate for bats and Jays took Choo and Kemp off market)
    To Seattle for Tijuan Walker and NIck Franklin

    Trade for Kendrick (LA desperate for SP and jays take top 2, Price and Garza off market)
    Kendrick for Happ, Rogers, Redmund, Izturis and B propsect

    Sign Rajai Davis
    2Yr 5M per year

  16. Masahiro is going to Detroit.

    Magnum will be thrilled.

    http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk15/rutledal/tanaka.jpg

  17. Sale for Sanchez + Hutchison + Nay+ goes, this is reasonable. Two players playing in big leagues and two top ten prospects. 23 years of talent.

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