anthopoulos2013WM

What!!?! An actual new picture!

There hasn’t been a whole lot for the local reporters who have made the trip down to Orlando to report on today, and Alex Anthopoulos wasn’t giving them a whole lot of meat when he met with them this afternoon, but he did give them a few things, as he laid out the tightrope that he’s trying to walk as he aims to make his club better without killing the upper levels of his farm system or taking the budget to a place where he’s not authorized to go.

Nobody ever said it was going to be easy. And… uh… yeah. Turns out it’s not. But part of it not being easy, I think, is that this little game of poker we’re involved in by proxy requires quite a bit of patience. That’s not made any easier by the fact that rival clubs have been out there splashing around cash, but let’s not forget that last year the shoe was on the other foot, and in future seasons, with a bit more cheap, young talent hopefully on the roster, and a few giant commitments off the books, it can very well be again. That is, if Alex Anthopoulos is able to keep his young talent in the organization, which… at the moment it looks like he’s trying as badly to do as we’ve all been hoping.

OK, so maybe he’s not clinging to his system’s crown jewels that tightly, but we’ve had to know all along that one of those guys could very well be the cost of doing business. Or two of them– which… it’s interesting that he’d be so openly adamant about not including both here. Could it be a little brinkmanship on his part? Trying to posture just so in order to not be forced into dealing away a player he wants to keep for a player he covets, or to get as good a price on a free agent as possible?

Maybe. One kind of hopes so. One also hopes that he hasn’t just created a problem for himself down the line if he, ultimately, does end up feeling, out of desperation, that he needs to include two in order to save himself, and the 2014 season. But I’m getting the sense that he’s at least smart enough to know not to do that, and that maybe he’s learned a lesson after having been caught up enough in last year’s hubris to make a deal for R.A. Dickey that was justifiable– Cy Young-calibre talent just doesn’t become available to this organization outside of the draft– but very, very costly.

Of course, he could avoid all that by simply going the free agent route– a route that’s palatable exactly because, as I noted earlier, the amount he’s got committed to his roster will go down in the coming years, ideally, as the amount of young talent from the farm system increases. I’ve got a sense that Anthopoulos is maybe a little more serious about the free agent market than people are giving him credit for– which, maybe that’s fair simply because of his lack of history on it and our natural reluctance to believe in Rogers. I don’t want to be naive about it, but I also liked the things he said today about that, even as he continued to hold firm that the trade market is preferable.

As much as we’ve been anxious for the GM to go out and blow the doors of someone with an offer and just get this whole damn roster thing settled, the idea that the free agent prices are drying up as teams are filling their needs from elsewhere is a half decent silver lining, I think. Plus, it’s not like that many of the club’s option have vanished just yet. Nice to hear Anthopoulos killing some of the silly stuff about “The Policy,” which is vastly overblown already as it is, since it has zero to do with the club not getting free agents– as I’ve said before, there was no “Sorry, Robinson Cano, we love you and would pay the money, it’s just… The Policy, y’know?”

The issue with the club’s lack of seriousness on him, or Prince Fielder, or any other guy comes down to something either about the money or about the player. That’s it. Anthopoulos suggesting that the policy may bend in certain circumstances tells us as much.

So… there’s that.

Comments (54)

  1. Interesting take on the Hall of Fame voting by Olberman. Basically asking why larusa inducted yet mcgwire not inducted..even though tony was the manager of the roid brothers all those years. If their accomplishments are tainted, how are his not?

  2. 12.10.13 @ 05:38 PM EDT Tony Fernandez For Prime Minister
    Why are these people idiots? AA has gotta be on the hot seat. The Jays record under AAs watch has been horrific, worse the JP by a long way.

    He sold the organization and fan base on a rebuilding model then abandoned the plan as it was coming to fruition acquiring expensive declining vets. The team was super hyped selling a winner to the fan base who came out and generated more revenue. And they ended up being terrible, again.

    Now the Jays are clearly in a position where they need to try to put a winner out there and build on the gains of last years hype with an actual winner. The big city is starving for a winner, there is an entire country fan base to tap into providing the parent company with potential gold quality content.

    Luckily this year more than usual there were several all star caliber players in the prime as FA the Jays could have signed and stayed under luxary tax payroll. Realistically McCann, Cano and Ellsbury could all have been signed and hte jays payroll under luxury limit next several seasons. Make all the excuses you want but AA could have brought in 2-4 elite level players if he chose to. And what has been done? Signed a mediocre / risky catcher to small deal and Roy Halladay for one day.

    It been said oh Rogers doesnt give him the payroll. If this is the case AA needs to grow a pair and go to management telling them with conviction if you let me sign these guys and trade for these guys and have payroll at 175M we will win. Rogers is not poor and know the value of the content better than anyone so a convicting case from baseball operations will convince them. Instead he searches for maximising value and limiting the potential for winning awhile also not going out on a limb with conviction that he can build a winner

    If AA doesnt make a significant move and the team tanks again he has got to go. I am pretty sure the new CEO with a history of making companies lean will have some thoughts about accountability – not accountability in terms of fans unwavering support and faith in a guy but accountability towards results and facts which thus far have been very poor.

    REPLY
    What was your plan smart ass then?

    • oy veh!

    • Whoa! It’s December 10th. Step off the ledge. Jays are more likely to trade than to sign anyway.

    • I always remember AA saying something along the lines of when the right opportunity appears he would move prospects. He did, and it just didn’t turn out in his favour. It’s only been one year,

    • Wow. You just make it all sound so easy.

      I think you should be GM.

    • Unfortunately, this type of comment seems to becomin more prevalant throughout the casual fans of the Jays.

      • Interesting you would consider somebody who posts that a “casual fan”. I’m pretty sure nearly everyone posting here does not fall into the casual fan bucket

    • If this is the case AA needs to grow a pair and go to management telling them with conviction if you let me sign these guys and trade for these guys and have payroll at 175M we will win.

      This is the essence of his plan. Good luck with that.

      Oh lord, and the stuff about the new CEO is just beyond clueless.

      • Beyond clueless how stoeten? The new CEO is known to be a reformer and often reformers come in and make corporations leaner and force accountability of results from executives

        If the jays tank again this year and lose some of the fanbase and revenue gains from last year while still having high payroll (which I don’t think seems likely) somebody could be held accountable

        • Ya he is known to make cuts. But think about it for a seconds is he basing cuts on team performance or revenue? Obvious answer, revenue. What’s happened in the years since AA was brought in, specifically this past year? Revenue is through the roof, attendance was through the roof, media viewership was through the roof.

          So this new CEO is going to walk in, say “look at all this revenue growth, too bad the on field performance sucked,maps me the red pen and fire the guy who created all of this growth.”

          That makes perfect sense…

          • It is entirely based on revenue and future prospects. That is why aa is on the hot seat. If the jays don’t win this year those revenue gains could very easily be gone and the casual fan base the jays regained last year gone. Let’s not forget the payroll increase last year and this year are cutting into the bottom line the revenue gains helped boost. This is a crucial and finnicky time for aa to grow the business

            • AA very well may be on the hot seat, but it won’t have anything to do with the new Rogers CEO. He most certainly bases his decisions solely on the teams finances.

              The new CEO won’t care if they don’t bring any new players in, and he won’t care if the team blows, but he will care if revenue/profits fall. But do you really think he’ll walk into a multi billion dollar corporation and make cutting a few million from one of its smallest divisions (the Jays/sports) a priority?

              • The success of Jays on the field is directly linked to revenue and the success of the blue jays as a business. I take this for granted while it seems others dont. A large portion of fan base are casual and dont put money into a non winning team. The stadium has been more than half empty for over a decade no? And it sold out for two straight years when they were winning no? The increased value of the team since Roger5s has owned it has everything to do with the increased value of professional baseball as a product. They know more than anyone that the value of baseball as a source of content is escalating dramatically. Who is talking about a few million dollars? The forbes estiamte on the value of the blue jays is $568M – this is no insubstantial negligable aspect of their business.

      • Maybe it is more beastons role but typically in corporations this is how things work from my involvement in similar dealings at similar sized corporations.

        Department heads and vice presidents make a business case that injecting money into initiatives will lead to returns. And they go to upper management with strong convictions and convince them they are right. The case here is that if the jays add to payroll they can win and generate revenues which seems plausibly to be the case.

    • Wow. You guys sure are defensive when it comes to aa but sure like to completely shit on players when the team doesn’t perform

      That post was entirely about rebutting the posters comment that people saying aa should be out are idiots. Those people are not idiots they have valid points which i spelled out. The post is an objective evaluation about the facts of his records and actions.

      What would I do? This is completely irrelevant I am not a baseball operations executive and neither are you

      Seems to me like the “intense” Jan’s fans that you guys are have drank so much kool aid you have lost the ability to objectively view things as related the way they actually are and furthermore completely shit on anyone who says things against him whether they are true or not.

      My personal opinion is that the jays have a winning roster and could use a couple more pieces that aa will find without bankrupting the future talent or payroll. And if things break well they could go to ws. If I were gm I would blow my load at every fa all star available overpay for them and run with it. I am not the gm nor will be applying if the position becomes available.

  3. We’ll see what happens, but I really hope they go the FA route for SPs. Even if it’s a massive overpay, it might be worth that spent cash to hold on to guys like Sanchez and Stroman.

  4. Not losing my mind with the waiting just yet. Mid Jan and we haven’t upgraded. Then maybe.

    Wonder if the 6 years is for someone who is about to be a FA? Hmmmmmmmm.

    • I hope he is just playing coy with the media with the free agent talk and then snaps one up, even if it’s someone a little riskier than Colon. At least he would be an upgrade on Happ.

      That would leave him some prospects to trade for a 2nd baseman.

  5. The “silly stuff” about “The Policy” is not stuff
    that was made up by media or by fans in the comments section.

    t was Paul Beeston who articulated that policy.
    It is a direct quote.
    If you want to call him a liar, go right ahead.

    I don’t think any Blue Jay has ever singed a contract for longer than five years during the times that Beeston was teem president. Not sure, but I think Godfrey was President when the Wells deal was signed.

    Does the policy exist? I dunno.
    Beeston said it does and there is no evidence to the contrary.
    That’s good enough for me.

    Might they be thinking of introducing some flexibility?
    Sounds like, and that would be a good thing.

  6. As pointed out in the previous post, the supply of available starters is shrinking.

    This post on MLBTR suggest that the Pirates might be willing to move Justin Wilson for a first baseman, backup infielder and starting pitcher.
    http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2013/12/pirates-willing-to-listen-on-justin-wilson.html

    If the Jays pick up some of Lind’s salary, include Goins in the deal and any one of a number of pitching prospects not named Sanchez or Stroman, there might be a deal to be made there.

  7. He looks nice and relaxed in that pic.

  8. As has been speculated just about everywhere,
    a lot of teams would sign Colon for one year at about $ 10m.

    The likely reason he has not signed is that he’s probably looking for a 2nd year.
    The team that offers 2yr at a total of $18-20m likely gets it done.
    Do the Jays want to be that team?

    If they’ve got two shoes to put on, he might be worth the risk
    But if they’re only able to make one move, he’d be a pretty risky guy
    to bet the season on.

    • Or, y’know, if they don’t think two years is worth it for a 41-year-old at something like $20-million given the state of their current commitments and the young back-end pitching they have.

      Oh, but please go ahead and get all pointlessly doom and gloom.

    • I dunno…I’m thinking he’s 41 and already been nailed for testosterone for 50 games. There’s a risk (and i think a good one) that he may not be any good at 42 without PEDs. And there’s also a risk that he’ll re-offend and cost 100 games. I don’t think the team is required to pay him but still, thats a big hole nonetheless.

    • Are you just speculating on the whole fact that Colon is seeking two years?

      The guy has been taking one year deals for the past few years now, I just doubt he is even seeking two years or that anyone is willing to go there since he 4-fucking-1.

      I have been tooting his horn all kinds here, he’d be fantastic at 1/10. I’m real reluctant to go the 2nd year, if I’m AA. Maybe 2/18 gets it done.

  9. As much as I’d like AA to make a deal…..a bad deal is worse than no deal. While I realize that EVERYBODY overpays for a starter (even a shitty mediocre guy is getting 10+M a year as well as a king’s ransom in return) – there comes a point where you push back from the table and say, “too rich for my blood”. You don’t gamble with the mortgage money.
    While the term “prospect” usually means “hasn’t done squat yet” – but at some point, you do have to keep a pipeline going from the minors to the big club.
    I’d rather hope for a season of relative health and hopefully some statistical norm performances from Dickey, Buerhle, Morrow and the other three or four candidates for the #4 and 5 positions than rip through the farm system for a guy who is realistically no better than the incumbents.

  10. Would anyone do 6 years for Garza or Santana? I’m assuming 6 years is not in play for Ubaldo. Who else could possibly command that? Choo pretty likely. Am I imagining things or have the Jays been linked to Choo in the past. Not that it means anything of course, but he’d be a pretty fantastic pick up. An actual legit 5 tooler.

    • Also maybe the 6 year thing refers to potential extensions of trade acquisitions. Maybe not Samardzija, but definitely Masterson would require an extension like that, as would Price.

    • Pick up Choo to play LF. Colby gets traded for pitching. Gose plays CF. Melky is primarily a DH but can give Baustista some days off in the outfield. Also allows you to trade LInd in a package for a 2B or even some more pitching.

    • Darvish got 6yr and $56m after the $51.7m posting fee was paid.
      Total outlay for the Rangers was $101.7m for six years.

      Tanaka will take something similar.
      Difference is that more of the money goes to the player.
      It will take six years for sure
      And I’m guessing $16m per
      on top of the $20m posting fee
      (total $116m) will be in the neighborhood.
      But I doubt very much it will be in Mr. Rogers neighborhood.

      • Right, of course Tanaka would take that kind of commitment. So basically then he might just be stating the obvious, clearly if they’re in on Tanaka 6 years pretty much has to be on the table.

    • Although he can’t hit lefties, the thing that’s nice about Choo is that he gets on base, a lot. Which would set the table for the big guys behind him! Why not? Do it.

    • I really don’t think it’s a given that he’s talking about someone who is out there right now. I’d figure he was asked about it– perhaps repeatedly, because for some people this silliness has become a pretend real issue– and didn’t lie about what it really is: a vague guideline that falls generally in line with how they value players and dollars anyway, but is hardly a hard-and-fast rule that’s preventing them from going after players they really, really want.

    • legit 5 tooler? I guess you’ve never seen him throw?

    • Does no one else find it strange that he would specifically point out 6 years?!?

      Matt Kemp might be a bluejay! Hooray!

  11. The Policy is the team’s policy until it no longer behooves the team for it to be their policy… That’s pretty much what I’ve assumed all along.

  12. Great article. I, too, think that AA feels the burn of trading so much spec porn for Dickey. I think he’ll be much more cautious now. Stroman could step in immediately, it seems. It’s not the splash fans want, but it makes sense.

    • Keep this blog is a “spec” free zone, please. I just puked in my mouth a little from using it in quotes.

  13. I’d love to see Jiminez in a Jays uniform. Odds are against it but it would be nice to just spend some money and keep everyone.

  14. Heard Indians GM on MLB radio and in regards to Masterson he said not everything you hear is true!!!

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