Once again, but a little later this time, here’s a hastily put together collection of links to get you ready for day three of the Winter Meetings, as we get set to once again begin playing
the waiting game Hungry Hungry Hippos in hopes of some actual Jays-related news…
Bob Elliott had another piece go up for the Toronto Sun last night, which was slightly less of a bombshell than the one where he told us Colby Rasmus was being shopped, but it did have a few interesting tidbits. For one, the Jays were in talks with the Diamondbacks about starting pitching, he says, before the Angels swooped in with their offer of Mark Trumbo’s .299 on-base and Arizona moved on to that. But he also tells us that “Kenta Yagi, who represents Munenori Kawasaki, is at the meetings and met with the Blue Jays officials on Tuesday.” Elliott says that Kawasaki is “trying to decide on either returning to the Jays as a free-agent or heading home to play in Japan.” As a minor league free agent, one hopes. Though he’d have a decent case to be the second base starter, at this point, I think.
Speaking of Japanese players, David Waldstein of the New York Times tweets that Bobby Valentine, who has a tonne of experience in NPB, says that Masahiro Tanaka will definitely be posted. Of course, Valentine also claims that he invented the wrap, so…
Ken Rosenthal tweets that, despite some conflicting reports over the last few days (and weeks, really), Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips is apparently genuinely in play at the moment. He’d be a good fit with the Jays, but as Rosenthal notes, the Reds are only considering a move “if it helps them in 2014.” Colby Rasmus could help them in that goal, but… I don’t know. Lots of Jays fans have been dreaming of extracting Phillips and a pitcher from the Reds, but… what’s in it for them, exactly?
Kenny Ken Ken adds that the Reds could also move Homer Bailey, with the same caveat, but he’s hearing that they’d prefer to move Phillips, and are looking to get Bailey signed to an extension.
Speaking of more second base stuff, Jon Heyman tweets that the Yankees and Royals are on the (incomplete) list of teams lining up now for Omar Infante. Like just about everyone, he’d be an upgrade on what the Jays have, but if payroll is as tight as they’re acting, probably not the best allocation of resources. So… yeah. Don’t expect much there.
Buster Olney tweets that Bartolo Colon is eyeing a two-year deal, which evidently hasn’t been quick to come. Olney says that Colon could get a one-year contract pretty easily, but it’s the second year that’s the issue. I’m sure the fact that, as I relayed back on Monday, even just a one-year commitment to Colon could end up north of $10-million, is making it maybe not that easy, but given what the market is paying for pitching right now… maybe that works. What’s the worst thing that happens? You end up having to use Marcus Stroman or Aaron Sanchez a little earlier than you’d hoped? At least you’d still have them around to be used, right?
I noted earlier that Jayson Stark is saying Matt Garza may sign before the Winter Meetings wrap up. He was suggesting then that the Diamondbacks are generating a lot of buzz in that regard, though we also know that the Jays have long admired him (I’ve written about him enough over the years, that’s for sure!), and they’re not saving that little bit of extra payroll room we think they have for nothing. So? I don’t know. But according to a tweet from Jon Heyman, while the Diamondbacks are interested, they “have significant work to do.” Meanwhile, friend of the blog Clint (aka Bluebird Banter contributor @StivBators) has his ear to MLB Network Radio and tweets that, according to Jim Duquette, a team that looked at Garza’s medicals told him they were “a mess.” Yeah, but he’s a number three who some years might pitch like a two, and is going to cost you north of $100-million, so why let a little thing like a medical clusterfuck in his arm stop you from signing him?
It will be interesting to see what Garza gets, though, as you’d probably think that it will be more than Ubaldo or Ervin Santana, given that the draft pick compensation tied to those guys limits their market. Jerry Crasnick tweets that the Angels are another team with Garza interest, while Jon Heyman adds the #Twins and #Others to the mix.
File this one under impossible pipe dreams, and next to Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels under “players you’d trade all of the prospects for”: according to a tweet from Jeff Passan, the Tigers are still listening on Max Scherzer. Good luck with that! This comes after Jayson Stark tweeted earlier that the Tigers aren’t optimistic about signing him to an extension. Gamesmanship ho!
In his latest for Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks beyond 2014, to a problem the Jays may have next year when it comes to filling their 2015 outfield. Both Colby Rasmus and Melky Cabrera are in line to join a thin free agent crop. I think they should be able to make a trade there, though, so I’m not sure about being overly concerned just yet. Interesting thought, though.
Earlier at Sportsnet it’s more great stuff from Shi, who tells us that interest in Adam Lind is heating up (because his contract is looking good, thanks to the big asks being made by Kendrys Morales and James Loney), and he also lays this on us: “Here’s one opinion from the winter meetings lobby on why teams are reluctant to dive into the top-end starting pitchers: if a club intends to be in on Masahiro Tanaka, it’s going to need all its money available to take a decent run at him.” Hmmm…
The posting system, by the way, looks set to be ratified by MLB on a conference call on Monday, tweets Joel Sherman. Figure it out already!
Ken Rosenthal spoke to David Price’s agent, who says that the player wouldn’t consider signing an extension in Seattle– though that’s not the case for other teams. Hmmmm. I guess mind-bending front office dysfunction, rain, and the worst travel schedule in the Majors aren’t exactly desirable factors.
Lastly, Nick Cafardo tells us some intriguing news that doesn’t mean a whole lot without a backer ready to spend a couple billion dollars on a team and a stadium: “Major league baseball viable in Montreal again. An in depth feasibility study to be released tomorrow says so.” Good enough for me!