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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!

Comments (41)

  1. Good. So we shall acquire Lee, Hamels and Scherzer.
    It is decided.

  2. Jonah Keri’s head would explode if at some point the Rays moved to Montreal. Also there is a lot of debate about the future of Olympic Stadium right now, $200 million for a new roof, $700 Million (!) to tear it down, its an important time regarding all that in Montreal.

    • at least you can be comfortable that there would be no corruption in either event. no sirree.

      • Why don’t the Mafia run their own candidates? It would sure save a lot of investigation and independant commission time.

  3. The slow movement at the upper end of the pitching market (trade and free agency) is perfect for the Jays right now…I fully expect AA to come away with something.

  4. Omar infant doesn’t excite me at all…. he’ll be pricey and will spend 5-6 months ‘getting used to the turf” if our new 2bagger isn’t big bat, then stay with Goins and Izturis (or Kawasaki) !!

    • Hitting matters.

      • So does a porous infield.

        • So the difference between the defense of the current 2B depth and Infante is greater than the difference between Infante’s offensive contributions and those of the current 2Bs, in your mind?

          • I think that for the Jays, defensive improvements at second base are marginally more important than offensive improvements. I also wouldn’t disagree of that assessment of Infante’s offense vs Goins’ defense…

        • Infante’s defense rates pretty well over the last couple years. It’s not like he’s some black hole on defense… at least not to the same extent that Goins is on offense.

  5. Is there any chance that Pillar’s good enough to play LF or RF in 2015? I mean, it might not be a great chance, but there’s a chance, right? Which would help with the OF problem.

    • Sure ther’s a chance… though he sure looks more like a 4th OF guy.
      You’ll need 2014 to find out.

      • Whatever he can contribute should just be considered found money.

        • Sierra’s apparently out of options so I expect they’ll take him back to T.O. for
          the start of the season: (either as a 1B or 4th outfielder or both). I would never rule out Pillar though. He’s a quick learner and has lots of tenacity.

  6. I was thinking to myself last night how valuable lind is at his salary.
    He can hit right handers as good as anybody and for 7 mil, with an option i believe for another 7 mil, he’s one of the best bargains around for anyone who’s past their arbitration years.

    • Agreed. Based on the updated Fangraphs $/WAR, he’s being paid to produce 1 win from the DH spot…

  7. I’m a big fan of mark ellis, has a good obp and above average defending. I think we could sign him 2 years for 10-12. I think he’s a better scoop than infante

  8. Assuming no major acquisition in the mean time,
    and assuming that Tanaka is posted,
    the Blue Jays will pony up the $20m posting fee.

    Failure to do so would be a public relations disaster since there is no risk.
    If you don’t sign the player, you get the posting fee returned.

    Question is, what would they offer as a contract and what would be their chances?
    I think it will take a 6yr term.
    If we find out that someone else gave him longer than 6yr,
    I’d be fine with that.

    I also think it will take an AAV of about $16m on top of the posting fee
    Total outlay would be $116m for the 6 years.
    If we find out he went elsewhere because someone gave him more,
    I’d be fine with that too.

    But I’d like to think that they were in there
    with a legitimate bid that had a chance.

  9. We are not a small market team. Spend the money on pitching and keep prospects. Spend money to make money. Tanaka will need a season to adjust to culture etc., so I wouldn’t bother.

  10. It may rain in Seattle, but it doesn’t snow!

  11. Does anyone know what James Loney is asking for?

    -Great D (by reputation)
    -Hits both RHP and LHP
    -Has played a year on turf
    -Big knock has been power, but has played in in negative park factor teams for most of his career, maybe Rogers Centre could get him up 18 HR’s?
    -Had a good year in AL (east)
    -Left handed bat
    -Turns Lind into a tradable assets (believe it or not, he has some value).
    -If Lind is traded the first year at least could be revenue neutral ( see JPA/Navarro)
    -Years would be no more than 3, so risk mitigated in context of current baseball market madness.
    -High contact guy
    -Low K guy
    -Decent to strong OBP guy.
    -Still reasonably young
    -Don’t have to waste a bench spot with a dance partner for Lind

  12. Did a little looking on Cots this morning.
    Jays have shed $12.75m (JJ) $2.5m (Davis) and $.505m (JPA)
    That’s a little over $16.7m shed from the payroll.

    However, that amount has been more than offset by contractual raises:
    Buehrle +7, Dickey +7, Reyes +6, Lind +2, EE, +1. Santos +1 along
    with a projected arbitration raise for Rasmus of 1.8. Add $3m for Navarro
    and it totals $27.8m in additional commitments to just those players.

    So unless my math is out to lunch, it appears that they
    are already on the hook for an additional $11m plus over last year
    without making any acquisitions and without factoring in raises for lesser players.

    Not sure what it means but it could go a ways towards explaining
    some of the frugality messages we’re hearing.

  13. Would love to have the expos back in Montreal.

  14. Kawasaki at least fouls off a hundred pitches before getting out. I’d rather have him at 2B than what we have. Maybe we could get someone to take Izturis?

    • Doubt anyone would give you anything remotely of value for Izturis. If they’d take him at all.
      You’re probably better off keeping him and hoping he can be a useful utility guy (which he has been in the past)

      • It should be noted that he can play 3 infield positions (kinda) and he’s a switch hitter…. he even has (had?) some speed.

        • He’s only 33 and will probably be of more value to keep. I think he can rebound from last year seeing as his career numbers are way better than last year’s.
          Career: .269/.331/.372/.703
          Last year: .236/..288/.310/.597

    • Say that Baltimore signs Balfour and Toronto signs Kawasaki.

      How many beers could you drink during one Kawasaki AB with Balfour on the mound?

  15. 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?

    If he can be had on a one-year deal, I would love a Colon signing. The rationale is sound, IMHO.

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