No, really, it’s an actual post! Or, at the very least it’s a half-assed link dump. Actually, though, there might be more posts by the end of this week than there were last week, which… isn’t really saying much, is it?

Shi Davidi writes about Marty Brown’s resignation from the Buffalo Bisons for Sportsnet. In short: he was a Farrell guy who didn’t really see a big league future with the organization after getting passed over for a spot on the club’s reconfigured coaching staff (the last spot of which went to Baseball Canada man, and former Ottawa Lynx manager, Tim Leiper).

Elsewhere at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith worries about the Jays’ bench, which… it sure would be helped by the club running a smaller bullpen, but I don’t know. It’s a bench, it’s not going to be great. Plus, Erik Kratz is going to be a sneaky good pickup, I suspect. (No, you’re delirious.)

Brian McTaggart, who covers the Astros for MLB.com, looks at a snag that club has hit in their pursuit of a new Spring Training facility in Palm Beach Gardens– which they are, reportedly, to share with the Blue Jays. The project, he says, “is being reconsidered after the city agreed to allow Palm Beach County officials to investigate whether another location would better suit the city, county and teams.”

Ben Badler of Baseball America writes that it could be a merry Christmas for the MLB clubs salivating over Masahiro Tanaka– among whom I believe the Jays are one– as that may be the day when we learn whether or not he’s being posted. Of course, they could also find a lump of coal in their stockings.

I’ve never been to the Winter Meetings, and after reading Jeb Lund’s outstanding piece for SB Nation on what it’s like for the job seekers and those who don’t otherwise have a foot in the industry’s door, I don’t feel so bad about that. Not that I wouldn’t find action in the bar, I’m sure, but it doesn’t seem conducive to doing the kind of work I want to do anyway, even if for a “media” person it might not be quite so grim. Bottom line: it’s a great read, regardless of how I’ve tried to shoehorn my own feelings into it.

At BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm talks to California native Casey Janssen, who is about to experience his first white Christmas, spending the holiday with his girlfriend in Fort Erie.

Elsewhere at BlueJays.com, Gregor looks at the dwindling number of options the Jays have to supplant Ryan Goins at second base, which… they totally should be aiming to do. Lots of people are getting edgy that they actually won’t do anything at all, but I remain rather unconvinced. Alex Anthopoulos is saving all his bullets– be it money or trade chips– for a top pitcher, and waiting out the market in hopes that prices for those go down as clubs like the Rangers and Yankees take themselves out of the running by finalizing their 2014 payrolls, hitting up against their self-imposed budgets, or moving their most attractive pieces elsewhere. Once he knows where that’s going, he’ll have a chance to do other things. The off-season is far from over.

Ben Nicholson-Smith also looks at second base options in a piece at Sportsnet, and has another, similar, one on the pitching market.

Meanwhile, Brendan Kennedy of the Toronto Star gives us five moves that the Jays could conceivably still pull off this winter– most of which seem to have real low odds of actually happening, but still!

Lastly, a bunch of great stuff from Getting Blanked, as Drew gives an excellent rundown of the Shin-Soo Choo signing, Jack Moore continues his outstanding Primary Sources series, and I join Drew, along with Parkes and Scott Lewis, to give you the gift of holiday embarrassment by continuing the tradition of the year-end quiz on the latest edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast. Warning: holy piss we were bad. Jedd fucking Gyorko.

Comments (91)

  1. If he truly does have a handshake agreement like he claims with several agents of top pitchers to contact him one last time prior to signing a deal, I would find it hard to believe this is the rotation that they’ll report to spring training with.

    • Bingo

    • Why would any agent seriously doing that and risk pissing off other teams, being aware than the largest free agent commitment AA has ever made / will ever make was to Melky Cabrera for $16 million?

      • Ugh .. seriously *consider* doing that

      • Why would Cabrera’s deal have anything to do with anything? Oh, right, because you can dredge up a pointless fact to imply that it’s some disastrous negative that means everything is always going to be pissy shitty negative because WAHHHH. Right?

      • He has not spent much on the FA market but has spent quite a bit locking up some of our current players, which still pays the agents millions. In your scenario teams like the A’s would be the ones getting ignored by the agents.

    • Yes guy.

  2. Is goins the worry, or is the lack of depth at 2b more of an issue.

    Which is more important?

    what do we have after Goins and Izzy?

    Im going to stick with my Nix as best remaining cheap option for RHB and depth.

  3. anyone else suspect AA is playing coy while he waits for Aledmys Diaz suspension to end in February? if he has serious interest in Diaz he would certainly be slow playing the 2B market, no?

    • not much left on the 2bagger market to slow play?

    • I think he is looking at Diaz.

      Or at least, I want to believe he is.

      • AA didn’t mention him by name, but wasn’t he referring to Diaz in this post winter meetings interview?

        Q : “Does the bonus pool money impact the Cuban shortstop that has been working out in Mexico?”
        A : “No, he’s too old, it’s irrelevant. Sometimes you have guys that are out there, we’ve signed some guys for less money, we’ve spent the bulk of our July money, there are some guys that are still out there, depth guys, and how many times have we seen international signs, $80,000, $100,000, $200,000 that emerge and become really good players. There are some guys out there that we want to take a shot on and why not if we can get the cap space.”

  4. Article on the winter meetings was good.
    For something so well written the crack at Kruks nut seemed out of place.
    Not that I’m above the low brow humour but it just seemed like putting ketchup on steak.

    Also, I think you should go to the winter meetings Stoeten. You may not land your dream job but think of the endless amount of material you could collect. Wouldn’t the Score foot the bill?

  5. If AA has any intention of doing anything about 2nd (And I don’t think he does unless baby Jesus the second basemen lands on his doorstep), WTF is left out there?

    • Plenty.

      • Being there wasn’t plenty to start with, maybe you could be more specific. Up the middle is an issue with this team and it has been forever but I wonder if the Jays philosophy doesn’t see it as pressing as I would think they should.

        • Are you only counting 2B free agents as the market? Include SS guys, include trade possibilities, and pretty soon you have plenty.

          Also, I think it’s wholly inaccurate to suggest that the team that made a splash on Hechavarria and traded for Escobar, Gose, d’Arnaud, Rasmus, Mathis, etc. has an issue with the importance they place on having strong play up the middle, especially on the defensive side (which is why I don’t include Reyes as well). It hasn’t worked out that they’ve had a lot of it on the big league roster, just because of other things they’ve tried to do in terms of construction, but let’s not pretend that means they don’t see the value in it.

          • Except Hechaverria isn’t. playing for us. Neither is D’Arnaud, neither is Mathis, neither is Escobar. They all got traded. And we were left with a right-side infield that really didn’t have much at all. I’m including 1st base in this since Overbay wasn’t brilliant, Lind didn’t work. It was only after EE stabilized his performance that things got better there. Before that it was as much of a black hole as 2nd base wad

            • Hey, thanks for missing the point entirely.

              OH DID THOSE GUYS GET TRADED???????

              • You’re welcome.
                Who are the top infield prospects in the Jays system?

                • They are few and far between, and entirely in the low minors. Fortunately for me, that’s not at all what we’re talking about.

            • Sorry. The cat managed to jump on my iPad and land on the return key.

              1st base was a mess. Just like 2nd is now. They got lucky with EE.

          • Yeah Stoeten I guess you’re right but damn, aside from acquiring a strike out SP there is gonna be alot of ground balls up the middle with what I see now let alone trying to turn a double play. I changed my tune a bit regarding the pitching (If the Jays stand pat). This team could be fucking awesome with one midland starter and a quality second base…Yes?

          • It’s only plenty is you consider trade possibilities. There’s nothing out there on the FA market, even if you include shortstops.

        • I think Ackley could be interesting if the price isn’t too high. Hasn’t hit much, but there’s potential, and above average at 2B.

          • Agreed, whichever of the 2 guys Seattle gives up on could be a good gamble.
            The price shouldn’t be too much either.

            • I think the price will be fairly high.

              • So if it were Ackley, a higly touted prospect who has somewhat fizzled, what do you think would be a fair price?

                I was thinking a good bullpen arm or mid-tier prospect but I obviously have no idea how much value Zed still sees in him.

                • Gose or any reliever he wants.

                  Or Gose and a reliever out of options. Or a couple relievers that don’t include the top ones.

                  But that’s being somewhat down on Gose, to be honest. I suspect they’d think that’s selling low. But maybe the M’s would too.

                  • I could definitly live would that.

                  • Something like Gose & maybe Janssen for Ackley or Franklin could work for both teams.

                    I wonder – and by that I mean I’m hoping – that when AA has said he could make a move now but wants to make sure he has enough assets to get 2-3 things done that acquiring a 2B with upside is part of it.

                    As opposed to someone like Jamey Carroll.

                    Gimme Ackley or Franklin and a mid-rotation guy like Jimenez/Santana/Garza or even someone like Edwin Jackson via trade and I’ll be satisfied with the offseason.

            • Why would the price be low? The Jays problem is that there is little quality out there at 2B, which is exactly why Seattle would set the price high.

              • Fair point. But I mentioned this in an earlier post,
                Second base is traditionally a position that has plenty of league options. It’s kind of strange that it’s so slim right now. A week before the season starts and teams have prospects beat out veterans there should be a few good options available.

  6. Jeff Baker. That is all

  7. Only shitty part about following the jays so close, is listening to people convince themselves we’re a jeff baker away…. like are you guys serious? that is tthe definition of a 25th man

    • You’d rather Adam Lind hit against left-handers?

      • I think i’m just jealous that Cardinal Fans or Yankee Fans or Red sox fans aren’t debating who the final compliment for the 25th spot should be.

      • Sierra is the platoon partner for Lind. Looks like whoever is second backup inf will platoon with goins

    • Hello Dave and this is what I think;

      We, as Jays fans were so fuckin’ shitofied about trophies being given last year and yet we suffered for our sins. This is the beginning of a new river crossing and this time we leave the sheep behind. Go Jays! Aaaaand if it’s another fuck up year coming up…all I want is new uniforms.

    • We’re NOT a Jeff Baker away. It’s still a nice move, if you can get it done. It’s not even Christmas, people.

  8. stop the presses Jays have claimed Brent Morel:

    • Yeah… was talking about that on Twitter earlier. Did not, in fact, stop the presses to write about it. Interesting depth piece that used to be a prospect, though. Some upside, some ability to hit LHP, some time at shortstop, even. The move screams Buffalo, but they could do worse.

  9. Hey Stoeten… I don’t want to put words in your mouth, and I might be misremembering here…

    But you’d alluded to the fact that you’ve heard a bit of inside info that the Jays will look to spend on a pitcher, right? Didn’t you post that a few weeks ago? Or am I crazy?

    If that’s so can you elaborate at all?

  10. Article about the bench was completely on point I thought. Stoeten yes it’s a bench and won’t be great but key that it is good especially if goins is starter and have lefties to platoon with. Wow lots of Ab to bench last year. Have to expect bench to have same impact as two to three regulars. Don’t like idea of trading gose for 2b since this depletes of depth / bench. Would have loved a couple flyers on guys like Roberts and Gutierrez with track records and chance to be solid. Have picked up some decent triple a depth for inf and Kratz I love. baker nix and a solid of while trading Sierra in package for 2b would work for me.

    Or how about jimmy Rollins could be had for not much it seems and could be a starter in mi. Two years 11m per year left on contract. Top calibre def if bat is only average these days

    • I am totally down for trading gose. We have plenty of depth in the outfield, obviously not very good depth, but depth nonetheless. Our depth in the infield is rather lacking. Trading for ackley or franklin would give us a much needed boost in the infeild, while still retaining outfield depth.

      Plus i don’t think Gose is gonna figure out the hitting tool anytime soon but dont tell the mariners!

      • I’m not confident gose can figure out how to hit either but he is second on the depth chart in cf. maybe trade him but get a solid back up cf from fa scrap heap. If Rasmus doesn’t get extension looks pretty bleak for cf next year without gose. Not inspired that solid fa player will ever be signed to replace him

  11. I’m liking this Morel signing. It reminds me of Encarnacion–another former top 100 prospect, another third baseman who fell on hard times and was snapped up for nothing by AA. At the very least, he’s good depth, possibly a decent bench guy who can spell Lind against lhp and give Lawrie a day off once in awhile. He’s a baby step in the right direction, another bullet in a gun. AA is collecting infielders this year like he collected cheap bullpen guys last year. How can people talk about firing this guy–he’s a one man army.

    • It’s a waiver pickup, nothinng to write home about.

    • EE was traded for rolen no? He was an MLB player who had success in MLB already at the time, not the same. Nothing to write home about these minor league pickups but do give something for depth. Would be good if it was depth behind a starting player rather than goins.

  12. So is tanaka still holding up the starting pitchers market?

  13. Anyone else read the article from Marty Brown’s ex wife? All things being equal I’d prefer a non cowardly asshole as our AAA manager and influence on the Jays youth, thanks.

  14. Kawasaki’s back on a minor league deal!!!

  15. Stoeten has been telling us not to be overly concerned about Morrow’s injury history because it’s not as bad as it looks. What if he’s healthy this year but just not very good anymore? This fangraphs articles indicates that is a likely possibility http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/whats-in-a-young-pitchers-strikeout-decline/.

    The masses cry out, “It’s the injuries that have impacted his K%!”. I certainly hope so, I’d rather that then another unexplained case of right arm shittyness.

    • it was clearly the injury, he had a pinched nerve

    • Maybe looking at k/9 is a bit of a distraction with morrow and others. He used to nibble and throw a lot of pitches. And didn’t necessarily walk lots but would throw one down the hump when behind in the count and get hit. Then he pitched a little more to contact when he had his good year. I hope to see the strike thrower pitching to contact we saw a couple years ago strikeouts be damned.

  16. Kawa’s back!! Call me crazy but Id start him over goins. He knows how to have good ABs at least.

    • I like the guy, its hard not to. I think we give him too much credit given his personality and so little was expected of him. I find when a player finally signs that big contract I expect him to play to it or I curse at my TV when he does not.

      From watching last year I gave the guy credit for having an eight pitch at bat that resulted in an out whereas the same result from Batista was scoffed at. From looking at his numbers a lot of those grinding at bats lead to outs. Great for wearing down the other teams pitcher, but an out none the less.

      Looks like we have three back ups for second base; hope one surprises.

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