Alex Anthopoulos hit the radio waves here in the Centre of the Universe this evening, jumping on the Fan 590 with Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt to… um… well, not for any particular reason, it would seem, but that doesn’t mean that he didn’t have a few interesting things to say. Of course, with Anthopoulos, what’s important can often be about what wasn’t said… I think. Maybe I just made that up. But for today, at least, if you’re like me and want to keep on pipe dreamin’ for at least another week about the possibility of Masahiro Tanaka, it was definitely probably true.

Meaning: he certainly didn’t indicate that they’re out of the running for the Japanese ace. Because I’m not delusional I expect that they eventually will be, but he didn’t deny a thing. Not even in the “Hello, Mr. Thompson” kind of way that he’ll often use to prod us to read between the lines.

That said, he didn’t offer a whole lot of anything concrete, speaking, as he often does, in the strictest of general terms. But that’s not to say he didn’t provide us with plenty of food for thought.

“We have had conversations on every available — via free agency and even trade — starter that we believe to be mid- to front of the rotation,” he explained. “We’ve had dialogue. I know how you love how I’m so vague on this stuff, but we’ve had dialogue, and to go any further than that, I wouldn’t. But safe to say that, without being specific about the player, anyone that we think is mid- to upper rotation, we’ve had dialogue with the agents, and done our work on it, and we’re going to see if we can get something to fit.”

He has referred to Tanaka as a front line starter before, so I think it’s safe to say there has at least been contact. And clearly he has thought about him, as a good chunk of the conversation focused on how to evaluate him.

“You did mention that he’s not a 98-mile-per-hour fastball guy,” he said at one point to McCown, “and he certainly doesn’t pitch there. He’s more of — at least in our reports — more of a guy that will sit 93, but we actually had him touch 98 twice at the end of the year — just touch it.”

He then spoke about looking at comparables, looking at how he’s getting hitters out, and added a couple more things that made it sound quite clearly as thought the club has done their due diligence on Tanaka, at the very least. For one, he noted that the balls used in the Japanese league this year had been altered to increase offence, which provides even more context for some of the numbers Tanaka put up. For two, he explained that, to top it all off, “obviously you’re getting medical information on a player, and you put that all in a pot and come up with a value you think the guy has.”

Again, all of that stuff was spoken in general terms, but add it all up and it doesn’t sound like a GM who isn’t interested. Even the fact that it’s reported Anthopoulos didn’t go to see Tanaka himself — as he did with Darvish — doesn’t necessarily suggest a mere perfunctory interest. It may be that Anthopoulos didn’t go himself in order to help throw reporters off the scent and better manage expectations, give the P.R. bomb the club dropped on itself when Yu Darvish went to the Rangers. It also has been reported that one of the club representatives that went to see him was trusted advisor Dan Evans, the former assistant GM and Director of Baseball Operations for the White Sox, and the GM of the Dodgers. Evans, for what little it may be worth, held the position in Los Angeles from 2001 to 2004, bringing Kaz Ishii to the club from Japan, and bringing back Hideo Nomo from the exile you probably don’t remember (from mid-1998 to 2001 Nomo played for the Mets, Brewers, Tigers and Red Sox).

If you think that’s grasping at straws in light of the fact that Tanaka’s agent, Casey Close, represents Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, and Derek Jeter, you’d be right! But still, there are still positives to be taken from where the Jays are at — even if it’s a stretch to be dreaming on Tanaka, and even if it’s undeniable that they’re not doing much.

“Just judging from the first of January to now, the prices have changed over a two week period,” Anthopoulos explained, referring to the free agent market for top starters, “and I would expect — and we’ll obviously find out over the next week to two weeks — that they’ll continue to change, both up and down.”

“There’s a few free agents that we have the ability to sign them tonight,” he said, reiterating a line we’ve heard through much of the winter. “We know what the asking price is, and if I call the agent up and say, ‘Look, we’ll do that deal,’ pending, obviously, and examination, they would be Toronto Blue Jays.”

At the very least, it’s positive to know that these guys supposedly wouldn’t bat an eyelash at coming  north of the border if the team was willing to overpay right into their hands, but I’m skeptical about how quickly they’d actually be able to get one of their names on a contract. After all, if an agent is willing to give the Jays the chance to counter any formal offer that comes in on their client — as is the case with at least one player, according to earlier comments from Anthopoulos — why wouldn’t they have the same sort of agreement with any number of teams? And with the Yankees and Dodgers still in the mix for starting pitching, and one of them — if not both! — bound to lose out on Tanaka, do we really believe an agent is going to give up his ability to use their resources to, at the very least, drive up the price, unless the asking price is bonkers enough that they know neither of those team would even touch it? Y’know, kind of like Anthopoulos is trying to tell us?

Shi Davidi’s latest at Sportsnet, despite a title somewhat incongruous to what he’s reporting — it refers to AA’s “risky tactics,” though the (legitimate) possibility of the club coming up empty is barely mentioned in the piece — is even more blunt about this obvious point of fact. “Industry chatter is that the market for the other three will remain on hold until Tanaka signs,” he says, which… totally, right? Some fans seem aghast that Anthopoulos would dare risk a win or two by not bending over for an agent and asking to be fucked here, but those are the types who are going to get hysterical about just about everything.

It’s especially bizarre since Alex makes clear that it’s not just the free agent market where he’s looking. Trades are possible too, and if he really gets desperate, there’s apparently one in particular he’s zeroed in on:

I think that the player that we’ve talked about in trade will be available come Spring Training, will be available during the year, and I wouldn’t expect that to change. Of course, it can, but I don’t expect it to.

Besides, he tries to tell us, maybe you don’t want those stinky free agent guys anyway!

And free agency wise, there’s a lot of other information on some these players that not everyone has– health concerns, obviously there’s different things involving make up, and so on, and that factors into your price point and your value of the player.

Of course, those kinds of things could all just be on Matt Garza, who is known to have had trouble with his temper, trouble with Eric Sogard (and his wife) on Twitter, and may well have some scary medicals, too, but… who knows?

At least Anthopoulos is being pretty reasonable about it all:

So, we do have a value on the player, and if we can get those players at that price, yeah, we’ll do it, but we’re not going to force a move and do what we deem to be a bad move or a significant overpay just for the sake of doing it.

Sometimes you do have to overpay just to make sure you get the player, but it’s not like Anthopoulos hasn’t done that, either. It’s just not usually in terms of money, but let’s not forget the price paid for R.A. Dickey last winter. Some might even tell you that J.A. Happ was a pretty big overpay, too. At least one of them was, and for sensible enough reason, too. It’s very, very easy to get cynical with this club sometimes, and maybe Anthopoulos has put himself in a place where he needs to pull one out right at the death, but maybe let’s not all rush for the exits just because he’s got one strike on him and is down to his last out, eh?

He put together a team that a lot of people thought would be excellent last year. For whatever reason — no, not the manger, dipshit — it didn’t work out. But maybe he’s still got a little magic left in him for this off-season yet…

If he’s saving it for something, he’s at least picked the right thing to save it for.

Comments (82)

  1. wow I got to hand it to him…he’s Cool Hand Luke in the nerve dept.

  2. Thanks for the write-up Stoeten. Did you catch Trololosi on right after AA. He “hadn’t heard” the Jays had been linked to Tanaka…

  3. I hope Tanaka chooses the Dodgers and not the Yankees or Angels. Go to the NL.

  4. Well put Stoeten. And with regard to believing the Jays are out of the Tanaka
    bidding: It aint over til it’s over.

  5. “There’s a few free agents that we have the ability to sign them tonight”

    That quote right there was the saving grace for me. Again I would love for them to land a starter and a 2nd baseman, but I’ve also got to trust he knows what he’s doing. Just the fact that’s he’s admitting the resources are their is largely soothing enough. I may not totally agree with their reluctance to go all in when it’s a cash transaction, but then again maybe some of that cash is for a certain shortstop soon to be 2nd baseman, or an extension for a certain dreadlocked outfielder.

    • Yep. Good to hear that the dollars are there, just that the AA doesn’t like to budge on his valuations of players.

  6. While continuing to improve the team is important, AA is right in not panicking and overpaying for a free agent or in a trade.

    The reality is, if the majority of dickey, morrow, Lawrie, Bautista etc don’t get off to good starts, no amount of tanaka or ubaldo or shark is going to help them contend.

    Not being pessistic, I’m just thinking that AA realizes he’s put enough pieces in place,mostly last year, to field a competitive team. The team as it stands should compete, and then AA can make some midsession trades when the prices come way down.

  7. Just spitballin.
    In looking at future commitments to the starters( pitching) the Jays have now. There’s nobody past 2015 with any major financial commitment.With Stroman or Sanchez or both slated for the beginning of 2015.
    Could it be that AA isn’t enamoured enough with the current FA’s available to make a deal beyond the 2 to 3 year mark?Or that next year’s FA market will be much more enticing?
    BTW. Morrow’s on his last year of his current contract although the Jays have an option for 2015
    Ditto Happ.
    The only SP the Jays have under contract for 2015 Is Dickey and Buehrle.
    I guess the other thing is that no other team has yet signed any of these guys either.
    Just talkin out loud,tryin to guess the next move.

    • Sounds like it’s more of a case of sticking to their guns (at least that’s the party line being told to the public), and while I can respect that up to a point, I have to say I don’t quite understand it unless the prices/term are totally insane. Surely they’ve seen that this year’s overpay can end up looking like a reasonable deal a year or two later. Of course I am talking about when the player remains healthy and I am not referring to the monster 7-10 year contracts but which team wouldn’t give their left nut to sign Darvish for $100 million or guys like Chapman or Cespedes. Obviously there is so much we don’t know including other moves they might want to make but you are correct there isn’t a lot of dollars committed after 2015.

  8. Give Tanaka all the opt-out clauses.

    • Sounds like that’s practically a given at this point. I think they are great incentives for teams that need something extra to get a player to sign. I admit they can work against you down the road but they can also get you off the hook from giving in to the pressure to sign an aging star to a contract that is going to be completely dead money on the back end (see A-Rod).

      • AA doesnt like player friendly terms in contacts. All (?) contracts he has signed have been team friendly or neutral but short term. No incentives, no no trade clause, no player options. Jays front office really values low risk financially and cost certainly and dont really see that changing unless there is a very compelling case – same as I dont see them signing a big money long term deal with anyone either.

    • That’s a little tougher on the team once you add in the 20mm fee.

  9. Wheres the Homer Bailey talk? I love that guy

    Wonder what that asking price would be?

    I hope the ball goes to Hutch every fifth day.

    Roll the dice with Goins at 2b. His defence alone merits giving his bat a chance imo

  10. As wide open as the market seems, with half the league interested in the four top pitching FA’s, there’s really only four teams that have the money and the need for these players. At present, The Blue Jays, Yankees, Rangers, and Angels are the only serious options out there. Did anyone actually think the Diamondbacks were ‘in the hunt’? Or that the Dodgers needed another starting pitcher? There’s no real point for a lot of these clubs to bring in a big-name guy. Other than the four teams I’ve listed, it looks as though most other teams are either content with what they’ve got or not willing (or able) to pay the kind of money to sign a top pitcher. The competitiveness of the AL East and AL West is going to force the big-money clubs in these divisions to bring in at least one top pitching FA. I think AA knows that he’ll at least end up with one of these guys, which is why he’s willing to wait, because there’s only three other teams playing the market.

    • The Rangers have stated that they’re done. They made it clear that there were not in on tanaka and had already spent their budget “and then some”.

      • And it was reported that the Cubs would not be outbid as well as the Dodgers and the Diamondbacks had a secret strategy to land Tanaka.

        • Yeah I think you have to include the Cubs, Red Sox and D-Backs in this list as well.

          Cubs probably just for Tanaka, but sounds like the D-Backs are serious about adding to their rotation, and the Sox will look to add if the prices are reasonable. Still more teams than good pitchers at this point.

  11. I like the idea of having Hutchinson, Drabek, Stroman and Redman available as depth … but damn. I really think the Jays need at LEAST one more dependable guy in that rotation to contend. Could Dickie, Morrow, Buerhle, Hutch and Stroman be solid? Yeah. But I would feel a hell of a lot better with even someone like Ubaldo in the mix there.

  12. Nice question at the end by Brunt. I don’t think AA expected it,

    My read is that ultimately they will make a very competitive offer (5,6/120) but the fucking Yankees or Cubs will blow up and offer 7/150 or more. Not really an original take, but from this interview I just sense they are in, but AA knows they probably won’t get him.

  13. garza seems like he’s a full on caveman from that twitter spat.

  14. Tanaka makes the most sense. I get the same feeling as you, the Jays will do what they can to sing Tanaka, but its an obvious long shot. Even if they can match the money he may feel like he has a better chance to win somewhere else. I will keep pipe dreaming as well. Regarding his comments earlier about a bench player, it sounded an awful lot like Vernon Wells… I personally don’t know whether I would want Wells as the platoon guy with Lind or Sierra. Wells was just OK last year against lefties, but could play CF in a pinch as well. But if Sierra figured something out last year he looked awfully good. Its too bad he is out of options.

    • Wilner was on with Sammut last night.Said the player AA was talkin about was unlikely to be Wells based on AA saying the player in question wanted a new contract and Wells said he’s retiring when his current contract runs out.

  15. AA is such a genius.


  16. If nothing else, it’s at least good to know AA won’t blow his brains out and do something stupid just for the sake of it.

  17. Just to follow up on that 98 MPH quote Stoeten pulled, it’s Interesting that in the PTS interview AA makes a point of vouching for Tanaka: firstly, after Bob says Tanaka doesn’t throw 98, AA rebuts him saying that Jays’ scouts have seen him touch 98 and then, secondly, AA makes the point about the NPB juicing the baseball a bit last season to create more offense (making Tanaka’s stats even more impressive).

    it’s impossible, as always, to tell whether the Jays sign Tanaka or not based on those comments, but you can clearly tell that AA thinks very highly of Tanaka.

    • Well, signing him is not just up to them, which is why it’s still a huge long shot, but yes, I think he does think quite highly of him– as he should.

    • I guess those Japanese baseballs aren’t getting into the Hall of Fame.

    • I also love using 98 as a number as if there’s guys out there who sit 98 over the course of a season. According to pitchFX there were 2 qualified starters last season who sat higher than 95 on their fastball velocity: Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasburg. Nobody sits 98 as a starting pitcher. Not even close.

  18. Rogers as part of MLSE overpaid big time last week to bring in two soccer stars to TFC. They paid the kind of money that’s hard to recoup even if the team is very successful. I may be way off here but im expecting them to go in a similar direction with the Jays. I mean the pushed a lot of chips in the middle last year so they are committed to the team’s success. They saw how last off season impacted the fan base, the attendance and the viewing figures at least until the wheels fell off half way through the season.

    I’m convinced that they are sitting on money right now that they have been specifically saving for Tanaka. AA probably has major regrets over Darvish just as he did with Chapman. He wont want to let another one slip away. I don’t think the Jays get outbid on Tanaka. Maybe he ultimately decides LA or New York are better fits but I don’t think its going to be down to dollars. Even if he doesn’t end up with Tanaka I see them going hard after two starters. I can live with Jiminez and Santana next season. I may be somewhere between optimistic and stupid but hey it’s the off season so why not. Right now Im counting on Rodgers to go the rest of the way and capitalize on the Jays window of opportunity as proclaimed by the Beast last year.

    • Interesting and not necessarily out of the realm.

    • the question isn’t whether or not the Jays can sign Tanaka, the question is whether or not they want to, given the asking price.

      this is the point AA repeatedly makes. sure Tanaka is great, even AA agrees, but is it smart to spend $160 million on one player? especially when he’s basically a prospect. the Jays have Aaron Sanchez and Marcus Stroman, who, while obviously not as polished and experienced as Tanaka, seem to have similar ceilings (if not higher).

      how does spending about $160 million limit the Jays down the road? or does it at all, considering they have basically no guaranteed contracts after 2016?

      what about the injury risk too?

      and what do you lose out on by devoting so much to Tanaka?

      or where the Jays are at in the win curve (probably around 82 – 85 wins) does that necessitate signing Tanaka?

      the question of whether or not Rogers can afford elite free agents is really a red herring, AA could negotiate a backloaded deal with Tanaka to make it work (under $150 million total payroll) in 2014 and beyond but does he think it’s smart?

      I obviously don’t really know the answers but i think it’s a mistake to reduce it just to a question of affordability.

      • SImilar ceilings if not higher? You are underrating Tanaka, who is a much stronger bet to actually hit his ceiling, even if it’s a touch lower than Sanchez if by some miracle he puts it all together.

        • i think you’re underrating Sanchez. the consensus is that if Sanchez can master his command he has ace stuff. nobody ive read has said that about Tanaka. he’s an elite starter but not an ace. he doesn’t have the build, repertoire and the velocity for that.

          of course the risk is way lower with Tanaka since he’s much more experienced and developed but im not sure it’s smart to give him the Greinke-type contract he’s about to get.

          • do you realize how long the list is of guys who had ‘ace stuff’ but never worked out because they couldn’t command it? that list is a hell of alot longer than the list of guys who had poor command and figured it out to become aces.

    • I wouldn’t count on it, and I certainly wouldn’t talk about it as though AA is making the money decisions, but I think there is money available and I think they’re more interested in Tanaka than any of the other guys — as they should be. Long shot, still.

  19. Dickey was a HORRIBLE trade and will haunt the Jays for the next 5 yrs as d’Arnaud and Syndergaard improve and become key to the Mets future. AA overpaid.

    Don’t forget Esmile Rogers trade. Indians received Gomes AND Aviles. Brutal. AA overpaid.

    Of note, based on news out of Reds and history of Hannigan trade talks, I would bet the name AA mentions as being available past April is Homer Bailey. Reds need to replace Choo production and a big bat to protect/help Votto would mean EE or Bautista are their targets. I don’t see this happening unless the Bautista train stalls big time and the fans run him out of T.O.

    • AND Aviles? Really?
      I think most people felt that the Dickey trade was an overpay, but also felt that it was that final push that we needed.
      Maybe this year’s results will put a different spin on both trades.

      • well reasoned, well said.

      • Aviles would have been the best second baseman option last year as it turned out so isn’t irrelevant. Was a smaller type deal but Jays definitely lost out there especially when you consider the very bad production at C and 2B they had last year

        • Not so fast. Setting aside the fantasy/reality aspect for now, if the Jays DON’T make that trade, which player gives them 137 IP, Aviles or Gomes? Or do you use one/both of them as currency to acquire someone else to pitch those innings? Or do you try to unload garbage (JPA, Bonifacio, Izturis, etc.) to acquire someone better than Rogers?

          Rogers’ value wasn’t that he gave them Cy Young-calibre IP, it’s that he gave them IP. Period. It’s debatable whether Aviles was better than the 2nd half combo of Kawasaki/Goins and, as much as I’ve always liked Gomes, no one saw that coming.

    • It gets easier and easier to evaluate a deal the more time lapses from the time the deal was made. It is also easy to say these things now seeing as what a horrible year 2013 was.

      Syndergard could be Drabek and D’arnaud could be any of a million possibilities. How about the signing of Rasmus, Bautista extension, EE extension, Reyes acquisition of proof that AA has a good handle on what he is doing, and the necessary timing it takes to be successful.

    • Go back to your video games.

  20. I can believe that MLSE has given them permission to go a bit crazy here and add Tanaka, The problem is that the Yankees or Dodgers or even the Angels operate like that every day and barely need a reason to be extravagant.

    I can talk myself into scenarios where by Tanaka would actually choose Toronto but still not getting hopes close to up.

    Unless they have reason to believe they have a tremendous shot at Tanaka, I would try and ink one of the Plan B’s right now. An agent may prefer to take the “bird in the hand” now vs waiting to see what happens after Tanaka signs. Maybe most teams have a Plan A and no interest in Plan B. I don’t necessarily think there is any more leverage for an agent right now in waiting. There could be incentive to get things done now.

    • Rogers, not MLSE.

      Re: inking Plan B guys now: read the post.

      • .. yes Rogers I mean

        and I read your post and I get it .. but if I am AA maybe its time to press those Agents to make a decision now … I am not convinced the Yankees or LAD go after either Garza, Ervin or Ubaldo after one ultimately does not get Tanaka .. LAD seem like we’ll take Tanaka if we get him but we don’t need to add more P’s right now before the season starts ..

        .. and are the Yankees really in a rush to get closer or above the Luxury tax amount by signing someone not named Tanaka?

    • Stoeten beats me again.drat.

  21. My guess, based on nothing, is that the Darvish fiasco has AA even more nervous (if possible) about tipping his hand- only recently has he even admitted to a modicum of interest in Tanaka. Perhaps realizing he’d be seen as overtly disingenuous if he didn’t admit some degree of interest.

    Not saying they’ll get him, but my hunch is that the Jays are going to put in a really strong bid- top 3 perhaps.

    Tanaka will come at a premium, but given what else is out there (free agency wise), it may be the best cost-benefit return.

    To me, the Yanks and Jays are the two teams with the most to gain from a front line starter. The Jays arguably would benefit more, as the Yanks, even without Tanaka, will still draw 3.5 million people into the stadium. They have little upward room (financially speaking)- much like the Toronto Maple Laughs. For the Jays, signing Tanaka would likely recreate last years buzz, and hopefully put another half million butts in seats (providing of course they can stay competitive thru the summer).

  22. If there’s an opt-out clause in a contract, can a team offer the player a qualifying offer once he opts out? That would be kind of handy.

    Say you sign Tanaka for six years with an opt-out clause after the fourth. If he opts out and you know you aren’t likely to keep him, you give him the qualifying offer to get a draft pick out of it.

    Not that that’s the kind of thing that would make a deal happen or anything, but I’m curious to know if that’s allowed. We all know how much AA loves his draft picks.

    • I think that’s how that would work.

    • Unless they write it into the contract that no qualifying offer will be tendered. If I was the player I wouldn’t want one hindering me once I did opt out.

      Still it’s a good question since I don’t think one has been triggered under the new rules.

      • I’m pretty sure this is how the current CBA uses opt-outs. There was stuff about this on Fangraphs (I think) regarding the Kershaw deal.

        Of course, the CBA would be renegotiated before a Tanaka opt-out, so that could definitely change.

  23. If you knew Tanaka would perform like Kuroda (3.40 career ERA, 3.61 career FIP), what would he be worth? 7/$130mill?

  24. Wouldn’t it make sense to sign one of the free agent pitchers now and if we do land Tanaka, then flip one of our pitchers to a team that didn’t get him? This way it covers his bases for not landing Tanaka and has him sitting pretty if he does. I suppose that’s why I’m not a GM.

    • beside the fact that you can’t immediately flip a guy once he signs as an FA i.e trade in March, it is probably not good to be known as team that FA’s can’t trust i.e. Marlins.

      • unless what you meant was flipping Buehrle or Morrow. Which I guess could work but I don’t think anyone is signing until the Tanaka domino falls

      • Could flip another pitcher instead.

        Strategy makes sense but if I’m an agent for an FA starter I’m waiting until Tanaka is signed.

        Money from all the teams that miss out will come back to the market. Plus you’ll have a huge new deal to try and benchmark against.

        FA starters have zero motivation to sign before unless it’s a massive offer with a deadline to accept.

        • But the Cubs, Dodgers and Red Sox are likely only in on Tanaka so the market for these three FA SP could go down after Tanaka signs which is what AA is banking on it looks like. IF the Yanks miss out wouldn’t be surprised they are in on all 3 and may drive the price up. The Yanks getting Tanaka may be the best thing for the Jays here. If that happens who realistically is in on the other 3 – Jays, Diamondbacks seem like the only ones for sure. Angels near cap and may not be going over and made trade for 2 minimum salary starters. Texas looks like they are out. Maybe one or two others we dont realize like Orioles, Nationals or someone else

  25. “with Anthopoulos, what’s important can often be about what wasn’t said”

    how many times are we going to have to read that

  26. There’s actually a surprising amount of good stuff in the interview. One interesting piece of speculation is that AA was speaking with an agent the previous night about a player who once received significant playing time, made some money, and now the market has collapsed in on him.

    Any idea who that could be? Michael Young? Probably not Nelson Cruz due to the context, as well as the fact that he’s associated with draft pick compensation.

    • Chone Figgins.

      • Johan Santana? No, it wasn’t just the market that collapsed in on him, it was his everything. Maybe Kendrys Morales. If we get desperate and trade Lind, he could be fulltime DH, no platoon, with Sierra as backup. I could see a 3 team trade where PIT receives Lind, TOR receives Cliff Lee and PHIL receives one prospect from the Pirates and two from the Jays.

      • Of course. He just had a workout with 9 major league teams present. He certainly fits AA’s description.

  27. Mr. Stoeten, great summary, great post.

    I’d quibble with your analogy, in which you say Anthopoulos has a strike against him. He’s stuck out a couple of times already, but he’s really only in the 3rd or 4th inning. It’s pretty clear (and terrific) that he’s got a longer-term plan.

    I didn’t/don’t like the Happ deal, but still love the Marlins and Mets deals and feel AA did his job last offseason of making the Jays among the best, if not the best, on paper. Where I feel he could really stand to improve is in-season roster management. Thankfully, the pitching depth should mean we don’t see the kind of waiver wire abuse we saw last year.

  28. I agree with G Man. I doubt AA will be bounced anytime soon. And I like how he has conducted himself this off-season. Not signing anyone yet is a plus in my book so I’m happy to wait and see what happens going forward.

  29. I’ve heard some Jays fans say it’d be good for us if the Cubs signed Tanaka, but I can’t see how that’s the case. Maybe someone could help me out?

    If the Cubs don’t sign Tanaka, they likely wont go after anyone else, so there would be one less team going after the other top FA’s. Less demand = more likelyhood the Jays can bring someone in at a decent price. I mean, if the Yankees dont get Tanaka, they might whip out the chequebook and drive up the price for Jimenez, who is the best fit in the AL East as far as I can see.

    • good point. Unless the Jays really think they have a shot at Tanaka. I think the price of the sloppy seconds of FA starters after Tanaka signs will only go up. AA may be waiting for nothing, or maybe, just maybe, … nah.

  30. I appreciate AA is trying to say something and nothing at the same time, but to say he could sign a couple of FAs tonight really doesn’t sit well with a good portion of the fan base. Just reinforces the “Rogers is cheap” perception with many, despite it probably being the prudent thing to do. If AA is prepared to go into 2014 with the current group of starters, he must either have good intel that some of the “in-house” guys are going to step up, or AA’s got the biggest stones of any GM with his neck on the line I’ve seen in a while. Can “over-spending” on one FA starter be all that bad? It would mollify a lot of the fan base, and make the team better. Win-win, am I right? It’s not like one potential “bad contract” would doom this team.

  31. AA also spoke about one Free Agent who he’s interested in, and had just spoken to that player’s agent. They way he described it, it just screams


    I’ve been thinking from day one that the Jays would be in on him. Makes all the sense in the world. He still wants to be a starter, though, so we’ll see.

  32. I respect AA for keeping his cards close to his chest… the last thing he wants to do is broadcast that he’s offering truck loads to Tanaka, cause if he loses out (which is more likely) then other FA’s will demand higher prices knowing how aggressive AA was for Tanaka. It gets on my nerves… but I get it.

    • Good point regarding the other free agents! It’s definitely been an oversight in some of my comments on it, but for sure he doesn’t want other agents to know what might really be available to him in terms of resources.

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