‘Yes Killface, this is the way.’ … YOU TALK LIKE THAT!
Bruce Levine of Chicago’s 670 The Score tweets that teams should know by tomorrow where Masahiro Tanaka will sign. Dun dun dunnnn… (By which I, of course, mean: please, if it’s not going to be here, just not the fucking Yankees. Or Red Sox. Or… just… the National League. Please.) (Of course, that could just be a reference to a tweet from CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan, who figured a few days ago we’d heard about the deal early, so Tanaka could take his physical, etc.)
Since we may only have a day left to pretend that we think there’s a small, secret chance that the Jays could actually land Tanaka, why not commence drooling over him with a great piece from Ben Badler of Baseball America, who speaks with scouts about the incoming ace– complete with fancy GIFs!
The above item actually came my way via Drew’s latest URL Weaver post at Getting Blanked, where he also has an awesome YouTube clip of all 183 of Tanaka’s strikeouts during the 2013, plus a bunch of playoff highlights, too. Total fucking boss.
Elsewhere at Getting Blanked, Drew looks at the remaining starting pitchers available on the free agent market. Like… all of them. From the White Whale, to the elbows full of spiderwebs, to the detritus.
At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith takes a look at a market finally about to resume business, with the Tanaka log jam finally being cleared away.
Speaking of that, not that it means a whole lot, but in his chat today at FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan was asked about where some of the remaining position player free agents will land. He responded that he guessed Stephen Drew might end up here, explaining that’s because he “saw word the other day that Drew is open to playing other positions besides shortstop, and the Jays’ 2B situation is laughable.” Yep. Drew and a pitcher would be a nice consolation prize for this team, indeed.
Gregor Chisholm takes a look at the still-blossoming partnership between the Jays and the Buffalo Bisons in his latest for BlueJays.com.
Speaking of, John Lott of the National Post talks to Gary Allenson, who will be taking over for Marty Brown this year as the skipper of the Bisons, and who gives scouting reports on his former (and soon to be returning) charges, Marcus Stroman, Sean Nolin, and A.J. Jimenez, all of whom played under Allenson last year for New Hampshire. He likes Stroman, obviously, but the money quote is on Jimenez, about whom he says “I had Wieters in Triple-A and the Arizona Fall League. He reminds me of him. Kind of a quiet, reserved guy, will learn how to take charge. More of a gap-to-gap, hit-for-an-average type guy than Wieters.” (Bonus points for the link to the awesome ejection video).
TSN.ca passes on a Canadian Press piece about Peter Gammons, who drew the ire of the hopelessly parochial knee-jerk hockey puck set on Saturday, when he tweeted that the donnybrook between the Canucks and Flames “reiterated why the NHL is a minor sport.” But I might be with the puck heads on this one, actually, astonishingly dumb as the melee was, as is any defence of it or staged fighting in general. The US TV money is way different, sure, but they’re both sports with very regionalized audiences, and the NHL’s current salary floor of $44-million is higher than the payrolls run by the Marlins and Astros last year. If the cap goes up to $80-million, as it’s projected, there will be hockey teams spending as much as, or more, on payroll than about the entire bottom third of baseball. Only the bottom third, I know, but still… minor?
Bluebird Banter speaks with the Jays’ director of minor league operations, Charlie Wilson, about some of the changes the Jays have made to their minor league structure this winter.
At Grading On The Curve, Jay Blue has a nice profile of the Jays’ Canadian prospect Dalton Pompey, focussing in particular on his formative years.
Lastly, an AP story from ESPN.com tells us that Bud Selig will be the first recipient of the Commissioner Bud Selig Leadership Award. Um… OK?