morrisses

It was just over a week ago that we were hearing, from Jerry Howarth, via Jays Journal, that Jack Morris would be back with him in the Jays’ broadcast booth this season.

At the time, here’s what I wrote:

Apparently the favourite of revisionist historians everywhere was only considering leaving — as reports earlier in the off-season had suggested — if he’d been elected to the Hall Of Fame. Since he wasn’t — which, OK, OK, would have been fine too (who cares!) — he’s going to return. And you know what? I was not keen on the hire when it was first announced, based mostly on a few clips I’d listened too, some poor reviews from Twins fans, and reports that were quick to highlight the negative. But I found him a whole lot more enjoyable to listen to than I gave him credit for. Old school, yes. A little to quick to point to dispelled notions that only aid his legacy, sure. But pretty alright, on the whole.

I probably could have been even stronger in my praise, really. But so much for that, as earlier today Eric Fisher of SportsBusiness Journal tweeted that Morris was returning to Minnesota, and now the Twins have sent out a press release confirming exactly that.

Morris is a native of St. Paul and had worked on Twins broadcasts for several years, so it’s pretty much impossible to begrudge him for going back. It sure doesn’t do a whole lot to change the growing narrative about Rogers bizarrely getting tight with money on what should be a crown jewel property for them, though, does it? I mean, the broadcast and the club are obviously independent things, but if they’re not fighting harder to keep guys like Morris and Dirk Hayhurst when the States come a-calling, you can’t help but wonder what that says about the resources available to other baseball-related areas, like… uh… the team itself — especially in light of the fact that the club has done nothing this winter.

Granted, we don’t know what happened here and what the plans, if any, are for a replacement in the booth, or someone to take Wilner’s duties if he slides over into Morris’s chair. I should probably also grant that if the Jays were under some kind of asinine new budget crunch, I’m not sure that doing nothing would be indicative of that — surely there are ways that they could have moved some money around to free up cash to improve the club with, if that was the case — and, of course, the off-season isn’t over yet, and we’ve suspected all along that it would play out exactly as we’re seeing, at least with respect to starting pitching. And this is still better, I think, than seeing them trade away more of their top young assets.

So the time for pitchforks and torches this is not. Yet.

But hoo boy, it’s going to be a real fun year for screeds if the corporate sphincter has tightened up on this club so quickly and preposterously after seeing what kind of dent the Jays can make in this market when ownership doesn’t resign fans to swallowing the same false hope that has been peddled for, literally, two decades. Hoo fucking boy.

Comments (235)

  1. Seems like I’m in the minority but was never a real fan of Morris’ TV work. Probably has to do with being spoiled by having Ashby in the past.

    • I miss Ashby so bad.

    • I thought that he was okay, though he likely benefitted from low expectations and from having the bar set real low by Buck and Tabby.

      • Say what you will about Buck Martinez, I like ‘em. Mistakes and homoerotic commentary aside, he represents the history of the franchise. He is to the TV broadcast what Jerry Howarth is to the Jays on the radio. And when you’re leaning on guys like Dirk and Davidi to anchor things in the real world, does it really matter if the old man doing play-by-play is pronouncing Encarnacion four different ways?

        • I’m with you Wayne. Don’t mind him that much.

          • Huge Buck fan. Tabby too. When I’m right liquored or stoned they crack me up super hard with their apparently random explosive wheezes of laughter.

            • as far as analysis goes….meh, I know what’s going on most of the time so I don’t need “great” analysis anyway. And its funny when they say the wrong thing.

  2. He looks like Zach Morris’ Dad in that pic.

    I didn’t like him before, last year I realized I didn’t dislike him as much as i thought I would.

    Hard to say its a huge lost, but we’ll see who replaces him

  3. meh…..

    I enjoyed Morris more than Tabler, but I dont think the difference was significant enough for any fan or even the Jays organization to give 2 shits about. I was much more disapointed about Alan Ashby leaving town; he was great on the radio and on the tv broadcasts!

  4. Phew, I was worried someone might take Tabby’s job.

  5. That photo kills me every time.

    This isn’t his first fuckin rodeo!

  6. Do we actually know why Hayhurst left? Maybe Rogers just wasn’t happy with them, so they let them leave without a fuss? Maybe they need that money for a pitcher?

    I’d guess they move Wilner to Morris spot, and Ben Ennis to Wilner’s old spot.

  7. I wasn’t keen on Morris when he got the job, but I warmed up to him as the year progressed. The opposite happened with Hayhurst, who I thought turned into a weird contrarian by the end of the season, looking to court controversy because he had nothing left to say.

    • This mirrors my opinion. I wonder if we’d turn on Morris in time. But Buck and Tabler are so, so bad.

      I still think Hayhurst is a strong writer, but he did not benefit from doing immediate analysis.

      • Buck is just in the wrong gig… he would be fine as the colour guy, not play by play.

        There is no cure for Tabler.

    • Agreed. He offered some excellent insights and I looked forward to hearing what he had to say (in small doses)

      • He was also a super cool dude to have a beer with (saw him at Town Crier once after a game and chatted for a bit)

        • Greg Zaun is actually surprisingly cool. Was not a fan of Zaun’s till I had a few beers with the guy and now I like him. Everyone is missing something here though….Jamie Campbell is by far the worst. Remember when he was play by play? Those were dark times.

          • Those WERE dark times. Jesus.

            • Want to know who’s an absolute douche as well? Anthony Gose. Fuck him I hope he’s trade bait. Dude ruined my fucking ball.

              • Like I honestly want to go to a signing session to get some sweet Jays autographs and tell Anythony Gose to go fuck himself and that I am campaigning his hatred in Toronto. At least Scarborough.

  8. Of course this is due to Rogers tightening their budget…. Which puzzles me as a fan since last year their attendance rose and the interest in the team has climbed in recent years. But this is a public company after all right and they have to report earnings to share holders.. or some other such nonsensical excuse for accepting them being cheap, stingy bastards and not committed to truly winning.

    This signifies quite a lot to fans.

    • Doesn’t seem like a budget tightening thing. Morris just went back to Minnesota so don’t think anything can be taken from this in terms of budget for the jays payroll not even considering those are 2 completely different departments within Rogers.

  9. Should get a group of people to wear Verizon TShirts at the state of the union next week.
    Haha

  10. Yeah…I don’t really care who’s calling the games or what they pay them.

    I care about the rotation and who’s playing 2B. If there isn’t a significant upgrade at one of those positions…Houston…we have a problem. Roger that.

    • You don’t think that, if there were a pull back in terms of dollars invested in the broadcast/marketing/etc. — which we certainly can’t say that there has been, FYI — that it might not reflect a similar kind of thinking going on above the heads of baseball operations?

      Genuine question.

  11. Hope its not Wilner. I’d rather listen to nails on a blackboard than have that guy be the voice of summer. Fack

    • This! Wilner is the height of arrogance. Why would he even want to call games…from what i recall, april, may, june, & july games dont count. He’s an insufferable thin skinned asshole

      • Couldn’t have said it better Slappy. If Wilner does play by play in Morris old spot, I’ll tune in to the other teams radio broadcast. Mike Wilner is an insufferable ass.

      • Why do you need to laughably pretend Wilner says games in certain months don’t count just to justify your feelings for him? Can’t find a logical reason?

        Awww, does he not tell you what you want to hear???

  12. Trading Syndergaard for Dickey was bad at the time. If we don’t have the monetary resources to support him with more major league talent while in our “competitive window”, it looks even worse. We’d have been much better off taking our lumps for another year or two before blossoming a Syndergaard/Sanchez/Stroman/Morrow/Hutchison rotation in 2015.

    • Proven talent for unproven talent…
      Who is to say that 3 of the 5 pitchers you just mentioned will ever throw pitch in the MLB?

      • History.

        • You’re trying to claim history is on your side when projecting a bunch of prospects to all hit their ceilings enough to be a great MLB rotation in a couple of years? Holy shit, man.

          You’re probably right that history says they’ll throw MLB pitches, but the other commenter’s sentiment is way closer to accurate than yours.

          • Dave Cameron did a huge thing on Fangraphs comparing the value of “proven” MLB players to “unproven” prospects. He came to the point that while past success has merit, it cannot guarantee future success, just as we saw with R.A. Dickey. There’s no guarantee Noah Syndergaard will amount to much (but as was touched on, the fact that he’s thought of this highly all but guarantees he’ll get plenty of chances), but there was also no guarantee R.A. Dickey could repeat his 2012. And he didn’t.

    • In a vacuum you’re right that the club would very likely have been better off not going in so hard in 2013, but I think that ignores some of the other pressures that may have been at play.

      It would have been quite pointless to keep guys like Bautista and Encarnacion around while waiting for prospects to come in, so they had to make a decision there. Going into a full-on Cubs-like rebuild, while maybe better long-term proposition, isn’t necessarily just a baseball decision. Add in the fact that they needed arms desperately — before last year’s trades they were looking at a rotation of Morrow, Happ, Romero, Alvarez, and… who? — and addressing both questions in rapid succession while making themselves legitimate contenders and keeping a load of low-minors prospects who’ll ideal come filtering through the system by the time the current core is leaving, made a shit-tonne of sense.

      No, it didn’t work out well in year one, and no, they haven’t signed a pitcher yet. But there’s no evidence yet that they don’t have financial resources, either. So let’s maybe relax a bit.

      • I never said the money wouldn’t be there this winter. I’m still waiting with my fingers crossed.

  13. Can’t argue with people wanting to be closer to home but It will be interesting to see if anyone else moves on. Then it could be more than a coincidence.

  14. This is the perfect time to implement the Beginner and Advanced feeds. Im not sure what they paid Morris but Im going to assume it was significant. Significant enough to fund a second broad cast with people of a newer school…its just a pipe dream though. Keep the normal beginner cast and then put on the newschool style on another channel.

    • It’s a great idea. Most tv’s have a Second audio program (SAP) button.

    • I’ve always hoped for a TV “ballpark sound feed.” The PA announcer and crowd noise; I can see what’s happening, thanks.

  15. Stoets,

    I understand the “narrative” about the Jays tightening the purse strings but I think its a stretch to relate not keeping Dirk or Morris to the above. Who knows .. Dirk could have another gig all lined up and not willing to share with you yet, and Morris probably doesn’t need the cash and would take the Minnesota job for nearly any $.

    … but it would still be nice if the Jays at least made 1 move of more than minor significance before Dioneer reports!

    • Agree with this guy. I don’t see how the change of broadcasters has any meaningful relationship to team payroll.

      What are the chances any of these makes a salary equal to even the league minimum for players?

    • Hence my being very clear about exactly that.

  16. Happy for Morris to leave. I’m all for thoughtful criticism from the booth from announcers but his tired criticisms got old:

    Criticizing Gibby: Coaches need to recognize that throwing builds arm strength! Leaving pitchers in longer will build their arm strength.
    On Rasmus: He pulls throws to home plate because he doesn’t take fielding practice. Back in my day, we took fielding practice. I can’t understand why the Jays don’t practice more often.
    On Pete Walker: He doesn’t teach his pitchers to throw inside to power hitters. How are you going to get them out if you don’t throw to the inner half of the plate?

    And on. Same stuff every game. Won’t miss him.

  17. Wilner: And you can forget about that one (Jays broadcasts), it’s GONE (down the toilet)!!

  18. I was really worried after all the things we were hearing out of Minnesota but in the end I too warmed up to Morris and it’s a shame we’re losing another amusing personality. It is his home town, maybe that’s all there is to it.

    Giving the job to Wilner I can live with, he can at least back up what he’s talking about for the most part but if Jeff Sammut slides over to Wilner’s job because of it…

  19. Great…can’t wait to hear the smug attitude and nasally voice of Wilner all summer… *puke*

  20. I’m surprised everyone hates Pat Tabler so much. He seems like a nice guy and is pleasant to listen to. He actually considers different ideas and points of view without being a dick. I even think he knows more about strategy than people give him credit for – he’s just not loud and angry about it when Gibbons does moronic things like bat JPA cleanup repeatedly.

    I think Buck’s the guy in the booth that doesn’t have a clue about strategy, which is shocking because he’s the one that managed in the bigs (!?!?!?!)

    I’d take a pleasant guy like Tabler over someone narrow-minded (Jack Morris) or someone arrogant and too often negative (Dirk Hayhurst) any day of the week. Those guys just make me angry. And listening to them repeatedly night in and night out would be brutal.

    • Tabler is treeeemendous

    • I think we are spoiled with and unappreciative of Buck and Tabler. Have listened to many other team’s broadcasts and most are not as good while I didn’t really think any are much better, even the Sox and Yanks. Morris was good but he did harp on the same things all the time which could get a little annoying after a while. Buck knows strategy pretty well and is a solid play by play guy to boot. It could be a lot worse.

    • Tabler is diet vanilla. The same diet vanilla you’ve had for twenty years. The best I can say about him is that he doesn’t anger me, which is….a compliment?

  21. Fuckin Rogers going cheap all over again. Fuckin Gibbons talking about a soft cap and fuckin AA doing his fuckin due diligence and nothing more. Fuck! I need some pills.

  22. Something that I don’t think is being mentioned enough is the 5000 per night increase in attendance last season from 2012. We’ve been told that as more fans pay to see the team there would be more money made available to the team and so far SFA. Yes, the off season is not over yet but still.

    • Unbelievable. Take a look at how much payroll has gone up since the 2012 season. They clearly made a commitment not to be cheap when they made the moves last year which they knew would result in several years of large salary commitments.

      • They also got an additional $26-million from MLB’s national TV contracts and were unable to spend a tonne that they’d been investing in the draft and on the international market (in 2010/11 they spent about $40M on both, and in 2012/13 it was about $18M, based on the limited numbers we have available).

        Doesn’t mean they haven’t still committed more than what they were, but it’s not quite as big as straight payroll comparisons make it look. There’s also the fact that the revenue sharing system changed, and cut them out, meaning that they needed to be more self-sustaining in terms of revenue anyway.

  23. Bring back Dan Schulman…

    I like Campbell and Zaun where they are…

    I wonder about sliding a guy like Jose Cruz into the colour job. He was decent enough in the pre-game spots he did last year. Or maybe a Carlos Delgado even?

    I just hope Sportsnet doesn’t touch Rance Mulliniks or Darren Fletcher again… egad.

  24. Hope it’s not Wilner. I really like the guy, but Jerry seems to hate him, and I don’t want to listen to massive awkwardness all summer.

    • This was my observation as well. Glad to know I am not the only one who felt this.

  25. Folks, calm the fuck down.

    Morris likely left to be closer to home. Garfoose likely left for a rumoured US national gig that he can’t disclose yet.

    Rogers can’t chain these guys to the booth. They don’t have control rights.

  26. It’s called par for the course….

    I also don’t buy that they’re going to put in natural grass… the costs being floated around for that seems way out of whack for those miserly fucks at Rogers.

  27. I wasn’t sad to hear Hayhurst was leaving but I’m going to miss Morris. He was such a grump as a player and it was refreshing to hear how insightful he was. As for Wilner I really like him zinging the uninformed and ignorant callers but I’m not sure how I could handle him with Jerry. I don’t know who they are going to get at this late stage–at least we still have Zhany

  28. Chris Zelkovich ( I believe he was a former writer for the Star – did the sports business beat) , feels they may bring over some of their Canadian talent from Sportsnet 360 to do the broadcasts.

    http://ca.sports.yahoo.com/blogs/eh-game/big-hole-left-blue-jays-radio-broadcasts-morris-185928099.html

  29. I blame Guy Laurence, the new Rogers CEO. You say I shouldn’t, but I do anyway.

    Rogers got another big present with Verizon pulling out and ugh I know that there shouldn’t be overlap between wireless and baseball ops, but management style and ethics are corporate-wide things.

    From yesterday’s FP: http://business.financialpost.com/2014/01/23/opening-telecom-market-to-foreign-investment-could-make-canada-a-branch-plant-edward-rogers-warns/?__lsa=e6ee-9f5d

  30. What’s a screed and – am I one?

    • A screed is something like a 2 x 4 straight-edge used to level cement…..or a long boring piece of writing.

  31. The message is clear. Tow the company line, say nothing but praises about the Jays or you’re gone.

    • You tow a car.
      You toe the line.

    • Even howarth was critical last year. So was zaun. Theyre still around. Dont think its that.

      • Last year was not well organized from an editorial point of view by sportsnet. It’s was really sloppy to have so many home team guys bitch about the team.

        I’m sure they had a chat with Jerry. The guy has some pull, but not that much.

    • Not sure how to measure that but it kinda makes sense.

      There is strategic room for a Bob McCown or an ex player pulpit like Zaun to drum up some drama, but at the end of the day you need your showroom team as a whole trying to sell the product.

      I think that why Wilner, Tabler and Buck has stuck around so long. When the team sucks Wilner goes into convenient sample size/great to be at the ballpark mode, and Buck and Tabby old timey baseball stories/respect for the other team mode.

      We may not want it, but from Rogers perspective I can see why they are happy with it.

      Which is why Rex Hudler is my choice. I’m sick of negativity on the broadcast, give me that californian motivational speak please.

      Wonderdog or bust!

    • They weren’t fired they left. They left for reasons that make it hard to speculate that Roger’s didn’t pony up the required money or that they weren’t happy working on the broadcasts.

  32. Meh. Dont listen to radio much anyways. Just hope its not the rogers is cutting team costs thing.

  33. Just don’t let it be Wilner, he’s a fucken douche bag.

  34. I know Tom & Jerry were/are not former players, but I think they’ll need that in the booth. Too bad JPA got a job, he’d be fun in the booth.

  35. Without having any clue as to what went on behind the scenes, it at least feels like a ‘hop off the bandwagon’ kinda thing for me. After the huge disappointment that was last season, I think he was all “Fuck this shit, I’m out.” Not that the Twins are any better, obviously, but between two potentially ‘bleh’ teams, Minnesota is at least where his home is.

  36. I work at a place with a lot of money floating around.

    I always find it amusing that we can spend millions on a new office or new line of business but then you have to fight to get a new mouse when yours dies. But amusing as it may be, it just is that way.

    I highly doubt that any budget tightening in the media/broadcast area has anything to do with budget for players.

  37. It certainly is going to be an interesting state of the franchise next week. As of now they’ve got absolutely nothing of note to show fans except a handful of 2nd base poo that AA and Beeston can jointly fling against the jumbotron in a live demonstration and see who sticks.

    While I strongly believe this team is probably a good 8-10 games better than last year if healthy, that’s probably not going to be enough. It’s going to be an interesting risk to take by standing pat – if they do of course.

    I am curious how they go from wanting to sign 2-3 starters back in October/November to basically being 50/50 on signing just one because they are at a “soft limit”. Surely they had to have some clue what a free agent was going to cost back in November and surely the team had it’s 2014 budget in place at that point so they could have some kind of blueprint to work from. How you go from that to where we are now is a mystery.

    Obviously where we are now could be where we were in November and the Jays just haven’t blown their wad yet.

    Being at a soft limit suggests there is still more there, but if you combine what we are seeing or not seeing in the case of FA signings, with some of the other things that are taking place and being said, you’ve really got to wonder.

    Anyway, continuing to keep my fingers crossed for a substantial move soon.

  38. Here’s what I’m looking forward to at next weeks State of the French Fries:
    !) AA telling us the tale of how the Jays signed the new FA SP
    2) finding out which ex-Jay player will replace Jack in the booth (Ernie?)
    3) moar free food ! (hopefully not just Pizza Nova slices)
    4) having a beer with Stoeten.

    • I think Ernie just signed up for a coaching position in the minors with another franchise.

  39. The amount of money that’s went into fc, they say it isn’t changing what they spend on the jays but I don’t know/. Jays have done nothing.

  40. Guys. Come on. This is not a budget thing.

    What might Morris have made last year? $150K? And its not like he’d be making much more in Minny. I’m sure if it was purely money, it would have been easy to keep him. he’s from Minnesota. Of course he wants to go back.

    Do we really think that the execs at Rogers are so micromanaging that they’re being consulted over something as insignificant (from a business perspective) as the analyst on SN?

    • This. 100% this. I think Jon Gruden was reported to make in the neighbourhood of $5 million for the flagship analyst spot on the crown-jewel nationally televised broadcast in the US of their #1 sport. I would be surprised if the ENTIRE Sportsnet broadcast talent roster makes as much combined as Brett Cecil…

    • Asked above, but here goes again: You don’t think that, if there were a pull back in terms of dollars invested in the broadcast/marketing/etc. — which we certainly can’t say that there has been, FYI — that it might not reflect a similar kind of thinking going on above the heads of baseball operations?

      Genuine question.

  41. So… what’s taking the Jays so long to sign Jimenez?

    I mean, when Tanaka was the holdup, we all understood. The pitchers themselves were probably unwilling to sign until after the Tanaka mess was all dealt with, out of hopes the teams that lost out would get desperate and throw money at them.

    Well Tanaka’s been signed. What are we waiting for? Their price to drop? Surely some team out there is going to be willing to meet 4/$60 for Jimenez or Santana, no? Can the Jays really risk waiting for their price to fall, when the price they’re asking for is already fairly reasonable (at least, within the context of the present off-season)?

    • We do know what the asking prices are, we’re just not ready to pay the price.

      “From a free agent standpoint with some of the remaining free agents that are out there, we have been given a price and we just don’t necessarily see the value right now.” – AA

      Thats whats taking so long.

    • No, some team is not. Look at what Garza got.

      Why are fans so eager to have Anthopoulos piss away millions of dollars just so they can get the negotiation with these guys over with. If he’s willing to outbid the interested parties, he’s willing to outbid the interested parties, doesn’t matter if it’s now at $60M or when the price comes down even more. I don’t get this.

  42. Too early to suggest this could be a budget thing. For all we know, Rogers may hire replacements who make the same or more.

    Plus how much would Hayhurst and Morris really make? 100 or 200 grand each?

  43. More airtime for Osmak, Lure Kate Bierness from TSN.

    They may not know much about ball but neither does Jamie Campbell yet I have to look at that gerbil every broadcast.

    Buck and Tabby are fine. They may be partailly fossilized and held together with formaldehyde and surgical screws but I find them entertaining. Even if they don’t know the new age math.

  44. I would not be opposed to Wilner joining Jerry. He’s an acquired taste. However, I love Wilner’s Jays talk after the game when he tries to talk fans of the ledge.

    I would love to see Stoeten & Drew do a Jays talk after the game podcast with profanity.

    I heard AA on the radio today saying he could sign free agents but he doesn’t like the price & it isn’t at value.

    It looks like the payroll parameters are back for the Jays.

    I still want to see some baseball. This cold weather drives me nuts.

    Sad to see Dirk Hayhurst leave. I enjoyed his radio show.

    • @Oakville. Getting tired of comments like “payroll parameters are back”. Really? Payroll will be at minimum 135 million this year and possibly in excess of 150 million. A couple of years ago payroll was less than 80 million. Can we just give this a rest?

      • LOL at this. The whole league has gotten richer, the Jays want to play with the big boys? Pay up. Talking about the Jays payroll from 3-4 years ago is irrelevant now.

        • They’ve basically doubled payroll from just 2 years ago. They will be in top 3rd of the league easily this year.

        • @Riggs.

          The Jays increase in payroll in 2013 is irrelevant to the changing landscape of the MLB.

          All teams have more money, and evn the Yankees went above 190 million for 2014.

          It was AA who went out last year to get these players.

          Did AA forget that Buerhle would cost 18 M this year?

          The Jays made a hole with their new strategy of “window to compete”

          • Buehrle’s contract has nothing to do with anything. Why do people keep bringing this up?

  45. Any chance Morris only came here for a year to sweet-talk the local media he may have pissed off in his playing days who have a Hall of Fame ballot? I mean, he was one vote away coming into this year, with what, 3-4 ballots (I assume, I only know about Elliot and Blair for sure) in the GTA.

    • If that was his plan, he’d have done better to look for a national gig, or a gig in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

  46. See this strikes me as weird. The jays have been losing quality non-roster personnel, in droves. Butters has one of the best defensive alignment set ups in the game, they lose him to Boston (they should have given him a chance as the manager, guy spent 11 years coaching for them).Dwayne Murphy takes joey bats and EE and changes their mechanics and they go from journeymen fringe major leaguers, to top 3 MVP candidates. They move him to first base from hitting coach and he retires the next season. Motolla gets rave reviews but leaves the club after one season in the bigs only to immediately be scooped up by the Rays.

    And then, separate from that, there’s the media side of things. I mean, the reason rogers owns the jays in the first place is too give quality content for their media branches. But they cannot keep these quality people like Jack Morris, Dirk Hayhurst or Alan Ashby here. It just seems bizarre

    putting the drunk back in jays fans

    • At least three of those guys took jobs closer to home. Murphy was mostly criticized, despite what he may or may not have done to EE and Bautista. I’m not too worried about it.

    • Because he coached here 11 years he should automatically get a shot as manager???

      Doesn’t work that way.

      It’s more that Bautista and Encarnacion remade themselves, FYI.

  47. Looks like the Cubans are hitting the market. How about 1 or 2 for Tom W?

    • 2 Cubans minimum please! I own a boat…we can do this.

      • Never get off the boat!

        • While I’m getting impatient waiting for AA to pull the trigger, the guy has balls. He is sticking to his process and waiting out the FAs.

          I don’t think he’s even remotely done, but he’s going to stick to his guns. If he called the market right and gets his price for Drew and Ubaldo, or a couple of Cubans, he’s a fucking genius.

          Stay on the boat!

          • Agreed. Looks like AA has read the market well. Its frustrating for us to follow as fans but GMs have a better knowledge of the market than those in the twitter world.

  48. Completely agree with the sentiment of the article…its hard not to wonder if allowing Hayhurst and Morris to bolt isn’t reflective of a more generalized and pervasive culture of cheapness on the part of Rogers towards the jays…yet they blow their wad on a minor league soccer team that most people don’t give a shit about?…I hope I’m wrong, but between this news and the whole 5 year policy, counting on Morrow to be a rotation anchor, 2b, etc., I am starting to get a bit of a bad feeling about the upcoming season…I hope I’m wrong….as for Morris’ replacement, ANYONE BUT FUCKING WILNER!!!!!!

    • I think everyone is drawing way too many generalized conclusions from this. I would bet that Morris just took the opportunity to be closer to home.

    • You know what, I wondered the the same thing, and posted as much in the last thread re: a restricted budget… But Zelkovich’s article on this pretty much put that to rest… at least as it relates to Morris and Hayhurst.

      Im going to wait out the rest of the offseason before I get too worked up about payroll parameters or whatnot.

    • The soccer team isn’t owned by Rogers. It’s a completely separate entity that has it’s own budget.

      HOWEVER, the wireless spectrum auction is happening now, and surely there’s some belt tightening required to pay for the ridiculous sums of money the 700 MHz spectrum will fetch.

      Maybe trickled down to a “no pay raises” type of policy at Rogers… Just spitballin’ but this could be a case of low ball offers to Dirk and Jack resulting in them walking.

      • Any Jays fan who read the Cathal Kelly article this morning could only be depressed.

        I’m sick of “value”. Value is great but they don’t hand out hardware for the most prudent contractual obligations.

        • They don’t, but insufferable blogosphere denizens will call you the smartest GM in baseball after sorting your payroll and then shift-clicking the win column and doing likewise.

          For the rest of us, we get to have Wilner remind us not to ask him how he’s doing (above such meaningless pleasantries) and live through the typical IT’S EARLY/WE’RE STILL IN IT/IF X WAS HEALTHY THEN…/LOOK WE HAVE PROSPECTS cycle. Always good for a multi-billion dollar monopoly owner to operate prudently in the only major pro sport with no cap. It gets me fired up thinking about how fiscally responsible this team is at a turning point time for contention. Look at the embarrassing contracts the Red Sox handed out last offseason. Can you say decline phase and not enough years of team control? Could L my Fing A off just thinking about it.

          Viva Value.

          • @radeburger

            +2.

            I really don’t understand the MLSE Rogers mindset.

            Rogers owns 50% of MLSE.

            MLSE goes out & spends 100 million on a soccer team with very expensive contracts.

            Rogers goes out & spends $5 billion to get TV rights away from TSN, which is the subsiduary of the other 50% co owner of MLSE.

            The huge new contract doesn’t help Rogers or Bell since both are co owners of the Leafs.

            At the time of these mega spending moves, Rogers says sports content is very valuable because in the digital age they can sell the content through multi media platforms.

            Why does Rogers believe it’s OK to overspend for TFC content, overspend for TV rights, yet be a penny pincher for the Jays.?

            Maybe Rogers didn’t get as much added revenue from the Jays in 2013 as they thought they would?

            Did the Buzz factor not create enough revenue to offset the increased payroll costs?

            Theother issue I expect AA to bring up is that the fall of the Canadian dollar to 90 cents from parity last year, means payroll costs have risen about 11% in canadian dollars.

            Attendance, canadian tv rights revenue have canadian dollar revenue.

            If we use 125 million USD as a benchmark from 2013, then the drop in the canadian dollar added 14 million in canadian dollar to payroll.

            That’s the cost of a josh johnson.

            Thus, the teamis being hit by the drop in the canadian dollar. No one else in the MLB cares about the canadian dollar.

          • Awww, and here I thought you weren’t an idiot, Radeberger.

            • @Stoeten.

              The drop in the CDN Dollar by about 10% does affect Jays payroll costs in CDN Dollars.

              Do the Jays buy currency options on payroll costs?

              It’s worth looking into .

              If they don’t then that’s an extra 10 million

              • I can’t imagine them not being hedged, though obviously it was an issue in the past, but that was a $0.62 dollar, not just 85, as they’re saying. Plus, in those years, who knows how much of that was just an excuse.

                It ought to be a legitimate concern for the club, but I’m not going to be quick to grant them it as an excuse. Of course, they don’t need any excuses as yet.

                • Rogers will hedge foreign currency expenses at the corporate level, but I highly doubt they will specifically hedge the Jays contract obligations. It’s not crazy to think that there is some degree of payroll pressure given the pretty rapid 10% drop in the dollar.

                  It probably helps getting MLB TV sharing money and probably a bunch of other revenues in US dollars but there’s a real chance that the screws are getting tightened to some degree.

        • Gord Ash, the Dodgers had a certain “value” on Tanaka. Everyone plays by internal notions of value. Come on.

      • @OK Blue Jays.

        I can’t believe Rogers would that cheap to not pay market value for the broadcasters.

        At most, the difference would be a few hundred thousands per year.

        • Hey oakville… It’s up to the players what currency they choose to get paid out in so actually, assuming most of them would choose USD (not sure who wouldn’t have), the Jays were making hay for years. I wouldn’t put it past them to use a downturn in the dollar to cry poor and of course being self-flagellating good little T.O. sports fans we’re immediately supposed to turn and scream about the Yankees being rich and accept whatever shit comes out of the team’s mouths. I don’t care if they sign Ubaldo Jiminez. The fact that Ricky Romero isn’t outperforming these expensive external options is way more of a red fucking flag IMO.

          If I were Alex I’d be reticent to pay the best of a bad lot too, but I’d also be asking myself why top prospects wither and die on the club, why I got wrangled out of my manager after wasting my breath about changing policies etc., why a middling catcher who was lucky to be on the roster got assurances he wouldn’t be traded, why that same middling catcher saw fit to speak out ‘on behalf of the whole team’ against ‘negative analysts’…

          As long as you’re walking into a stadium they acquired for a song and pouring beers down your gullet what the fuck do they care? I’m sure if they could change it into a massive viewing area for pay-per-view Rogers cable content they would(Duck Dynasty marathon anyone???). It’s almost an inconvenience to them to have to field a sports team, with it’s gaudy payrolls and lack of 100% slam-drunk ROI guarantees.

          I feel bad for AA in a way. He worked his whole life to be sitting in the GM chair and gets the carpet pulled out from under him after blowing his carefully cultivated prospect pool. It doesn’t take a fucking genius to figure out this team’s needs. It does probably take a genius to convince your fanbase that ‘value’ and ‘parameters’ and whateverthefuck else are your problem as a fan and not his. I wish he would shut up about that trash and just blow the team up if he feels like he can’t get it over the hump. I would trust him to do that. To dumpster dive a B- pitching free agent market and win the AL East? Not so much.

    • Lost me at the swallowing of fear-mongering about Morrow.

  49. Way too many red flags popping up with the Jays org right now. This team needs to make a move pretty damn quick.

  50. I’m not bitter. Yet.

  51. I love that photo so much. It’s so…perfect.

    The word play. The tacky shirt. The phone.

    It just works for me.

  52. First heard this on 590.

    From AA on Friday.

    We’ve had a lot of dialogue, there are still a lot of players out there,” he said. “We just haven’t been able to line up with respect to a price whether it’s trade or free agent costs. We do have the ability on some trade fronts to just say ‘yes.’ We do know what the asking prices are, we’re just not ready to pay the price.

    “From a free agent standpoint with some of the remaining free agents that are out there, we have been given a price and we just don’t necessarily see the value right now. We’re going to continue to have dialogue. We’re certainly not done yet. Hopefully we’ll be able to add a little bit more, but at the same time we’re not going to force anything.”

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/blue-jays-notebook-anthopoulos-not-done-yet/

    So the ability is there but the prices are too high and he’s not done yet.
    Is that about right or does somebody see it different?

  53. @Stoeten,

    I have a friend who lives in this area. He sent me some info about the Jays possibly moving their spring training facility to Pasco County. This area in northeast of Tampa. It’s not too far from Dunedin, so it wouldn’t upset Jays fans that live or vacation on the gulf coast of Florida

    http://wesleychapelcommunity.com/pasco-approve-wesley-chapel-baseball-complex/

  54. Too much turnover in this franchise. It destroys continuity.

    • Like the Rays?

      • ? Yes like the Rays, who have zero fans. Very difficult to keep people interested with different people showing up every year to try and explain all the Jays mistakes and shitty play haha.

        • K I was under the impression the guy was referring to how the team actually performs, but either way, you seriously think that’s why the rays have no fans? It’s kind of the other way around, because they have no fans they have so much turnover on their roster.

          • No I don’t think that’s why they have no fans, but I think I thought you meant it as the Rays fans stick with them through turnover. I don’t even know what the hell I meant to be honest.

  55. So really, like WTF is going on? A last place finish, no additions, a ridiculous 5 year rule, broadcast personnel jumping ship left right and centre. My question is, how tight are the strings on questions at the State of the Franchise? Like I expect people to question all of this stuff, but they probably won’t. So many people who comment on here have a lot of great things to say and arguments to be made. Would love to hear similar talk delivered directly to AA and that ugly fucking car salesman Beeston for everyone to see. Like can someone just tell them how fucking embarrassing the 5 year rule is? I wish I could go, I’d probably say nothing.

    • @Riggs.

      There are a few people on the blue jays message board that are planning to attend the state of the franchise & ask tough questions.

      I wonder if Rogers will allow any tough questions or will they make sure enough of the Rogers apologists & lackeys show up to ask puff piece questions to AA.?

      • Ooooh, Blue Jays messageboard people. Last year they took pre-screened questions, and I doubt that’s going to change, so I’m not seeing how that hilarious idea is going to work.

        • @Stoeten.

          That’s a smart move by Rogers. You don’t want angry fans showing up blasting AA or anyone else for that matter.

    • Guy, maybe save it until they actually don’t sign one of the remaining free agents.

  56. “our biggest need is One and perhaps 2 starting pitchers. We must address this issue”-so says AA shortly after the endof season.
    I believed him, but must admit, starting to lose faith. Not so much because of Tanaka, because I felt as Stoten said in his rant the other day, that they knew they weren’t going to sign him early on, so it was easy to play the PR game of saying “we are in on Tanaka” because the 20m was only payable upon signing which wasn’t going to happen and then they vote themselves out because of this bogus policy they bring up from time to time, but now because they seem to think they can have a different idea of “value” than others using whatever metrics they can to justify doing just enough to lose out, and may not get either UJ, or ES because of it.
    The prices, apparently , are currently around 4/55m or so. Well, if the Jays decide, in their little world that the “value” is 3/30m or 4/34m they can talk themselves out of this too and tell everyone they didn’t see “value” there as these guys fuck off to LAD or Az or some such place. AA cannot dictate the market-it’s the other way around. While a house I want may list for 400k, I may think it is only a “value” at 250k. I can offer the 250k and be turned down while some guy offers the 400 or close to it and walks off with the hosue. Doing this time after time will never get me a house but i can say I tried. Sometimes you gotta pay market . I know they don’t want to waste money but there is a business risk to this and i think they have to act or they will ruin a lot of built up goodwill IMO.
    Coming back to the fans with only minor changes after a 74 win season, no matter the rationale, will be seen by many as a slap in the face and I think w/b vvery foolish given the great strides in TV viewership and attendance last year. But, I am beginning to seriously wonder.

    • Agreed. Fuckin AA and all his fuckin excuses. That’s how the market is for free agency. You have to overspend, to various degrees, if you want to compete with the other teams. Telling the fans otherwise is just a fuckin slap in the face. Way to reward your fans for showing their support last year. Fuck you AA.

      • Will you people keep it together for like another 2 fucking weeks, Christ, the hysteria on this blog since Tanaka signed has gotten hilarious. Lose your mind if Ubaldo and Santana sign somewhere else, but I don’t see it happening. and until then, calm down. AA isn’t stupid, would you rather he had signed Santana for 6 years/100M back in November? If he had seriously moved on from these 2, he would have upgraded the rotation in SOME form by now.

        • Dont you forget about the fuckin five year policy. If they have no intentions of signing anyone then they should just come out and say so. But don’t tease the fans by saying that they need to upgrade at least two spots in the rotation and now are using all kinds of excuses for not getting anyone. Fuckin AA. You too Beeston.

          • Anyone who lumps AA in with Rogers on payroll stuff isn’t even half serious. If payroll has been scaled back, or the fear is that it will be, it’s not the GM’s fault he’s operating as he is. And it’s not the GM’s fault that it’s taking this long to negotiate down the free agents he’s eyeing.

            It’s bullshit that they hide behind the phony five-year policy (though that’s started to change a little this week), which can look like it’s just a way to defend stinginess or deflect all questions, but that hardly means AA and Rogers are in cahoots on deviously keeping payroll down. That’s preposterous.

            • @ Stoeten.

              I don’t blame AA.. He’s given a budget & he has to work with it.

              Rogers approving extra spending for TFC through MLSE yet not icreasing the budget for the Jays where the payoff could be bigger is confusing.

              I wonder how much say Rogers has in MLSE budgets?

      • @Payroll Parameters.

        I agree that AA’s recent interview could cause a backlash among fans.

        I know the payroll increased from 80 to 125 million which is a significant jump.

        However, the new baseball TV deal means every team has extra money to spend.

        Thus salaries for players goes up even though its not justified based on past performance.

        I am baffled by Rogers apparent change of heart.

        Up till November 2012, the Jays had a small market payroll & had a strategy of collecting draft picks, building the farm etc. They were lucky to be able to get better than anticipated production out of Bautista & Eddie.

        They made good trades & turned Morrow into a starter etc.

        Last November, they completely changed approach & made the biggest trade in franchise history.

        They got players like Johnson, Reyes, Buerhle who they would never get as free agents based on their 5 year policies & payroll limitations.

        The team underperformed in 2013, so now they are stuck.

        They gave up valuable prospects for Dickey.

        JPA & Romero fell apart.

        If I was AA , I would demand that Rogers give him the $$$ to get Ubaldo or Santana or else I would quit.

        If Rogers won’t let AA get the starting pitcher & decent 2B that he needs for 2014, then they are setting up AA to fail.

        The likeliest scenario based on the current roster is the Jays win 80-85 games.

        That’s not enough for a playoff spot.

        The lack of buzz will depress attendance & revenues, so Rogers will have an excuse to cut payroll in 2015.

        Will AA be in charge of the rebuild for 2015?

        I doubt it.

        Rogers is behaving in a stupid way.

        They own 50% of MLSE & let Lieweke spend 100 million on a soccer team, yet cut off AA at the knees when eh is trying to fix the team.

        Rogers would have been better off not doing the Marlins & especially Dicey trade.

        The Jays could sell youth for 2014 & 2015 with EE & Bautista.

        I am very annoyed by Rogers behavior.

        If they do sign Ubaldo, I will retract my comments.

        I renewed my flexpack tickets & was considering getting some extra VIP seats this year , so I put my money where my mouth is.

        • @Oakville

          “I would demand Rogers give the $$$ to sign Jimenez/Santana or I would quit”

          LMFAO

          • @chanse.

            AA can be the good corporate stool & make up stories about the mystical 5 year Rogers policy.

            AA can talk about value in 2014 after giving up 2 top prospects for Dickey.

            AA’s definition of value is different in 2014 vs 2013.

            AA can watch his team as currently constructed win 80-85 wins if the team’s health is OK.

            At some point,the fans will revolt & Rogers will dump AA & let Beeston retire.

            Would another franchise hire AA as GM?

      • This whackjob thinks it’s odd that teams have ‘payroll parameters’. He thought teams had no parameters, and just spent an unlimited amount of money. As for the 5 year policy, it’s good. Almost all of those deals more than 5 years do not end well. I bet the Angels wish they had such a policy now.

        • @JB

          This “whackjob ” thinks that other teams in the AL East are using the extra money from the TV contracts to build their teams.

          The Yankees were lucky to get the MLB to void Alex Rodriguez’s contract for 2014 so they could use the 25M saved to get Tanaka.

          AA was allowed to do the Marlins trade & clean out the cupboard for Dickey.

          The results are 74 wins.

          Of course every team has a “payroll arameter”.

          The Rays have an excellent player development system.

          Baltimore is better.

          The Yankees won 85 games with Wells & Overbay.

          We can all clap at Rogers intelligence in capping AA at 125-140M payroll.

          Will Rogers be happy with the fan backlash?

          I suppose I could dump my Jays tickets mid season & use the cash to go to TFC games.

          I repeat , it makes no sense to allow AA to spend money for 1 year, when the original plan was to have a 3 year window to compete.

      • @payroll parameters.

        AA could have been smarter to get the coaches & scouts from the Rays & rebuild the team using their development startgies.

    • @fukstik.

      I agree with your sentiment.

      The facts are that this team coming back status quo should win at least 80 games. It’s very unlikely that we would still have the same bad luck of injuries & underperformance,

      Jose Reyes should be able to play 10 games without going down in KC.etc.

      I can’t see casual fans being pumped for the season . Last year, the Jays got huge increases in season tickets & flex pack sales which increased attendance.

      I spoke the Jays ticket rep a few weeks ago. He said there was more of a wait & see attitude.

      If the Jays don’t gett a free agent pitcher, then they have to hope for a strong start to buid buzz.

      It is shocking that they would blow any momentum they built last year.

    • If you think that a house is only worth 250k, then you definitely should not pay 400k, particularly if you think you can find better value for your dollar. Even if that house is an improvement on what you have, tying your money up in a poor investment prevents you from using that capital elsewhere (where there might be a better return on equity/investment).

      • @JL,

        We aren’t talking about house prices. We are talking about flags flying forever

        Making the playoffs in 2014 would have an exponential value on the franchise.

        The Jays have been milking the 1992& 1993 World Series victories for 20 years.

        How many videos, tickets etc were sold based on the success of the franchise.?

        If the Jays made the playoffs in 2014, it would help ticket sales in 2015 & 2016, ad revenues

        I don’t understand why Rogers is cutting off AA in the middle of the “window to compete”

        At this point they would have been better off with Plan A which was using the top prospects & developing them to build the Jays.

        If Dickey wasn’t here, we would have a starting catcher & a pitcher on the way from Lansing.

        This new policy makes no sense.

    • @Fukstick

      +1.

      AA has a limited window to get the team to compete.

      AA can play hardball & refuse to sign the free agent pitcher he needs.

      He could rely on the depth they have in Romero, Redmond, Todd Richmond,Drabek etc.

      Perhaps, it all works out.

      Odds say no.

    • I did not once say that they knew they weren’t going to sign him all along. I do believe Sandlot when he says he’s heard that they were essentially told not to bother — Lott also suggested on Twitter that the conversation was very short.

      And, actually, this is all nonsense until someone else signs one of the remaining guys. There is nothing wrong with sticking to your valuation if it brings the price down and you get a guy for a better rate. It’s an issue if it’s used as an excuse, but there is no reason to say that yet.

      • @ Stoeten.

        It’s true that was never a definite no but the Tanaka to the Jays seemed unlikely.

  57. oakville, AA doesn’t think Rogers should pay whatever Jiminez wants. Only you think that. So I don’t think he’ll be resigning;

    • @JB.

      I don’t know what Jiminez wants, but AA said he knows the asking prices.

      Let’s say Ubaldo wants 4/60 but AA thinks he’s worth 4/50.

      Is it worth losing him for 10M over 4 years ?

      AA created a team with a short window to compete. 2013-2015.

      After that, most of the current roster will be in the decline phase.

      Saving 10M, but falling short of playoff contention is inexcusable.

      • +1 Oakville. BTW, that guy didn’t get the analogy with the houses thing , but would rather get a better deal with pork bellies, I guess, but that doesn’t help you get good houses. Anyway, I share alot of your sentiment-I just haven’t quite put my money where my mouth is , other than those 2Vegas bets I mentioned in another post. I have not bought my flexpack yet asn I am in no hurray on Jan 31 for single games as I said to myself I would wait and see. Well, I am still waiting , and as I said starting to get doubts that I’ll see much beyond the few cosmetic changes we have seen. I am still hopeful and, like you, will retract if they sign one of Uj or ES. Not that these guys are Tanaka like, but they would show a commitment to getting better and providing depth. His comment in October that the SP “will be addressed” still resonates in my ears so I will wait and allow 2 more weeks or so as I think those 2 sign , probably by e.o.m. I still believe he has to move a reliever or two as we are stuffed at that position and are at risk of losing one or two via wavrs unless we make a deal. I hope I am happier by Feb 1

      • Oakville, also inexcusable is wasting $15-million to sign a guy immediately, just to calm hysterical fans down, when it may be possible to wait him out and get down to a better price.

        And why is it a concern that the Jays won’t get a chance to match offers? Are the agents for these guys stupid? Obviously they’ll get the most money they can. If the Jays don’t budge until the asking price gets other teams interested, AA can then make an offer then, and it will probably be smaller than what people want him to be jumping at right now. The only worry is whether or not he’ll actually want to do it at the price at which it’s necessary to get a deal done.

        The fact that he’s waiting is good. It might allow them to add other pieces before all is said and done, if he can add a pitcher at a price that’s enough to leave budget room.

        • @ Stoeten.

          It makes sense that the agents will let everyone make a final offer, but we were spoiled last year with the team’s moves made by Xmas.

          I hope AA gets someone to sign so we can talk about it.

          From a practical perspective, the team has more starting options with Stroman, Redmond, Drabek, Hutch, Esmil Rogers etc. I hope for a Ricky Romero comeback. That would be amazing.

          I wonder if he is trying anything different this spring.

          Thanks Stoeten for all the extra content this offseason. It is very much appreciated.

          I am hoping to catch a Jays game in March when I am in Florida.

  58. Given that there are more teams that need SPs than there are SPs, and that we’re not seeing anyone jumping at UJ or ES, IMHO it seems logical that AA has a good grasp on the value of each and it’s less than they’re presently asking for. AA has said that it could take until the end of Feb or even Mar til they sign. These next two guesses are just that though: 1/ AA has already told both their agents to call him before they sign anywhere else. and 2/ Is it possible that the number of teams in on these guys is very small because of the comp picks attached?
    I’m happy to wait a while for a break because I suspect AA has done his homework on as many contingencies as possible.

    • @Karl Sagan,

      I hope you are right about AA getting the final chance to beat any offer .

      I am a bit surprised that there has been very little media ads about buying Jays tickets for 2014.

      Last year there were many ads encouraging fans to buy tickets.

      • He’s alluded to it a few times but (IIRC) not in connection with specific transaction. Last year of course there was all kinds more Jays buzz because of the new acquisitions. I’m sure their ad dept is hard at work on a 2014 campaign. It’s probably a little more difficult for them with no one new except for Dionner Navarro.

    • There aren’t really a lot of teams still looking to add to payroll, at this point. Tanaka was an exception for many clubs. I think Garza going to be Brewers shows that a lot of teams are probably about done.

      • http://www.rotoworld.com/headlines/mlb/417276/ubaldo-jimenez-asking-for-$17-20m-per-season

        Further down in the same article Santana is said to be looking for 4/60 MM

        Good point. In light of the Garza deal, (not to mention compensation picks attached) I would expect those prices to come down. They could in fact wait til ST to sign though, given that they have a pretty good idea as to who wants them. It’s fascinating to me though reading any of AA’s statements through this prism. (prices aren’t in line etc)

        • When Garza happened, Jeff Passan noted that as Santana’s ask and said that surely it will go down. I wrote at the time, if a team can’t justify going for Garza at 4/52 and not giving up a draft pick, how the hell can they justify giving up that much for Santana and one? Just not seeing Ervin getting that much. Saw someone the other day mention Ubaldo as a possible three-year guy, too. AA’s plan is working.

          • Agree on all of that including Ubaldo for 3. Here’s hoping the minors will start producing by then

          • Here’s an idea. Sign both Santana and Ublado to 3yr deals at AAV of $13M (if the market gets down to that point). That adds $26M to payroll next year. But if you trade Happ it takes it down to $20M increase. Overall payroll sits at around $155M.

            For 2014 you have Dickey / Buerhle / Morrow / Santana / Jimenez (in no particular order) and you give Hutch, Drabek, Stroman time to develop in AAA – or as call ups in case of emergency. Then in 2015 trade one away, get some payroll relief and slot it whoever emerges from the Hutch / Stroman / Drabek group.

            • Huge assumption you’ll be able to trade one and save payroll in a year, plus, you’re kind of hoping that more than one of those guys emerges (and Sanchez), so they can use those resources elsewhere.

      • Ublado, Santana, Morales, Cruz, Drew all still available. And it seems increasingly apparent that few teams are still looking to add much in the way of payroll.

        For Cruz and Morales, they would appear to be more realistic fits in the AL. That reduces their market even further.

        • Cruz would be a great platoon DH option, but I’m pretty sure there is zero chance he takes a pillow contract to be a platoon DH. Not a lot of money at the end of that tunnel. Morales doesn’t really seem realistic, because you’d then have to unload Lind, and finding a fit for him is as tough as finding one for Morales, and if a club is giving up something for Lind, why not just sign Kendrys?

  59. Im still holding out hope a trade involving Homer Bailey is still possible.

    Rasmus/Stroman or Rasmus/Santos. Is that anywhere near fuckin possible?

    • I would not do either of these trades

    • You would trade 6 years of a possible stud in Stroman PLUS atop notch CF, who, while not on my personal A list had a great year for a ONe and done pitcher? One who would most likely go as a FA if traded, THat to me is foolish. That would mean we gave up 7 contract years min, for one year of a SP-no way. Maybe I would consider Rasmus for Bailey even up as they are in their walk years but that’s it

      • great reply fukstik

      • Sorry boys thought the Jays were on a 3 year window to seriously compete??

        I don’t think were as far away as everyone else seems to think barring injuries.

        The price for Samardjiza reportedly Stroman and Sanchez.

        So yes I would give up 6 years of control of an unknown still in Stroman ( albeit highly touted or not) still unknown, and a jeckyl/hyde Rasmus for a QUALITY #2 in Bailey

    • Even Rasmus for Bailey is an overpay since it leaves a gaping hole in CF. And you want to throw in Stroman too? Madness.

  60. I know we need to address the SP situation, but the bench still leaves a lot to be desired. Jeff Baker seems like a perfect fit: destroys lefties and plays primarily 1B, 2B, 3B & corner OF, so is a Lind platoon, 2B insurance, and OF insurance. Won’t cost much, but likely won’t go for a minor league deal. I don’t think Drew is that much of an upgrade at 2B to justify the cost (including sending a pick to Boston), so why not add another turd to the shit stew brewing at 2B, and one who actually has value in a Lind platoon? A pitcher and this guy and I’m happy.

    Good reads on the subject:

    http://www.sportsnet.ca/baseball/mlb/teams/milwaukee-brewers/blue-jays-winter-begs-the-question-is-this-it/

    http://baseballhotcorner.com/could-a-trio-of-former-blue-jays-be-the-lefty-slayer-they-need/

    • Baker would be a perfect fit from a positional and hitting perspective. However, I was listening to Wilner on the radio yesterday and he said Baker, from all the reports he had received, was a total clubhouse cancer. Now take that as you will, I am not a huge believer in chemistry, especially if the team is winning, but I don’t discount it either.

    • Did that second link include Yuniesky Betancourt among the group of “left slayers” at the bottom of the article? Because…..

  61. I am starting a kick starter to buy the Jays.

    • Memo to Smasher:
      Next time please include Tom Hamilton, Jim Rosenhaus (Cleveland) , John Farrell, and that other asshole radio announcer from Chicago who hates Canada.

  62. Further to what a guy was posting a day or so ago here –

    http://jaysjournal.com/2014/01/24/report-yenier-bello-cleared-to-sign-blue-jays-interested-in-cuban-catcher-news-rumors/

    Any idea if this guy represents an upgrade over Thole or Kratz?

    • From Baseball America’s Ben Badler:

      Ben Badler ‏@BenBadler Jan 24
      No. Non-prospect. RT @RNewsX I know Y. Bello has a big arm & some pop. How is he behind the dish? Decent backup C prospect?

    • They have Navarro, Thole, Kratz, and Jimenez is coming. They’re probably ALL backups in an ideal world, but that’s not where the position is at anywhere, really. I think the Jays quite like Jimenez, which wouldn’t preclude them from Bello, I guess, I’m just not seeing this one. Not sure why Jays Journal is unaware of the existence of Jimenez.

      • He’s mentioned in the last line.

        • And yet they say the Jays have no current catcher of the future.

          • Yeah…saw that. The article mentions that the Jays are still looking for their “catcher of the future”. Seems odd that Jimenez gets such short shrift.
            I saw that A. Diaz, the Cuban middle infielder who’s MLB-eligible in February was linked to the Jays (merely as one of the teams that were giving him a look). Still a kid, though – and currently playing as a shortstop. Haven’t seen any decent scouting reports on him yet.

  63. Anthopolous patiently stares down the market…….

    Who blinks first?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzVFexZQurE

  64. What is this about

  65. Radar, come on down to Texas with us.

    We plan smoking out these bitches called the Rangers.

    Also, Smasher, I am looking at us to do real bullriding. We pulls straws to see who has to ride 1000 fukin pound bull and get his goddamned collarbone snapped like a twig. To me, there is nothing funnier in this world than laughing at someone else on their expense.

    Funk I’m an asshole.

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