Toronto? You think I’m gonna waive my no-trade to play in Toronto??!?

The good feelings produced by the P.R. Easter egg placed among the coverage of the Jays’ State of the Franchise event sure didn’t last long, did they? Because it looks today as though the Jays were never as close to landing Ian Kinsler as they would have liked us to believe.

Ken Rosenthal quickly went about clarifying the report in a piece on the Jays’ off-season for Fox Sports:

The Kinsler talks, on the other hand, had not been previously reported. And while Davidi reported that the discussions were “scuttled” by Kinsler’s no-trade clause, the Rangers never actually asked Kinsler to approve a deal, major league sources said.

He goes on to say that it was actually Edwin Encarnacion — not Jose Bautista, as I speculated last night — who seemed to be the primary target for Texas, at least according to some of the conflicting information he has heard. The Jays, one source tells him, wouldn’t deal Encarnacion. He also hears that Sergio Santos and Ricky Romero also had their names come up in discussion, which obviously wouldn’t be nearly enough. Either way, he reports that the Jays decided it was “pointless” to continue with talks after learning they were on Kinsler’s no-trade list.

In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin tells a similar story, explaining in his latest that “it may be overstating the moment to suggest there had been a deal in place for Texas Rangers second baseman Ian Kinsler that “fell apart” in November due to a no-trade clause attached to his five-years, plus an option contract, signed prior to 2013. Preliminary discussions, yes. A deal that fell apart, no.”

He also says that it was Encarnacion who was involved, but suggests that at some point Kinsler did get the opportunity to balk at the idea — mostly, according to his report, because of the awful turf it would have meant playing on, and the toll it may take on his body, and, by extension, future paycheques.

So… there’s that. Can’t blame Davidi for running with it — and, in fact, if you look closely at his words in the original report at Sportsnet, they actually line up with today’s clarifications. Last night he wrote that “a potential deal was scuttled by the three-time all-star’s no-trade clause.” There were times, when tweeting and writing about it, that I considered taking a short cut and simply saying that Kinsler used his no-trade to block a deal, as you could be forgiven for thinking it implies, but couldn’t let myself do so, because that’s not precisely what Shi had written. It certainly could work to think that the “scuttling” was the Jays’ ultimate realization that the pursuit was “pointless” because of the no-trade. So… there’s also that.


Pete Puma

petepumaajGriffin also adds a note on A.J. Burnett at the end of his piece (Rosenthal doesn’t mention Burnett, but it would have taken way too many words to explain that better in my title), after we learned yesterday of his sudden interest in pitching somewhere other than Pittsburgh next year, when it has long been understood that it was going to be either retirement or the Pirates.

There are all kinds of reasons that I think this would be tremendously awesome, the least of which would be the explosions in the heads of so many local media members. And, in fact, a fan who was at last night’s event — gigantic grain of salt that this needs to be swallowed with – tweeted that he saw Anthopoulos on the concourse, said that he should sign A.J., to which the GM supposedly replied, “We really want to.”

I know, I know.

Anyway, there could be an advantage in that Burnett won’t be scared off by the city or the border crossing, having done it before, and perhaps by the lure of being here in his own spotlight, not Roy Halladay’s shadow. But not so fast, says Griffin:

It’s hard to go back in time. Remember, Burnett left the Jays to sign with the Yankees to be closer to his Maryland home. He still wants to pitch with the same familial proximity and he will be asking for more 2014 money in a one-year deal than the Jays will have to pay annually for either Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana. Or in fact for several other of the remaining free agents on the starting pitcher list still available. A.J. won’t happen.

It’s hard to argue with, really. Perhaps it’s just because I’m trying hard not to get my hopes up — seriously, it would be so good if they signed him — but I can’t see it happening in the slightest. In fact, I can’t see his sudden willingness to hear other offers as much more than a negotiating ploy to ratchet up some leverage with the one club he really wants to play for. But… I dunno… do it!

Comments (85)

  1. Blair was talking a lot about AJ this morning. Said he knows the Jays have talked with AJ’s representatives a few times, and that the Jays are among the teams he knows AJ would be willing to go to.

  2. Curses! I want AJ back!

  3. On Blair’s show today he said that there was mutual interest between the Jays and Burnett, and that they’ve spoken three times in the last two weeks. Not that it rules out that just being posturing by Burnett to get the best offer from Pittsburgh, but he was certainly more optimistic than Griffin.

    I will just say to Griffin’s piece that I’m gonna guess being paid the most money by the Yankees had more to do with his decision to go there than the proximity to Maryland. And I think that if the Jays offered Burnett the most again now, they’d have a good shot to land him. Given the other teams known to be involved – Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Tampa, and Philly – that doesn’t actually seem like such a hard thing to be.

    • Not only that but 1-2 years of AJ may be cheaper than 3-4 years of Santana or Jiminez. I don’t know what the relationship is between AA and AJ but it’s very likely they know each other and are on friendly terms.

  4. The big challenge with getting Burnett back, as I see it – he wants to be close to Maryland. The Orioles also want to sign a starter. Sure, the Jays could offer more money, but I think they’d have to offer significantly more to get him over Baltimore. Hopefully I’m wrong though.

    • I wouldn’t know how much more, but it may be worth it to keep him away from the O’s….killing 2 birds etc….

    • Don’t worry, AJ will fail the Orioles medical examination.

    • the problem is the O’s are also in dire need of help in DH and in the bullpen (and RF, LF and 2B to be honest). Historically, they are a team that doesn’t break the bank, so can they afford some combination of Rodney, Morales and Burnett? They came close to signing Balfour, so I’d say there’s quite a good chance they’re all over Rodney, and if I were them I’d place a DH ahead of an SP on the priority list (their rotation is relatively dependable if underwhelming as is). There is the Maryland thing though, and no draft pick compensation as with Morales.

  5. I don’t believe Burnett would transfer his good fortunes from Pittsburgh back to Toronto. I may not know everything about him, but his last couple of years with the Yankees has me thinking ‘no thanks’.

    • As in you would say “no thanks” or AJ would say “no thanks?” I would totally take him, but I could imagine him saying no thanks.

  6. Loathing and scuttling… what’s up with words these days, amirite?!

  7. I think what is so enticing about signing a mid-front line starter is that this team is so god damn close to being a contender. Throw in a good option at 2nd base and we can feel really good about this team going into the season (the same one favoured to win the World Series last spring).
    We don’t have JJ, Rajai, or the potential of Romero being useful, but we do have: a healthy Sergio Santos, more developed Brett Lawrie, Melky doesn’t have a blob growing growing on his back, Cletus in a contract year, Stroman, Sanchez, Drabek and Huchison waiting in the wings… All things that make us better.
    Now just get a real 2b, a starter and I am actually very excited about this season!

    • Not to mention no more JPA…

    • +1

    • +1.

      Although note that the Jays weren’t favored to win the world series by baseball analysts last year but were by the masses and consequently Vegas. Fangraphs projected a 83-79 record and with current roster will likely project something close to that again given what they projected individual player WARs

  8. Some sweet sweet No JPA, gimme some of that

    • The very thought makes me take a deep breath.
      No JPA can NOT be over estimated.

      • But, but , who am I going to sarcastically stand up and slow clap from 8 rows back of the dugout when he swings and misses on a strike 3 and does his walk of shame back to the bench this year?!

  9. So
    How long has Davidi been sitting on this info?
    If he doesn’t want to be misunderstood,why use the expression “near miss”?
    He does imply that the trade was farther along than it was.
    If it wasn’t close in the first place,why report on it at all,except to deflect way criticism that the Jays haven’t been doing anything this offseason?
    So long after the event took place is a curious time to report it.

    • I think he may just have the easiest job in the world.
      Ok Shi, on this date, say this.
      ok sounds good guys

      • Hafta say it doesn’t look real good for Shi’s journalistic impartiality.

      • That’s the part that concerns me.
        Problem: The fans are restless because of the inactivity.
        Answer:Show them that there has been activity but didn’t work out, It was beyond our control.
        AA: Shi, tell them that we tried to get Kinsler but he had a no trade to Toronto.That’ll improve our image.
        Shi : But that was months ago and how close was it?
        AA: Doesn’t matter,it was a near miss.

        AA calls about Kinsler.Told about the NT.Call ends.

        This is activity?

    • I don’t think you quite grasp how this stuff works.

      • Please enlighten us. I find the timing of the “leak” suspicious, myself.

        • Stoeten, you’ve seemed a little stand-offish towards criticizing Shi in this matter.
          Could you explain why? Because he is a colleague you highly respect? Because these are confidential matters? Why aren’t you torching him like you would somebody else?

      • Guess I don’t really grasp the intricacies of it all.
        Davidi reports of a non trade that had no hopes of going through,where players names may not have been exchanged because of a no trade to Toronto.
        This all happened months ago and never reported cause nothing happened. Yet,now is the time it gets “leaked out”.
        No less than two reputable sources say it wasn’t even close to going any farther.

        If it walks like a duck,quacks like a duck and looks like a duck.
        It’s a fucking duck.

        • Robot duck. Animated duck. Hologram duck. Guy in a duck costume. LSD derived hallucinatory duck.

          • You mean I could be wrong?
            Pshaw.Say it ain’t so.
            Maybe. but there’s a lot that stinks about this report.

      • Says the man who posted picture of Scott Boras pupating Jon Heyman.

        • You mean as if he were a pupa? Sounds kinda dirty.

          • I meant using as a puppet, but I wouldn’t dismiss a large element of kink in any of the relationships mentioned.

            This is the big leagues after all.

  10. FUCK AJ

    Dustin McGowan will be the Jays #4 starter this year.

  11. You know who might be better than I thought…. Bronson Arroyo.
    Granted I thought he was complete shite.

    • Arroyo can definitely put in more quality innings than Happ or Redmond, and although he’s turning 36, it’s interesting that he seems to have learned how to be more effective with diminishing stuff.

      But let’s be clear that he only looks good in comparison to what the Jays already have, which is the 29th ranked rotation in all of baseball. Replacing Redmond/Happ with Arroyo wouldn’t catapult our rotation into the top 5 – it would most likely put it in 27th.

  12. Would anyone trade Hutchison for Nick Franklin?

    • I’d drive Hutch to Seattle to ensure he makes it there

      • I could see hutchison ending up like a yan gomes.
        too many people on the roster similar to him, so you have to trade away someone, and they end up being the guy who’s the difference maker.

        • Franklin is a top prospect with 100 mlb games under his belt at 22. In roughly 400 AB’s his .686 OPS is pretty decent given his age and his defensive value.

          He’s cheap, has 5 more years of control and is expected to blossom a very good every day 2B.

    • ugh… I don’t know. I really like Drew and he seems to have real potential as a middle of the rotation arm. It sucks to give up young, controllable pitching, but…..we really could use a 2B that is cheap, controllable and not terrible at hitting.

    • I wouldn’t.

      • Really?

        As early as last year, Franklin was a top 50 rated prospect, and he did pretty decent in his first year in the majors at 21/22. not to mention that the jays have no other position players near ready to move up and be an every day player.

        • So you’re looking at acquiring a potentially good everyday 2b for a potentially good back of the rotation starter…. I don’t think it’s a clear cut decision. Both are valuable assets.

        • Small Samples and all that, but Hutch was fucking nails before he went down, you may recall.

          • Not to mention he was ok in the AFL too.

          • maybe it’s my imagination, but I remember basically fastballs, sittin 94 ish, with lots of late movement.

            • it’s your imagination. he was pretty fastball heavy (75+%) and averaged 91.4mph. in my memory, when he commanded the fastball he was solid, but his secondary pitches looked like they needed work in order for him to survive on days when his command isn’t there. I like him, but he’s no saviour.

      • i wouldn’t, either.

        franklin is a gawdawful defender… and he k’d in more than 27% of his ABs last year. pass.

  13. I like the fact that the jays atleast don’t trust goins to start at 2B.

    but I dont mind the fact that we didn’t last kinsler.

    • But they do trust Goins to start at 2B whether they inquired about Kinsler or not. Lots of other 2B options were out there they didn’t pull the trigger on and it looks very likely they are trusting GOins with the starting job at this point

  14. I don’t think my brain could handle an AJ and a JA in the same lineup

  15. AJ would be a great sign. He’s better than the options available. He wouldnt be a burden to the club for 3 to 5 years like I think Santana and Jiminez would be. He would allow the Jays to keep Hutch, Drabek , and Stroman in the minors for proper seasoning. They need these young guys to step up soon and Burnett would be a perfect stop gap till then and also contribute on the field.

  16. If this was a few seasons ago you probably could have tricked Kinsler into coming here by giving him the T-bird hat, looks awfully similar to the one he’s got in the picture. Give him the hat, ask if he wants to play for this team, he puts it on and you yell no take backs. Pretty sure that’s how trades get done.

  17. Does anyone remember the boos that got served to AJ Burnett in many of his returns to Toronto? Could weigh into his decision making.. just sayin.

  18. SANCHEZ!

  19. I seem to recall a lot of buzz at the beginning of the off-season that Burnett and the O’s had mutual interest as well. Is that completely dead? Sounds like another one of those worst-case things for the Jays a la Tanaka…

    • Tanaka to Yanks may have been good for the Jays chances to land the other FA SP. If they didnt get Tanaka they would have be in on Santana Jiminez and Drew – although maybe they still are and maybe the Jays dont sign anyone anyway. If they do sign guys Tanaka to Yanks may have been best case for the Jays.

  20. I think Burnett being out there is a little more leverage for AA when dealing with Jimenez and Santana because he can point to Burnett and even Arroyo who he both mentioned by name last night as alternative options. Even if they’re not serious about Burnett and Arroyo (please no Arroyo!) there’s no reason for anyone in the organization to throw cold water on reports they’re in on them.

    Seriously the longer this goes the more likely Jimenez and maybe even Santana are to sign a Kyle Lohse type deal (who AA also mentioned last night) for pennies on the dollar.

    • Does any of this speculated media posturing mean anything at the end of the day? They are negotiating terms for money, at the end of the day either the Jays offer the most moeny to the player and sign him or they don’t regardless what rumours are floating out there.

  21. You mean Rogers employees are less than truthful in their reporting? I’m shocked. I guess that darn Conflict of Interest thing keeps getting in the way.

  22. I think Burnett will end up in Baltimore where he has a home in a rural area just outside of the city.

    Still he’d have a certain comfort level in Hog Town, as he pitched for players manager Gibby here before, was a teammate of Pete Walker, is good buddies with Halladay and even is on good terms with Hengten who was part of the group that went to get his signature on a contract in his first tour of duty in Toronto.

    Essentially you’d probably need to give him the Roger Clemens treatment that was given to Roger in his second go round with the Yankee’s, let him return home in between starts and not stay with the team. I’m sure that Dickey and Buerhle would ask for the same treatment, so I doubt the Jays would try this.

  23. Why AJ? He’s just be another on the long list of pitchers injured by the All Star break

  24. Put me in the Ubaldo camp. Sure, Burnett pitching to the same levels as 2012 and 2013 would be great, but anecdotally, I can think of several players contemplating retirement who come back with subpar performances (e.g. Oliver this past year) – maybe their heart isn’t quite into it? Granted there are exceptions (e.g. Pettite, even Kuroda), but if Jimenez can be had on a 3-4 year deal, seems preferable to me. Regardless, I hope AA doesn’t trade away Sanchez or Stroman for a short-term fix.

  25. I hate AJ Burnett. The guy’s an asshole. I hope he never plays for Toronto again. Would much rather have the other two big names over this deuche.

  26. mirror is still working

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