But she’s got a new hat!

Jays Journal was, as far as my RSS is telling me, the first to spot the new all-red hat that the club will be wearing on Canada Day — and that has now been officially tweeted to the world by @BlueJays. It’s the club’s batting practice hat, only red, so… you can picture it. I’m sure it will be nice to no longer have the incongruous blue in the Blue Jays’ traditional Canada Day reds and will probably make the day of the folks out there who don’t find shrouding sports in fierce patriotism — especially slobbering on about the military — cringe-worthy and weird. I can make an exception on Canada Day, it’s just that the rest of the time I’m pretty full-on secular when it comes to this stuff — I’ll just go ahead and be proud to live in my country in private and without the creepy pep rallies, thanks — so I guess this isn’t for me.

Ben Badler of Baseball America tells us that the Jays have put the international bonus pool money they obtained from the Angels when they flipped Rule Five pickup Brian Moran to them back in December has actually been put to good use: they’ve signed Dominican right-hander Hansel Rodriguez for $330K. “Rodriguez, 16, is around 6-foot-2, 180 pounds with a fastball that sits in the low-90s and touches 95,” he tells us. “Rodriguez also throws an above-average curveball, which had made him one of the top arms available in Latin America after going unsigned last year on July 2.” Nice.

Michael Grange of Sportsnet looks at the sinking loonie and how it will impact pro sports in this country. Jays-related money quote from Paul Beeston: “It won’t affect our plans for this year, we’re already locked and loaded (with regard to payroll), but it will affect our bottom line, that’s for sure.”

Gideon Turk of Blue Jays Plus tweets that a source tells him the Jays requested the medicals on Ervin Santana late last week — Jon Heyman didn’t include the Jays among teams who were known to have done so in a piece at CBS Sports back on Friday, but didn’t say they didn’t, either. Turk adds that he thinks a report at ESPN.com from Buster Olney, which says “there is concern over the condition of Santana’s elbow, for a pitcher who relies heavily on his slider,” may be coming from a team trying to lower the price (or, I should add, scare others off), as he’s hearing that “his elbow is the best it’s ever been, and the UCL tear he had in 2009 (which was small) has healed itself. Medicals said to be ‘pristine’.” OK?

A “source” tells MLB Nation (whatever that is) that it’s “highly unlikely” A.J. Burnett returns to Pittsburgh, ranking them third on his list of likely destinations, behind Baltimore and Philadelphia. So I guess that means they don’t think much of his chances of coming here, whoever they are.

Sticking with the pitching market, Bob Nightengale tweets that there are three “finalists” in the running for Bronson Arroyo: the Dodgers, Orioles, and Diamondbacks. Makes sense.

Richard Griffin chatted with readers somewhere on a mobile site, mercifully behind the dumb paywall at the Toronto Star this afternoon.

Again at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith notes that the Jays have signed extensions with at least one of their players in each of the last four off-seasons, but he wonders if they’ll take a pass on doing so this year.

Elsewhere still at Sportsnet, Shi Davidi looks at the flawed draft pick compensation system, which is deflating the market for pitchers like Ubaldo and Ervin, and creating animosity all around.

Marcus Stroman tweeted excitedly today about having an hour-and-a-half voice memo of Roy Halladay on his phone. That’s probably more than Roy said to reporters, in total, over the last three years of his time here. Or… wait, did I say reporters? I meant teammates. (And I’m obviously joking people, relax.) [Correction: Halladay gave a lecture to Jays prospects, and Stroman must have recorded it. Doc didn't ramble into his answering machine for an eternity.]

theScore gives you all you need to know about the baseball aspirations of former Toronto Raptor, Tracy McGrady, which — by the way — are awesome.

Lastly, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle profiles Canadian MIT-educated, baseball analyst, and assistant GM of the Oakland A’s, Farhan Zaidi. Impressive stuff.

Comments (109)

  1. Nice Malibu Stacy reference.

    It brought me back to my younger days. See, I had an onion on my belt…..as was the style at the time. You couldn’t get any red onions because of the war…….

    Where was I?

  2. Stoeten told me he liked the hat.

    It is that NETech that makes it cool and comfortable to wear.

  3. I have no problem with Canada Day but when you start mixing my Canada Day chocolate with a bunch “salute the military” peanut butter I start to feel a little sick.
    Last season’s “display” was especially obnoxious.

    • I get what you’re saying here, but if you ever slag chocolate & peanut butter again I’ll bop you one.

    • I get the feeling like the increased ‘salute the military’ content at games is all part of the standardization of the ballpark experience around the league rather than a club decision. It’s just like the league provided digital content for stadiums and certain promotions.

      I missed the Canada Day game last year, but I was around for a bunch of the Saturday or Sunday salute to individual Canadian Forces vets. Not my cup of tea.

      • I had a ton of sunday games last year….all this salute the war guys days…..i posted on here once that i’d like to see a ‘salute to the peace activists’ day, or a ‘salute to the war protestor’ day, and i got my face ripped off by posters. But the fact remains that it’s out of place, & it’s a turn-off to ALOT of people. I’m already dreading the war shit thats going to be all over the place when we are in the playoffs, & the inevitable chants of USA USA

        • Shut the Fuck up and have some respect you little pussy! If I heard someone say what you did our loud I’d pound your scull while you bought candy floss.

          • One should respect men and women who are trained to do one thing really well? Kill? They might be necessary but we sure as hell don’t have to honour them.

          • I know. How about we pause to say the Lord’s Prayer after every out.

    • I completely agree. Public indoctrination is highly obnoxious.

    • Do you here yourself? Have some respect. Our military past and present allows you to watch the Jays. Maybe I’m taking this out of context…but if not buzz off

  4. Curses! I was hoping that linking to that Grange article in the last post comment section might earn me my first “crotch grab”… Guess I’ll need to be even quicker next time.

  5. I had read that piece on Zaidi this morning, it made me wonder if we can get a similar siren to use every time Gibby thinks of letting Lind bat against lefties.

  6. More like Gretel Rodriguez, amirite?!!

  7. I take anything Gideon Turk says with a grain of salt, there have been a few times where he has been outright wrong, and I cant think of a single time where his “source” was actually accurate.

  8. I imagine even a 1.5 hour long pocket dial from Halladay would be life-changing.

  9. I don’t like that hat. For one day I could deal but a big fat meh anything beyond.

    I’m not sure why they haven’t made an alternative hat with the new logo in blue with the white front.

    • I have a feeling they are holding that back until the excitement over their current cap dies down then use a white panel alternate to re-inject interest (and sales).

  10. Hard to feel sorry for these guys who turned down 14.1 million just because the draft pick compensation is hurting their market. I wonder if more of the ‘marginal’, really good players will accept the qualifying offer next year after seeing what has happened the last 2 offseasons.

    • I think thaysbwhat you’ll start to see from the type of marginal star whose value WOULD be hurt by having draft pick compensation.

    • I doubt it, we all said the same thing last year with Lohse, and more importantly, Bourne…I assume these players are all seeing dollar signs, and not the flaws in their own game.

      • Yeah it’s a reality check alright. I would think a good agent would want to keep his client up on what the market is doing vis a vis his talent level.

    • It’s not hard to feel sorry for them at all. It’s a bullshit instrument in the CBA that’s taking money from the people whose labour is the product being sold, and who deserve as much as a free market will give them.

      • I can see a fight over that in the next CBA.

      • How about the players pre arbitration making non negotiable 500k per year no matter how well they play? High picks that get millions in signing bonuses and may not even make the MLB while Trout makes 500k for one of the greatest seasons ever and the season after – imagine he gets hurt and never gets a big payday!

        Seems every time they have a new CBA there are things that don’t make sense and give too much or too little money to one group or another distorting the natural economic market. I’m not even close to an expert but know one who is that claims the MLB system violates labour laws.

        • ” I’m not even close to an expert but know one who is that claims the MLB system violates labour laws.”

          They would if there wasn’t a CBA. The players have agreed to all of this in that document.

        • @Mentoch @ Nick
          Look if you guys have ever had any dealings with negotiations and CBAs you’ll understand that the process is anything but perfect. Marvin Miller was the 1st guy to do it and transformed baseball. I was just pointing out that Fehr did a fairly decent job too .
          As for pre arbitration salaries, well it’s flawed too but without a CBA, trust me it would be WAY worse. And btw most professional sports have similar minimum salary structures.

          • One more thing. The MLBPA doesnt operate in a vacuum. The environment they operate in (the USA) and the management group they deal with are (to put it mildly) extremely unfriendly to unions.

      • You’re right, but MLB and the union will still have to find a way to protect the teams that will consistently end up losing their FA’s. What if teams were forced to offer 2 yrs at $28M to get the pick? I’ll bet Lohse would jump all over that…

      • They were all given the opportunity to make 14mil this year and turned it down. A lot of the names on the top 125 players list this is based on would not make the annual amount if the teams had a say in it now. That is hindsight I know. Maybe the agents hold some blame in their clients going for it. A player can change agents anytime but would the old agent get the commission from a multiyear contract into the future(question mark button is not working)

        • But is 30m for 3 years assuming jiminez and santana get that really that bad compared to 14m for one? That is 16 million dollars in the bank compared to no guarantee beyond 14m otherwise

    • In the old system it was primarily the relievers that got fucked over with the compensation, now it seems the pain is spread over a wider section of players. In some ways I kind of liked the old system better. A team like the Jays could really remake their farm system in a big way quickly. Unfortunately, teams like the Sox and Yanks just pillaged a lot of the high end talent when those guys dropped to them on signability concerns. Your seeing the results of that now, at least with the Red Sox system. The Yankees would have been in the same boat but they’ve spent far more of their prospects in trades than the Sox have over the last few years.

  11. Wonder if the fact that Santana’s agent is NOT Scott Boras has anything to do with the “medicals” the Jays requested along with his price and term (3 years) reportedly coming down.

  12. “It won’t affect our plans for this year, we’re already locked and loaded (with regard to payroll), but it will affect our bottom line, that’s for sure.”

    So is the payroll a set number or is it “adjustable” based on the right scenario? “locked and loaded” seems kinda like a set number to me, no?

    • I read it as those dollars were already locked in at the hedged price set in 2011 as oer the Annual Report therefore it wasn’t an issue. He is correct that the bottom line will be affected because going forward they are going to have to hedge their currency at a less favourable rate.

  13. 6 2 180 at 16. Touching 95… mmmmmmmm

  14. I imagine Roy Halladay’s voice memo went a little something like that scene from Swingers.


    (Naturally, in my fever dream, AJ Burnett is Vince Vaughan to Doc’s Jon Favreau. Make this happen!)

  15. Really don’t understand how for a team known for due dilligence / thoroughness that was broadcasting their search for SP the entire off season they are just now requesting medicals for Santana. Why wouldn’t they have looked at medicals from many SP they had interest in at the start of the off season as the analysis of those medicals could drastically alter their plans if they didn’t like some of them?

  16. You know, I hadn’t really considered the currency perspective on this.

    I mean, if the dollar drops from par, like it has been for the last few years, down to 90 cents, which isn’t all that far down, suddenly the Jays payroll jumps from, say, $130m Canadian, up to, say, $145m Canadian, without adding a single player. Isn’t $15m the price of a shiny new starter these days?

    I’m pretty sure the Jays are going to spend the money to land one of the desired trio this off-season, but a lower currency does not bode well in the future for the Jays payroll.

    • This has been discussed ad nauseum. It all depends if Rogers has enough of a vulnerability to exchange rate risk to hedge a large amount of money.

      If they have, then none of this matters. If they haven’t, it probably does. Realistically only someone at Rogers finance could tell us that in any detail, and not without violating confidentiality. In the meantime, I wouldn’t worry about it.

  17. Vets and flags I have no problem with. Just look at what’s happening with the Seahawks. Nothing wrong with a little blind pride every now and again.

  18. They most likely hedge current contracts but even hedging isn’t a perfect science. I work for RBC we have one of the largest hedging departments in the country and we know all made well aware that using future contracts etc isn’t as easy as you would hope or as predictable. Also they would be hedging any dollars they don’t have committed. And you have to think the other way also they take on all kinds of funds hedge at 88 cents on the dollar protecting against 83 cents, then BAM the dollar increases lets say because Keystone gets the go ahead and our commodity based currency takes a bump. Its not as if you go to the hedge man and say I want to lock my money in at this price right now for 3 years into the future. Unless you take the full value of all of these contracts for today and down the road and convert it all into american dollars.

  19. Anyone who has a problem with patriotism should he ashamed. We live in the best country in the world and our vets are to thank. So fuck you Dr Fever and Stoeten on days other than Canada day. Most of my family went to WW2 and if not them many like them…we’d be Germans. So fuck off

    • That’s kinda what I’m saying. Baseball is “Americas pastime”, and some of the commentary/imagery of the sport (especially the playoffs) is over the top. What’s wrong with Canadians showing support for people who have given up everything for us to have a beer and enjoy a game.

      • The whole deifying of the military thing is something you’re not supposed to speak out about, or is something there isn’t a great way to speak out about without coming off as anti-military, so I really don’t want to go there more than I already have, but do you think what you’re saying is really what’s happening with this stuff? Because I don’t. And I think the fact that there are all kinds of dangerous and important jobs that people also choose to do “for us” that don’t get similarly deified should maybe set off alarm bells, especially since those other examples aren’t nearly as politicized. If it really felt like it was about honouring WWII veterans and less about “don’t you dare say that the recent war this country was involved in was complete bullshit,” maybe I’d feel differently.

        • Yes. Well said.

        • You’re missing the point. I’m sure you realize the importance of separating your support for a government policy or decision and support for the people who set aside their personal politics and get on with it. I’m sure that 9 out of 10 service members would prefer not to deploy to some shit hole for 6-12 months, miss their families, and avoid gunfire. Many deploying folks have the same feelings that you do about recent deployments, but they signed up for it and have to take the bad with the good.

          There is room to support the people and not the policy decision…unless you’re advocating massive retirements based on personal politics every time one of these situations comes up.

          • to believe this you have to believe that wearing army colours, or having people who have served in attendance actually somehow honours them,

            Its actually hilarious how the US treats their veterans, but then some applause from baseball fans, or some special uniforms is supposed to make it all okay.

    • Maybe if IBM and Prescott Bush didn’t profit from funding both sides of the war we wouldn’t have lost so many young lives on all sides, whose lives were fodder for bigger imperial & capitalist agendas. This is chess it ain’t checkers. Stop being a pawn

    • Amen Tony,Amen.

    • Hahahahaha.

      Oh Tony, fuck right off. I said in the post I’m proud of the country and am happy to be that way in private. The issue is it being shoved down peoples’ throats and how it has absolutely zero to do with sports. Thanks for the laugh, though.

      You too, Radar, because of course you’re saying amen to this misguided nonsense.

      • I guess it would a bad time to bring up my wish that they’d drop national anthems from non-international ball games, eh?

      • Ahh Stoeten.
        We’ve been down this road before.It got ugly last time so I purposely kept my comments to a minimum.Not sure that the readership really wants to see that again but you brought it up.You know it’s a polarizing issue so why bring it up?Looking for an argument?The one day a week that the Jays use to honor the military before the game bothers you and makes you uncomfortable?It can’t surprise you that others have a different point of view.
        So the honoring of the military at a sporting event seems out of place. Not much different than using a baseball blog to promote the opposite.That seems out of place also.

    • While it may not be popular, I’m with you Tony. The more youthful among us on this blog seem somewhat biased due to the world’s more recent military experiences (wars over oil, for the wealthy, etc), and for good reason. BUT, when we honor the military at baseball games what we’re saying is Thank You for all that you do and have done. The world is not all flowers and roses and 10,000 years of human history (including multiple times in the past 100 years) have show us that things are can get very shitty, very quickly. The fact that these Canadians are willing to stand on that wall while most us would run and hide deserves respect. We all have great lives that includes getting to watch 162 Jays games a year. These great lives did not come easy and they did not come cheep.

      • ugh.. I for one am entirely over hearing about how I could enjoy nothing in my life without the paid soldiers who apparently are the only thing standing in the way of the absolute freedom I enjoy and being immediately conquered by evil-doing, freedom squashing foreigners.

        As if there are no other forces in the world outside of our military that have led to us being able to enjoy baseball. Which of those do we pay tribute to? I’m not saying let’s disrespect the military. They do their job and its a very tough one.. but give me a break and please stop patronizing the rest of us who are free to see this as something more than a black and white issue of being “with the military or against them”.

        • Fair enough Ernie but I don’t think that 5mins of support for 2 or 3 games a year constitutes a black and white argument of being for or against the military.

          Just to patronize you a little further, I wonder if you’d feel the same if you were one of the $2.5B people in the world that live without your basic freedoms. Or if it were your son/daughter that goes the next time some idiot decides to fuck around. Nah, you’re probably right. There are plenty of other people that help make your life easy. The Jays should probably consider giving 5mins to your mom, or that guy that cooked your eggs this morning.

    • This is wrong. I’m pretty sure Japanese people get to go to ballgames and drink beer. They can also go to Sumo events and drink saki. While still speaking Japanese.

      • Are you sure they aren’t German? Or did they have the Canadian military fighting for them too?

  20. What’s the story with Suk-min Yoon?
    Who the fuck is he and why are so many teams all over him?
    Haven’t heard anything about him.

    And does he have a twin who’s name is Suk-Yoo?

  21. Sorry to have to ask for help like this, but can Stoeten or anyone else tell me more about what Davidi is talking about when he says the union is complaining about club officials publicly discussing terms with free agents.

    What’s this mean or what is it in reference to?

    • The Union does not like clubs stating publicly that they are not in on player X. They definitely don’t like it if a team states why they are not in on X. The worry is that the publicity drives down the price of the players.

      • …but of course, it’s okay if agents use the media to propagate false rumors to drive up the price of their clients (just read Boras-written Jon Heyman columns).

        • Thanks. Were there specific examples this offseason of clubs openly breaking the rules? Yesterday I saw some AA comments to the effect of yes, losing a 2nd round pick hurts much less than a 1st rounder, but it still hurts and will be factored – is this offside?

  22. “Voice memo?”

  23. I’ve been banging the Stephen Drew drum as much as anyone this offseason, but I actually got to looking at his numbers recently (fangraphs has a nice article up about the batted ball profiles of the remaining FA hitters FYI) and I’ve come to the conclusion that it may not be that great a fit after all.

    - he’s about to turn 31 – probably solidly in a decline phase
    - his K% has risen steadily for the last 5 years, from a tidy 14.6% to a well below average 24.8% last season. pretty worrying, especially considering he’s lacking in the power dept.
    - adding to that point are his batted ball data, which seem to resemble what you might expect from a power hitter (lots of fly balls, grounders almost exclusively to the pull side). that combo just doesn’t seem to bode well for a guy whose flyballs are not going to leave the yard very often
    - he rates below average on the basepaths, an area that you might expect a middle infielder to add some value, and given his age, that’s probably not going to improve
    - he’s a lefty and has the usual significant platoon split (.204/.263/.340 vs LHP over the last 3 years), something the Jays currently don’t have an answer for
    - my biggest worry is his defense. he’s been a roughly average defensive shortstop as per UZR or DRS in recent years, but i’d be nervous about plugging him in at 2B and expecting good defense, especially if you consider that he’d be playing on turf full-time for the first time ever.

    sum it all up and i think there’s plenty of bust potential. his bat doesn’t seem trustworthy at all and his defense may slip in a substantial way given a position switch. add in the positional adjustment hit he would take as a 2B, lack of a platoon partner to cover his abysmal performance vs. lefties, iffy baserunning and the usual risks of bringing in a player beginning his decline phase, and even 1 WAR doesn’t seem to be a relative lock.

    i mean, i know the incumbent is hardly Robbie Alomar, but if there are two things Goins has going for him it’s that he’s good-to-excellent defensively and dirt cheap. I’d bet on Drew being better (obviously), but i’m not sure $10mill AAV better. i think i might prefer the trade route on this one.

  24. I should have wrote this in the other post but….

    I don’t want Bonifacio back regardless of how low the price goes. He was atrocious defensively and I don’t buy the bullshit about it being due to playing on turf. Turf is faster, so yes there’s an adjustment to be made regarding position depth, but this is something that you can adapt to quickly (ball is quicker, you need to play deeper) . One of the other differences is you get truer hops. You don’t get the odd crazy hop off a clump of uneven grass, or a strange roll off of a tapered line. The bounces are consistent and predictable. If anything, a good fielder should become that much better on turf. Alomar and Fernandez thrived on it and won golden gloves. They are obviously the best of what we have had, but in all the fielders we have had since, I have never heard or read about any of them saying that they have had struggles defensively because of the turf.

    The lack of forgiveness when you dive on it because it’s layered over concrete is definitely a thing. It contributing to injury or soreness is a thing. But this should not have had any effect on Bonifacios ability to field the ball.

    He is either a shitty infielder and KC was a SSS, (my guess) or the added speed of ground balls on turf was too much for him to handle. Either option doesn’t bode well for him as he ages.

    • + loads and loads to The Smasher. No way should we consider getting Bonifacio back here and if we are it will send entirely the wrong message to everyone. I don’t care why he played so badly. Could have been all sorts of reasons. Doesn’t matter. The guy should not be seen in a Jays uniform again.

      • Disagree, I’m on Team Boner

      • Just gonna throw this in to the mix because I really DETESTED that smirk on his face when he fucked up yet AGAIN…whether it was his billionth bunt attempt (and miss) or a bad defensive flub that cost run(s).

        The guy was injured twice in 2012 with a bad knee in Sep and thumb ligament surgery in May. I can’t stand him but maybe his 2013 problems were related.

        Discuss amongst yourselves.

    • Why wasn’t Toronto a SSS?

    • 100% agree. I heard Wilner going on about this a few days ago saying he’d be a great pickup..? I understand he’s a knowledgeable baseball guy but come the hell on that’s asinine.

  25. When they love you, and they will
    Tell em all theyll love in my shadow
    And if they try to slow you down
    Tell em all to go to hell


    Gotta be the Jays anthem no? The world was in awe of the 13 Jays, and have contempt for ’14 version.

  26. I kind of like the image of a senile Roy Halladay just calling random Blue Jays prospects and leaving hour-long voicemails where he rambles incoherently about his split-finger fastball

  27. “I can make an exception on Canada Day, it’s just that the rest of the time I’m pretty full-on secular when it comes to this stuff — I’ll just go ahead and be proud to live in my country in private and without the creepy pep rallies, thanks — so I guess this isn’t for me.”

    I thought I was the only one. Glad to know I’m not.

    • I think most of us our sick of the Maple leaf tattoed over partiotism. But I don’t think its a good idea to slag the military tributes, unless of course you are former military or have spent considerable time with the miltary and understand what they actually do.

  28. Check out the MLB Fan Cave application form (one week til deadline). Wouldn’t it be cool to have a Drunk Jays Fan in the cave this year?


  29. Check out the MLB Fan Cave application form (one week til deadline). Wouldn’t it be cool to have a Drunk Jays Fan in the cave this year?


  30. so, where´s the tipping point ? I understand the Jays wanna wait it out and save some scratch, but there´s a point where they´ll wait too long and walk away without the players they covet. How much longer ??

  31. Easy Smasher, last I checked there’s no award for most posts in a thread…

  32. Sorry, I got liquored last night.

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