Because I don’t want to do a full link dump right now, and have more than just a paragraph to say about some of all this, here are some assorted Friday thoughts…
The Pitching Market
Lots to go over here:
Mat Latos needed surgery on his knee, though it can’t have been too major, as the Reds are trying to say he’ll be throwing again in ten days. Even if he was down for longer, I’m not sure that would have caused them to enter the free agent fray that we’re all watching so intently.
The Mariners, however, are sniffing around. MLBTR has the details, where it’s suggested that Seattle wants to add a starter, and have “touched base” with both Santana and Jimenez, “but is surveying the market in order to find the best fit.”
Jayson Stark of ESPN.com polled 23 executives about the off-season, and they named the Jays the second least-improved team in the AL, behind the Orioles, but with a caveat:
But no one was a match for the Orioles and Blue Jays, who crushed the rest of this field in the voting. In fact, only the Tigers (with four votes) were within 10 of either one of them. But there’s so much certainty within the industry that the Blue Jays are a lock to add a starting pitcher, several of the votes they attracted were on an “until-they-sign-a-pitcher” basis. So they get an asterisk, if it brightens their spirits any.
His colleague Jim Bowden (Insider only) goes even father, I think. Making “bold” predictions for Spring Training, he writes that he thinks the Jays will sign one of either Santana or Jimenez. And furthermore, “once one of these guys signs with Toronto, the other will be stuck without a suitor and might have to wait for an injury before more offers come in.”
That’s a pretty grim assessment of the market for these guys… if you’re one of their agents.
(Bowden also has Stephen Drew going to the Mets for just $16-million over two years, according to his estimation. Uh… maybe do that too, AA.)
Alex Anthopoulos joined Mike Richards In The Morning on TSN Radio this morning, and while I’m not going to transcribe like I normally might (Friday, bro), there are certainly things worth highlighting…
“We still want to sign a starter, and we continue to have dialogue with the free agents.”
He also addressed the pitching situation in general:
“I know there’s probably some sentiment: Why don’t we just go and grossly overpay for some of these guys? And I think like you said, because some guys are coming back from injury, we have some young guys that are close. I think everyone felt ver good about the rotation going into last year, and, you know, now you’re minus what you expected of Josh Johnson, and we certainly don’t expect Brandon Morrow to win two games for us– I don’t think anyone would have thought that was going to be the case. And I think going into last year the one concern — and we talked about it before the season — was the depth behind our five and six.”
“We just didn’t have the depth to recover,” he added, and the big change is now they have ten or eleven starters.
Marcus Stroman “is ready for the big leagues right now,” he says. And he says he’s really excited about Erik Kratz, and had to catch himself after referring to Kratz and Navarro as a potentially sneaky-good tandem, noting that there’s still going to be a battle between him and Josh Thole. Hmmmm…
RIP Jim Fregosi
There has been a great, genuine outpouring on today over last night’s passing of Jim Fregosi, the baseball lifer and former manager of the Jays (and of the Phillies during the 1993 World Series, as well). He was obviously a tremendously respected and loved figure in the game and will be missed by many.
Image via the Zubes’ fantastic Valentine’s Day post of a year ago.