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Spring Training isn’t maybe in full swing just yet, but it’s pretty close. Many reporters have made the trip to Dunedin already, so it’s time for the annual tradition of every media outlet in town publishing a whole bunch pretty much the exact same story. And a bunch more that’s great, too! Baseball!

Mike Petriello of FanGraphs looks at the Jays’ second base problem, and offers all the solutions we’re aware of that almost certainly aren’t actually going to happen, unfortunately. Grim.

In the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin figures that the Orioles have ruined the Jays chances at Ervin Santana by setting the bar too high, and too close to the Matt Garza deal. Hard not to share the concern at this point.

Last week Griffin also penned an excellent tribute to former Jays manager, the late Jim Fregosi.

Regarding Santana, MLBTR looks at the latest on the last remaining big-ish name free agent pitcher, including the fact that several teams are now in on him, apparently. Shi Davidi of Sportsnet looks at the possibility of the Jays still landing him, while at Getting Blanked, Drew gives his skillset the benefit of the doubt… sort of.

At his North Of Border blog, Gregor Chisholm gives us some early impressions on camp, including the fact that the club really likes Erik Kratz — he’s worked with Dickey in the off-season and apparently the Jays are really looking for a reason to take him north, which sounds like a plan to me — and that J.A. Happ’s spot in the rotation seems pretty well set. Hmmm.

Speaking of Happ, he’s an easy case to spin if you don’t allow anybody to think too much about it, I think: great last spring, got hurt, fixed his arm angle, great in September. Lots of ways to think he could be alright, if you really want to. I dunno though. To that effect: Shi Davidi writes about his adjustments for Sportsnet. Ken Fidlin of the Sun looks at the adjustments as well, while John Lott of the Post talks about his knee (or at least that’s what his piece’s title does).

Jays Journal passes along word via the Houston Chronicle that the Astros are now talking with the Washington Nationals about finding a new spring facility in Florida. They were, of course, involved with the Jays until the deal with Palm Beach Gardens collapsed.

Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail goes full on into the silly “Jays needed to be better prepared in Spring Training” narrative.

In the National Post, John Lott tells us about Casey Janssen’s recent proposal — which he did while skydiving.

Dioner Navarro is ready to catch every day, so says he — and the Jays are banking on it. At least, according to Gregor at BlueJays.com, John Lott of the National Post, and Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun.

Fidlin and Lott, and presumably others I’ve failed to save in my RSS reader, tell us about Brandon Morrow’s added weight — muscle weight, that is. Probably in the best shape of his life, if you ask me. Gregor also takes a look at where Morrow is at.

In a notebook post at BlueJays.com, Gregor looks at Erik Kratz, who is trying to get comfortable with the knuckleball, as well as the issues the Jays have with players who are out of minor league options, and how good Kyle Drabek reportedly looked in his first session of the spring.

Davidi and Fidlin both tell us about Jose Reyes’s proclamation that his ankle is fine.

Shi also tells us about Marcus Stroman’s relaxing habit — chewing gum — while Fidlin looks at the youngster’s chances of making the rotation, and Lott contrasts Stroman with Tomo Ohka.

R.A. Dickey has been tabbed to take the ball for the Jays on Opening Day, according to… everyone. No link necessary says the lazy man trying to get a link dump done in time to go see if he can’t find the Canada hockey game on a TV somewhere at a bar in Alabama on a Wednesday afternoon.

Several more from the Sun’s Ken Fidlin, as he tells us that Dickey thinks the Jays will be better this year, gives us nine concerns for the 2014 Jays, looks at pitching depth, and tells us about Ryan Goins and his chances.

Optimism-ish alert! Nick Ashbourne of Bluebird Banter wonders if Edwin Encarnacion may yet have another gear to hit. Crazy.

In another BBB post, Nick looks at how Jose Reyes will not be cheated — he’s going down swinging.

Great stuff from Dirk Hayhurst, titled The Proletariat Is Right, regarding the class action lawsuit filed by former minor league players.

Batter’s Box takes a look at BA’s top 30 Jays prospects list.

Not Jays-related, but back to Drew at Getting Blanked, because he’s great, and a look at — a remembrance for, really — Stephen Strasburg.

Awesomeness from Dunedin, as always, can be found by way of the Flickr page that hosts all of John Lott’s excellent photos.

Lastly, Mop Up Duty looks into fan apathy this winter, which apparently they’re super into.

Comments (513)

  1. “We have some of the prospect capital to get something done in-season,” said Anthopoulos. “We have the payroll flexibility to do that as well. But we don’t want to force a deal, give someone a four or five-year deal if we don’t believe in it, just because you feel the need to add a starter. We’d like to, but it’s not just about adding a guy regardless of the cost. But in-season things can absolutely come up.”

    Got it. Like I wrote before, the front offfice is waiting to see what they really have in this team and wants to be flexible to adjust. After that turd the team layed last season, I understand it from the front office position.

    Also, what an awesome slap to tge face of jpa saying they believe in the team just not him. He will be a jay killer for the rest of his career for sure now

  2. We mada some tweaks and changes.
    Interedting comment from AA re garding tommy john surgeries from 2012…

  3. fangraphs article discussing Cashner and Samardzija as potential Scherzer-esque break out candidates in 2014.

    http://www.fangraphs.com/blogs/looking-for-the-next-max-scherzer/

    • I hate it when they do that. Baseball has become such a sport of speculation that the quiet time is during the fucking season where the games are actually played.

      Fuck it. Pete Rose for the HoF!

      • This is a great point Tom W. I think about this new age baseball experience all the time and honestly I don’t like it.

        All sports are becoming like that which stinks.

        • Timetable back to the basics:

          A: Baseballl

          B: Winning team

          C: Champs

          ….Anyway Thought it was that way

        • Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
          I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
          Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye
          God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

          They say Spain is pretty, though I’ve never been
          Well Daniel says it’s the best place that he’s ever seen
          Oh and he should know, he’s been there enough
          Lord I miss Daniel, oh I miss him so much

          Daniel my brother you are older than me
          Do you still feel the pain of the scars that won’t heal
          Your eyes have died, but you see more than I
          Daniel you’re a star in the face of the sky

          Daniel is traveling tonight on a plane
          I can see the red tail lights heading for Spain
          Oh and I can see Daniel waving goodbye
          God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes
          Oh God it looks like Daniel, must be the clouds in my eyes

  4. Go to sleep, boys. Spring season is around the corner. Stop garotting yourselves and everyone else. AA has months to assess whether to hold, fold, or trade. In the meantime, enjoy the game.

  5. when did grass in 2015 for sure and 2014 maybe become 2018 Jesus….F’ckn Beeston

    Way to waste Reyes talents on a f’ckn artificial turf..

  6. It could work out. Morrow could stay healthy, Dickey could re-discover his Cy Young winning form after being injured half of last season, Buehrle could continue being Buehrle, Happ could have a breakout season, and one or more of Hutchison, Stroman, or even Drabek/McGowan could surprise and turn in a breakout season. It’s not totally out there. (Romero coming back, on the other hand, would be totally out there.)

    And if it doesn’t work out, we blow the team up and rebuild with prospects, which AA seemed to be better at than collecting stars, so that’s not entirely bad either.

    • Rebuild with prospects?
      Sounds like a piece of cake given that all prospects pan out, right?
      Fuck man , we’ve been rebuilding and playing this fukin game for years. Rebuilds take at least 5-7 years and even then-see the Chicago Cubs?
      No, you go for it, if it doesn’t work out ( and so far it obviously has not) you tweak and trade and sign but do not trade any of the “good” prospect talent left as the whole idea is to have a couple of these guys push the veterans for jobs every year to promote sustainability.
      I don’t think the Jays ,even in a bad scenario, envsion a “blow up” and a return to consistent sub 20k crowds for 5-7 years because that is what it would be.
      They have a great core of talent and they need to supplement it with some appropriate pieces. I really don’t believe they are that far away, but they need to put in a better effort to get some SP

      • No, we “rebuild with prospects” and then get tired of waiting for them and trade them for veterans.

        If the Jays hadn’t made any of the trades they did last off-season, where would we be right now?

        We’d probably be looking at a rotation of Morrow/Happ/Stroman/Nolin/McGowan, with Syndergaard ready to come up mid-season and Sanchez and Nicolino pushing for spots. It’s a crappier rotation for this season, sure, but we’d have Morrow/Stroman/Syndergaard/Sanchez/random 5th starter for the following season.

        On offense we’d look almost exactly the same, except we’d have Escobar instead of Reyes (a downgrade, yes) and D’Arnaud instead of the guy we got to replace JPA, which would be a who the hell knows.

        It’s a team that would have lower hopes this season, but would be legitimate contenders as soon as 2015.

        On one hand, the Jays attendance figures would be lower and the team would have had less money to spend this off-season. On the other hand, our payroll would be smaller as well and we’d have more spending room.

        The what if game is fun, but ultimately irrelevant. We all thought the Jays were going to win big this past season and it blew up in our faces. They deserve another go, but if it doesn’t work, why keep together what isn’t working? I mean if you can do an established player for established player swap, aka McGriff+Fernandez for Alomar+Carter, then go for it, sure, but keeping the team mostly intact if this season fails is not an option. But you could get a boatload of quality prospects for the talent on the Jays roster.

        If the team fails this season, you have to do at least a partial blowup, and ship out a few of the older veterans for whatever you can get back.

      • It’s been nearly 10 years since the team had this total accumulation of talent, and it’s still better now than back then… except for the pitching which is a fucking mammoth trash heap.

        Sadly it seems Rogers won’t be giving the Jays the financial support they require to compete in the AL East… 2013-2015 is great and all but we’ll soon get the excuses about the dollar, or the ole reliable – “there aren’t any value players out there”

        I now firmly believe AA is a puppet for Rogers.

        • AA is a puppet of Beeston not Rogers.

          • Either way, so over AA and his bullshit lawyer speak. If the team succeeds then great if it doesn’t he’s gone the second the season is over. Hopefully Beeston along with him but I suspect Rogers loves his cheap miserly ways.

            • Nope, with Beeston the profile of the Jays has been raised so they are now relevant content.
              Most people forget that before Beeston,not all Jays games were even telecast.There wasn’t the market for them.
              Now they are even airing Bison’s AAA games on the radio.
              Content baby,cheap controlable content.
              Money in the bank.

              • I doubt Beeston has anything to do with that. He is the in-between guy…politician if you will.

              • What exactly has Beeston done? and I’m not being facetious here… He stopped giving away tickets, good move since that was devaluing the product. They broadcast all games, that’s a no brainer given all of the available sources of content Rogers has. And he rebranded. Doesn’t exactly take a genius to make these moves Radar.

                I will grant you he’s a million light years ahead of Godfrey but I think he’s failed… I thought he would push Rogers harder to spend… But he keeps trotting out “the policy” and the minute I hear that he loses me.

                • The guy is a bit of a yes man in my opinion. That’s an opinion based on purely what I have read and heard only by the way.

                • For fuck’s sakes Birdie, you’re frustrating.
                  That’s all you see?
                  Start off with the COO of MLB and interim president of the Jays.
                  That’s a clue. Follow that and it all falls into place.
                  If your serious and at the risk of boring the hell out of the rest of the readers, I’ll explain it,if you like.

              • Yup, pretty much. The way I see it the role of the President is to make the money… so long as the Jays are beneficial to the owners bottom line, be it through discounted content, direct revenue, increased asset valuation, etc. then Beeston’s job is perfectly safe.

  7. Anthony Gose and Sergio Santos for Nick Franklin, who says no?

  8. Anyone seeing Jose Bautista troll up twiiter? What the fuck is that?

  9. Anywaze cookin’ steaks on the best coast and thinking maybe it is ok to rock this shit rotation. Reason being brothers and fine sisters is….what fucking choice do we have? I don’t run this shit show nor do you. Tits are for kids and Stoeten so fuck it….let the games begin. Go Jays!!!!

  10. So I just noticed this “#FaceOfMLB” contest that Jose Bautista appears to be participating in.

    http://mlb.mlb.com/mlb/awards/y2014/faceofmlb/

    Basically, each of the 30 teams has a twitter representative, and on a given date, whoever gets the most retweets wins.

    Besides annoying the heck out of all your friends on twitter, I just don’t really understand this contest–isn’t it basically a contest between who plays in a bigger market? Just go through the results and the only real upsets market-size-wise so far have been D-Backs over Angels (not a big one since LA is mainly a Dodgers town), Reds over D-Backs (they did have Joey Votto), Rockies over Rangers (Tulo), and As over Cubs (I don’t have the slightest idea). Maybe Seattle over Philly is an upset too.

    That’s not a “FaceOfMLB” contest, that’s just a “who plays in the biggest market” contest.

  11. Oh…Stoeten, just curious….are you still in the deep south?

  12. Thinking about nothin’ so I thought it would be a good idea to help Rogers out with new sales pitch slogans.

    I will start with renaming the plastic dome as the ‘Rogers Value Center’

    Go……….

  13. So it seems to be that some of us commenters are thinking alike in regards to what AA may be trying to do.

    Not a great picture but a slimmer Melky heading into his contract year.

    http://twitpic.com/dw623x

    • It was mentioned on Connected last night that Cabrera feels he’s in the best shape of his career, very good news. He will have a good season.

      • Like JJ last year,Melky has alot on the line this year.
        The difference between a good year and bad year is obviously many millions and maybe more importantly,to show he doesn’t need the PED’s to produce.

        • I can’t remember which commentator said it, but they made the point that Melky managed to hit .280 with a tumor in his back and no legs. It will be very interesting to see what he’s got this year.

      • Not really, “the best shape of his career” is trotted out so often that saying it has lost all meaning… it’d be news if the regional broadcaster came out and said that Person X was in the worst shape of his career.

  14. @ Radar…I found this quote by Pinella and immediately thought of you…

    “Statistics are like bikinis. They show a lot, but never everything.”

    • Absolutely golden.
      Sums it up perfectly.

      People ( Stoeten ) think I’m anti stat.
      I’m not anti stat, just more of a James guy than a Tango guy.
      I find the philosophys different.

  15. Aaaaand for some reason I found myself looking up baseball quotes. I thought this one was a good one to share with my fellow DJFers at this time of need.

    “It breaks your heart. It is designed to break your heart. The game begins in the spring, when everything else begins again, and it blossoms in the summer, filling the afternoons and evenings, and then as soon as the chill rains come, it stops and leaves you to face the fall alone. You count on it, rely on it to buffer the passage of time, to keep the memory of sunshine and high skies alive, and then just when the days are all twilight, when you need it most, it stops.” – A. Bartlett Giamatti

  16. I’m sharpening my pitchfork now that Baltimore is going after Santana too.I guess it’s too late to cancel my flex pack.

    • since when did the orioles decide to become a big market team? wth is up with the east.

      • Washington has eaten up some of there market I am sure. Plus they saw a taste of ‘fan expectations’ being greater than zero therefore they are hoping to capitalize. These are facts not just my thoughts. I can say that now that Stoeten is being held captive in banjo country.

        • Just as I hit reply I thought of the political correct army coming out so I will go all out and save the trouble. Fuck off. Thanks in advance.

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