Bob Elliott had it earlier in his piece for the Canadian Baseball Network (and presumably the Sun, though I haven’t come across that version), but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports also confirms that the union had signed off on the Jays’ payment deferral scheme, and stresses that “the participation of the union indicates just how close the Jays were to getting Santana. The union allows players to defer money only for a comparable benefit and entertains such tradeoffs only when contract negotiations are at an advanced stage.” He also adds that the Jays had — as they would have, in order to get union approval — restructured the contracts of players so as to give them additional money farther down the line. This is a team owned by Rogers. What a joke.
Over at the Toronto Star, Richard Griffin appropriately looks at the deferral scheme reports with as a grim sign from ownership — shit, during JaysTalk on Sunday, even Mike Wilner was full-on talking about the possibility of a massive mid-summer fire sale — and asks with exactly the kind of seriousness that’s warranted, “As for extending Colby Rasmus? Is it even possible?”
Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider Only) irked some Jays fans by entertaining such thoughts last week, insisting — before the season even started — that Alex Anthopoulos ”needs to accept his current reality and make the kind of veteran-for-prospect deals he once benefited from.” Uh… I think giving some time to see how this all plays out is probably a good plan first, no?
Mark Anderson of Baseball Prospectus writes about how often he plans on seeing Aaron Sanchez this season, while his colleague CJ Whitmann talks about Sanchez and others on this week’s podcast at Blue Jays Plus. Meanwhile, Keith Law saw Sanchez (and the rest of the Fisher Cats) late last week, and continues to have reservations. Writing about it at ESPN.com (Insider only), he tells us that in the start he saw Sanchez “walked two, one on a questionable ball/strike call, but was more ‘around the plate’ than filling up the zone. I’d call it average command, average control, but I can’t project more on either unless he gets looser and smoother at release.” Part of that is due to the problems with his delivery — which KLaw has noted in the past, “and it’s not much different now” — though on the positive side he lauds the fastball and the plus curve (while calling the changeup “between average and fringe-average”).
Interesting stuff at FanGraphs, as Matt Klaassen looks — oddly — at the Rays’ extension of Yunel Escobar through the prism of team chemistry, while Mike Petriello examines Melky Cabrera and the wonder of clean health.
Great stuff that nobody actually wants to think about — especially as long as he keeps hitting the ball into the ground (still no line drives through 27 plate appearances this year) — but at Bluebird Banter, Nick Ashbourne looks at the concept of Brett Lawrie’s glove as fool’s gold. Ugh.
Elsewhere at Bluebird Banter, jays182 looks at the problems we’ve seen so far with replay. Kill it, I say, in a total 180 degree turn that’s taken me less than a week to make. Arguments with managers and tension between fans and umpires — that’s iconic baseball stuff simply disappeared and replaced with stall tactics and waiting for umpires to make a call that’s often already plain to see by anyone watching the replays in-stadium or at home on TV. I like correct calls as much as the next guy, but baseball was fine — better than that, even — for 150 years without replay, and so far the con outweighs the pro. To me, at least.
In a notebook post for BlueJays.com, Gregor Chisholm talks to Sergio Santos about his increasing comfort with the changeup, and Brett Cecil, who is trying to conserve himself for a stretch run (be it here or elsewhere, one unfortunately must wonder).
Elsewhere at BlueJays.com, Gregor has a new inbox post up.
At Sportsnet, Arden Zwelling looks at the miraculous change in the state of #SignMelkyNow Cabrera’s health, while Shi Davidi looks at what we all hope is the end to the slow start for Edwin Encarnacion.(People need a reason to break out the parrot shirt again, Eddie!)
More from Sportsnet, as Shi Davidi looks at Jonathan Diaz’s journey, Ben Nicholson-Smith tells us that J.A. Happ will make a rehab start for Buffalo (meaning the Jays are soon going to have to figure out what the hell to do with him), and also talks to Roy Halladay, who says that his roots are with this Jays, and that Philadelphia was just “the chocolate cake at the end” of the meal that was his career.
Back to the Toronto Star for some great stuff from Kerry Gillespie on the causes of injury when it comes to players like Jose Reyes.
We all caught that Jeremy Jeffress was D’d FA, and Marcus Walden was called up in his place (rather than Chad Jenkins, who the club originally wanted to select, but couldn’t because he was optioned down, and needs to be there 10 days to get a recall unless it’s in the case of injury), right? Good then. MLBTR has some details.
Hey Rogers Centre: calibrate your radar gun.
No Wave returns to take on Gregg Zaun’s silly pilot analogy.
Our old friend the Tao Of Stieb looks at Adam Lind’s ever-changing place in Blue Jays history.
Lastly, typically great stuff from Drew over at Getting Blanked, as he looks at all the promise that Masahiro Tanaka displayed during the Jays’ home opener against the Yankees on Friday. Meanwhile, Jack Moore latest Primary Sources post is outstanding as usual, this week taking a look into the PED issue from a historical perspective.