Don’t be dissuaded by the title — some nonsense about the “Anti-Analytic Buehrle” — and check out the chat that Alex Anthopoulos had the other day with Peter Gammons… Peter Gammons… Peter Gammons… Peter Gammons… Gaaaaaaaa-mmons, Gaaaaaaa-mmons, Gaaaaaaa-mons (etc.). It’s up and burying the shit out of the lede over at Gammons Daily.
In it, somewhere near the bottom after a look at how the Jays have brought us to this heartening moment in the season, Alex Anthopoulos divulges like he does for no other — or at least no local reporter — explaining his thoughts on the forming trade market, and what he thinks makes the most sense for his club to do as they look to make reinforcements for a stretch run.
We are pretty much maxed out in terms of payroll,” he explains, “but more important, we cannot keep trading our young pitchers. We also have to be realistic about whom we can extend if we make a trade for him.”
The payroll stuff… well… obviously. It’s dumb, of course, but this is a club that had players ready to defer money in order to try to add Ervin Santana this spring before all of that fell apart. Sure, there have been rumours — or at least open wonderings — that the restrictions on payroll may loosen should a situation exactly like the one the club now finds itself in arise (especially if the TV and attendance numbers strongly rise). So, it’s possible that, like the acknowledgement that they don’t want to inflict another blow on their farm system, this may simply be posturing. It’s just, given what happened this winter, that’s a hard one to swallow.
Worse still, this make one wonder if the club might even be inclined to wait until the last possible moment to make a deal, rather than taking an extra 1/6th of a player’s salary by adding him in June instead of July. Maybe — hopefully? — they wouldn’t need to count their nickels and dimes so carefully, but this is the Jays we’re talking about. This is Rogers.
At least we’re not talking about being sellers, though, right???
In his next paragraph, Gammons zeroes in on the part about extensions:
The Blue Jays know that neither Price nor Samardzija will sign an extension with Toronto before hitting the free agent market at the end of the 2015 season. “We have been feeling out teams and doing background work,” Anthopoulos says. “I think we’d probably look at something where we have a pitcher for the rest of this season. That makes sense.”
I’m not sure it’s necessarily a foregone conclusion that neither Price nor Samardzija would extend here — it all depends on the price — but more importantly, so… we’re looking at a rental? I can live with that. It means a significantly lower cost, in terms of prospects, and leaves the club’s rotation options open for 2015. “Options open” is certainly the positive way to spin it, and I get going after a long-term piece, but there’s no need to try to force a move for a guy who fits every single one of the club’s needs. A rental sounds fine, and Gammons lists Justin Masterson, Francisco Liriano, and Jason Hammels as possibilities. Can we throw ol’ Pete Puma’s name into the mix there as well? Yes, I think we can.
That is, if we really think we can take Anthopoulos seriously on any of this. Which, of course, we kind of can’t.
Image, of course, via.