Cue the insanity brigade. The Jays “missed out” on giving up a couple small pieces and paying about $2-million to replace a league minimum guy with an over-30 rental third baseman sporting an 88 wRC+ who has a herniated disc in his lower back that he’s playing through and received a cortisone shot for last month.

The Jays name has been attached to Chase Headley — formerly of the Padres, now of the Yankees — for a while now, but ultimately this one didn’t pan out. Those who are inclined to hissy fits surely will — or have already started to —  insist it’s either the money or some colossal fuck-up on the part of a bumbling GM that’s caused the team to BLOW ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY.

The sensible, on the other hand, might point to the fact that the Rogers Centre turf has a reputation for aggravating back injuries, the fact that Headley has been so awful, and the fact that the Jays’ ability to add to the payroll — to whatever extent they even have such an ability — is probably too limited to take such an expensive flyer. And that’s probably true even if the assets going the other way amount to nothing (the Yankees gave up once-hot journeyman Yangervis Solarte and High-A right-hander Rafael De Paula, and got $1-million for their troubles to boot!), and even if the flyer is on someone who has been much, much better in the past than this year.

If the Jays balked, I think it’s entirely understandable given the risk of Headley not working out. Shit, with Steve Tolleson going swimmingly against left-handers, Brett Lawrie getting back in a couple of weeks, and Jose Bautista potentially being able to move to third if an outfielder is acquired (or Nolan Reimold gets healthy and shows something), adding a guy like Headley would have been a nice luxury with a lot of potential if he gets healthy enough to start swinging the bat the way he’s shown before, but not really a necessity — certainly not on the level of a more expensive addition that we could feel more confident will actually give the club something at the plate.

The Yankees, on the other hand, are exactly the kind of place where you’d expect this type of player to land. They can afford to blow it. The Jays can’t.

Like everybody else I think there are many reasons why that shouldn’t be the reality under this ownership, given all the value the Jays’ cheap content provides them, but it is the reality. So please, spare us the frothing commentary about Alex Anthopoulos being asleep at the switch and maybe take a moment to contemplate the myriad reasons why it is what it is.

We all want the club to add good players, to save the farm, and show to that they’re willing to spend indiscriminately and unafraid that ownership will alter the deal and create major long-term ramifications for their doing so, and yes, adding a couple million to the 2014 payroll in order to give up so little and take a chance on a guy who put up 7.2 fucking WAR in 2012 really does seem to check off all of those boxes. But that’s simply not where this team is at, and that’s fine.

The Jays sure as fuck will give themselves a much better chance this year if they do something to address their needs, but that doesn’t mean they need to do every single thing that comes along or is rumoured. It’s dumb and frustrating as hell that it’s even believable that they’d be so severely limited in terms of budget that they might not have been able to make this one happen, but just because it’s believable doesn’t mean that’s necessarily what the case was. The Jays have had lots of scouts watching the Padres — possibly for Headley, possibly for Kennedy, or Denorfia, or Huston Street, or any number of players who could move (or already have) — but that doesn’t mean they wanted him at any cost.

Can they figure out something to make happen at a cost they can stomach? Let’s fucking hope so. Let’s fucking hope we’re not forced to watch this season go down the drain wondering where the incremental improvements that could have made it truly special were. Believe it or not, there is still plenty of reason to think it won’t go that way — that they won’t let it slip away without even having fucking tried — but in a couple of weeks that may not still be the case.

Comments (146)

  1. Bang on. Unfortunately this will do nothing to slow down the moron brigade’s calling for AA’s head.

    • im all for bashing Rogers and AA if they don’t come through on their promises.

      But I’m committed to waiting til the bitter end before I judge them

  2. I read that Head Chasely hates puppies, beer and Canada.

    No loss here.

  3. It would be a nice backup depth piece, but with a bad back and a lack of production this year, I am not upset in the slightest.

    He really wasn’t worth the risk, (especially given the carpeted cement field), unless it was the only option out there, which he isn’t.

    Carry on…

  4. With such a need for an upgrade at either 2nd or 3rd base, coupled with the lack of prospects that the Yankees sent the other way, it is frustrating that the Jays couldn’t have been in on this. I’m not saying they have to go after every rumour that floats their way, but despite the injury risk and salary (only for less than half a season though), I think this would have been a good pickup for the Jays.

  5. “Can they figure out something to make happen at a cost they can stomach? Let’s fucking hope so. Let’s fucking hope we’re not forced to watch this season go down the drain wondering where the incremental improvements that could have made it truly special were. Believe it or not, there is still plenty of reason to think it won’t go that way — that they won’t let it slip away without even having fucking tried — but in a couple of weeks that may not still be the case.”

    If they don’t do anything though…and slip away…I don’t even.

    If we’re looking at a rebuild and payroll slashing next year…this team is going to take a huge hit in attendance and ratings.

    • Not necessarily.

    • This fear of going all in (Miami and Dickey trades) and then having the rug pulled out, instead of upgrading the rug, is why Jays fans are more inclined to lose their shit over every missed opportunity, no matter how inconsequential the move might realistically be.

      • Why does everyone assume some rug has been pulled out from underneath AA? If a budget was set for 2013 and 2014 and he has reached that budget with that he has, it’s his fault. What he has right now isn’t enough. It’s unfortunate that EE, Lawrie, and Lind had to go down, but that doesn’t constitute some imaginary rug being pulled out from under AA.

    • Almost the entire team at the moment is unable to hit, with a month or more slump, and as long as that continues adding 1 or 2 pieces isn’t going to change anything.

  6. I feel that the anger/insanity of some Jays fans does stem from a severe hate-on of Rogers. The horrible feeling that they are pulling the corporate bullshit move with this team is what has a fair number of people frothing at the mouth at every conceivable ‘missed opportunity’.

    It is worse when set in relief to Labatt’s ownership leading up to the ’92-93 WS teams where the perception (correct or not) seemed to be that if somebody was killing the Jays statistically (i.e. Dave Stewart), the attitude was “fuck it, if we can’t beat ‘em, let’s sign/trade for him!!”. It’s not rational, but it is the general narrative and reference point for anyone who has been a Jays fan for 20+ years.

    This won’t change until Rogers ownership puts on their big boy pants and competes toe-to-toe with the Yankees…because they sure as fuck can do so.

    • Several hundred layoffs and a stock price down 14% from January, but still… yeah.


      • I saw that too. Who knows – maybe the tin foil-hatness of the new CEO stuff is having some effect on the Jays.

      • Well that points to a potentially greater fear of Jays fans…that not only is their owner clueless and a cheapskate, but they’re also completely incompetent!! Seriously, how can a large telecom in Canada, where the majority of their moves are rubber-stamped by the CRTC, lose a dime…especially when they own/operate a team that generates a ton of content for their other businesses?

        • If you can’t make money in a protected environment, where you don’t face real competition, and provide a service that most Canadians want/need, it raises questions.

          Jays aside, I’d love to see our bastard telecom industry have to finally compete for once.

          • To be accurate, Rogers is not losing money. They’re actually making money hand over fist, but that doesn’t mean that the stock price goes up if their revenues don’t meet the analyst’s expectations.

  7. Does nobody other than the Yankees need a 3B, at least so the Pads could have driven up the price a bit?

    • Could be that the Padres were operating without a GM and bungled it, could be just that the industry think Headley sucks.

      • doesn’t he also have a herniated disc in his back?

        • Got an injection for it, and has been playing much better since. Yanks take a flyer, and if it doesn’t work, they let him walk. Seems like a reasonable gamble.

          • I know there’s a lot more to it than this, but Headley has a .734 OPS in his “hot streak” since the injection, which is exactly the same OPS Tolleson has this season.

      • Could be there was no chance of the Padres making him a QO at the end of the year and decided to get something instead of nothing, I guess. Still seems like a very low-risk move for the Yankees that could make a difference for them, unfortunately.

        • So, Yankees will do the qualifying offer and end up with an added pick (which is worth more than the garbage they gave up)

          • Yanks can’t QO him. They just acquired him.

            I mean, they could pay him $15M next year, but they can’t get draft-pick compensation for him if he were to walk…

  8. The rumour is that San Diego wanted Nolin and a SS prospect from the Jays for Headley. Seems like a lot to give up. If the Jays could have dealt similar pieces that the Yankees gave up, sure.

    Ultimately, it would be nice if some help were on the way. The players proved this is a very good team when healthy. Now, the front office needs to do their part.

  9. Fuck the Yankees. If I survived JP hitting a three run bomb against us, I can survive headley getting a few base hits against us then hitting the D.L.

  10. Like I said in the last article, I can understand some gnashing of teeth. Stories about payroll shenanigans and hat passing, the Jays in the middle of a hideous stretch of baseball, a big hole at 3B, and a miserable, miserable loss last night to the fucking Massholes.

    It’s a perfect storm. In that context, I can understand why people would see Headley traded for nothing to the team we’re tied with in the standings and want to vent. Doesn’t make them bad fans or anything.

    • And it also plays into the big Jays ball punch of the last twenty years…the Yankees throwing everything at the wall to win while the Jays do whatever it is the Jays do. It’s more complex than that, but it’s been a consistent narrative.

      For a lot of the fanbase, that’s gonna strike a nerve.

      All this goes away if the Jays start winning again, or if they make a good trade themselves. But for today, I don’t see being a bit ticked as an irrational response.

    • +1. fans are upset & that’s normal . Plenty of time for the jays to recover.

  11. This (and by “this” I don’t just mean Headley, I mean the Jays’ situation in terms of adding players and payroll) is a Rogers issue, not an AA issue. I firmly believe that. Rogers does not give one flying f*ck about anything other than how their stock price is doing. Stock goes up, payroll flexibility increases. Price goes down, Dioner Navarro is the offseason linchpin and Chase Headley is too expensive. Headley was a gamble that *this* version of the Jays could easily handle, he’s UFA after the season so it’s a short-term risk, and a team running out Munenori Kawasaki, Dan Johnson, Anthony Gose, Juan Francisco and Steve Tolleson as regulars or semi-regulars for the next several weeks should be willing to consider all options as upgrades. Worst case scenario – Headley hits as badly as those other guys. Best case scenario – he gets hot (has been good lately) and freed from Petco and a perennial loser he has a few hot months.

    • It’s also an AA issue because he should have some kind of protection from such fluctuations built into his own budgets, no?

    • Were we not told that the budgetary room for 2013 was $120 million and they operated at $119.3 last year? This year they are at $137.7 which is a 14-15% increase in budget?

      I’m sorry (and I know I have no concrete basis for this) but I feel like AA was given a budget, he blew his load, and here we are passing around a donation jar to get Ervin Santana in the off-season.

      I like AA, but this is on AA I think.

      • Absolutely.
        He made a huge move with the Miami trade last year. It was a big gamble and in hindsight, seems to have failed. He compounded the risk by getting Dickey.
        There’s plenty of time left to save his ass but if the Jays miss the playoffs, he’s done and so is this squad.
        Sadly, I think they’ll have to package some nice pieces to get Reyes put of here. Given his big contract, he seems like the most likely candidate to be trades.

  12. two things,

    firstly, this probably doesn’t make the Yankees any better, Solarte was playing above himself, but headley is a now move. No guarantee the change of scenery will lead to him performing better right away.

    secondly, I didnt want headley, i don’t want a 3B. if we are going to pick up an infielder I would much prefer someone who can handle 2B so we can leave Lawrie at 3B.

    • alright Utley it is!

      • Agreed. Ackley or Franklin from the Mariners would be nice but they’ll want an MLB piece to compete for the WC. Probably don’t line up too well with the Jays unless a 3rd team gets involved.

  13. must win tonight IMO

  14. We need healthy bodies. Headley was not the answer.

    If you’re going to make a move that says you’re all in, you persuade Marlon Byrd to come here and pick up his option, or you try to get Beltre. A gimpy has-been isn’t going to stop this team’s biggest problem, which is important parts missing games due to injury.

    • No chance with Byrd and his $8 million player option next season.

      • I’d pick it up.

        Rogers should be able to say, “It’s just money.”

        Winning is the best product they can sell.

    • I’d take my chances with Headley in the lineup over Francisco or Tolleson. No point in comparing him to Beltre because unless AA can pull a rabbit out of his hat I don’t see that happening.

  15. For someone whose been consistently harping about “recency bias” seems a little odd to slam anyone bummed out about missing out on an all star 3B for peanuts.

    Yes, we know his first half of 2014 is poor. How were his last three years prior? (Hint: really, really good)


  17. As we have enough guys who can play 3B, Headley would be an unnecessary redundancy. 2B on the other hand has been a work in progress since 2011 after Aaron Hill was traded. I would rather see an effort to trade for a solid, controllable second baseman such as Nick Franklin or something to that effect.

    • Might be nice, but I can’t see how we’d match up with Seattle in a trade off the top of my head. I’d imagine they’d be asking a lot for a guy who, for all his talent, is just as much a lottery ticket for big league legitimacy this season as Headley.

      • And in any case, if we get Headley, he doesn’t become a redundancy, he CREATES a redundancy. Francisco becomes a redundancy, and that littler switch a roo is what we call an “upgrade”.

    • Lawrie can play 2B

  18. I wouldn’t trade for a relief pitcher or a 2nd baseman (as has also been rumored). I think they should still be looking for a quality starter (or two) and then move Hutchison and Stroman to the ‘pen. Both Stroman and Hutch are going to need to be scaled back at some point (maybe sooner than later for Hutchison), but would still be able to contribute. This improves the starting rotation, bullpen and saves the young arms from burning out. If you can only acquire 1 starter than you can alternate Stroman and Hutch through the end of the season. Getting Encarnacion, Lawrie and Lind back should be enough for the lineup to compete. If everyone is playing to their capabilities then they can survive with Kawasaki or Tolleson as their 2nd baseman.

  19. I was mildly irritated that te Jays couldn’t make the same deal, but I’m not sure Headley is the solution to the current problem for all the reasons listed in the article.

    The biggest problem the Jays have is that insanely dumb statue outside the dome. It makes me sick every time I see it. Ted Rogers didn’t know anything about baseball other than the fact the it was a tool that could potentially make money for his empire.

    My irrational hate for that statue ends up clouding my judgement when reading about the minor moves the Jays end up making. Any chance we can trade that statue??

    • Oh, I am SO with you. In front of most MLB stadiums, there’s a statue of a baseball legend. Stan Musial, Roberto Clemente, that sort. We’ve got a dude who ran an oligopoly and who has provided the Jays with, at best, thoroughly mediocre ownership. It’s a symbol of how tone deaf Rogers is.

      If there was a way to deface that statue and not end up arrested, I would have done it last year.

      • My GF and I ran into Nolan Reimold on Queen st. on Saturday..we told him that we were looking forward to seeing him back on the field and he said that it would be soon.

        He wasn’t noticeably limping fwiw, and said the injury was more a fluke than anything..

        Brief encounter so there’s that…

    • Gotta disagree with you here. I say go one step further, tear down the names on the level of excellence and put the top ten Rogers executives up there. That’s what the real fans want to see.

    • +1 to infinity…THIS is part of the hate-on for Rogers that I mentioned in my original post. I cannot stand that we have a statue of a non-ballplayer sitting out front of a baseball stadium (what, is Rogers ‘campus’ too small?).

      Combine that with a substandard stadium (though as a facility it is understandable for the purposes it was meant to serve when constructed), no craft beer, largely boring concessions (there really should be something like a shawarma stand (among other things) to reflect the multi-cultural aspect of the city…though I discovered over the weekend that Nationals Park beat the Jays to that particular punch) and being a Jays fan is becoming difficult from many perspectives.

      • Purge stop embarrassing Jen Tilly on TV ya fuckin bully :)

      • In reference to your remark about the beer, where in the hell do they sell Steam Whistle in that place? I’ve heard people say you can buy it, but it feels like a mission and a half to do so. Also, don’t tempt me with the idea of shwarma in that place, I’d easily pay the probable $13 it would cost for that thing

    • You should check the history before you slam poor old Ted.I’m no fan of Rogers , the corporation, but Ted stepped up when there was no one else.

      Rogers changed direction when they went from Nadir. who was a visionary looking at the big pisture., to Guy, who is more concerned with shareholder issues in the short term and can’t see past the next anuual meeting.Shouldn’t be a surprise given Laurence’s background.

      • He sure as hell doesn’t deserve a statue, even if you think he was the only guy to buy the Jays.

        • He didn’t ask for the statue. Ted Rogers was a good man.

          • He might have been. He still doesn’t deserve a statue at RC.

          • Ted was a cheap bastard who sweet talked his way to get his money.

            • My understanding was he leveraged his father’s life insurance policy to build Rogers.
              He was nice to me when i worked for him as a young nobody. Gave me his golds at the Gardens a couple of times so I say he was a good man.

        • Perhaps you’d prefer Interbew ( Interbev) as the owners?

          And no I don’t care for the statue being at the RC,if anything it belongs at Rogers headquarters.

          It’s pretty obvious,when you look at the events of the last 2 years, that there has been a dramatic shift in policies at Rogers in general and that, of course, includes the Jays.

          Such a shame at the short sightedness.A pity really.

    • At least it’s covered in pigeon shit

  20. Well, on the brighter side of things, being a Jays fan is easier than being a Padres fan. How can you be a fan of that franchise, they don’t even try and sell hope.

  21. Well Darwin Barney could be available. He kind of sounds like another Goins though.

  22. “Meh” should be in h1 tags. Needs more emphasis.

    • I’m not sure I understood what he was trying to say. Was he trying to say “meh?”

      • Are you saying “boo”, or “boo-urns?”

        • “Get me Stephen Spielberg, or his non-union Mexican equivalent!”

          • Maybe we should bring in Monty to manage the team. Certainly change some things for the better.

            The persistent sideburns issue, for one. As well, I would expect our home run rate to rise dramatically.


          • Sure thing, skip!

      • Saying it’s a non issue. Which it would be if it wasn’t just one more example of a franchise that has cheaper out to me and time again (with a few notable exceptions) for as long as this ownership group has taken over.

        It’s basically a microcosm of what’s wrong with Rogers ownership.

  23. Not that I’m crying over spilt milk, but if you don’t want to surrender prospects, don’t want to take on major salary, and don’t want to invest in low-cost fliers, what exactly does that that leave you with?

  24. Wasn’t it reported that Headley had a no-trade contract…and the Jays were one of the teams that were on his no-go list?
    So no big surprise there.
    Frankly, if you’re going to trade the best prospect away – trade them for a guy who’s going to help your club for some time….not for a year rental, injury-wracked player whose best days are far behind him.

    • So the first half of this season erases the last 3 years of a late 20′s all star?

      Come on.

      And for the record, Jays would absolutely not have traded away their top prospect to beat the Yankees package. 6th or 7th maybe?

      • he was fantastic a coupe of years ago, a disspointment last year, and not kinda terrible. He’s also playing injured. Not someone that screams lightning in a bottle here.

        Would he be an ok upgrade for the time being? yeah sure considering what we’re running out there, but he’d be a marginal upgrade at best. I sure would bank on him returning to positive regression simply because of that herniated disk. Those things hurt.

        • Only time will tell, of course.

          Agree to disagree, I think he’s a classic CoS guy, and I think he’s going to put up numbers that will give us all a lot of regret that we didn’t get him.

  25. I really think Reimold can be a stud, i hope he gets healthy and gets a shot.

  26. Well darwin barney was dfad so I think that says all you need to know about him as a 2B option

    • That being said he’d be an OK 2B platoon strictly playing against lefties if you really value defense

      Kind of redundant with what the jays already are working with

      • They have a good platoon 2B already that mashes lefties. Tolleson has been a great platoon this year.

    • he’s worse than Kawasaki and Tolleson, easily.

      only posted an above .300 OBP once in his career. I wouldnt touch him with a 10 foot pole

  27. Kinda fucked that the Padres basically gave up Headley for nothing. I’m pretty sure the Jays could have packaged, I dunno, Mickey Storey and Jonathan Diaz and just not asked for the million. Guess they really didn’t like him that much?

  28. AA seems to be shit scared to make a deal ever since his Miami deal…am getting tired of his “having dialogue” speech all of the time…how long have we been without a 2nd baseman??

    • Argh….it takes two people + negotiations to make a deal. How in hell have you determined that AA is shit scared when you physically been around zero [units of time]?

      • Well, SD was certainly willing to deal.

        Even if Headley bat DOES suck, he’s still playing fantastic defense. For a team that’s trotting out fucking Kawasaki at 3B, that alone is worth the $2 million

        • Uh, Kawasaki doesn’t play 3B.

          And you’re probably thinking of Tolleson. Tolleson (.734) has a better OPS than Headley.(.651) on the season. And despite his lengthy slump, Fat Juan has a better OPS than both of them.

          Definitely pass on Headley at the price that Bowden was claming and probably pass on just about any other offer the Jays would have made for him.

          • *claiming

            • And yes I’m aware that Mune is slotted for 3B tonight, just gonna be an one-time thing.

          • I know Kawasaki doesn’t play 3B. That’s why it’s so unsettling that Kawasaki is playing 3B. 2nd time ever.

            And come on. I don’t think I need to explain SSS. Yes, half a season is a meaningful SS to make some basic assessments. But when a 29 y/o with good/elite stats the past three years puts up a poor half season, it’s probably more accurate to go with the 3 years of data over the half season of data.

            Tolleson or Francisco over Headley? Come on. Come onnnnnnnn.

    • Barney is available lol

  29. Quite the line up tonight

    Mike Wilner ‏@Wilnerness590 ·1 hr
    Interesting #Bluejays lineup: Reyes6, Cabrera7, Bautista9, Navarro2, Rasmus0, Francisco3, Kawasaki5, Goins4, Gose8; HappvPeavy

    Francisco at first,Muni at 3rd.all those LH bats.

  30. AA is on PTS in 5 min.

    • Sweet heads up…even though I dont even like listening to AA talk all that much

    • Thx.

    • Yeah he’s sounding awfully like a guy who is expecting to stand pat at the deadline.

      “I’m actually expecting more activity in August then the next 10 days”

      “Of course we can make some moves for the sake of making moves if we grossly overpay”

      Yeah Alex, cause NY gave an arm and a leg for Headley

      • Looking at more action in August? Probably won’t be seeing much in October, then. By August this team might be fourth in the division at this rate.

      • AA moved the goal-posts on when the best time to acquire players is? Must have been a liquid lunch. Doesn’t sound like him at all.

  31. I just picture Gibbons looking at his roster, looking at his lineup card, looking back at the roster, and just sighing deeply and taking a slam from his flask of scotch and saying fuck it

  32. There is this to say about Sanchez: of the original big 3, Sanchez ended up being the first to make the majors.

  33. If Anthopuolos wants a bat go for Byrd. He’s been hitting this season. They need an outfielder next year with Melky and Colby gone so Anthopoulos should act.The Damn Yankees are taking a look at him. I don’t see how Beeston, Rogers and Anthopoulos can feed more BS about being able to make trades when Cashman is making trades left and right. Say what you want about the Bronx Bums they cut the check whereas Rogers and Company look at every penny and then hold back Anthopoulos.

    • I’m liking Reimold, and I think if he can stay healthy, that would basically give us a pretty full (and good) OF. 2B or 3B is where I think our lineup holes are. Well, C would be a nice upgrade, but that’s not going to happen.

  34. I’m just gonna say this:

    Chase Headley, FanGraphs WAR:

    2010 – 161 games (4.4 WAR)
    2011 – 113 games (2.3 WAR)
    2012 – 161 games (7.2 WAR)
    2013 – 141 games (3.5 WAR)

    And people aren’t willing to beat the measly package the Yanks got him for? Even though the guy plays gold glove defense, we have a big hole at infield, and need guys who can hit RHP?

    And about that horrible 77 games, he’s STILL got 1.6 WAR this season, on pace for around 3. You guys would rather keep Sean fucking Nolin (or any package that would beat Solarte+, which would be pretty easy). Not to mention he’s leaving a notorious pitchers park and would be coming to a big time hitters park. AND he’s going to a division rival in the middle of a pennant race.

    Fair enough, if that’s your opinion. But it’s an entirely valid opinion to shit on AA for this. One of two things happened:

    1) Rogers refused to take on $2 million in salary or
    2) AA had the go ahead for the cash, but didn’t think the risk/reward for Headley was worth it.

    Whichever one it is doesn’t matter too much. either one would deserve criticism.

    • I’m holding onto the optimistic view that he’s been given money to improve the team, a number, and using 2 – 3 mil of it on headley negates the larger target.
      I think we might be one stop shopping in arizona

      • Hopefully……but the way he sounded on PTS just now sounded an awfully lot like someone preparing us for nothing. Who knows though, maybe it’s all ninja stuff.

    • no one picked up santos … meh no creatve payroll flexibility…

      want Putz to go after zobrist …

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