Archive for the ‘Aaron Cibia’ Category


Today in completely unsurprising news, Josh Johnson, hoping for the kind of payday he was unable to score after his disastrous 2013, is looking to pitch in a sliiiiiiiightly more favourable environment than the Rogers Centre.

But don’t take my word for it, take it from Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle:

Again: makes total sense. And at this point, really, I think it’s only barely a Jays-related news story, but still, it will be interesting to see how much he ultimately signs for. Given that he seems to be limiting his market here– beyond, y’know, the market-limiting numbers and injuries we watched him suffer through this season– it’s probably not going to hit the upper reaches of the $10- to $15-million that Johnson’s agent, Matt Sosnick, was suggesting his client would be in line for back in September.

I mean, 38-year-old Tim Hudson just signed a two-year, $23-million deal with the Giants, and even though he’s coming off an ankle injury– which limited his value– he’s certainly been a more reliable option than Johnson over the last four years. And now, of course, one of Johnson’s first two choices has that much less of a need for him– if they even want him in the first place.

As I’ve maintained all along, I can’t see why a team wouldn’t, assuming that the price is right.

Interestingly, Jason Collette took a deep look at Johnson’s divergent numbers when pitching from the windup and from the stretch in a piece today at FanGraphs.

Read the rest of this entry »


OK, so it’s return-to-normalcy time here, at least until the Winter Meetings get started on December 9th– though I’m sure there will be all kinds of other fun stuff to happen between now and then. There should be at least a transaction or two, and the non-tender deadline will pass, which will allow us– and the rest of the baseball world– to ask the sorts of questions that APODionysus of Baseball Arcade did this morning, such as, is “J.P. Arencibia, Starting Catcher” scarier than Cthulhu? Zombies? Freddy Kruger?

The answers may surprise you!

Anywho… in the meantime, here’s something else to get your mind off of the mayor’s at-home culinary habits, which I suspect we’ve all thought a little too much about so far today: it’s Aaron Sanchez!

Scout Bernie Pleskoff has some very kind words for the Jays’ top prospect in a video from– money quote: improved command since the start of the Fall League– while Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus– in response to a question from theScore’s own Jonah Birenbaum– makes a very nice suggestion about when we might actually be able to see the kid we’ve dreamed on for so long actually set foot on the mound at the centre of the Rogers Centre’s sea of shitty, rugged, concrete-and-felt turf.

Read the rest of this entry »



UPDATE: Aaaaaaand the tweet is now deleted. Let’s relive the magic anyway, though, eh?

UPDATE THE SECOND: The station tweets that it was a fake account, and I’ll be damned if they aren’t right! GAH!


——Original post——————————————————-

Oh, the jokes just write themselves, don’t they? Ruben Amaro loves him some RBIs, making he and J.P. Arencibia a match made in heaven. So why wouldn’t this be a thing that’s really about to happen?

I’m sure Arancibia will be even better once he’s joined by Batista, amiright?

But OK, let’s not get too ahead of ourselves here. While I’m pretty sure that, based solely on the fact that he has a different name, Anthony Gargano is not Howard Eskin, he does work for the same Philadelphia radio station. And while I’m hardly about to call them the purveyors of filthy fucking lies, their track record over the last twelve hours or so isn’t exactly spotless.

But this one certainly passes the smell test with flying colours compared to last night’s wild rumour. Because… y’know… jokes:

Read the rest of this entry »

Toronto Blue Jays v Atlanta Braves

Remember at the end of the last post, when I quipped something about this day just getting better?

Um… yeah. Further to that:

Multiple teams have expressed interest in Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia, prompting the Jays to explore the free-agent catching market for a possible replacement, sources say.

The Jays have contacted all of the free-agent catchers but have yet to make an offer, one source said. The team’s top priority is upgrading its rotation, but the Jays ideally would like to get something for Arencibia and sign someone else.

Arencibia, who turns 28 on Jan. 5, batted .194 with a .592 OPS last season, albeit with 21 homers. He is projected to earn $2.8 million in arbitration next season according to Matt Swartz of


Read the rest of this entry »


We seem to have reached the portion of the evening where reports from today’s activity in Orlando will being filtering out. Or maybe we’ve just got this one, but either way, it’s a hum dinger, as Shi Davidi of Sportsnet tells us about all kinds of things Alex Anthopoulos has been up to so far today, which sounds as though it’s mostly centred around finding a new catcher and a high-end starting pitcher.

Obvious, I know, but given AA’s reluctance over the course of the season to acknowledge just how poorly J.P. Arencibia was playing, there have genuinely been concerns among fans that the club may have been willing to ride out 2014 while banking on a rebound from Gregg Zaun and Dirk Hayhurst’s favourite Blue Jay.

Fear not:

The catching market this off-season is a robust one, and as the general managers’ meetings opened Monday at the swanky JW Marriott Grande Lakes in sunny Orlando, Alex Anthopoulos has been in the thick of it, according to multiple sources.

Inquiries have been made on A.J. Pierzynski, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Carlos Ruiz and given the way Anthopoulos operates, you can bet he’s at least checked in on Brian McCann, as well.

Davidi goes on to tell us that the market may be slow in developing, and that his sources say that some unexpected teams had been looking into the free agent catchers as well, which could slow things down even more. But the important takeaway is, of course: holy fuck, we’re not going to have to watch J.P. Arencibia again next year.

Well… not up close, at least. With out luck I’m sure that, from afar, we’ll see him turn the corner both defensively and at the plate. But, honestly, who cares??? It’s entirely like the Aaron Hill thing: even if his departure works out as absolutely fucking abysmally as possible for the Jays– and Hill’s time in Arizona pretty much has (even though it’s a moot point, considering that the Jays were not going to pick up his option after 2011 anyway)– Arencibia simply isn’t ever going to work out here. Or… if it is, we just can’t be willing to wait for it any longer.

And there’s more: Davidi notes that the Jays have been kicking the tires on some starters as well…

Read the rest of this entry »


J.P. Arencibia finished the 2013 season with a .227 on-base percentage, which is not the worst OBP by a qualified hitter since 1900. It’s not the second-worst. It’s not the third-worst. It’s not the fourth-, fifth-, sixth-, seventh-, or eighth-worst on-base by a qualified hitter since 1900.

It’s not an on-base percentage of a qualified hitter at all.

Yes, Arencibia, at the end of the season, dropped just below the threshold needed in order to qualify for the batting title. To do so a player needs to have 3.1 plate appearances for every originally scheduled game that his team played, which means that, playing a 162 game schedule, a player needs 502 PA. Arencibia finished the year with 497.

He was five plate appearances shy of posting the second-worst qualified OBP since 1900, and the worst since Hal Lanier in 1968.

The fact that he wasn’t qualified doesn’t change how bad he was, and so this conspiracy theory is maybe a bit silly, but something interesting did happen on the final weekend of season that could have impacted his qualifed status: Josh Thole caught a day game after a night game in order to give Arencibia the day off.

Thole caught as R.A. Dickey pitched– with the dome closed, you may remember– on September 28th, and then was back out there the next afternoon, catching J.A. Happ.

Read the rest of this entry »


Ben Nicholson-Smith had a post yesterday morning at Sportsnet about Cuban backstop Yenier Bello, who is a step closer to being made available to MLB teams, and is sure to get a certain subset of fans salivating (or, actually, maybe all of them). We’re told that he’s a power hitting 28-year-old backstop with significant experience who– most important of all– is not J.P. Arencibia. Sounds refreshing, right?

Well, the free catching market isn’t exactly bountiful, so yes. Yes he does. Even knowing next to absolutely nothing about the guy. That’s just how great it’s been this year!

But the thing is, that means if Bello is a player teams looking for catching help are truly eyeing, it’s very possibly going to be a long, uncomfortable winter, because holding such a narrow focus may mean sitting out the catching market altogether, waiting for the Cuban to be cleared by the United States’ Office of Foreign Assets Control. Nicholson-Smith explains that “it could take many months for OFAC to grant Bello the permission he needs to finalize a deal.”

He also notes that “multiple teams have already expressed interest” in him, and that the Jays– while not necessarily one of those teams– are one of a few big league clubs who’ll be looking for catching upgrades this winter. Could we be breathlessly awaiting news on him all winter? I’m not sure putting so many eggs in one basket is a realistic possibility– not for the Jays, and not for the other teams we’re told will be looking for help behind the plate, the Mariners and the Phillies.

The reason the Phillies could be in the market for a catcher, you may be aware, is that their incumbent starter, Carlos Ruiz, will be a free agent. Over at Benny Fresh’s old stomping ground, MLB Trade Rumors, they profiled Ruiz yesterday, noting that the Jays may be one of the teams who’d be a fit, should he choose to leave Philadelphia– and, perhaps intriguingly, that he’s not likely going to be made a qualifying offer by the club. His departure from Philadelphia is not necessarily a foregone conclusion though, as both he and the Phillies have expressed interest in his return. Doing so would give the late-blooming 35-year-old-to-be a good chance to spend his entire career in the organization, and is made all the more plausible by the fact that the Phillies don’t have much in terms of an in-house replacement.

But that may not all work out, and MLBTR also tells us that, despite his having a down year– which included a 25-game suspension for not getting a proper fake script for Adderall like the rest of the damn league– Ruiz looked a little more like himself in the season’s final two months, posting “a more Chooch-like .288/.343/.444 line.” He could be an intriguing guy to look at for the Jays. Then again, he’s getting old, and including the minors was behind the plate for 100+ games for nine straight years before only getting into 92 this season. You worry that a down year, at that age and at a physically demanding position like that, just maybe isn’t so easy to bounce back from. Plus, based just on reputation he’ll likely be somewhat expensive– sort of like the other guy we’ve heard the most about, as far as the catching market goes: Brian McCann.

Now, if the Jays can convince McCann to take their money and still have the resources to do whatever else they need, sure. Do it. McCann is going to be 30 next season, so a deal in the five year range is at least palatable, theoretically, and he hits well enough that you can use him at DH– plus, he’s a left-handed power bat this team should could certainly not turn their noses up at.

But it ain’t happening. (I’m pretty sure, at least.)

That, however, doesn’t mean there aren’t some interesting options on the market. Especially if– wait for it…– the Jays are maybe willing to work a little bit with what they’ve already got.

Read the rest of this entry »