Well here’s exactly what you didn’t want to hear. Mike Cormack of Sportsnet passes along a clip from this morning’s Brady and Lang show on the Fan 590, in which Casey Janssen dropped by. Here’s what the Jays’ closer laid on us when the subject of his off-season shoulder “clean-up” arose:
“I’m feeling good. I’m not 100% just yet, but, again, having a little bit of extra time in the spring is going to help. I’m going to use every bit of the spring to get to that 100% level. But, as far as I’m concerned, I think April 2nd is very, very realistic, and things are going good.”
He’s choice of words makes it seem like he’s certainly looking at the glass half full here, and I don’t want to overblow this, but the implication that Opening Day is merely “realistic”– even if “very, very realistic”– is at least a little bit troubling. Right?
I’m certainly not suggesting that Brett Cecil is on the path towards developing a wipeout splitter, but in a strange twist, the former high-bonus 38th overall pick is following the career path of his new teammate: eight-year minor league veteran turned metal-elbowed Major League success, Steve Delabar.
Ken Fidlin of the Toronto Sun does some outstanding work in presenting the story, which explains that this off-season Cecil has been working with trainer James Evans, who developed the program that reinvigorated Delabar’s career, following what might have been a career-ending injury in 2009, largely by adding a few ticks to his fastball.
It’s not that I don’t believe that the Jays’ budget has already stretched the ol’ payroll parameters about as far as they can go, but when they’re still handing out $750K each to fucking Henry Blanco and Mark DeRosa, clearly there’s something still left for, say, Brandon Lyon?
In the wake of his agreement– finally– to avoid retirement one more year, after the Jays exercised their contract option on him early in the off-season, Darren Oliver spoke on a conference call this evening with reporters, and also chatted briefly with Bob McCown and Stephen Brunt on the Fan 590‘s Prime Time Sports.
“When that article came out, actually I wasn’t even in town,” he said on PTS, after Brunt decided to go ahead and make mention of the elephant in the room. Which is true, as it was reported at the time the Oliver was on vacation. “I knew I was going to get blown up,” he continued. “I thought, ‘aww, man, that’s not good right there,’ becuase I didn’t even say it. I don’t think there was anything in that quote that said, ‘Darren Oliver said he demands more money.’ ”
Pressed on it he explained, “I think… obviously he might have said something to one of the media outlets that reported it… maybe he just… I don’t know why he said that. I mean, I wish I would have known he was going to say it, because I probably would have stopped him.”
“In house,” he continued, after his cell was breaking up a little, “that’s kind of where I’d do things. But, sometimes people do stuff and… he made a mistake. I’ve known the guy for twenty years, he definitely wasn’t trying to hurt me in any way, he was just trying to do what’s best for his client.”
Goodbye slow news day! Uh… kinda, as Jon Heyman of Boras Corp. CBS Sports suggests that, despite all the suggestions that the Jays payroll is stretched just about as far as it can possibly go, the club may understand that it’s kinda ridiculous to not push it just a little bit further in an effort to really solidify their bullpen.
Or maybe Darren Oliver is genuinely willing to walk away from the $3-million on the table, and the Jays have changed their mind, or talked Rogers into letting them reinvest that capital. Or maybe floating something like this out there is a ploy to call the bluff of Oliver and his agent, Jeff Frye. Better still, maybe the Jays can keep Oliver and add one of the non-shittacular guys from Heyman’s tweet.
I’m not sure how entirely new this is, but… it’s Friday, the link dump is coming along slowly, and when the hell else am I ever going to get a chance to post something from Global TV in Saskatoon?
That’s where the Jays’ winter tour is making its latest stop, and where Alex Anthopoulos sat down this morning to answer a few questions– some of them twice!– on the airwaves of the local station. At the end of it he even manages to say something rather interesting!
“We’d love to have a reliever if we could. We’re still talking to Darren Oliver– I’m not necessarily optimistic that he comes back. But we’d love to add one more reliever. We think that would solidify things for us.”