Archive for the ‘Carlos Villanueva’ Category

Shi Davidi of Sportsnet checks in from Nashville, and he says something that we all probably should have been thinking for a while now, though I know that, at least for me, it’s been too often overlooked:

“[Carlos Villanueva] is a free agent and is looking for a team to make a commitment to him as a starter. He should have no trouble finding one to do that. But during the summer he also said he would consider returning as a swingman if he was paid as a starter, and that may be the compromise needed to keep him in Toronto.”

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When the Jays inexplicably re-signed an currently- and chronically-injured Dustin McGowan last spring, a lot of folks pointed to the people-pleasing, “good faith” aspects of the deal as justification for what was otherwise a very suspect decision. The Jays, those of us who scoffed were told, need to make sure they’re viewed in a positive, player-friendly light more than most. It’s hard to get players to want to play here, the theory goes, so the club sometimes does right by players who may not necessarily deserve it in the cold light of reality– or some such nonsense.

Helping John Buck position himself better for free agency by withholding playing time from JP Arencibia is another example of an attempt by the club to do right by a player, presumably to improve their stead among players and agents across the league.

And sure, I guess it might make a few people all warm and fuzzy to think of the club valuing such things, yet, when it comes down to it, the thing is… it’s really pretty fucking useless.

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The Carlos Conundrum

After putting up a fantastic line in last night’s shutout victory over the Rays, the speculation has only increased about what the Jays ought to do with free-agent-to-be Carlos Villanueva. The right-hander continued a fantastic run of now eleven straight starts, in which he’s posted a 3.53 xFIP, and 65 strikeouts to 17 walks over 65.1 innings, leading a whole lot of folks to wonder if the Jays might have a ready-made mid-rotation starter sitting right under their noses.

Yet there remain a number of reasons to suggest that maybe he isn’t, and the club is running out of time to make a crucial decision on him, especially since¬†Villanueva, despite spending most of his career as a reliever or a swingman type, quite rightly wants to be paid like a starter.

In and of itself that wouldn’t be so bad, so long as the club could absorb the financial hit¬†and not have to guarantee Villanueva a rotation spot– and such an idea isn’t entirely far fetched. But if Villanueva balks at being cast as mere insurance for the club in case they come up short in pursuit of two arms this winter, or the possibility of battling JA Happ for a rotation spot next spring, I’m still not entirely convinced the club should give him the kind of multi-year deal that they’ve said assures Ricky Romero and Brandon Morrow of their places in next year’s rotation.

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