Archive for the ‘Daily Duce’ Category

dailyduce1

Mention those proofs again and just see what happens, Valerie.

“It would take something extreme for the [Clevelands] to re-sign free agent Ubaldo Jimenez at this point of the year,” writes Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer in what is not a repeat of every other story on this subject of late. “There has been no communication between the Indians and Jimenez’s agent, Diego Bentz, since the end of January. What’s more, the Indians value the draft pick they’ll receive for Jimenez if another team signs him.”

Marc Hulet of FanGraphs released his top 100 prospects list on Tuesday, and while the usual suspects line up about where you’d expect, there was an intriguing addition at the very end: Mitch Nay, checking in at number 100. He explains, “Nay is probably the biggest surprise in the entire Top 100 (you probably won’t find him on anyone else’s list) but I’m going out on a limb with him much like I did with Michael Wacha last year and that worked out pretty well. Nay has a chance to be something very special with the bat and should hold his own defensively.”

A pair of big season previews from Gregor Chisholm at BlueJays.com. In one of them he speaks with Alex Anthopoulos, who suggests last year’s internal improvements by the Red Sox as the hope for his own club in 2014, and then Gregor then guides us through three key questions for the season, and what the roster will look like — who’s in, who’s out, who’s on the mend, which prospects we should keep an eye on, and who might surprise us by making the club. In the second piece, Gregor goes position-by-position through the lineup with key concerns for the upcoming year.

Because of course Rogers wouldn’t have him join the Jays crew, despite the vacancies, according to Philadelphia Business Journal, Matt Stairs has joined the Phillies’ broadcast team. Jamie Moyer, who also has Jays ties (remember 2012? Moyer threw his last pitch as a pro to Yan Gomes in a 7-3 Las Vegas loss at Reno) will join them as well. (Link via the always outstanding Baseball Primer Newsblog at Baseball Think Factory).

According to Twopcharts yesterday was the fifth anniversary of @drunkjaysfans joining Twitter. We were so green to the medium that Parkes and I shared it at first, often tweeting contradictory opinions  from the same account– confusing, to say the least. By the end of the 2012 season we’d reached 8,600 followers, and now, less than 16 months later, we’re well over 21,000! Thanks for the support, and if you don’t follow already, do it! (Give me a follow at @AndrewStoeten while you’re at it).

Read the rest of this entry »

dailyduce3

And we’re happy with this background?

According to Nick Cafardo’s latest for the Boston Globe, the Jays are one of several teams to have made a bid for Korean pitcher Suk-min Yoon. OK? He’s a Boras client, so don’t hold your breath. Here’s what Steve Adams said about him at MLBTR last week: Yoon, 27, was considered Korea’s second-best starting pitcher behind Hyun-jin Ryu following the 2012 season. A shoulder injury in 2013 prompted a move the the closer’s role with the Kia TIgers last season, but from 2011-12 Yoon posted a 2.77 ERA with 8.7 K/9 and 2.1 BB/9 in 325 1/3 innings as a starter. As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes noted in Yoon’s free agent profile, his fastball sits in the 91 to 93 mph range, and he won the KBO’s MVP Award in 2011 for his outstanding work in the Kia Tigers’ rotation.

Bluebird Banter has spoken with Dustin McGowan and learned that the Jays have acquiesced to his request to attempt to pitch as a starter in 2014, “on the condition that he work separately from the other starters in a personalized program at the beginning of spring training.” Hard for them to say anything else with a rotation as unsettled as theirs currently is, and… well… we all know the story: could be great if he stays healthy, but he inevitably won’t. Here’s hoping, for his sake, something finally changes in a positive way, but I can’t see it being anything but a longshot that he could actually win a job in the rotation. Or… I don’t know… it’s not like he’s going to be up against a bunch of world beaters. At least this all should make for an interesting spring for once.

In the McGowan piece it’s also noted that 2014 will be his fifteenth season in the Jays’ organization. Holy fuck.

Buster Olney tweets that it’s worth repeating to point out that “the Jays are in a great position to sit back and wait for Ervin Santana or Ubaldo Jimenez to agree to a deal on team’s terms.” Yep.

To that effect — and the effect of our previous post here — Shi Davidi of Sportsnet tells us that everything remains status quo for the Jays. Just in case you hadn’t noticed.

Spring Training Online lists the report dates for pitchers and catchers, as well as position players, for each club this spring, and the Jays are really leaving themselves open to having the silly “too relaxed” narrative take hold. They’re one of four teams to be asking pitchers and catchers to report by February 16th, which is the latest date any club is doing so this year. They’ll be the last team to put pitchers through their first workout, they’re one of just seven clubs whose position players don’t report until the 20th or later, and one of seven who won’t have their first full workout until the 21st or later. I don’t think this matters one iota, but it would be sort of nice if they were savvy enough to not have given reason to talk about it at all.

So… Dan Norris might be awesome. Melissa Couto of the Canadian Baseball Network checks in on the prospect and the ’78 VW Westfalia camper van he basically lives in. No, really.

Speaking of awesome prospect-y things, Brian Crawford of Jays Prospects talks to Griffin Murphy’s moustache.

According to a QMI story in the Toronto Sun, Roberto Alomar is selling his Tampa area mansion for $6.5-million, and because there’s shit all else going on, now I’m writing about it.

Gregor Chisholm checks in with his weekly mailbag — er… Inbox — post at BlueJays.com.

Elsewhere at BlueJays.com, Gregor looks at which players have been invited to Spring Training with the Jays, and highlights a pair of first timers in the big league camp: Marcus Stroman and Aaron Sanchez.

Lastly, in the latest of his outstanding Primary Sources series at Getting Blanked, Jack Moore tells us that baseball has always been too slow.

dailyduce2

But she’s got a new hat!

Jays Journal was, as far as my RSS is telling me, the first to spot the new all-red hat that the club will be wearing on Canada Day — and that has now been officially tweeted to the world by @BlueJays. It’s the club’s batting practice hat, only red, so… you can picture it. I’m sure it will be nice to no longer have the incongruous blue in the Blue Jays’ traditional Canada Day reds and will probably make the day of the folks out there who don’t find shrouding sports in fierce patriotism — especially slobbering on about the military — cringe-worthy and weird. I can make an exception on Canada Day, it’s just that the rest of the time I’m pretty full-on secular when it comes to this stuff — I’ll just go ahead and be proud to live in my country in private and without the creepy pep rallies, thanks — so I guess this isn’t for me.

Ben Badler of Baseball America tells us that the Jays have put the international bonus pool money they obtained from the Angels when they flipped Rule Five pickup Brian Moran to them back in December has actually been put to good use: they’ve signed Dominican right-hander Hansel Rodriguez for $330K. “Rodriguez, 16, is around 6-foot-2, 180 pounds with a fastball that sits in the low-90s and touches 95,” he tells us. “Rodriguez also throws an above-average curveball, which had made him one of the top arms available in Latin America after going unsigned last year on July 2.” Nice.

Michael Grange of Sportsnet looks at the sinking loonie and how it will impact pro sports in this country. Jays-related money quote from Paul Beeston: “It won’t affect our plans for this year, we’re already locked and loaded (with regard to payroll), but it will affect our bottom line, that’s for sure.”

Gideon Turk of Blue Jays Plus tweets that a source tells him the Jays requested the medicals on Ervin Santana late last week — Jon Heyman didn’t include the Jays among teams who were known to have done so in a piece at CBS Sports back on Friday, but didn’t say they didn’t, either. Turk adds that he thinks a report at ESPN.com from Buster Olney, which says “there is concern over the condition of Santana’s elbow, for a pitcher who relies heavily on his slider,” may be coming from a team trying to lower the price (or, I should add, scare others off), as he’s hearing that “his elbow is the best it’s ever been, and the UCL tear he had in 2009 (which was small) has healed itself. Medicals said to be ‘pristine’.” OK?

Read the rest of this entry »

dailyduce1

Daily?

Buster Olney tweets that the asking price for Ervin Santana has come down significantly, and that the free agent pitcher may now be looking at signing just a three-year deal. That’ll do.

At ESPN.com (Insider only), Jim Bowden breaks down where the free agent market is at, calling the Jays a likely landing spot for both Ubaldo Jimenez and Ervin Santana — though, before you get all breathless, I don’t think he means it’s likely they’ll get both, just one of them. Importantly, he notes that, while Cleveland and Kansas City wouldn’t give up a draft pick to re-sign their own players, they actually kind of would. Cleveland, in particular, he says is banking on getting a draft pick when Ubaldo signs elsewhere. And Kansas City doesn’t seem likely to re-sign Santana either, according to what he’s hearing.

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star has an excellent, wide-ranging interview with Paul Beeston, and perhaps most interestingly, he speaks of his fight to make Jays games available to be viewed by anyone anywhere who wants to watch it… not that I ever noticed that MLB.tv blackouts didn’t exist last year or anything. Beeston mentions something about having to be authenticated with Sportsnet and TSN to watch those? I don’t really know. There was a bunch of other food for thought in there too.

Speaking of: according to a tweet from Scott MacArthur, TSN is the new home of ESPN Sunday Night Baseball in this country, plus Monday and Wednesday night telecasts, as well as Baseball Tonight. Nice! Except for whatever blackouts may now apply. They’ll carry 75 games this season.

“The Jays aren’t saying, but after months of freezing out Dunedin while they and the Houston Astros worked a deal for a new stadium in Palm Beach Gardens, the team has finally agreed to sit down with Dunedin officials later this month and talk about what it would take to keep them in town,” writes Keyonna Summers of the Tampa Bay Times. She adds that the gamesmanship is happening on both sides of this issue, as “just in case [the Jays leave when their lease runs out in 2017], Dunedin has reached out to other teams whose leases are also nearing expiration.”

Read the rest of this entry »

dailyduce3

Daily?

MLBTR passes along word that on his SiriusXM show yesterday, Jim Bowden claimed that the Jays “expect” to get one of Ubaldo Jimenez or Ervin Santana. Makes sense, though I’m fully on Team A.J. at this point.

And so is Jeff Blair! In his latest (lastest?) at the Globe and Mail, Snappy The Turtle says he has a source with a Major League club that isn’t the Jays who included them among the teams who’ve contacted Burnett’s agent. I still think he’ll end up in Pittsburgh or Baltimore, but how fun would it be if he didn’t? Blair also half-seriously suggests that John Gibbons was indeed referring to Burnett at the State of the Franchise when he mistakenly reversed J.A. Happ’s initials, and says that the Jays may be softening on their anti-Scott Boras stance, as he says they’ve asked the über-agent about Stephen Drew, and have been told he’s amenable to moving to second.

At FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan looks at Burnett’s case as the best starter currently on the market. More importantly, he looks at some scary red flags on Ubaldo Jimenez, including the fact that “Jimenez made his 24th start on August 17th, in Oakland. He finished with a 4.00 ERA and a 4.33 FIP, and he’d averaged about 1.8 strikeouts per walk,” and that the competition he faced afterwards was pretty much dogshit. The other side of the arbitrary endpoint game, though, is that from April 29th onward his ERA was 2.61, with over 2.5 K/BB.

Jason Parks of Baseball Prospectus includes Dan Norris among his list of prospects who just missed making his top 101 (which was released this week and included Aaron Sanchez, Marcus Stroman, and Alberto Tirado). About Norris he explains: “He was as high as no. 80 on a few rough drafts, but slowly trickled down the list before falling off completely so that a few high ceiling/high risk types could get their day in the sun. As much as they belonged, their inclusion shouldn’t have come at the expense of Norris. As far as I’m concerned, this is a top 101 talent.”

“Once Bitten, Twice Shy,” is the appropriate title given by Mr. Fairservice to his coverage of the Jays’ State of the Franchise event over at Getting Blanked. Read it already.

Read the rest of this entry »

dailyduce2

‘Yes Killface, this is the way.’ … YOU TALK LIKE THAT!

Bruce Levine of Chicago’s 670 The Score tweets that teams should know by tomorrow where Masahiro Tanaka will sign. Dun dun dunnnn… (By which I, of course, mean: please, if it’s not going to be here, just not the fucking Yankees. Or Red Sox. Or… just… the National League. Please.) (Of course, that could just be a reference to a tweet from CSN Chicago’s David Kaplan, who figured a few days ago we’d heard about the deal early, so Tanaka could take his physical, etc.)

Since we may only have a day left to pretend that we think there’s a small, secret chance that the Jays could actually land Tanaka, why not commence drooling over him with a great piece from Ben Badler of Baseball America, who speaks with scouts about the incoming ace– complete with fancy GIFs!

The above item actually came my way via Drew’s latest URL Weaver post at Getting Blanked, where he also has an awesome YouTube clip of all 183 of Tanaka’s strikeouts during the 2013, plus a bunch of playoff highlights, too. Total fucking boss.

Elsewhere at Getting Blanked, Drew looks at the remaining starting pitchers available on the free agent market. Like… all of them. From the White Whale, to the elbows full of spiderwebs, to the detritus.

At Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith takes a look at a market finally about to resume business, with the Tanaka log jam finally being cleared away.

Read the rest of this entry »

dailyduce1

Eager to know why you’re here.

At Minor League Ball, John Sickels lists his top 20 Jays prospects for 2014, with Aaron Sanchez coming in at the top, and a rather aggressive ranking for Mitch Nay, who he says he sees “as a huge breakout candidate.”

Allan Simpson of the Canadian Baseball Network tells us that Phil Bickford is projected by Perfect Game as the number one prospect for the 2016 draft, which… being a top ten pick who didn’t sign, isn’t particularly surprising. He’ll be one to watch, though, over the next few years. Something of a Young Beedah 2.0.

Speaking of prospect stuff, MLB.com names Aaron Sanchez the ninth best pitching prospect in the game right now. Noah Syndergaard is third. Gregor Chisholm has a follow-up piece on Sanchez alone, over at BlueJays.com.

Speaking of Sanchez, Ben Nicholson-Smith spoke to him for a piece over at Sportsnet from late last week.

Former prospect Justin Jackson may be a prospect again, now that he’s moved from the infield to the mound. Brian Crawford of Jays Prospects looks at the progress the former sandwich pick made in his first season on the hill.

On the former prospect tip, there’s also Ricardo Nanita, who has returned to the organization on a minor league deal according to a tweet from the Jays’ official account.

MLBTR passes along the latest on Masahiro Tanaka, including a report from Bruce Levine of Chicago’s 670theScore, who says that a source tells him the Cubs will outbid the field in terms of years and dollars, and yet also that none of the teams knows what the others have bid for Tanaka as yet. So then… how could the Cubs do that, exactly? Anyway, interesting.

Read the rest of this entry »