“Cat Party”? Pfft. Welcome to five months ago!
Tomorrow marks the one year anniversary of the Jays’ signing of Maicer Izturis, which kicked off their big off-season, and was greeted a little too favourably in these corners. A reminder that things might be quiet right now– and they sure are– but could heat up any moment.
Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated looks at the off-season plans for each of the AL East teams, and naturally suggests that there’s less reason to be optimistic about the 2014 Jays than we ended up becoming last year, but that’s probably OK. He wonders if the club doesn’t already have one of its needed pitching upgrades in Marcus Stroman.
Baseball Prospectus does a similar thing, looking at the one key move each of the AL East clubs needs to make, and Ben Carsley is somewhat optimistic about the club’s ability to give themselves an easy upgrade by buying a third-tier free agent catcher, like Carlos Ruiz, A.J. Pierzynski, Kurt Suzuki or Dionner Navarro. That works.
I’ve sort of been cold to the idea of the Jays giving up a draft pick for Ubaldo Jimenez, given the appearance of “Bad Ubaldo” during the 2012 season and the first half of this one. But… I don’t know, actually. Yeah, at his worst it’s bad, but he’s only had that one year of less-than-3.2 fWAR over the last six seasons, and the last year in which he didn’t make thirty starts? That would be 2006, when he was playing on a shortened Triple-A schedule, and made 26. The last season in which he made fewer than 25 starts? In 2002 an 18-year-old in the short-season Pioneer League. So, is… uh… is he a way less risky, far more durable Josh Johnson with the same five- or six-win probably-never-coming-back upside? Should the Jays be all over this? Did I hear someone say on the radio the other day that Anthopoulos was trying to get him when he was originally traded from Colorado to Cleveland in 2011? The answer to both those questions might actually be yes, right? At any rate, Grant Brisbee looks at his free agent case at Baseball Nation, and sees him returning to Cleveland by taking the qualifying offer. Alex can do him one better than that, eh? Protected pick and all. Do it!
At Bluebird Banter, writer jessief gives us some food for thought by looking back at last year’s Marlins trade in a dollars-per-WAR vacuum, which ignores way more than enough context to make the supposedly damning conclusion pretty worthless, but it’s worth understanding that side of the equation all the same.