Prior to tonight’s opening of MLB’s Rule 4 Draft– and the Jays’ charity golf tournament, which is happening today– Alex Anthopoulos jumped on the Fan 590′s airwaves and spoke to Jeff Sammut about draft strategy, and where Vladimir Guerrero is at, among other subjects. Obviously there’s not a whole lot that the GM could reveal about how tonight is going to go down, but that’s largely because he doesn’t know for sure himself.
“We kind of run these quasi-mock drafts,” he explains. “Then we’re looking at signability, because now at this point every one of the advisors and the families and the players have pretty much given an indication of what it will take to sign them. So, you start looking at it and you start to say, OK, well, is there a scenario where if we get a few of these selections, and we have to pay them, do we maybe take not as good a talent in the fourth round or in the eighth round and try to save some money there, so we can sign the picks up high? So, that’s all part of it. It’s the opportunity cost of the pick– is there one player who’s good enough to forgo taking not as good a talent a round a few rounds behind. So, that’s going to be part of the strategy that we’re going to talk about, but we’re going to have to obviously let the board play out as well.”
The impression given was that this was something that wasn’t focused on too heavily until late in the process, because it’s so dependent on who’s available at which pick. If we believe him, then, the club doesn’t appear to necessarily plan on maximizing the amount of dollars they can spend on early picks by punting ones later, rather, it’s going to come down to who’s available and how they think they can make the money fit.
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It probably doesn’t make it a whole hell of a lot less painful, but after the initial x-rays on Edwin Encarnaion’s hand came back inconclusive, the Jays got the news that we all wanted to hear…
I don’t think anyone should expect that this means that Edwin is going to be back swinging the bat when the Jays resume play against the White Sox in Chicago on Tuesday, but evidently the club doesn’t feel they’ll be playing with a short bench for too long. Given how important he’s been to the club’s offence, he can’t be back soon enough.
They’re still struggling just to keep their heads above water, and didn’t make the most of an opportunity to lay the hurt on Boston this weekend, but the dodging of this bullet, in addition to good news on scary-looking plays featuring Brandon Morrow and Henderson Alvarez this week… these are the kinds of breaks the Jays need if they’re to have any kind of hope this season.
Side note: Apologies for the lack of Game Threats this weekend, I had one ready today, thought I published it, but missed a step that’s now mandatory before any of our posts go live, and walked away from the computer without realizing this. Brutal!
Image via Abelimages/Getty.
You have probably noticed that Edwin Encarnacion is hitting the cover off the baseball this year. He leads the team in slugging, OPS, wOBA, wRC+, and home runs. His 14 home runs are tied for second most in all of baseball. It’s great to watch a guy with an undeniable talent for hitting “put it all together” for an extended period of time.
Before Adam Lind’s demotion this week, it was easy to forget that EE was DFA’d, demoted, released and re-signed within the last two years. Quite a journey for a man who is now the team’s cleanup hitter. It is also easy to forget Edwin Encarnacion is just 29-years old and about to enter free agency for the very first time.
EE is putting together a tremendous walk year – getting into great shape and posting crazy numbers when he stands to profit most. The talk of “extend EE” began with earnest this spring and only grows louder with each successive big fly.
Surely the Blue Jays are interested in keeping the right-handed power bat in their reach but does anybody really think Edwin won’t at least toe the free agency waters? What will it take to lock down the artist formerly known as E5?
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To steal a quip from commenter BartB in the Afternoon Snack post, “Shit, guess Lind was right about how hard 1B is on your back.”
Encarnacion is already pencilled in tonight, in a right-hand heavy lineup that already features Yan Gomes at first base, and Rajai Davis in left. With that in mind, Ben Francisco would seem to be logical replacement, but he left Sunday’s game in the sixth inning when his hamstring tightened up on him and then didn’t play yesterday, so perhaps he’s not available.
That would mean we’ll be seeing either Eric Thames, Jeff Mathis or Omar Vizquel get the assignment. Thames looks like the best choice of that sorry lot, and with his flagging fortunes of late, why not let him see what he can do against heralded, yet struggling, rookie Matt Moore. Y’know, give him a shot to keep holding off the ghost of Snider’s healthy wrist.
Or… we heard last week they could put Dustin McGowan on the 60-day DL and open up a spot on the 40-man real quick? Vlad can’t be far from the Trop, eh? (Note: Not happenin’.)
Davis adds, as of 4:30 PM: “It wouldn’t surprise me if Edwin hurt his back making that diving catch last night. Will get more details soon from Farrell.”
We’ll keep ya posted…
UPDATE: Aaaaaaand, he’s gonna play…
Image via the Virgin Islands Police Department’s Most Wanted list.