Archive for the ‘Jose Bautista’ Category


Given the game of chicken that Alex Anthopoulos is currently engaged in with various player agents and competing GMs, and how unusually deep into the winter it has taken him, it entirely makes sense that Jays fans are getting a little bit antsy about just what they may end up finding themselves devoting their time and energy to this summer. And holy shit, if they saw three of what I’d call the most important pieces of Jays-related writing to come along this week, their outlook probably didn’t get a whole lot less bleak.

Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star paints a picture of Alex Anthopoulos as a GM who has lost his way, not to mention the ear of his rivals.

At Blue Jays Plus, Gideon Turk gets inside sources, like current and former teammates of Jose Bautista (and others), to go on record (anonymously) about the way he operates behind closed doors, and the comments are hardly going to put any alleged issues to rest.

Meanwhile, over at Baseball America, Ben Badler handicaps the race to get Masahiro Tanaka’s signature on a contract, and in so doing makes it clear that he doesn’t think very highly of the Jays– not in terms of their chances of landing the Japanese ace, and also not in regard to their chances of being competitive in 2014.

In actuality, though, are things as grim as these pieces seem to suggest? I’m sure you won’t be shocked to discover that I really don’t think so — though, to be fair, my rosy disposition is mostly because I’m determined to be entirely sure that the Jays won’t be adding a front line pitcher for 2014 before I completely lose my shit on this organization — but that doesn’t mean that they’re not worth looking at a little more closely.

It’s maybe not going to be the gong show promised by the title of this post, but nonetheless… shall we?

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Interesting stuff from Foul Territory, the blog home of Rangers beat writers Jeff Wilson and Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, as they wonder if J.P. Arencibia might be a fit now that he’s eminently available. Or… y’know… now that his availability is known more publicly than it was prior to the Jays’ acquisition of Dioner Navarro.

The idea that Wilson puts forth is that Arencibia could be a fit to pair with the Rangers’ top backstop Geovany Soto– in fact, he says that Texas has discussed the idea internally. Of course, “discussed” can mean a whole lot of things without knowing how far the idea advanced, but they seem to think there could be a little bit of interest there, especially given the low cost– and also because “the Blue Jays have been studying the Rangers this off-season.”

Hmm. They continue:

Early in November the Blue Jays looked into left-hander Derek Holland and second baseman Ian Kinsler for a possible trade for outfielder Jose Bautista, according to a source.

Again, “looked into” can mean a lot, but it’s not like this is the first we’re hearing of these sorts of rumblings– it is, however, I think the most specific that we’ve heard about such a thing. Or maybe it isn’t– it’s definitely been speculated by fans… and probably shot down around here as being more than the Rangers would be willing to give up. And maybe it was, not that it matters now anyway, with Kinsler off to Detroit.

So… there’s that.

There’s also this:

Maybe I’m a hopeless optimist on this front, but I kind of have a hard time believing that the Jays would have gone down this road without having something close to lined up. Guess I’ll be here all night waiting on it…

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Believe it or not, there are reasons that people voluntarily go to Cincinnati without being forced to by some baseball trade. And there are also reasons people hang out with Charlie Sheen that don’t involve inhaling half of Colombia off of naked prostitutes… y’know, presumably.

But that doesn’t mean that this wasn’t a notably curious exchange on the ol’ Twitter back on Saturday night:


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Domonic Brown displaying every ounce of his fielding acumen

Howard Eskin showed up on Jeff Blair’s radio show on the Fan 590 this morning, and to his credit he didn’t back down from the tweets he made last night that sent us into such a frenzy. In fact, he had some pointed criticism for Jon Heyman and “haters” out there on Twitter, reiterating that he had made clear any trade would involve more than just Domonic Brown heading to Toronto, and insisting that he’s just doing his job by putting something out there that he’s heard from sources he deems credible.

I mean, it’s true. What else is he supposed to do?

Think about this comment, for example, left on last night’s post by someone claiming to be the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman, and doing a pretty good job of imitating his well-reasoned tone:

Do not discount Howard Eskin…he does have his swings and misses, but also has hit some mammoth HRs. Very powerful voice in Philly and important people do talk to him. I know there have been cases where teams “float” things through him to see reaction.

Give it time.

And indeed, Blair is saying that there have been informal discussions between the Jays and Phillies about Bautista– including some as early as last year– but he’s not indicating at all that those were terribly different than informal discussions that certainly go on all the time, and definitely not different enough to put a wild rumour out there.

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In case you missed it last night, we were treated to one king hell of a rumour from Howard Eskin of Philadelphia’s Fox TV affiliate and sports radio station 94 WIP, as he told us that a “major trade” was brewing between the Blue Jays and the Phillies that would involve Jose Bautista, Domonic Brown, and more.

I wrote about it in the link above, eventually coming around to the notion that the deal isn’t as patently absurd as it might seem– acquiring a cheap, young, left-handed power bat with many years of control left, and immediately opening up nearly $14-million in 2014 payroll space is hardly the nothing that the delightfully fanciful folks expecting a number one starter and a quality catcher or second from any Bautista trade want to believe it is.

Buuuuuuut, it’s also apparently bullshit. To wit:

Or is it?…

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Howard Eskin, according to his Twitter bio is a reporter for Fox 29 TV and 94 WIP Radio in Philadelphia, and… um… he actually appears to be genuinely serious about the rumour he– and only he, it would seem– is reporting this evening. The man has over 40,000 followers and his account is verified, so I’ll do him a solid and try to take it at least half seriously, even though I’m pretty sure that without additional details or confirmation, it doesn’t quite pass the smell test.

And by “doesn’t quite pass the smell test,” I, of course, mean that it smells like a fifteen-tonne truck of steaming, fresh, lumpy bullshit.

To wit:

Would be slightly more credible if he could spell Bautista’s name correctly, huh? But this isn’t Marty York, either, folks.

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Texas Rangers v Toronto Blue Jays

This tidbit is a week old, but it’s more than important enough– and hasn’t been dealt with much elsewhere– that I don’t think I should just let it slip into the ether. Not that, y’know, at its centre isn’t a question that’s going away any time soon: what the Jays should do with Jose Bautista.

Truthfully, I have no doubt in my mind what the Jays should do with Bautista. I essentially wrote about it last week, when I insisted that Rogers must continue to spend– that jumping a year early into the coming TV-fueled explosion of salary shouldn’t excuse them continuing to spend on a level commensurate to an RSN-powered club owned by a company that just a year ago spent half a billion dollars on a sports property, and thus has a very good idea what that sort of business, run well, is worth.

I hinted about it as well when I scoffed at the questions raised about Bautista’s leadership earlier this month– not that I’m interested in going to deeply down that road again today. Besides, Stephen Brunt, speaking on Prime Time Sports last Monday, elucidated the same sort of thoughts as I have, explaining, “Now, I don’t put a tonne into the old ‘clubhouse dynamics’ stuff. You know, the fun guys in Boston with beards now are great, but they would have been the chicken and beer guys two years ago. The Blue Jays with secret handshakes would have looked great if they were winning, but I think all of that stuff’s crap.”

I might add that, this time a year ago, the story was that the Jays’ clubhouse reportedly became unhinged after their leader, Bautista, went down with a wrist injury in mid-July– though he returned and played two late-August games for the club before shutting down for good. But… whatever.

More crucially, Brunt being bang on about such silliness wasn’t nearly the most interesting thing he had to say on the matter of Jose Bautista.

Asked by guest host Elliotte Friedman if he was of the opinion that Bautista gets dealt, Brunt explained, “Well, I’m not– I’m more inclined to believe that he could be dealt than I was a month ago. Let’s put it that way.”

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