Archive for the ‘Kenny Ken Ken’ Category

Kenny Ken Ken never sleeps, so why should we?

According to the most plugged-in reporter in the business, a rival executive thinks that… oh, I’ll just let him tell it (you know, assuming you haven’t read the title of this post, the Twitter or Facebook link that sent you here, or haven’t seen the picture above):

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The astonishingly plugged-in Kenny Ken Ken Dr. Rosen Rosen Rosenthal has given us some crumbs to chew on regarding the Jays’ managerial search in his latest for Fox Sports.

His sources– a trusty bunch– suggest that the Jays “are leaning toward hiring a manager who already has done the job.”

He points to the fact that Sandy Alomar has yet to even receive a phone call from the club, reportedly, and to the Jays’ long history of hiring managers with no Major League experience– they’ve only done so three times in 36 years– which hasn’t exactly worked out so well, save for whatshisname with the rings.

I’d buy it, especially because they’d have some tough questions to answer if they ended up with another manager who’d yet to actually run an MLB game. Thing is, I’m pretty sure that given the state of the froth spittle running down the chins of half the local media right now, the Jays are pretty much damned if they hire an inexperienced guy, and damned if they pluck some old retread, too (with only a Francona, LaRussa or Torre type seen as bulletproof, optically).

One interesting name Rosenthal suggests who has yet to appear in other reports is Jim Riggleman, who is currently managing in Double-A for Cincinnati, and who managed the Padres and Cubs in the 90s, as well as the Mariners and Nationals in recent years.

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In his latest at Fox Sports– y’know, unless he wrote something between 11:20 and now– Ken Rosenthal takes the path of least resistance in a large piece on the Jays, arguing that the Escobar incident underscores the club’s desperate need for some veteran leadership.

He even goes to the trouble of defusing my first line of indignant questioning, noting that “some might ask, ‘Wait, isn’t it the manager’s job to lead?’ Yes, but there is only so much a manager can do. The Jays’ John Farrell isn’t a baby-sitter; he shouldn’t need to walk from player to player, inspecting their eye black. The best teams police themselves — and if the Jays want Farrell to sign an extension beyond next season, Anthopoulos should be doubly motivated to clean up the Jays’ act.”

None of that is untrue, of course, though it’s not like Farrell is entirely on his own– Torey Lovullo, Dwayne Murphy, Don Wakamatsu, Luis Rivera, Bruce Walton, Pete Walker, and occasionally Pat Hentgen and Chad Mottola happen to be around too, you know. But I get that there’s a different dynamic between the players themselves and the members of the coaching staff, so maybe you can’t quite say that their presence ought to be enough.

Nor can you say that, apparently, of clubhouse veterans Darren Oliver (bullpen guy!), Omar Vizquel (beyond reproach!), and Jose Bautista, who Rosenthal explains, “should be the model, but he spent the first two months bickering with umpires, setting the wrong example.”

He also wasn’t with the club when the incident took place, but apparently that’s neither here nor there.

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Are you sitting down? Because this is going to come as an absolute shock to you.

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays have interest in struggling, out-of-favour Diamondbacks star Justin Upton. Because… of course they are!

“The Jays are one of the teams interested in Upton, sources say, and they’re deep enough in prospects to pull off a blockbuster,” he writes. “But Anthopoulos, as always, is operating on multiple fronts, pursuing numerous players and willing to listen on all of his own.”

He adds that it’s possible that the Diamondbacks may wait until the winter to deal him, though Buster Olney of (Insider Olney) “spoke with more officials who are convinced that Justin Upton is going to be traded.”

This, of course, isn’t the first time we’ve heard about the possibility of the Jays and Upton. Last week we wrote about the suggestion from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic that Adeiny Hechavarria may be a starting point between the two clubs on a potential Upton deal. And while it’s undeniable that the Jays don’t really need a hitter as much as they do pitching help– even with Jose Bautista hitting the DL earlier this afternoon– it can’t be stated enough that the possibility of acquiring a 24-year-old a year removed from being an MVP candidate, and the number one player on Keith Law’s December piece on the Top 50 players under 25, is not something you overlook in your quest for Wandy fucking Rodriguez.

Sure, get pitching too, if you can– the system is deep enough that they can certainly do both– but if the opportunity for Upton is there, you do everything you can to take it. I mean, it’s not like they have a bad track record of taking high talent cast-offs and soured-on players, making a couple mechanical adjustments, and turning them into valuable Major League pieces or anything.

So… there’s that.


Image via Harold Faltermeyer.

“The Jays continue to maintain a buyer’s posture,” writes Kenny Ken Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports this afternoon, “sending multiple scouts to at least two recent starts by Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez’s and maintaining contact with the Cubs about right-hander Matt Garza, according to major-league sources.”

OK, so maybe we’ve heard this all before, but it still makes a lot of sense. The rub, of course, is that Rodriguez and Garza are both under contract for more than just this season, so even if the Jays fall out of contention this season– y’know, presuming they already haven’t– a pitcher like Garza or Rodriguez would be an important asset for next year’s version of the club, especially with Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek down, Dustin McGowan still Dustin McGowan, and Henderson Alvarez and Brett Cecil struggling to look like pitchers capable of surviving in the American League East.

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According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays and Colorado Rockies are discussing a trade for pitcher Jeremy Guthrie.

After acquiring Guthrie this offseason from the Baltimore Orioles for Janson Hammel and Matt Lindstrom, the Rockies would be willing to let the right hander go back to the American League East for a “lesser prospect” assuming that the Blue Jays take on the majority of whatever is remaining of the $8.2 million he’s owed for this season. At season’s end, Guthrie will be a free agent.

Sources suggested that the prospect being discussed is likely first baseman Mike “Muffin Top” McDade, who is currently sporting an .884 OPS at Double A New Hampshire.

Unsurprisingly, Guthrie, a fly ball pitcher, has struggled for the Rockies this season, putting up a hideous 7.02 ERA, 6.70 FIP and 5.36 xFIP. A 10.6% strike out rate, matched with a 8.1% walk rate suggests that Guthrie’s acquisition would be little more than a stop gap measure meant to save other, more valuable arms in the Blue Jays system from being used earlier than they have to be, after the team has seen three of its starting pitchers go down to injury last week.

According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Toronto Blue Jays may be showing interest in acquiring Matt Garza from the Chicago Cubs.

One rival executive reports that the Jays are “sniffing all over” Cubs right-hander Matt Garza – a move that would make some sense, considering that Garza is under club control through 2013. But the Jays also have needs in first base and left field, and a long-term question at second base, withKelly Johnson only on a one-year deal.

Rosenthal quite rightly points out that the Blue Jays aren’t exactly one move away from competing, even next year, let alone this year. However, Garza, with an additional year of team control in 2013, would be a more compelling addition than a one year rental given the team’s current position in the AL East.

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