Archive for the ‘Minor Moves’ Category

baker

In yesterday’s Brent Morel post (or was it yesterday’s Brett Morel post?) I wrote a little bit about Jeff Baker, the free agent lefty-masher with positional versatility who seemed like such an obvious fit for the Jays — at least until this afternoon, when Jon Heyman tweeted that he’d agreed to a two-year deal with the Marlins, while Joel Sherman added that it’s for $3.7-million. Mostly I was trying to dream up ways that the club could conceivably justify passing on him, given the paucity of platoon options for Adam Lind currently available in-house, and the fact that last year he saw time at first, second, third, in left field, right field, and at DH.

All we’ve really ever heard about why the Jays weren’t being linked more strongly to Baker, as far as I’ve come across, is what Mike Wilner had to say about him on last week’s edition of The Blue Jays This Week on the Fan 590.

“Jeff Baker would be perfect,” he explained. “He’s a free agent out there, and late of the Texas Rangers and the Chicago Cubs. And he can play six positions poorly, and he can wail on lefties. But I’ve talked to a number of people out in the baseball world about him, and the consensus is that this is a really, really bad dude, who you don’t want anywhere near your clubhouse. Which is why the Blue Jays haven’t moved on him.”

That was certainly a new one to me, but it’s not like I’m doing a lot of talking to the sorts of people who would know enough about Baker to make such claims. I was, however, able to put the suggestion out there on Twitter to see if anyone might be able to confirm that which, as far as I have been able to ascertain, only Wilner has said. Lo and behold, Mike Ferrin of MLB Network Radio, and Baseball Prospectus’s outstanding Fringe Average podcast took up the mantle.

Ferrin added that he hadn’t heard any of this on Baker himself, but cautioned that none of this means what Wilner is hearing isn’t true.

What struck me more, though — and what caused me to raise the issue again on Twitter, which prompted the above exchange — was a tweet from Jon Morosi, who yesterday said that he had spoken to Scott Boras, and that the über-agent told him he was very close to deals on his clients Oliver Perez, Francisco Rodriguez, Suk-Yin Moon, and… Jeff Baker.

Aha!

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getzgoins

According to the busy twitter fingers of the reporters currently at the Jays event in Buffalo, Alex Anthopoulos has revealed that the club has signed second baseman Chris Getz to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training. Ryan Goins now has another small measure of competition for his spot, as Anthopoulos also says that Getz — like Goins a lefty at the plate, so not a platoon option — could earn playing time at second base once the position battle Getz Goins (sorry).

Thing is, it’s Chris Getz.

If you want to be glib about it, Getz is just another left-handed bat can’t hit and won’t play defence nearly as well as Goins. And… well… the more I look at it, the more it seems like you probably don’t need to say a whole lot more than that.

He’s depth.

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dance

Fear not, Mike McCoy fans.

Or.. maybe fear a little. But don’t be so sure that all is lost, even though the most well-travelled man in recent Jays history is among the players in the organization who have qualified for minor league free agency, according to Matt Eddy of Baseball America. But as Juan Perez demonstrated earlier today, being released by the Jays doesn’t necessarily mean that a player’s time in the organization is done. According to a team release, after electing free agency (and thereby being removed from the 40-man roster), Perez signed a minor league deal with the club, with an invite to Spring Training. He’ll join, the release noted, Mike Nickeas and Andy LaRoche as guys on minor league deals with invites.

Will that be the case for anyone else? Meh. I don’t know, or particularly care. But here’s the full list anyway, which includes several names that you’ll recognize, as does the full list of 550 players qualifying, which includes for the first time draft picks from 2007 who aren’t on their club’s 40-man roster– meaning one-time Jays prospect Kevin Ahrens, who was J.P. Ricciardi’s second ever first-rounder selected out of high school, following Travis Snider the previous year. Ahrens ended up truly stalling out in high-A, spending parts of four seasons with Dunedin of the Florida State League, including full years in 2009, 2011 and 2012– he was demoted to Lansing for part of 2010, and managed to spend this season in double-A.

Man, Ricciardi’s draft record is a-fucking-bysmal.

Anywho, the list:

Toronto Blue Jays
RHP: 
Chad Beck (AA), Tyson Brummett (AA), Buddy Carlyle (AAA), Joel Carreno (AAA), Alan Farina (AA), Marcus Walden (AA)
LHP: Willie Collazo* (AA), Juan Perez (AAA)
C: Brian Compton (Lo A)
1B: Luis A. Jimenez (AAA), Clint Robinson (AAA)Jon Talley (AA)
2B: Daniel Arcila (SS), Oliver Dominguez (Hi A), Jim Negrych (AAA), John Tolisano (AA), Lance Zawadzki (AA)
3B: Kevin Ahrens (AA)
SS: Mike McCoy (AAA), Amadeo Zazueta (AA)
OF: Blake Gailen (AAA), Adam Loewen (AA), Ricardo Nanita (AAA)

The star next to Willie Collazo’s name is just to indicate that he spent the entirety of 2013 on the DL.

So… yeah. Some names we’ve followed a little bit over the years, but certainly nobody who was going to help the 2014 Blue Jays. (Sit down, Negrych fans!)

I was going to pour over the entirety of the list for some intriguing guys who the Jays might be interested in taking a flyer on, but… uh… 550 names? Most of whom I’d have to at least check out the BR and FanGraphs pages of? Yeah, I think I’m just gonna mail this one in and leave it at that. Er… I mean… why would I want to hog all of that fun for myself? Go to Eddy’s piece and knock yourselves out!

Godspeed, Ricardo Nanita, et al.

muniBP

Well that didn’t take long. The World Series ended last night, I’m told, and today the Jays were already getting down to business.

To wit:

Yes, the Munenori Kawasaki Era may already be over, though that’s not necessarily going to be the case, as Davidi explains:

Lind will earn $7 million, Janssen $4 million and DeRosa $750,000. Kawasaki would have earned $1 million, but may still return on a minor-league deal.

So… yeah, I don’t know. All of those moves seem pretty obvious to me. Lind and DeRosa will make for a nice DH platoon combo, with DeRosa being able to spell the odd infielder from time to time, continuing his bang up job babysitting Brett Lawrie, and otherwise just kinda being awesome. Janssen, obviously, continues to be surprisingly terrific– so much so that his terrificness should have probably stopped being a surprise by now– while Kawasaki looks a whole lot better off the 40-man roster than on it.

OK, maybe not a whole lot. But better, I think.

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2008 Baltimore Orioles Photo Day

The Jays quietly made a rather interesting move on Sunday, signing former Orioles (and Reds, and Padres, and Moneyball-era A’s) catcher Ramon Hernandez to a minor league deal and, according to a tweet from Shi Davidi, assigning him to Buffalo.

Now, I’m not going to take too seriously the thoughts in my head that Hernandez, who was below replacement level in 52 games last year with the Rockies, might actually be better than the current incumbent at the position, but… well… this line from MLB Trade Rumors kind of stuck out to me:

The Dodgers acquired the 37-year-old from the Rockies back in April in exchange for Aaron Harang. The backstop saw only 55 plate appearances for Los Angeles, batting .208/.291/.438.

J.P. Arencibia is batting .219/.247/.427.

No, I don’t think it’s remotely plausible that the Jays would consider replacing their starting catcher mid-season with a 37-year-old from outside the organization. But… Hernandez, who over two seasons put up 4.3 WAR for the Reds in 2010 and 2011, miiiiiiiiight actually be the organization’s best catcher.

If that sounds more like an indictment of Arencibia than it is lauding of this hidden gem discarded by the shitty Dodgers, that’s because it is. But seriously! Since Arencibia has been in the league (2010), in a comparable number of plate appearances (931 for Hernandez, 1186 for JPA), Hernandez has provided double the value by FanGraphs’ WAR and out wOBA’d the player ten years his junior by 25 points (a respectable-for-a-catcher .326 for him, versus a declining-by-the-year .301 mark for young Aaron Cibia).

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Philadelphia Phillies v Toronto Blue Jays

Holy! A bevy of moves this afternoon from the Blue Jays, as the club’s ridiculous tyranny of “veteran presence” took a large step in the direction of the guillotine, as did it’s… uh… tyranny of Chad Jenkins, apparently.

Anthony Gose was optioned back down to Buffalo last night, per a tweet from Shi Davidi, with a reciprocal move set to come today. That seemed simple enough, as we learned later, also via Davidi, that Andy LaRoche would be coming up, as an extra hand for the club’s third base spot made vacant by Brett Lawrie’s injury. But when the official release from the club came, there was a bit of extra news, as it was revealed that catcher Josh Thole would also be joining the big club, meaning R.A. Dickey’s personal catcher, Henry Blanco, has been designated for assignment.

And if that’s not newsworthy enough, soon after some bad news for Chad Jenkins– who was thought to be on his way to the Majors in the near future, in order to start for the Jays on Tuesday– filtered out by way of a tweet from Ken Rosenthal. The once-excellent New York Yankee Chien-Ming Wang has opted out of a minor league contract with his old club in order to sign with the Jays, and he will be making Tuesday’s start– his first in the Majors since a somewhat dreadful stint with the Washington Nationals last season and the season before.

That’s right, the Jays’ rotation now has a Johnson, a Dickey, and a Wang. No, you turn six already!

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Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins

Hmmmm. Interesting stuff here via the Twitter, as late this morning an excited tweet from @JMontana41 was posted and then quickly deleted. The account belongs to Jeremy Jeffress, who has made four appearances for the Buffalo Bisons this year, putting up a tasty WHIP of 2.41, after beginning the season with the Jays.

Because it’s the internet, of course, some fans caught the tweet before Jeffress took it down:

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