Archive for the ‘MLBTR’ Category

I think I can probably, by now, say for certain that this will stay as a regular feature around here for the early winter, as again today, with any number of rumblings out there on the trade and free agent markets, and all kinds of decisions being made on players throughout the league who may wind up having some bearing on the Jays’ plans for the off-season, I think it will be a valuable exercise to comb through the latest from the astonishingly fantastic and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and add some Jays-related context to whatever is going on out there…

The Red Sox are really high  on Mike Napoli, apparently, which I probably shouldn’t like as much as I do. Paying Napoli catcher money for too many years after his production went back to normal in 2012? Sounds like something I’d think the Sox totally should do. But on the other hand, he’ll probably effing rake in that joke park.

Speaking of the Red Sox, apparently there has been discussion between them an Kansas City for a deal that might involve Jon Lester going to KC (wait, but doesn’t he need John Farrell’s magical fix first!), and Wil Myers heading to Boston. Tampa’s James Shields is another name that’s come up in the Royals’ quest to flip a bat for a starter. To steal a thought from a commenter somewhere… why not Ricky Romero? Intriguing, isn’t it?

Not at MLBTR yet, though I’m sure it will be momentarily: Danny Knobler of CBS Sports has sources telling him that the Angels do not appear likely to sign Zack Greinke. Well… good thing they traded Ervin Santana and didn’t pick up Dan Haren’s option then, amiright? Sign him, Alex. Why the hell not?

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I think I can probably, by now, say for certain that this will stay as a regular feature around here for the early winter, as again today, with any number of rumblings out there on the trade and free agent markets, and all kinds of decisions being made on players throughout the league who may wind up having some bearing on the Jays’ plans for the off-season, I think it will be a valuable exercise to comb through the latest from the astonishingly fantastic and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and add some Jays-related context to whatever is going on out there…

First, Some Leftover, Non-MLBTR Links…

Alex Anthopoulos was on Prime Time Sports last week, following the announcement of John Gibbons as the club’s new-old manager, offering some interesting comments on the genesis of The Trade, and making it sound like he really values “energy guys”– players who bring energy both on the field and in the clubhouse. Really made me wonder if this is viewed as a kind of market inefficiency in the wake MLB’s outlawing of greenies. Ha!

Anthopoulos also spoke to WEEI.com in Boston at the end of last week– a radio hit I was going to write about at time, but… Friday.

And here’s yet another radio clip, from The Team in Vancouver, as a couple of disinterested-sounding guys talk to new Jays pitcher Josh Johnson, who goes over much of what he told Dan Le Batard last week, adding that Frank Thomas is his neighbour– their kids play on the same presumably-stacked tee-ball team– and that his dad was born in Calgary. Maple what??

Moving away from the radio, at his North of the Border blog, Gregor Chisholm transcribes John Gibbons’ comments from today’s conference call with reporters, wherein the manager spoke of rooming with his new bench coach, DeMarlo Hale, during a Hawaiian Winter League stint over a decade ago. Gregor also speculates that Pat Hentgen may be angling for a pitching coach job, but doesn’t seem to have as much interest in working with relievers, so therefore may not be interested in the club’s vacant bullpen coach position.

From MLBTR…

 

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I think I can probably, by now, say for certain that this will stay as a regular feature around here for the early winter, as again today, with any number of rumblings out there on the trade and free agent markets, and all kinds of decisions being made on players throughout the league who may wind up having some bearing on the Jays’ plans for the off-season, I think it will be a valuable exercise to comb through the latest from the astonishingly fantastic and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and add some Jays-related context to whatever is going on out there…

It’s been over a week since the last instalment of Today in MLBTR around here, and what an absolutely insane week it’s been– so crazy, in fact, that it’s not even clear that the Jays are going to be doing much more heavy lifting this winter, after acquiring Jose Reyes, Melky Cabrera, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Emilio Bonifacio, Maicer Izturis, John Buck, and re-hiring criminally underrated manager John Gibbons. But that’s just the thing. Our notions of what is possible were just absolutely exploded by Alex Anthopoulos, Paul Beeston, Rogers, and Co. So, let’s keep on keeping our eye out…

Joel Sherman, while making clear that these aren’t necessarily ongoing talks, uses the Jays as an example of a club who might show more interest in RA Dickey if the Mets allowed them a window in which to negotiate an extension. He suggests that such an opportunity might put the remaining big pieces of the Jays’ system– Travis d’Arnaud, Noah Syndergaard, Aaron Sanchez, etc.– into play. Not sure I’d be confident enough to give up something like that and commit long-term money to Dickey on the belief that the huge spike in K% this year is real. Felt pretty real, but… I don’t know…

Kenny Ken Ken writes that the free agent market for catchers has stalled because both the Red Sox and Jays have a catching surplus to trade from, but he also notes that he doesn’t think the Jays are in a hurry to deal JP Arencibia, which would essentially mean gambling that Travis d’Arnaud is fully healthy and ready to pick up where he left off last June.

According to Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald, the Sox are very close to a deal with DH/OF Jonny Gomes, who would have looked excellent as the other side of a DH platoon with Adam Lind– especially in a world where clubs have an unlimited bench. So… who’s going to platoon with Lind, then? Rajai? Because he sure as fucking shit should not ever face a left-hander again.

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I think I can probably, by now, say for certain that this will become a regular feature around here for the early winter, as again today, with any number of rumblings out there on the trade and free agent markets, and all kinds of decisions being made on players throughout the league who may wind up having some bearing on the Jays’ plans for the off-season, I think it will be a valuable exercise to comb through the latest from the astonishingly fantastic and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and add some Jays-related context to whatever is going on out there…

In Buster Olney’s latest for ESPN.com, he wonders if a club might “move aggressively” on Jeremy Guthrie, and whether the Jays might be such a club, given their need and Guthrie’s track record in the AL East. Frankly, I wouldn’t hate such a move, assuming that it pushes Henderson Alvarez to Buffalo and leaves room for one, or perhaps even two more additions to the rotation. I wouldn’t put it past Anthopoulos to flip JA Happ in a deal for a starter, and Guthrie– with his ability to be solidly above replacement level, though slightly below average (except when in Colorado), and eat a bunch of innings– would slot in nicely as a fifth starter, should that happen. Or even if not. Thing is, I worry that “move aggressively” might be code for “offer more years than otherwise necessary,” which probably only means two… but still. On the other hand, his 91 innings with Kansas City in the second half was perhaps the best stretch of his career– 3.16 ERA, 3.84 FIP, though his ability to keep balls in the ballpark makes his rate-adjusted numbers like xFIP or SIERA look a little worse. But still solidly mediocre!

Shortstop Jed Lowrie of the Astros is drawing interest, which actually might present an interesting opportunity for the Jays. Sure, they have middle infielders aplenty for the moment, and the price might be exorbitant, and Lowrie has had some injury troubles in his career. But the Astros are one club who won’t necessarily be looking for MLB talent in return, and adding yet another middle infielder would make it more comfortable to move Yunel Escobar elsewhere. Basically, something like that would make the Jays’ lives easier: turning minor league assets into an open MLB asset that the vast majority of teams are more likely to covet. Plus, Lowrie is looking at making around $1.9-million in 2013, and is only under team control for two years, which would open the position up for Adeiny Hechavarria sooner than Escobar’s deal allows– assuming his options are exercised.

Torii Hunter is visiting Detroit today, and people seem to think it’s a foregone conclusion he’ll sign with the Tigers. I can’t say it wouldn’t be a tremendously solid move for them– and for those of us who had to watch Delmon Young attempt to play the outfield during the World Series. Hunter only has so many good years left to give, and the Tigers’ Championship window isn’t going to be open forever– though I suppose we kinda thought that while watching Magglio Ordonez decline, too, isn’t it? Seems like a good match, and while I like the pipe dream of Hunter joining the Jays instead– especially after looking deeper at his splits– for a club with finite resources, at least 2/5ths of their rotation currently vacant, and really only needing a left fielder to platoon with Rajai Davis, I can see why it was probably not even worth the time to try and convince him to bring his 37-year-old knees to our turf.

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I think I can probably, by now, say for certain that this will become a regular feature around here for the early winter, as again today, with any number of rumblings out there on the trade and free agent markets, and all kinds of decisions being made on players throughout the league who may wind up having some bearing on the Jays’ plans for the off-season, I think it will be a valuable exercise to comb through the latest from the astonishingly fantastic and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and add some Jays-related context to whatever is going on out there…

Don’t tell the hopeless fans who constantly scoff at Alex Anthopoulos for his infatuation with cheap relievers, but it’s looking like he may have read the market right, as Jeremy Affeldt has followed in Brandon League’s big-money footsteps, reportedly re-upping with the Giants for three years, and $18-million. Affeldt has been terrific for the last two years– especially in 2012– so it’s not like he’s just any old reliever, but for a team with limited resources, I’ll take what Alex has been doing with pre-arb guys over that kind of outlay any day.

Cleveland could be a possible destination for Jason Bay, and if they want to give him an actual Major League contract, they can have him. Another possibility, though, is Melky Cabrera, “as the pressure-free environment in Cleveland could help him rebound next season.” Hey Melk Man, you want a pressure-free environment and an above average hitters park to help emphasize your turnaround? Do I have the place for you! A switch-hitting high on-base (at least when his BABIP is driving it) top-of-the-lineup left fielder? Uh… yeah, go get him, Alex. Fuck, give him a mutual option if you have to.

Both the Yankees and Red Sox are reportedly interested in free agent catcher Mike Napoli– who is insisting he wants to catch, largely because it means a heftier payday and a much shallower pool of talent than at first base, where he really probably should play. The Sox, of course, just signed David Ross, and already have Ryan Lavarnway and Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the roster. Salty might be dealt if they happen to land Napoli– or may be dealt either way– which some have speculated may cut into the potential market for JP Arencibia. That’s possibly true, though Saltalamacchia has only one year remaining before free agency, while Arencibia doesn’t even first hit arbitration until after 2014. So… they’re not going to go to anybody looking for quite the same thing, even if the production might be somewhat similar (if we’re being a little bit generous to JP).

Elsewhere behind the plate, it looks like AJ Pierzynski will be playing elsewhere next year, and Russell Martin is drawing interest from the Rangers. Unfortunately, as shitty as some of these catching options are, they’re certainly better than trading something that isn’t entirely redundant for Arencibia, right? I don’t think he’s going to bring back what a lot of fans have kinda hoped. Cheap, yes, but it’s not like these veterans are going to break the bank for a club like Texas.

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I still can’t say for certain that this will become a regular feature around here for the early winter (looking like it, though, huh?), but again today, with all kinds of movement happening on the trade and free agent markets, and all kinds of decisions being made on players throughout the league who may wind up having some bearing on the Jays’ plans for the off-season, I think it will be a valuable exercise to comb through the latest from the astonishingly fantastic and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and add some Jays-related context to whatever is going on out there…

Non-MLBTR Links!

First up, just a couple of other tidbits I felt were best suited to slide into this post, but which hadn’t yet, or in some cases won’t, wind up on the pages of MLBTR:

Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun speaks to Jim Tracy, who has cruelly been listed among potential Jays managerial candidates. But the ex-Dodgers, Pirates and Rockies manager says that he hasn’t heard a thing from the club– and he was employed during the last search, so Alex hasn’t even talked to him. I think we can safely cross his name off the list, thankfully– though in Elliott’s revised fake odds at the bottom of the post, he has Tracy third most likely to get the gig, somehow, behind Manny Acta and Don Wakamatsu. He also gives us several names of guys employed with other clubs who the Jays have yet to contact– and, at this point, presumably won’t.

In a separate piece, Elliott checks in from Indian Wells, and ties a statement from Anthpolous– “If we think we don’t have a chance, we won’t make a phone call”– to the fact that the Jays did make calls or have meetings with the agents who represent Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson and Francisco Liriano. If you read between the lines, it’s almost like the Jays don’t mind people thinking they have money– agents, players, fans, media trolls… it’s all good!

At FanGraphs, Dave Cameron looks at a name that ought to intrigue, in much the way that Scott Baker’s name does: Scott Feldman, who he calls “the poor man’s Brandon McCarthy.” To me, this is exactly the kind of guy who might see a club like the Jays as being his best opportunity– lots of potentially open rotation spots on a team that actually (sorry, trolls) has a shot at being pretty good. Factor in the cost and the fact that a guy like Feldman would allow you to do more elsewhere and… sure, I’d do it.

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I still can’t say for certain that this will become a regular feature around here for the early winter (looking like it, though, huh?), but again today, with all kinds of movement happening on the trade and free agent markets, and all kinds of decisions being made on players throughout the league who may wind up having some bearing on the Jays’ plans for the off-season, I think it will be a valuable exercise to comb through the latest from the astonishingly fantastic and comprehensive MLB Trade Rumors and add some Jays-related context to whatever is going on out there…

Dr. Kenny Ken Ken Rosen Rosen is reporting, as the GM meetings begin in Indian Wells, that the Diamondbacks are actively looking to move Justin Upton. He’s a hell of a player, but the Jays don’t likely have the talent to make it happen– Arizona isn’t rebuilding, so they need MLB-ready pieces back, and they don’t need a catcher, so that rules out JP Arencibia. The D’Backs just picked up Cliff Pennington in the Chris Young deal, but Rosenthal notes that they do still need a shortstop. Escobar or Hechavarria alone won’d get it done, though, and what other big league pieces would actually intrigue anyone looking to move this calibre of player, honestly? Using one of those guys to get a pitcher out of the desert as a third party in a deal? That I’d buy. But Upton’s a pipe dream.

Meanwhile, and speaking of one of their pitchers, Jerry Crasnick is tweeting that some in the Arizona organization aren’t so high on Trevor Bauer anymore, so the club is actively engaged in trying to move him. There were definitely issues there, especially when he reached the Majors, and they’d be magnified if he actually somehow wound up here in the AL East, but that’s a guy I’d move one of the Lansing Three for real quick– not that I think Arizona would be interested. Add a shortstop though…? I mean, it’s taking away from a future rotation to add to the present, and really, is it any more likely that Bauer flames out than Syndergaard or Nicolino? Is it maybe the same faction in Arizona souring on him who thought it was a good idea to move Jarrod Parker for Trevor Cahill? Fuck, do it, roll the dice.

Not at MLBTR just yet, but speaking of Rosenthal, and worth noting, is a tweet that went like this: “#BlueJays, in their search for a manager with experience, made contact with Mike Hargrove. Does not appear to have progressed.” Um… thankfully. I think. I mean, the Human Rain Delay? Pffft.

Holy fucking fuck right off, Jeremy Guthrie. The free agent, and former Orioles and Rockies pitcher, who had some nice success in Kansas City at the end of the season after spending most of it pitching like everybody else does in Colorado, is reportedly looking for a three-year deal worth $34-million. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, ten million really is the new five million. And it’s going to be a long couple of years if Rogers continues to force the Jays to play by the old financial rules. Then again, most teams will probably laugh in Guthrie’s agent’s face on this one.

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