Archive for the ‘Talkin’ Trades’ Category


“Two years ago, the Houston Astros constructed ‘Ground Control’—a built-from-scratch online database for the private use of the Astros front office. It is by all accounts a marvel, an easy-to-use interface giving executives instant access to player statistics, video, and communications with other front offices around baseball,” explains Barry Petchesky of Deadspin. “All it needs, apparently, is a little better password protection.”

And thus we begin a journey into ten months of internal trade talks, leaked by someone who evidently figured out a way around that poor password protection, and posted at Deadspin, and also at Annobin, which we’re told is “a site where users can anonymously share hacked or leaked information.”

It’s all very interesting stuff, and worth scanning through for more than just the Jays bits, but, of course, that’s the stuff we’re most interested in.

The talks being around last year’s trade deadline, with the Astros looking to move Bud Norris. The Jays don’t appear to have been terribly seriouslyt involved in the Norris stuff, but they’re certainly mentioned in regard to that pursuit, withseveral off-seasonJays conversations also logged in the database. So… um… let’s take a look at what Alex Anthopoulos was really doing, and what he really thinks…


[Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos] texted [Luhnow] and asked what it would take for Norris. AA said Aaron Sanchez is off the table but might be willing to talk about anyone else.


[Luhnow] told [Alex Anthopoulos] that we would consider Stroman +. AA said he had a bunch of balls in the air at once but would get back to JL.


[Alex Anthopoulos] texted [Luhnow] and asked what a package around Stroman might look like. JL said Stoman + Gose would be in consideration.

These ones are all about Bud Norris, and — as Petchesky puts it — it’s pretty amazing how this talk “really isn’t too different from your fantasy league, with front office types kicking around ideas, making preposterous demands, gossiping, and discussing various contingencies.”

The Jays obviously didn’t pull the trigger on a deal like this — not that it was really up to them, as the Astros had dialogue with multiple teams about Norris — and that would seem to be a pretty damn good thing. Not sure how Bud Norris — or anybody — was helping the 2013 by the time the trade deadline rolled around — though he was/is still under team control until the end of 2015 — but Anthopoulos was at least interested enough in the possibility of dealing Stroman for Norris that he followed up on what the rest of the package might look like.

Read the rest of this entry »


Toronto? You think I’m gonna waive my no-trade to play in Toronto??!?

The good feelings produced by the P.R. Easter egg placed among the coverage of the Jays’ State of the Franchise event sure didn’t last long, did they? Because it looks today as though the Jays were never as close to landing Ian Kinsler as they would have liked us to believe.

Ken Rosenthal quickly went about clarifying the report in a piece on the Jays’ off-season for Fox Sports:

The Kinsler talks, on the other hand, had not been previously reported. And while Davidi reported that the discussions were “scuttled” by Kinsler’s no-trade clause, the Rangers never actually asked Kinsler to approve a deal, major league sources said.

He goes on to say that it was actually Edwin Encarnacion — not Jose Bautista, as I speculated last night — who seemed to be the primary target for Texas, at least according to some of the conflicting information he has heard. The Jays, one source tells him, wouldn’t deal Encarnacion. He also hears that Sergio Santos and Ricky Romero also had their names come up in discussion, which obviously wouldn’t be nearly enough. Either way, he reports that the Jays decided it was “pointless” to continue with talks after learning they were on Kinsler’s no-trade list.

Read the rest of this entry »


And here I was getting set to write a big post about how nothing particularly interesting came out of the Jays’ State of the Franchise event.

I’ll share a bunch of thoughts on AJ Burnett, defensive shifts (yes to both), and the like tomorrow, but tonight Shi Davidi dropped something of a bombshell on us, and it’s one requires some more (relatively) immediate examination. According to his latest for Sportsnet, he reported that, in addition to the one for Brett Anderson we’d already heard about, the Jays had a deal fall apart that would have landed them Ian Kinsler, who was then with the Texas Rangers, but has since been moved to Detroit.

Or… “fall apart” isn’t quite the right terminology. He writes:

“A potential deal was scuttled by the three-time all-star’s no-trade clause, leaving the Rangers to look elsewhere, and the Blue Jays to anoint rookie Ryan Goins as the front-runner at second base.”

Fair enough on Kinsler’s part. It’s his right, and it’s hard to begrudge him that. Potentially this relates back to something that actually came up earlier today, when Sports Illustrated mistakenly called Toronto a “loathed city” when passing on a CBS Sports report that actually said it’s “a place some others are loathe [sic] to play.” There is definitely a sense out there that Toronto isn’t the place where a lot of guys want to come — at least not until they’ve played here — and we’ve all heard the issues before. Of course, we have no idea if Kinsler wouldn’t drop the no-trade clause for anything to do with any of that, or if he was simply hoping to avoid the turf, or to stay in Texas.

Whatever the reasoning, avoiding getting a player who doesn’t want to be here isn’t the only thing to feel good about here (which is especially good since that’s kind of a dumb way to look at it anyway). Actually, there are sort of a lot of things to like.

Read the rest of this entry »

Fister For What???


With all the talk of the extravagant prices on the pitching market this winter, and the millions of dollars and sparkling prospects it’s going to take for Alex Anthopoulos to do what he needs to do to fix his rotation, uh… how the hell did he not get in on Doug Fister? How did he not beat the offer the Washington Nationals were making for Doug Fister?

Shit, how did anybody not beat this offer?


Anthopoulos is certainly not the only GM with some explaining to do on this– Dave Dombrowski, come on down!– but Krol is a hard-throwing (93.5 per FanGraphs) left-handed reliever with a bunch of team control left on account of how he only has 27.1 big league innings, during which he posted a 3.95 ERA, a 4.69 FIP, and an unsustainable strand rate. Mark Hulet had him as the A’s 15th best prospect prior to 2012 (he moved to Washington in the Mike Morse deal last year). Ray is a Double-A lefty starter with some promise on one hand, and a place among Carson Cistulli’s fringe prospects exercise at FanGraphs on the other. BP’s Jason Parks seems to sum up popular sentiment on Ray quite nicely:

Read the rest of this entry »


Here’s something rather interesting, though there isn’t a whole lot of meat on it as yet. And by “not a whole lot,” I mean nothing more than just this, basically:

Mark Buehrle rumours?

The fantasy-focussed site seems to have noticed the tidbit, but all they’re adding at this point is this:

The Toronto Blue Jays are shopping SP Mark Buehrle this offseason. It’ll be difficult to deal him because his contract was heavily backloaded.


Read the rest of this entry »


It’s Saturday, and I don’t particularly want to do this right now, but there seems to be more than enough chatter out there at the moment to justify at least a quick post on… well… this:

There is a lot to like about the Shark, but a lot to be concerned about here, too.

In terms of the player, on one hand, Samardzija has only thrown 200 innings once, has put up less than three wins over the last two years per Baseball Reference, and only has two years left before free agency. On the other hand, those innings have been limited by the fact that he had pitched largely as a reliever from 2008 to 2011. He is well liked by FanGraphs’ FIP-based version of WAR, having been worth nearly six wins over the last two seasons by that metric. He’s a hard thrower with a K% consistently above 20%, and has basically held his average velocity over the past three seasons, despite working exclusively out of the ‘pen in the first of those years, and he’s relatively cheap, with MLBTR projecting him at $4.9-million in arbitration this year.

In terms of cost? It’s slightly terrifying. I wrote last month about some spitballin’ that Cubs fans and writers were doing in this regard, which had them come up with Kyle Drabek and Daniel Norris as the keys guys to build a package around– in which case, giddy up!– but obviously you’d have to think that Chicago would be pressing hard for someone like Aaron Sanchez or Marcus Stroman.

Read the rest of this entry »


There are some pretty big qualifiers in a pretty small passage in the latest from Jeff Blair of the Globe and Mail, as he looks at the developing off-season market in the wake of the Fielder-Kinsler bloickbuster, but this is still pretty interesting:

Every team needs starting pitching, but few teams can point to that commodity as 90 per cent of the reason they finished in last place – except for the Blue Jays. In Anthopoulos’s perfect world, he’d be able to trade for a front of the rotation starter, sign another through free agency, and go into spring training with R.A. Dickey and Mark Buerhle while keeping his fingers crossed that Brandon Morrow comes back healthy. There remains a chance, industry sources believe, that Buehrle might be moved if the pitching market really heats up although that would seem to be dependent on Anthopoulos making hay in the free agency.


Yes, those are some pretty gigantic ifs, and I’m not sure how much sense it would make for the Jays to fix their starting pitching issues, only to immediately go and create another large, stunningly-dependable hole in the rotation. But there are certainly elements of the idea that could make sense.

Uh… I think.

Read the rest of this entry »