Archive for the ‘Talkin’ Trades’ Category

When it comes to the possibility of significant roster turnover, it’s hard not to pick up where we left off a year ago this time, when we thought anything was possible, and something truly significant was surely on the horizon. Hardened by a calendar year in which the only “non-relief” “contributors”– both terms used rather loosely– added to the MLB roster were Aaron Laffey, Jesse Chavez, JA Happ, Ben Francisco, Jeff Mathis and Yorvit Torrealba, and understanding how the trick Anthopoulos needs to pull has grown in degree of difficulty after a year of injury and regression, a lot of fans seem to have stopped letting their minds race too quickly at ideas of seeing a multitude of new faces on the roster next year.

There are prospects to deal, free agents to sign and changes to be made, to be sure. But the sense I’ve got is that, with a few obvious exceptions, fans seem to figure that most of the players under team control and on the current roster will be here next April.

Is that really so? Could it possibly be so?

Given that teams, if they’re going to be giving up anything that helps the Jays’ big league club, are going to be much more focussed on acquiring MLB-ready players in trade, I don’t think it can be. And seeing as even the usually-secretive front office is being open about the fact that the Jays have to make some acquisitions, certainly there must be guys slated now to return who we won’t be seeing in a Jays uniform next season– y’know, unless Anthopoulos can get really creative, perhaps, as a reader astutely suggested the other day, by striking a lower-cost deal with the Angels or White Sox, who apparently aren’t going to pick up the options on Dan Haren and Jake Peavy anyway, in order to acquire one of those pitchers for the last, expensive year of their current deals… which would be totally badass and not nearly as high-risk as going all-in on some long-term commitment to a free agent.

But no… they’re probably going to have to trade someone of value from the MLB roster. Like one of these guys!

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The forecast calls for tough sledding out there for rumour-mongering pageview whores for the six weeks until the World Series ends, which maybe explains why Jon Morosi of Fox Sports is hunkering down early, and sprinkling some seed in front of his den, in hopes of catching some wayward fans, starved of pointless rumour content.

And who am I to not pass it along, right? Especially when some of what he suggesting echoes exactly what I was saying last month, when I looked at the AL trade market for pitchers, and which starters may be available in free agency.

In other words, it’s kinda bloody obvious…

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Our friend Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors passes along a post from Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic, in which he spoke to Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers about their shortstop situation for 2013, now that the club has washed its hands of Stephen Drew, essentially giving him away to Oakland earlier in the week.

“There’s not a lot on the free-agent market, so more than likely it’s going to take a trade,” Towers tells Piecoro. “We’ll probably have to trade a good player — or a couple of good players — to find one.”

Well, well, well. The Jays have something almost resembling a mild surplus at that position! And while the Rangers, with Elvis Andrus in place and Jurickson Profar ready, would be able to do some serious business in this regard, if they wanted to, the Jays might be able to do something a little more modest and reasonable with the Diamondbacks.

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Alright! It’s time for our rundown of all the day’s wheelings and/or dealings as the window closed for MLB clubs to make trades… um… without players passing through revocable waivers first. Er… it’s the Getting Blanked Podcast: Super Special Trade Deadline Edition!

This week we spoke to Twitter’s @CrashburnAlley (aka Bill Baer of Crashburn Alley!) about the Phillies being in the odd position of selling off assets, and Twitter’s @hangingsliders (aka Wendy Thurm of Hanging Sliders, FanGraphs, Baseball Nation and Getting Blanked!) about the Giants’ new acquisitions and the arms race in the NL West.

If you prefer to have a listen later, you can download the podcast right here.

Alternately, you can hit up the Getting Blanked iTunes page, which is humming along these days, and from now on until the end of eternity will have all our podcasts, mp3s and whatever other audio goodies we dream up posted there in a timely manner.

As always (again! finally!), Mint Musical Interludes courtesy of The ConstantinesArts & Crafts RecordsDeathwish Records and Optical Sounds. Be sure to check them out and buy every single fucking thing you hear at their sites.

And, in case you missed it, once again here’s our pre-deadline version of the Getting Blanked Show, with our guest @MLBTRBen (aka Ben Nicholson Smith of MLB Trade Rumors!).

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The 4 PM ET deadline is closing in on us, and rather than sit here and wait for something to happen, then start a new post when it does, write as little detail as I possibly can, the “MORE FORTHCOMING” and the scramble to not take 45 damn minutes to write up my thoughts, I’m thinking, why not just live blog the details as they start flyin’. Join me, won’t you?

4:31 PM: That really appears to be it. I know it’s going to be a disappointing way to end a trading period where it looked as though the Jays would have some real prospect capital to expend in order to strengthen the core of their club at the expense of just a few of the vast riches they possess in the low minors, but as we can see, not only were they unable to come to an agreement for someone like Matt Garza or Josh Johnson, but nobody really could. There were no Cliff Lee-like deals made by anybody, and while I’m sure that’s not going to be satisfactory to a whole lot of fans who expected something big, it has to be at least a little bit heartening that no other GM in the game was willing to pull off the kind of moves we expected AA to execute either.

The club has officially announced, via Twitter, the roster moves detailed below, which puts an official stamp on the end of business today. But let’s not forget that there is still the possibility for some August deals to be done– as the Jays did last year, acquiring Kelly Johnson for Aaron Hill and John McDonald.

Another thing we shouldn’t forget is that we’re not operating from the same pool of knowledge as clubs are. For example, Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Rangers ended up turning their interest to Ryan Dempster because they weren’t comfortable with the medicals they saw on Matt Garza. Obviously that kind of thing would have been a concern to the Jays as well, so… it’s hard to kill them for not going there, even though I’m sure lots of fans will insist on doing so.

We’re about to record a special, post-deadline edition of the Getting Blanked Podcast, so stay tuned for that. Afterwards, we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled programming, I guess.

What a letdown!

4:12 PM: Here it comes: According to a tweet from Shi Davidi of the Rogers-owned Sportsnet, the Rogers-owned Toronto Blue Jays have stood pat on the final day of non-waiver wheeling and dealing, and have confirmed the earlier roster moves, sending Joel Carreno and Evan Crawford back to the minors, and calling up Moises Sierra and adding Steve Delabar to the active roster in order to take their places. Welp, that was fun…

4:10 PM: Yes indeed, it’s quiet. Barring a late announcement, Brendan Kennedy tweets, it looks like the Jays did nothing. Again, not the most emphatic thing I’ve ever heard.

4:07 PM: Wilner and Griffin each tweet that things appear pretty quiet for the Jays as the deadline passes. Alex Anthopoulos will provide an update later today. Griffin specifically says that it’s quiet “re: Garza.” Hmmm. Not exactly the most emphatic “no deals” tweets I’ve ever read…

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Garzas gonna Garz.

Before Twitter went absolutely fucking ape goof over the sad, possibly premature, end of the Travis Snider era, you may have noticed a few rumblings about the Jays’ renewed interest in Cubs pitcher Matt Garza.

There’s a “very high chance” he gets dealt today, tweeted Jayson Stark of ESPN, after speaking with an unnamed executive who also told him that the Jays “have been bearing down on him.”

Ridiculous imagery aside, it certainly did seem like the Jays were very interested, as their name came up from a number of different sources: Ken Rosenthal tweeted that they were a more realistic landing spot for him than the Texas, and Bruce Levine of ESPN Chicago pointed out that the Jays are interested– and have been since the Winter Meetings– and the Cubs have been extensively scouting the pitchers at Lansing.

Most interestingly, perhaps, is the report from Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, who says that “the Jays are believed to have already asked the Cubs for permission to conduct a physical exam of the ailing veteran.”

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So… there’s still a whole lot of hostility out there for what went down last night, with the Jays moving Eric Thames to the Mariners for Steve Delabar… oh, and Travis Snider to the Pirates.

There are a lot of reasons why I get that– though I’m somewhat surprised that Snider’s “contending organization” comment about the Pirates didn’t spark much backlash, but I suppose that’s because lot of embittered Jays fans were probably nodding and “fuckin’ eh-ing” in agreement at the time.

Certainly there’s good reason relievers aren’t sexy pick-ups, and that’s because they just don’t pitch often enough to provide the kind of value that we all once dreamed Travis Snider would be capable of producing– and which, as a 24-year-old, he still may be able to. But Lincoln has been excellent in the role this year and remains under team control for a long time– the latter of which probably couldn’t be said of Snider, which is really what fans are having trouble processing today.

Very obviously, the Jays didn’t see Snider as part of their future, and feared hanging on too long to a diminishing asset.

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