Archive for the ‘The Trade’ Category

Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson each spoke on conference calls with the media today, and… there was nothing terribly earth-shattering to come out of it– so much so that I wasn’t going to bring myself to write a whole post on it, until I tried stuffing a bunch of notes into a link dump and deciding that I could probably hack together what I’ve got into… something.

Mike Cormack of Sportsnet (@MikeCormack) has as comprehensive a group of tweets from the calls as you’ll find, so I’d suggest checking his feed out now, if you want a preview of the transcripts– and audio highlights, he says– that will likely come later.

Until then, here’s what’s worth knowing:

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Click to embiggen, then ponder what all is Photoshopped here.

For those of you who don’t happen be privileged enough to get all of last week’s news delivered straight to that weird old dust-collecting box on the front of your house, Arden Zwelling of Sportsnet Magazine (aka @ArdenZwelling) has tweeted what the cover of the one that will hit newsstands (whatever they are) tomorrow– and would you look at that! It’s what Emilio Bonifacio looks like!

Uh… and some other guys.

Go out and buy it tomorrow so you can hang the cover on your wall or something (you can just read the story online later)– also: so I won’t feel like as much of a dick for shitting on the medium.

Quite understandably, lots of folks were pretty excited by some of the words that came out of the mouths of new Jays Josh Johnson and, especially, John Buck, after they heard them on the radio, or read the transcriptions I provided yesterday.

Buck, in particular, earned a lot of new fans thanks to a glowing review of his previous stint with the Jays, and what he described as a full-on, straight-out-of-the-marketing-literature selling of the club to perhaps-reluctant teammates Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle.

“To play for the Blue Jays– I wouldn’t have said this beforehand, but now that I got to experience and live it– it’s a cool experience,” he told Jeff Blair of the Fan 590. “I said, ‘You know how you’ve got the aura of the Yankees here in the States? Put that with the Blue Jays and times it by a whole country. I’m telling you, it’s pretty cool to have the fan base that the Blue Jays have.”

As fans who fear too many players take the opposite view, it’s a tremendously refreshing thing to hear. And I don’t doubt that he’s entirely sincere, either– though, as a cynic, I can’t not point out that he’s certainly keen enough to know who his audience was.

Unfortunately for the right-thinking among us (or at least those who read the comments here), certain fuckfaces have gotten hold of these comments, and are attempting to hold them up as some kind of validation of Cito Gaston’s insistence on letting Buck play out the string as he headed for free agency in 2010, supposedly hoping to get him to 20 home runs and a better contract in the process.

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Two of the newest members of the Toronto Blue Jays, starter Josh Johnson and catcher John Buck, recently took separately to the radio airwaves to react to the trade, with both of them providing a wealth of interesting, uplifting information on the trade, and their reactions to it– as well as their teammates’.

Josh Johnson

Despite some irritating phone troubles, Johnson joined Miami’s Dan Le Batard Show on Tuesday (audio here - starts around 2:02:00), extremely diplomatically explaining that his initial reaction to the trade was shock, confusion, and ultimately agreeing with the suggestion that he was “pissed off”– though not because of the destination he was heading to. “I definitely wanted to stay there,” he explained. “I wanted to be there and give it one more run at it to make something happen there, because I’ve always felt that we were pretty close, and I think we had the players in place for the most part.”

Apparently like everybody else, Johnson– or “L Cool JJ” as the hosts called him– follows MLB Trade Rumors, explaining that he “was actually upstairs with my kids playing” as the trade was blowing up the internet. “I went downstairs to check my phone and I had a bunch of messages and calls from my agent. So I called him and he was like, ‘Have you heard?’ I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And as soon as it happened I heard a bling on my phone– it was MLB Trade Rumors, and it says ‘Blue Jays close to acquiring Josh Johnson.’ I was like, ‘um… I just did right now actually.’ ”

“I was hoping I’d go at least until about the All-Star break, and then the trade rumours would start going,” he said. “I was hoping for one more shot at making something happen down there in Miami, but that’s just how the business goes, and now I’m really excited to move on and start a new chapter in my career.”

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So, remember how there had been whispers or worries about newly-acquired Jays lefty Mark Buehrle not being entirely happy with what transpired last week, as he, Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and others were dumped by the Marlins in exchange for a few prospects and a monstrous amount of salary relief?

Uh, yeah… about that…

“I’m upset with how things turned out in Miami,” Buehrle said in a joint statement with his agent, via the Sun Sentinel. “Just like the fans in South Florida, I was lied to on multiple occasions. But I’m putting it behind me and looking forward to moving on with my career.”

Sweet! For us, at least. Sounds like he’s accepted it and is ready to come here. BEGRUDGINGLY ON BOARD!!!

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Per an official release from the Jays, The Trade has been approved by the league, and is now, seriously, honestly, officially, stop-worrying-about-it official.

PLAYOFFS!!!!1!

The email from the club to reporters (and, y’know, bloggers) reads:

The TORONTO BLUE JAYS have completed a 12-player trade with the Miami Marlins that will see the club acquire RHP JOSH JOHNSON, LHP MARK BUEHRLE, SS JOSE REYES, C JOHN BUCK, INF/OF EMILIO BONIFACIO and cash considerations. In return the Marlins will acquire SS YUNEL ESCOBAR, SS ADEINY HECHAVARRIA, RHP HENDERSON ALVAREZ, C JEFF MATHIS along with the following minor league players, LHP JUSTIN NICOLINO, RHP ANTHONY DESCLAFANI and OF JAKE MARISNICK.

It also announces that Joel Carreno has been designated for assignment in order to make room on the 40-man roster for all of the delicious new players.

There was a separate release that soon followed the announcement, alerting the media to a press conference tomorrow morning at 9:30 AM, which will be attended by Alex Anthopoulos, though “it is not anticipated that any of the players involved in the recent transactions will be able to attend the press conference.”

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Getting Blanked has already run this, so I’m sure many of you have caught it there, but I’d be remiss if I didn’t pass along to the rest of you this nifty piece of work from the social team at theScore, as they give us a sneak peak of what the Jays might look like when they hit the field in April, featuring all of their delicious new toys.

Though… so help me if Kelly Johnson, Ben Francisco and Francisco Cordero somehow wind up back on this team. And please, let’s not pretend that there’s more than one version of OK Blue Jays worth polluting our ears with. But… whatever! Jose Reyes!

BONUS: For those of you who missed it last night, starting around the 23 minute mark of this clip you can hear me talking for several minutes too loudly into my phone about the Jays mega deal with Matt Cauz of TSN Radio.