Archive for the ‘Winter Meetings’ Category


It’s not official-official, but it’s official enough that I think I can say… uh… officially that Rajai Davis is no longer a member of the Toronto Blue Jays. I suppose that was true as soon as he hit free agency– we knew it was extremely unlikely he was coming back– but now we know where he’ll land and for how much, as Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet has confirmed that he’ll sign a two year deal with the Detroit Tigers, while Jon Morosi adds that the terms will pay him $9- or $10-million over the two years.

Benny Fresh further adds that it’s a straight deal, with no options.

That’s a pretty good deal for Rajai, even though he won’t be getting the starting job that he coveted, and he’ll definitely be missed here– the CF-capable, lefty-mashing speedster was actually a perfect fourth outfielder and platoon partner for Adam Lind on this roster– but that salary is also, quite literally, ten times more than a league minimum guy like Anthony Gose, Kevin Pillar, or Moises Sierra will earn this year, should they assume the club’s fourth outfielder role.

And if the Jays can find a cheap caddy for Lind to fit in elsewhere– like the infield? Well, then they’ll be fine, and for quite a bit less money, too.

Works for all involved then, I guess? OK! I mean, Rajai sure looks happy– but who wouldn’t if they just got handed $10-million to be a platoon outfielder?

So… there’s that.


Here’s a hastily put together collection of links to get you ready for day two of the Winter Meetings, as we get set to once again begin playing the waiting game Hungry Hungry Hippos in hopes of some actual Jays-related news…

Uh… hello! Buster Olney tweets that the Phillies “have indicated to other teams they are ready and willing to talk about Cliff Lee and Cole Hamels in trades.” The price would surely be astronomical, and it’s hard to quite understand given the way that roster is constructed– they just brought back Carlos Ruiz for three years, they extended Utley over the summer, Ryan Howard’s deal is as bloated as ever, etc.– but if we’ve learned anything from watching the Phillies over these last few years, it’s that Ruben Amaro isn’t a man who is going to let sense get in the way of a decision. So… yeah. If the Jays are going to break the ol’ prospect bank on a pitcher, here are the guys to be going all-in on. Beats Jeff Samardzija and Brett fucking Anderson. Speaking of…

According to a tweet from Jeff Passan, some teams “believe A’s have cooled on idea of trading Brett Anderson this week.” Could that be, maybe, because he’s not ready to pass a physical if he does get traded anyway? I, of course, actually have no idea if that was the issue that saw the Jays’ three-way trade of Sergio Santos to the Rangers, which would have netted them a starter, fall apart, but it sure does make a little bit of sense. Meh.

Joel Sherman tweets that an agreement is in place between Japan and MLB on the new posting system, which will cap the posting fee NPB clubs receive at $20-million. However, he notes that MLB’s executive council still has to approve it. That sounds like it’s a formality, but it won’t take place until later in the week, and it still doesn’t resolve the issue of whether Rakuten will actually post Masahiro Tanaka or not.

On Lee and Hamels, Jon Heyman adds that the Phillies won’t eat any dollars to get deals done– then reminds us that Hamels has $118.5-million for five years left on his deal (including a $6-million buyout for a sixth year option that would cost an additional $14-million to exercise), while Lee has $62.5-million guaranteed for two years, plus a $12.5-million buyout on a third year option that would cost $15-million more to exercise. Get on the phone with Rogers, Alex. Like, right damn now.

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The Winter Meetings continue today in Orlando, so it seems like now is the perfect time to do a little housekeeping to get you setup for all the delicious coverage around here that will continue this morning.

If you followed along yesterday, or read the recap, you’ll already know what to expect: a torrent of posts for the duration of the day, featuring every manner of Jays-related rumour out there. Assuming, y’know, the Jays actually give us anything to work with– which I’m not exactly concerned that they won’t, given all the heavy lifting that’s still left to do in terms of constructing the club’s roster for 2014.

And how will you know when a new on goes up? Aside from constantly refreshing the site (which you may be doing anyway, if you’re participating in the discussion in the comments) you’ll see every new post tweeted out as soon as it’s live by joining the 20,000 strong monkey army following @DrunkJaysFans on Twitter. Alternatively, you can have a link to every new post sent straight to your news feed if you join the… uh… considerably less strong number of folks who like DJF on Facebook!

Remember, though, that the DJF Twitter is mostly just a feed setup to pretty much give you only links to the posts, with the occasional additional bit of “ICYMI” prodding. However, you can follow me at @AndrewStoeten to get all the same links, plus a whole lot of relevant re-tweets, fun stuff, and someone who’ll actually interact with you more than ol’ DJFBot. If you’re into that.

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Stay tuned for some podcastery at some point over the next couple of days (uh… just maybe don’t stay that tuned for it, though), and thanks for your continued support.


Here’s a handy digest of what went down during Day One in Orlando, which… well… it wasn’t much in terms of crazy innuendo or fast-breaking trades, but for us– more than most fan bases around the league– it was still a pretty special day…

We woke up to a giant primer of reading material, though we maybe thought we were still dreaming as we stared at the surreal work of Robert Crumb. Highlights included Geoff Baker’s similarly surreal takedown of the Mariners’ front office, Jason Parkes giving out some prospect love on the Blue Jays Plus Podcast, and (shameless self promotion alert) some Jays shirseys over at the hilarious Cespedes Family BBQ.

Early in the day we were stunned out of our slumber with word that the Jays would be making an announcement– something that doesn’t usually mean a minor deal, but which came without any other word about a trade or a free agent signing, which certainly seemed unusual.

We eventually found, of course, that the announcement was for Roy Halladay, who would be signing a one-day contract and retiring as a Blue Jay. And it got a little dusty in here.

Halladay, we later learned, will be working with the Jays organization in the future, joining them in the spring in Dunedin to impart some knowledge, while also stepping into the front office as a “fly on the wall” at a later date, hoping to learn a thing or two about that side of the industry.

Wistfulness sufficiently realized, the day moved on, and we heard that the Pirates were interested in Adam Lind, only to find later on that the Jays asked for Neil Walker and the talks went nowhere.

Word of an Edwin Encarnacion-for-David Price rumour tickled our fancy, even though we knew that it couldn’t possibly be terribly serious.

Then Alex Anthopoulos checked in with reporters, admitting to having one “complicated long shot” deal in the works, while mostly putting on his best poker face, admitting that he may wait out the market for free agent starters, acknowledging that he had arranged with certain agents that they’d get back to him before moving on with any other deal, and looking with some seriousness to the possibility of making a play for Masahiro Tanaka.

John Gibbons met with the media as well, praising Ryan Goins, who he says he thinks can start, while standing up for J.P. Arencibia, admitting there has been talk about Tanaka, and more.

We heard that the Jays are one of many clubs interested in a Cuban infielder, while Peter Gammons suggested that the Jays may be a suitor for Bartolo Colon.

It then came about that two weeks ago the Jays had a trade that fell apart. It would have sent Sergio Santos to the Texas Rangers, but apparently another player in the deal failed his physical. We later learned that the player the Jays would have received was a starter– which led to much speculation that it could have been Brett Anderson, as the Rangers and A’s completed a smaller deal shortly after this one reportedly fell apart.

Lastly, that Anderson speculation came in a later post, which also looked at the status of Tanaka– who may not be pursued by the Dodgers and Yankees, we were told– and featured speculation on Justin Masterson, who Cleveland may be making available for trade.


As the reporters and baseball men in Orlando start to trickle into the bar, and the news starts to trickle out more lightly– at least for another few hours, most likely (unless I’m totally just making it up that everybody’s getting shithammered and will rush back with breathless half-baked innuendo later in the night)– there are a few interesting notes or thoughts to pass along on a trio of pitchers who are available this winter– one of them, surprisingly so.

Justin Masterson

The Clevelands were making big splashes on the free agent market last season– bargain hunting as they may have been, waiting out Nick Swisher until January, and Michael Bourn until February– and so while it seemed possible then that they may have dealt their best pitcher, Justin Masterson, with two years left before his free agency, they made the choice to make a run for the playoffs with him on staff instead, and did pretty damn well for themselves (thanks in no small part to the heisting of Yan Gomes from the Jays). Now, with only one year left before his contract expires, according to a tweet from Ken Rosenthal, they might really be ready to move him this time:

MLBTR projects Masterton to earn $9.7-million this year, which would certainly fit the Jays’ pay structure, and I project that his wicked ground ball rate and spike in strikeout rate in 2013 would make him a hell of an attractive commodity to the club– and, well, any club, really– but it’s hard to see an immediate, obvious fit here in terms of lining up on a trade. Or, well, anywhere, really.

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It’s not just Alex Anthopoulos and the rest of his key front office lieutenants who are down in Orlando this week– where, according to a Jeff Passan tweet, all kinds of trade talk is going on, despite the fact that not much has become concrete just yet– as the Jays’ field manager is down there as well! Ol’ Gibbers met with the media this afternoon, and Gregor Chisholm was kind enough to try to scratch down some of his patented Gibberish (some of which needs a helping hand to resemble proper English), providing a transcription of the session at his North of the Border blog.

In the previous post I noted the comments that Gibbons made regarding the possible moving of money from the rotation to the bench, depending on what the Jays are able to do on the pitching side. Here are some other highlights…

On J.P. Arencibia…

The writing was on the wall for J.P.  I mean, [there] was kind of the sentiment [that] you guys [were] ready to get rid of him too.  Not that we were, but you guys were pushing that way.  That was a joke … But you know what, personally I’m going to miss the guy.  You know what, I think wherever he ends up, I think he signed with Texas.  I think that’s official now.  I think he’s going to do a good job there.  I really do.  What can you say about him?  He wanted to be in that lineup.  He got beaten up pretty good.  But I think he’s still got a bright future.  Just came to the point in time there at Toronto where it was probably best to go the other way.

This topic has been exhausted, and… I don’t know. If Gibbons wants to feed the us-vs.-them thing with the media, or if he just wants to make it clear he’s got his player’s– or former player’s– back, sure, that’s fine. And even if I thought that was bullshit (and I might!), I can’t really fault him for any of what he says here. He’s not wrong that it’s for the best that Arencibia left, and he’s not exactly wrong that the media howled for his departure, either. Much of that was warranted because of his play, of course, and some of it was warranted by some of his attitude and actions. But as I’ve written before, it’s not like Maicer Izturis or Melky Cabrera or Josh Johnson took the same level of shit as J.P. did, despite that fact that they all were probably, somehow, astonishingly, worse. Just kinda hard to separate it all from how he handled it, at this point.

Anyway, something that I think I can fault Gibbons on is his absolute fawning over Ryan “.214/.243/.310 line against triple-A left-handers” Goins as a possible starter at second base for the club. Ugh.

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Shi Davidi rounds up the afternoon from the Winter Meetings in his latest at Sportsnet, and finds a little bit more out about the three-way deal that Jon Morosi reported earlier that would have sent Sergio Santos to Texas, if not for another player in the deal failing a physical.

The deal would have included a starter for the Blue Jays, separate sources told’s Ben Nicholson-Smith and this writer, underlining how difficult getting things done can be.

I think what might especially underline it is the fact that this all happened two weeks ago, and evidently there weren’t any contingencies or other, similar offers, or players who could be subbed in. At least not that have been executed yet, obviously. Evidently there was one very narrow permutation of one deal that all sides were ready to agree on, and when that went away… nothing.


And while you’d have to think that eventually something’s going to give, there continues to be a bit of a dampening of expectations– though in about as positive a way as possible, I’d say.

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