Here are my notes from the call:
No specific payroll, it will be what it needs to be. There are no contraints but the club needs a model for success and then the fans will come out. Club drew 4 million fans year ago and could do it again. When the team starts winning the fans will come out.
Club needs a sustained model for success. Club needs to win based on strong player development and strong scouting.
Right now we have some of the pieces in the system but not all of the pieces. There has been an 88 win team and an 87 win Blue Jay team since the world series wins. In the AL East you need 95 wins to make the playoffs.
We need to be a great team to get to the 95 win mark.
Need to continue to add good young core players to the team. Free agency helps with pieces to get you over the top but you need a core that you can't get from free agency.
There is only a 4% to 7% chance to get from 75 wins to 95 wins. If the Jays tried to do that they could end up with a lot of overpriced, longer length contracts that they would regret later on. the Jays need to be sure they have that core before adding the high value contracts.
The Jays have tried to hire the best scouting and player development people and teams have promoted and given raises to their employees to avoid having them jump to the Jays.
With respect to Roy Halladay, there are several players who he would be reluctant to trade but he has to look at anything on any player to make the team better. They want Halladay to be here long term but he won't rule out any trade for any player.
They are looking to be as competitive as they can as soon as they can but they need to add to the core for sustained success, they will not jeopardise the long term goal of sustained success.
Halladay wants to win and unless the Jays can demonstrate that to him they will not offer him an extention, Roy will wait to see what happens in 2010 before deciding to resign.
Alex is not currently shopping any of his players. More clubs than not are limited by payroll constraints so signings will be limited in the off-season.
He has been aware of the availability of every player who has been traded this off-season and he has had very good talks with other GM's. He has spoken with 28 of 30 GM's, everyone except the Phillies and the Yankees. They have targetted a list of players to acquire.
They have a better probability of hiring the best scouts than signing the best players. They are going to reorganize pro scouting to try and be inovative. The Jays should end up with one of the biggest scouting staffs in baseball.
They will be a little more proactive in signing latin players. He wants to have more meetings with the scouts, evaluating what they have done right or wrong.
They are more interested in trades than free agency. In free agency you have to pay what the market will pay so the teams that is willing to enter into a longer contract than they want or pay more than they want will get the player.
Won't be looking for any quick fixes.
Right now there are no plans to move Aaron Hill off second or move Adam Lind to first. If trades happen that could happen. He doesn't see Hill moving back to shortstop.
Almost every opposing GM has asked about the young starters, if there is a deal out there that makes sense he will listen to them.
While they want to bring back the three free agents they will have to evaluate the contract they want and see if it makes sense.
There is no plan for X number of years. You don't know when the young players will break out.
He characterises what he is doing as building, not rebuilding. There is nothing to be torn down. They have good young players just not enough of them. They are not going to trade a young player for a player with one year left on his contract.
The Jays need to improve in position players, they have done agreat job on the mound. Hill, Lind, Snider are good but they need more young players. That is the number one area to improve upon.
I like this approach. It is the sensible way to go. Unfortunately it is a similar approach that most other teams have so success will come down to execution. It was interesting to hear how the Jays have been actively trying to hire scouts and player development people from other teams, I think that is more innovative and a good way to go.
The Jays will probably not contend for a couple of years as they build "the core", Halladay could be moved if the right deal comes along but he won't automatically be moved. The Jays will not be big players in this winters free agent market. Although AA didn;t say it I got the impression that he would like the two picks the team would get if Scutaro signed elsewhere, anyone else get that?
It does sound as though he has been very busy with the trade talk and who knows what will come of that.
I will add links to the scribes stories as they come out over the next 12-24 hours.
Jeremy Sandler, National Post: Halladay trade likely as the Jays look to rebuild
Shi Davidi, Canadian Press: Anthopoulos looking to make Blue Jays a sustained winner, won't take shortcuts
Jordan Bastian, bluejays dot com: Anthopoulos discusses direction of Jays. GM hoping to build a team that contends annually
Shi Davidi, Globe and Mail: Anthopoulos lays out his plan