Things have gotten kind of slow around here so let's have some fun...
Spring training games start this week, on Wednesday to be precise. I know the game is on MLB Network, a channel that I can get, and it's free for now. The Thursday and Friday games are on Sportsnet 1 and regular Sportsnet respectively. Saturdays game is on the radio and Sunday's is shown on MLB Network on a delay. If you can get the MLB Network and Sportsnet you can see lots of baseball this week.
Elsewhere there is not much to report, the Jays do not appear to be interested in any free agents, Scott Boras thinks Rogers is a cheap owner, and the Jays added another AAA pitcher in Liam Hendricks. That transaction leaves Brett Morel in the waiver dark-zone.
Mitch Nay made the biggest leap in the Top 30 rankings, jumping 20 spots from last year to rank as the Jays' fourth best prospect in 2014.
Tanaka is off the market, as is Matt Garza. That leaves two valuable starting pitchers who are still without a home for 2014. How long will it take for Ubaldo and Ervin to sign? Spring training starts in three weeks, unless you play for the Dodgers or Diamondbacks who start 2014 in Australia and as a result they start spring training a week early.
When will they sign? earlier this week AA suggested the signing could even go into March, mainly because of the draft pick compensation that is attached to both starters. I tend to think the players would get anxious to know where they are going but if their agents can make a strong case to wait they might do that. Do the Jays have the budget to sign one of these starters? Unless they sign one we may never know.
The Canadians - with the help of members from the UBC Thunderbirds baseball club - unveiled their new uniforms during its 4th annual luncheon at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. The big changes are a new font, a new Mountie logo on the black jersey and the addition of a uniform number on the front of the jersey. The Blue Jays cap logo is now on the sleeves instead of the circular word logo that was used over the last two seasons. The C's had used the 1977 logo on the sleeves to mark its first year of affiliation with Toronto back in 2011.
This should be the week that the Tanaka saga reaches the end. Tanaka must sign by Friday and there are suggestions today that his destination might be known by Wednesday so all the medicals and documentation can be completed in time.
There are several stories around the interwebs that claim to know what is happening. A couple of these stories have come from Japan. The Blue Jays have not been mentioned as being in the race, is that true or is it AA operating in secret? The stories suggest that Tanaka will sign a six year deal at $20M per season. Is that in the Jays budget and are the years do-able? Another story suggests that Tanaka s looking to play in a big city and/or for a winner. With a lot og big clubs bidding it seems like a long shot that Tanaka will come to Toronto. It would seem that the Jays would have to add a 7th year or go to say $22M per season (not couting the $3M per season going to Tanaka's club) to sign him. I am very doubtful that the Jays would do that.
This off-season has been the slowest for Blue Jay news that I can remember. The Navarro signing was months ago and since then there has been nothing. Last winter AA was putting in a new waiver claim every week, this year just one. The Tanaka affair seems to be holding up all free agent pitcher signings and we are just five weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting.
The Tanaka deadline is January 24th so I assume that Tanaka, Jimenez and Santana will all sign between January 24th and January 27th. I don't see much happening before then.
This year Da Box lost Mick Doherty, a long time bauxite. In addition to his Hall of Names threads Mick was known for his Christmas Day post. Here I am reproducing Mick's last Christmas thread from 2011.
We ask this every year as Christmas comes (and if I read my watch right, in Toronto this year, that's in about 20 minutes!) so ...
It has been very quiet in Blue Jay land. The expected influx of starting pitchers, second basemen and right hand hitting DH's has not materialised. Will anything happen between now and the new year? We can use this thread for the drip, drip, drip of the wait.
There are a couple of small items of news today, Monday.