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The first Blue Jays game I distinctly remember attending took place on September 27th, 1998. It was John Fowler’s birthday and the Tigers were in town. I was 11. I had been to the Skydome before, of course – my grandfather was a baseball nut, and I can remember he and I traversing down Peter Street to get to the Dome, vendors hawking peanuts and, after ‘92, pennants. Or was it after ‘93? Though I must have attended dozens of games with my grandpa Jack, those early memories have a tendency to blend together after a while. So the first Blue Jays game that I can definitely say that I attended was that Sunday afternoon in late September.
It looks like winter outside and the winter meetings are in Orlando where I assume it doesn't look like winter. There was so much activity last week that one has to wonder if this week will be a let-down. It seems the market is still undefined particularly in starting pitching where the Jays are looking.
The signing of Robinson Cano has got my mind back into the wondrous world of wishful thinking...
Quiet for the Jays right now - 2 new catchers and a reliever with a catcher and reliever going away. Other teams are busy, but AA has been far quieter than normal. What else is going on and what should AA do from here on out?
This is the last week of activity before the winter meetings begin on the ninth. GM's are seeing if they can get something done before the meetings or if it will have to wait.
Today, Monday, is the non-tender deadline whereby teams have to decide if they are willing to offer arbitration to their eligible players. Some players will be non-tendered but there may not be many decent starting pitchers or catchers among the non-tendered. The Jays biggest decision is whether to offer arbitration to JP Arencibia, I assume they will.
Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Jays have agreed to sign Dioner Navarro on a two year deal. I believe the reports on him are good bat, less than good defense. We will see.
New member stemac has written an article analysing the value of RA Dickey when he is not pitching. There has much anecdotal discussion regarding the difference between facing a knuckleball pitcher and a regular pitcher. This discussion is often focused on the relievers who follow the knuckleballer. But in this pinch hit stemac looks at the impact on the next days starter,
While Blockbuster Video is disappearing the Blockbuster trade just showed up. Two big money contracts were just traded for each other, Prince Fielder for Ian Kinsler. The trade makes positional sense for both teams, Texas used Mitch Moreland at first base this season and they had three players for two infield spots. The trade helps them at first base while opening a spot for Jurickson Profar at second.
Detroit lose a first baseman and free up some cash. The rumour is that Miggy Cabrera will move over to first with Kinsler on second. But the big reason for this trade might be to free up some cash to re-sign Max Scherzer.
Another week and a new thread for offseason chatter.
The GM meetings start today. There are usually few deals announced at these meetings but the discussions set the scene for the winter meetings in three weeks. Right around now free agents start narrowing down their suitors and getting into their real options including dollars. Reportedly some free agents will show up at the meetings for some face to face meetings and to apply pressure on the GM's by taking a lot of meetings.
I received a copy of the new Davidi/Lott book this week from the publisher for review. I read it in three days, in part because it is not a very lengthy read, the book is 180 page of print plus 16 pages of photographs, and in part because it is an easy read.
When I first heard that this book was on its way I wondered what kind of book would it be? There are those books that are essentially diaries of the season, a day by day or week by week summary of the season that was. Then there are the books that are about the team, the players and staff, more than they are about the season. These books rely on interesting characters to provide the backbone of the book. Finally there are the insider exposes, a tell-all of sorts, as in here is what really happened behind the scenes.
I also wondered whether the authors were able to breach the secretive world of the Anthopoulos front office, would he open up for the sake of history?
Today marked the end of the line for several Jays MILB Players including 2007 Draft Picks Kevin Ahrens, and John Tolisano. As well Alan Farina, and Joel Carreno were let go, which might be somewhat suprising.
By 5pm today we will know if the Blue Jays have extended a qualifying offer to Josh Johnson. The qualifying offer does not guarantee that JJ will return but it seems inlikely that a team would sign Johnson and surrender a first round draft pick as well.
Reading some of the "Who to Trade?" articles of the past few weeks got me thinking hypothetically, a very fun but dangerous method of thinking...
Last week the Batters Box top 30 prospects for 2013 were revealed. Even though the Jays no longer have a top rated system there are a lot of players who could develop into prospects. For example last season Andy Burns was not on the top 30 list, he missed more than half of 2012 with an injury in the year after he was drafted. So here are some names to remember.
The Toronto Blue Jays and New Hampshire Fisher Cats have agreed to extend
its Player Development Contract through the 2016 season. That makes it three affiliates that have deals in place for 2016 after Buffalo and Vancouver signed two-year extensions.
The Fisher Cats have won two Eastern League titles since becoming a Blue Jays affiliate in 2004.
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