Jays Roundup: December 13

Monday, December 13 2004 @ 08:14 AM EST

Contributed by: Jordan

There's a picture opposite me of my primitive ancestry
Who stood on rocky shores and kept the beaches shipwreck-free
Though I respect that a lot, I'd be fired if that were my job
After killing Jason off and countless screaming Argonauts

Pending the physical, it appears we can say welcome to Toronto, Corey Koskie.

More news from the decelerating Winter Meetings:

The new third baseman

Jays are close to signing Koskie (Star)

Jays acquire some Canadian content (Globe)

Hinske shifts to first if Koskie signs (Sun)

The new relief prospect

Gaudin joins Blue Jays bullpen (MLB.com)

Rays invest in Cash (St. Pete Times)

The old first baseman's destination

Sexson to Mariners said to be done (MLB.com)

The overall results

Time is running out on Jays' master plan (Take a wild guess)

As usual, the best of the newsprint reports comes from Jeff Blair:

Koskie and pitcher Matt Clement were Ricciardi's two free-agent priorities in what has turned into a difficult, slow-moving market. Clement's agent, Barry Axelrod, left the meetings on Saturday night and said the Blue Jays were still very much in the picture for his client's services.

"They have made an offer that I would describe as being extremely competitive," said Axelrod, who has watched as contracts signed by the likes of Kris Benson, Carl Pavano and Russ Ortiz have pushed his client's expectations into the range of $8-million (U.S.) to $9-million a year.

"Matt seems to be the next one to go," said Axelrod, who told the Blue Jays that he will be getting back to clubs today for their final, best offer.

Several sources indicate that the Blue Jays are willing to go as high as $9-million a year to get Clement.

The Anaheim Angels, St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers are considered to be among the other prime pursuers of Clement.

Ricciardi has spoken to Clement, and Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay has told the club he will call Clement and help with their pitch to him. He can be expected to do so today or tomorrow. As well, Blue Jays pitching coach Brad Arnsberg, who was Clement's pitching coach with the Florida Marlins, has spoken frequently to Clement.

Ricciardi had meetings scheduled Sunday night with the Chicago White Sox, hoping to further talks centred on White Sox outfielder Carlos Lee. He's offering Miguel Batista.

Ricciardi has told people he was leaning toward not moving Batista unless Clement is signed. But the inflated salaries being thrown around for pitchers with career records of .500 and less have, in Ricciardi's words, "resulted in Miguel starting to get a lot of play when we talk to other teams."

Batista is signed for the next two years at less than $10-million in total, making him a cost-effective alternative for clubs that lose out in the free-agent hunt but are still looking for a pitcher capable of turning in 200 innings.