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The winter meetings started yesterday and John Gibbons and AA met the media to answer some questions.

Elsewhere the Red Sox added Mike Napoli.  Angel Pagan stayed with the Giants.  Rafael Soriano is rumoured to be close to signing with the Rangers.  And A-Rod will have hip surgery in January and will miss four to six months.

Mike Cormack has posted a transcript of AA's comments over at Sportsnet.

First up for me is payroll:


I always get asked about payroll and it's not a bottomless pit and we talked about the parameters or the areas, and for where we're at or not, we blew by whatever the area was, that's in the dust, the rear-view mirror of where I thought we were going to be. The Marlins trade really changed that. It's not a bottomless pit but I also know the right trade, the right player, I always have that ability to have the conversation with Paul and he in turn takes that up to ownership.


There has been a lot of speculation that the Jays will go after RA Dickey, Brandon McCarthy or some other free agent starter.  I think AA is saying in this quote that the team received special approval to exceed their expected payroll in order to do the Marlins trade.  But that was a one-off, so don't expect them to bump it up some more.

It looks like the Jays are looking to sign some minor league free agent pitchers to be the backup to the current five.  But free agents see that five spots are filled so they know they are not competing for a job in spring unless there is an injury:


We're happy with the five starters we have, it's the reality of you're probably going to need more than five, someone's not going to perform, someone is going to get hurt, so it's more starters six, seven, eight, at least and no team is motivated to trade those types of players. They don't make any money, they have options left, so you're looking to trade young player for young player or conversely you're talking about signing a minor-league free agent. It's important but it's hard to do. Sure if somebody came up that would push someone out of the rotation, great, I just don't necessarily see that occurring, and we're happy with the talent of the starting five.  Anyone that qualifies as a minor-league free agent we would look at. The challenge is that we do have five established starters in the rotation right now, so it's not about selling the opportunity, the opportunity is right there and it speaks for itself. That's certainly a challenge. The fact that there's not a lot of upper-level depth, anybody can look at it and say, 'you know what? I'm one pitch away from being called up, one 6.00 ERA from being called up, and that certainly can happen.  And it's probably going to happen. The fact that we don't have a lot of bodies at the higher levels to compete with can open it up. Again, most of those deals to minor-league free agents, at least the ones that have a chance to have the greatest impact, they're going to wait as long as they can to get a 40-man spot, to get a big-league deal, and those deals might get done in January. The meetings aren't normally where you get those deals done.


John Gibbons was asked about Adam Lind and the Jays are saying now that Lind will have a shot at the full time DH role to start the season.  AA was asked about a platoon:


I think (Rajai) Davis certainly can do that. We've talked about it, I think Gibby's thought - we were talking about it a little bit today - I think his thought would be to give him one more crack at facing some left-handers early but knowing that obviously we have some other options.

But his thought today, and obviously he'll make those decisions going forward and he could change his mind in the spring and during the season, but he did bring it up today that he thought you know what, maybe to let those guys get the ABs early even against some left-handers, take a look at the results and maybe then make the adjustment, but clearly you look at the left-right splits and we do have some options with some right-handed bats and we've looked at who's our 25th guy going to be and it might make sense to get a right-handed bat. We don't really have anybody right now who would be the 25th guy.


AA also said:

Darren Oliver will decide in January if he is coming back.  AA denied the rumour that Oliver just wanted to pitch in Texas.

The Jays offered to sign Bobby Wilson to a guaranteed two way deal that could have seen him come off the 40 man roster but Wilson declined.

Sergio Santos is not throwing off a mound yet.

The Jays are unlikely to pick anyone in the rule 5 draft.  They have 40 players on their roster.

Joel Carreno will have surgery to repair his damaged orbital bone but should be ready for spring training.


Day two news to come...

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John Northey - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 10:00 AM EST (#266464) #
Geez. How much more PA vs LHP do they need to stop doing that with Lind?
Career vs LHP: 220/264/343 - 607 OPS
2012 vs LHP: 202/250/303 - 553
2011 vs LHP: 243/275/364 - 639
2010 vs LHP: 159/182/341 - 523
2009 vs LHP: 275/318/461 - 780 (992 vs RHP)
2008 vs LHP: 253/303/385 - 688
2007 vs LHP: 194/243/299 - 542

Thats every season he had more than 100 PA. Just one of those had an OPS visibly above what Davis did against ALL pitchers (Davis was at 687) last year. On what planet will he suddenly figure it out vs LHP? 2009 was an anomaly in every respect and if the Jays are dreaming he'll do that again, well, keep dreaming. Odds are strongly against it and subjecting the team to Lind's bat vs LHP is just asking to write off wins.

Remember, lifetime vs LHP he has hit worse than Escobar did vs everyone last year. Gose in his rookie campaign did better as did Yan Gomes, Hechavarria, Sierra, Thames and Francisco - note how all but Gose are gone now. None of them hit well enough to be a DH last year, yet all outhit Lind's career figure and 2012 figure. In fact, outside of 2008 and 2009 Lind has hit worse vs LHP than Mathis did vs all comers last year and in 3 of his 6 seasons he hit worse vs LHP than Mathis' career mark against everyone.

That isn't a DH - that is a catcher or SS who needs gold glove level defense to stick around.
whiterasta80 - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 10:46 AM EST (#266466) #
What JN said.
China fan - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 11:40 AM EST (#266467) #
"....I think AA is saying in this quote that the team received special approval to exceed their expected payroll in order to do the Marlins trade. But that was a one-off, so don't expect them to bump it up some more...."

I think Anthopoulos is just trying to dampen expectations in general -- as he always has done. He doesn't know exactly what he might be able to do on the trade or free agent front, and he doesn't want people expecting too much. He would rather have the fans pleasantly surprised by an acquisition, rather than unpleasantly surprised by the lack of an acquisition. (See: the case of Darvish, Y.)

But this doesn't necessarily mean that the Marlins trade was a "one-off." (Unless you mean specifically a 12-player trade; there's very few of those in history.) The "one-off" theory was instantly disproven after the Marlins trade when the Jays turned around and immediately signed Melky Cabrera. A lot of people thought the money was all gone after the Marlins trade. We shouldn't assume anything.

Anthopoulos is saying that he still has the ability to go to Beeston for a bigger payroll for "the right player." If he can make a good case for it, I don't think this is impossible. Of course it might not happen -- there might be no more substantial acquisitions for the rest of the off-season -- but I don't think we can entirely rule it out.
John Northey - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 01:00 PM EST (#266468) #
The only big player would be an ace level starting pitcher. Few of those are out there, and they'd need $15-25 million a year added to the budget for them unless they got Dickey, and he'd need that in 2014. Second base is a weakness, but not a glaring one. By FanGraphs WAR the top few at second aren't available - Cano, Hill (sigh), Zobrist, Pedroia, Brandon Phillips. Those are the 4+ WAR guys. Danny Espinosa and Dan Uggla also cracked 3.5. Otherwise the gain would not be enough to be worth the likely cost. Of course, Marco Scutaro is out there still and over the past 4 years has averaged a 101 OPS+ after being an 87 OPS+ guy over his pre-age 33 season - go figure. The Yankees are apparently eyeing Scutaro though with A-Rod out for a chunk of the season.

So no real good upgrade is available imo. Those guys are signed long term, under team control for 3+ years, or with teams that wouldn't trade them here anyways (Cano).

Yeah, an ace or nothing for budget blowing at this point. Unless a power hitter to replace Lind came in... sigh... we can dream.
uglyone - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 02:47 PM EST (#266469) #
well, at least he's acknowledging that Lind doesn't actually deserve more at bats v. Lefties.

I guess I don't hate giving him one last (brief) chance now that there's a new hitting coach (who seemed to help him last year).
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 03:10 PM EST (#266470) #
Adam Lind has now had 1500 PAs between age 26 and 28 and he's been a below average hitter period during that time frame, and uniformly so in each season.  Has there ever been a major leaguer who made his living with bat only and rebounded from a 3 year down in the prime of his career?  I can't think of any off hand. 

Most often, it looks like they don't get a chance.  Three strikes and all. 

John Northey - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 04:14 PM EST (#266471) #
Ugh.. Upshaw in 1986-7 was so frustrating. In 1986 I was at the game for my birthday (June 19th) and Upshaw had just 1 home run at that point. I remember telling my dad that if Upshaw hit a home run when he was up at that moment I'd vote for him on the All-Star ballot. Then he hit one out - go figure. But boy was that a wasted 2 year period. 22 year old's Fred McGriff and Cecil Fielder were waiting for a shot in AAA both with 800+ OPS in Syracuse (impressive for the time). Yet Upshaw kept getting playing time with a 91 OPS+ in 86 and an 87 in 87. Safe bet Jimy Williams cost the Jays the '87 pennant by playing Upshaw (87 OPS+) over Fielder (133 OPS+) & McGriff (130 OPS+) (they were platooning while Upshaw was playing every day in 87).
uglyone - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 04:14 PM EST (#266472) #
Aaron Hill haunts me.
Mike Green - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 05:02 PM EST (#266474) #
Hill is different.  Two years, and he had value even hitting poorly because he was a second baseman who fielded the position on the whole pretty well.  There are plenty of middle infielders who struggle with the bat for years but contribute enough with the glove to get chance after chance.

The closest player I could think of was Mickey Vernon, who had two stinker years at age 29 and 30 and went on to be very productive run after that. 

bpoz - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 05:06 PM EST (#266475) #
You have to stack the team. If Upshaw could not be a corner OF because of Bell & Barfield, then they should have got someone else.
We wasted a spot for a big bat using Upshaw & recently L Overbay IMO.
Thomas - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 07:01 PM EST (#266476) #

"I guess I don't hate giving him one last (brief) chance now that there's a new hitting coach (who seemed to help him last year)."


I'm not a fan at all and Mike Green nails the reason why.

ayjackson - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 10:04 PM EST (#266477) #
Lind will be fine. Most of the home games versus LHP will see Reyes or Bautista at DH in the interest of their health, which means Lind will yield to Davis or Boneface. So Lind may get a few PA's early on the road against LHP but it doesn't sound like that will last beyond ST if he isn't having success.

I actually think if he's healthy, he'll have a good year. I'm not sure he can be healthy though. His back problems seem chronic.
Mike Forbes - Tuesday, December 04 2012 @ 10:37 PM EST (#266478) #
Looks like Yunel Escobar is headed to the Rays where he'll no doubt hit .330, get on base at a .400 clip and commit one error all season. Everyone has a career year for Tampa.
rtcaino - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 12:17 AM EST (#266479) #
Yunel looks like a great pick up for TBay. Esp given his contract and their parameters.

Richard S.S. - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 04:53 AM EST (#266480) #
Most of what's left for A.A. could be considered basic housekeeping. Anything else would be a surprise.

Now we have the pleasure of watching A.A. scrounge through the Bargain Basement for a few "Starters" for AAA. If we are really lucky he might sign/trade for a Starter to compete with JA Happ for the 5th - 6th Relief spots with 6th being Long Relief/Spot Start in the Bullpen. That alone could cost $5.0 - $6.0 MM in itself.

Beside having to wait another 1.5 - 2 months for Darren Oliver to decide his future, A.A. needs another LHP better than Cecil and Loup anyway. That could cost $3.0 - $6.0 MM alone.

The fact there's another spot to fill on the bench (besides Mike McCoy) hasn't passed unnoticed. Who fills this spot will be of interest. And we could get bored waiting for anything to happen.

bpoz - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 08:39 AM EST (#266481) #
AA has done enough this year to say anything he wants to the fans & media IMO. I mean that he should continue to do things his way ie in secret.

Lind:- Sure He & Gibby talked about him. I believe that to be true. Then decide what the fans/media need to hear. The most important thing is that Lind now knows that he will have to earn his ABs against LHPs. So he has incentive.
Carlos V:- No guarantees BUT if you can pitch better than someone in the rotation then the job is yours.
JPA/Buck:- Stated who the #1 is & the backup. BUT both can be traded if the right deal is available. Buck & his $6mil for whatever & JPA for a hell of a lot more. He can then find an adequate starter or better.

He knows that there are opportunities out there. He knows who the elite prospects are, who the high risk/reward prospects in the low minors are and would be his targets. He also knows how to do multy team trades.
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 09:28 AM EST (#266482) #
I agree that it is likely that Lind's back condition is the most important factor in his struggles.  Nonetheless, every time he is sent out to hit against a LHP at the outset of the season, management is sending out a message to the other ballplayers that performance does not matter.  You do not want to do that. 
AWeb - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 10:01 AM EST (#266483) #

It would be funny if opposing teams in spring training (3 months or so?) kept switching out lefties and faced Lind with righties. That way they could encourage the Jays to give him playing time in the regular season, and he'd never get any better.

More seriously, about 5 years ago I recall seeing TV segments about pitching machines that some players had started getting that simulated actual pitchers, with a life-sized video and varying release points/spins (it could throw offspeed pitches, I think). Unless I am imagining it, I can't see any reason why hitters, especially ones like Lind, wouldn't spend the offseason taking 100's of pitches a day from it until they were comfortable against simulated pitches. Maybe the machine didn't work out in the end?

There is just no practical way, in the course of regular baseball training that I have seen, for Lind to get better at hitting lefties. Batting Practice is of minimal help, you might get 3 ABs a day against lefties if you are lucky in Spring Training, and half of them might not be MLB quality and/or in shape yet. Players practice infield and outfield drills, they work out, pitchers throw pitches. But figuring out how to give hitters a good, realistic, stressful workout seems is either a trade secret in the industry, or it simply doesn't happen. Do pitchers ever work out against actual hitters (in the minors at least)? Coaches can make a huge difference, but BP is essentially half-speed, especially useless for a lefty/lefty thing, since it's all about the reaction/recognition time.

I remember during my last year playing baseball (I sucked as a young teenager), realizing that I hadn't learned how to hit actual pitching, ever. And that there was no way I ever would, since you simply can't practice it without a proper practice facility and a pitcher able to throw good pitches. And a lot of baseballs (or enough guys willing to fetch balls all day).

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 10:06 AM EST (#266484) #
Escobar is a very significant addition to the Rays.  One more bat and they ought to be considered the favourites in the East.  Friedman is a great GM...
92-93 - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 10:27 AM EST (#266485) #
If talk about Adam Lind facing lefties is real and not just a leverage/negotiating tactic the Jays aren't making the playoffs this year. It's bad enough he's going to be the everyday DH vs. RHP after the last 3 seasons; letting him face lefties because you chose not to round your 25 man roster properly would be an awful decision. I'm really hoping this is just a smokescreen and that AA isn't this silly.
Dave Till - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 10:37 AM EST (#266486) #
I see no reason not to give Lind at bats in spring training against lefties. While his track record indicates that it's unlikely that he can actually hit much against them, it doesn't hurt to let the new hitting coach have a crack at trying to fix him. There's nothing to lose.

As for the regular season: I'll only criticize the Jays for playing Lind if he is leaving better players on the bench. Last year, the Jays had so many injuries that there weren't many bench options. Many times, Lind might very well have been the best option on a given day. This year, presumably Gibbons has more options available if Lind doesn't do the job.

92-93 - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 10:48 AM EST (#266487) #
Rajai Davis is a MUCH better option than Lind vs. lefties, but the GM & manager are still suggesting Lind will face LHP in the regular season.

Here are the relevant 3 year splits for the two of them:

Mike Green - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 10:48 AM EST (#266488) #
If talk about Adam Lind facing lefties is real and not just a leverage/negotiating tactic the Jays aren't making the playoffs this year. It's bad enough he's going to be the everyday DH vs. RHP after the last 3 seasons; letting him face lefties because you chose not to round your 25 man roster properly would be an awful decision. I'm really hoping this is just a smokescreen and that AA isn't this silly.

Right.  It's one thing for AA to pretend to be silly as a new GM.  At this point in his career, he isn't fooling anyone.  Friedman doesn't say stuff like this because no one would believe him if he did.  He might say something like: "I really wish we could add another bat, but we'll see what our finances will allow."  Here, though, there is no need for that.  Davis is a much better option than Lind against LHP and Bonifacio is a perfectly acceptable backup OF. 
Mike Green - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 10:49 AM EST (#266489) #
Do you prefer Coke or Pepsi, 92-93?
AWeb - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 11:11 AM EST (#266490) #

There is simply no acceptable way to tell if Lind can figure out how to hit lefties without letting him do it all the time. And that is not acceptable to most of us, and I would hope not to is teammates and the management either. The amount of new information you get from spring training is not a lot more than nothing, and a few weeks of regular season is the same. Coaches will try to fix Lind, I get it. But they should focus on making Lind more acceptable for his position against righties. If he goes back to 2009 form against righties, maybe consider letting him face lefties. Otherwise, Lind should never be in the starting lineup against a lefty, barring a huge number of injuries. He's easily replaced  - lefties who are vaguely league average hitters with no defensive value at all may not grow on trees, but that's because no one would ever plant such a useless tree.

whiterasta80 - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 11:26 AM EST (#266491) #
Those terrified of the possibility of Lind facing lefties should take solice in our manager's history. One example: in 2005 Frank Catalanatto received 37 PAs against lefties. This despite hitting .290, .371, .484, .855.

Gibby likes his platoons and I have to imagine he will use Lind's allergy to lefties as a way to rest hist stars (Jo-Bau, Reyes, Lawrie, EE).

I'm not worried about him seeing significant time against the Sabathia's of the world at all. I am however worried that we don't think it worth mentioning that David Cooper is breathing down his neck. I don't think Lind should have a roster spot sewn up at all.

John Northey - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 12:07 PM EST (#266492) #
I suspect Lind will be given the DH job in spring, have it for April and if he is sucking hard while Cooper hits well in AAA that he's dumped by May. At least that is what I hope. Actually, I hope for a better solution altogether but if it is Lind vs Cooper that is what I expect.
mathesond - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 12:50 PM EST (#266493) #
How about that Tom Cheek?
Sister - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 12:51 PM EST (#266494) #
Tom Cheek has been awarded the 2013 Ford C Frick award.

Woot! Finally.
China fan - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 01:01 PM EST (#266495) #
The uproar over Adam Lind is a tempest in a teapot. The only reason that the Jays haven't officially declared Lind as a platoon player is their desire to be gentle to his ego. There's no need to declare it officially in advance of the season -- it's an unnecessary slap in the face -- but the reality is that the Jays are fully ready to platoon Lind for most or all of the season. Anthopoulos says the 25th player is likely to be a RH bat. He didn't say "an infield utility player" or a "defensive outfielder" or anything like that. He said a RH bat. What else could that be except a platoon partner for Lind? Anthopoulos also specifically said that Rajai Davis can be a platoon partner for Lind. So he is signaling incredibly strongly that Lind will be platooned, but he is just not saying it officially out of politeness to his players. Here's one further quote from AA that signals his likely intention to platoon Lind:

"If you look at his left-right splits, if you look at him as a player that doesnít face the left-handers, heíll only face right-handers, close to an .800 OPS, which is a pretty good player."
MatO - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 01:34 PM EST (#266496) #

Check out this website with the full call by Tom Cheek of the bottom of the ninth from the 93 WS.  I'd only heard Cheek's Joe Carter call before.  I was still on pins and needles.

hypobole - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 02:05 PM EST (#266498) #
John Sickels has posted his Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects. Compared to DaBox, he's a bit higher on Nolin (calling him one of the most underrated prospects around), Nay and Cardona, and lower on Smith Jr.
grjas - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 02:21 PM EST (#266499) #
Lind- if they want to keep the guy, I hope to god they burn his glove and NEVER have him testing his wonky back with fielding drills at first base. A year clear of back problems has gotta help his numbers.. one would hope.
China fan - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 02:48 PM EST (#266500) #
Sickels has placed Kevin Pillar at number 17 in his rankings, and his comments on Pillar are interesting:

17) Kevin Pillar, OF, Grade C+: Hit .328/.378/.439 with 59 steals despite a mediocre toolset. Great instincts for the game. If you could stick his head on Jake Marisnick's body, you'd have a superstar. Pillar is probably a fourth outfielder but an interesting player.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 03:08 PM EST (#266501) #
"The fact there's another spot to fill on the bench (besides Mike McCoy) hasn't passed unnoticed."

I see a bench of Cooper, Davis, Izturiz/Bonifacio, Buck.

all filled up, I think.
uglyone - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 03:10 PM EST (#266502) #
Nice to see I'm not all alone in liking Nolin. The kid is a physical horse, has upped his velocity considerably since draft day (from high 80s to low-mid-90s), with a couple of offspeed pitches and good command.
MrPurple - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 03:22 PM EST (#266503) #
How is it he accepts that Nicolino has gone to the Marlins but he won't let go of Stilson?
uglyone - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 03:26 PM EST (#266504) #
Stilson wasn't traded.
hypobole - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 08:39 PM EST (#266514) #
AWeb, from a Sept 2010 Jason Stark item:

(Marlins manager Edwin) Rodriguez then told a story about how Stanton decided earlier this year that he needed to do a better job of recognizing the sliders in the dirt he was waving at.

"So he came up with a drill," the manager said. "He set up the pitching machine to throw sliders at 90 miles an hour, and he set it up to throw all balls. But every eight or 10 pitches, the machine (screws up and) throws a strike, and that's the one he wants to recognize.

"So basically, this guy would spend 10-15 minutes in the cage, taking 60-70-80 pitches -- so he could swing at four. And it was all his idea. Everyone was like, 'What's he doing?' But he came up with that. I never saw that before."
AWeb - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 09:34 PM EST (#266515) #
hyperbole, thanks for digging up evidence that someone does this sort of thing. Maybe a lot of players use simulated pitching machines these days, it just doesn't seem to make the coverage...
Magpie - Wednesday, December 05 2012 @ 10:16 PM EST (#266516) #
Albert Belle used to do stuff like that, too. He believed the toughest pitch for a RH hitter was a hard slider down and away. He would set the machine to throw him hard sliders down and away, for half an hour at a time. It seemed to work for Albert, so Manny Ramirez started doing the same thing.
cybercavalier - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 02:56 AM EST (#266517) #
Now we have the pleasure of watching A.A. scrounge through the Bargain Basement for a few "Starters" for AAA. If we are really lucky he might sign/trade for a Starter to compete with JA Happ for the 5th - 6th Relief spots with 6th being Long Relief/Spot Start in the Bullpen. That alone could cost $5.0 - $6.0 MM in itself.


How about stashing pitchers like Rich Harden and Erik Bedard, when oft-injured McGowen was signed to two year contract extension.
Rich Harden, Brandon Webb To Pitch In 2013

Zack Greinke and Josh Hamilton are both too expensive for the Orioles' taste, writes's Roch Kubatko in an analysis of free agents who won't be pursued by the O's this winter. The team doesn't have interest in free agent pitchers Derek Lowe, Jeremy Guthrie, Edwin Jackson or Erik Bedard, while Kevin Youkilis is a longshot based on Baltimore's concerns about his health.
TamRa - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 03:28 AM EST (#266518) #
John Sickels has posted his Blue Jays Top 20 Prospects. Compared to DaBox, he's a bit higher on Nolin (calling him one of the most underrated prospects around), Nay and Cardona, and lower on Smith Jr.

On my ever evolving personal list, upon which I just made some post-trade adjustments a few days ago, i came up with a top 9 that is astonishingly close to his list, with Sanchez and Syndergaard reversed, as well as Nolin and Davis (and the latter mostly because i was basically going on the theory that those three LH pitchers were very close) - after that we diverge enough for it to not be spooky.

(not that what i think really matters, but i had to comment on the parallels even if only for my own satisfaction)

greenfrog - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 07:57 AM EST (#266520) #
I enjoy reading Sickels' rankings, but last year at this time, he had Marisnick at #2, Norris at #5, and McGuire at #6, so they are subject to substantial change (as are all prospect rankings, of course).
sweat - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 09:30 AM EST (#266521) #
That leaves one guy to backup at 3rd, SS and 2b.  Call me crazy, but I don't think Cooper is on this bench.  I think they need another backup infielder that can cover those 3 spots.
Mike Forbes - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 09:47 AM EST (#266522) #
I thought it was obvious that the 25th man would be a middle reliever.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 09:57 AM EST (#266523) #
Don't joke around. Per MLBTR:

Jason Grilli "will decide between the Cubs, Blue Jays, Giants, and Pirates at 10am today, or earlier if one of the teams goes to three years on the 36-year-old"
greenfrog - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 10:34 AM EST (#266524) #
No Jays taken in the Rule 5 draft - nice.
John Northey - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 11:09 AM EST (#266525) #
An interesting idea just hit...
1) Trade Rasmus/JPA to Mets for Dickey (Mets need outfielders and catchers)
2) Sign Michael Bourn - he is a superb defensive CF with speed, fits perfectly with the new Jays way of doing things
3) Prep Gose for RF/LF and plan on Cabrera or Bautista moving to 1B/DH by seasons end or 2014.
4) Sign another defensive catcher to backup Buck

That could work. With defense factored in FanGraphs has Bourn as a $18-28 million a year player. He won't get that, but he could be the 'Devon White' for the 2013 Jays. Then once Gose is up the outfield would be 2/3rd amazing defense.

Just a thought ...
John Northey - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 11:13 AM EST (#266526) #
Grilli is an interesting one...
2005: 2.8 K/9 in 16 IP
Since then his K/9 has increase each and every season, missing 2010 (injury?) and now has reached 13.8 K/9. His wildness is an issue though with a lifetime 4.0 BB/9 and 3.4 last year was his lowest since 2005. I wouldn't go to 3 years with him, but if the Jays scouts love him then 2 plus options is not a bad idea.
92-93 - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 11:27 AM EST (#266527) #
If I'm drinking soda it's the champagne of ginger ales, MG.
92-93 - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 11:31 AM EST (#266528) #
"The only reason that the Jays haven't officially declared Lind as a platoon player is their desire to be gentle to his ego. There's no need to declare it officially in advance of the season -- it's an unnecessary slap in the face -- but the reality is that the Jays are fully ready to platoon Lind for most or all of the season."

It's a bigger slap in the face to bullshit a guy that you're actually considering letting him be an everyday player when you have zero intention of doing so. Bullpen arms often talk about how knowing their role is a key component in their success at doing a highly unpredictable job, but I'm now supposed to believe that lying to Lind is somehow beneficial to him and his winter preparations? Why not just tell him to focus on the things you're going to need him to do?
hypobole - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 12:04 PM EST (#266530) #
Tempest in a teapot. Of course Lind is going to face some LHP's - all players do. I have no clue what the record is for facing only one-sided pitchers, but I'm guessing no one has had more than 50 PA's in a season without facing at least one LHP or RHP.
Mike Green - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 12:11 PM EST (#266531) #
John Lowenstein was used in a platoon arrangement with Gary Roenicke for a number of years.  He had between 2 and 12 PAs against LHP per year, presumably on occasions when Roenicke wasn't available. 

This level of emergency usage is fine, but it is not what Anthopoulos (and apparently Gibbons) are talking about.  And given that Lind often batted cleanup against left-handed pitchers last year,   there is precedent for misguided decision-making in this regard.

greenfrog - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 12:11 PM EST (#266532) #
I doubt some musings at a winter meetings press conference are going to affect Lind's winter preparations in any way. Lind undoubtedly knows he isn't long for a full-time role if he doesn't improve his performance against lefties (and righties).

I'm not sure it would help Lind's confidence if Gibbons and AA were to say, "Lind's numbers against LHPs speak for themselves...they're atrocious. Therefore, Lind will only DH against RHPs, and even in that role, he's going to have to earn the job. His OPS against RHPs is only just okay for a DH and it's slugging-dominated, which means he's producing less overall value than other hitters with an equivalent OPS. He probably needs to get on base more consistently to keep his role."

How much truth can you handle?
Mike Forbes - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 12:14 PM EST (#266533) #
Maybe the Twins would trade Revere here for Rasmus. Now that would he an explosive team... Reyes, Revere, Davis, Bonifacio, Lawrie and potentially Gose would give opposing teams fits. Don't mind me though, I'm a big fan of speed and defense. However, it doesnt always tie in. See Rajai Davis for details.
Mike Forbes - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 12:15 PM EST (#266534) #
And as I wrote that, Ben Revere was traded to the Phillies.
hypobole - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 12:33 PM EST (#266535) #
And that would make Darin Mastroianni the Twins CF.
China fan - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 02:38 PM EST (#266536) #
Greenfrog, I agree with your analysis about Adam Lind. When a GM is being polite and diplomatic, it's a little odd to accuse him of "lying" to his players. A baseball GM has to be a diplomat. And diplomats have to be polite in their public statements. And the players know how to read between the lines when a GM is being polite. (Especially when the GM is probably being a little more direct with his players in his private conversations.) The Jays have repeatedly hinted at Lind's likely role as a platoon player, and I'm sure Lind is under no illusions whatsoever.
92-93 - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 03:09 PM EST (#266537) #
"(Lind) is our (DH). I expect him to be our (DH) Opening Day. Like anybody, and this isnít to be cryptic or to foreshadow: anything can happen Ė and I say that about anybody on the roster. But I do expect (Lind) to be the (DH)."

I substituted "Lind" for "Arencibia" and "DH" for "starter" in that quote from AA. That's the response I would've liked to hear when AA was pressed about Lind possibly platooning. No votes of confidence and an indirect answer to the question that leaves everything open to interpretation and can't be used by the player or his agent later against AA if Lind isn't getting ABs vs. LHP early on.
dan gordon - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 06:11 PM EST (#266538) #
The Blue Jays lost 3B Mark Sobolewski in the Rule 5 draft today, and picked up 3 players, including a 26 year-old AAA OF for Buffalo named Carroll, from the Padres, and a couple of young pitchers who posted strong numbers in the very low minors last year.  Carroll had ho-hum numbers in the Pacific Coast League last year, and posted an .816 OPS in 2011 in the Texas League (AA) at age 24/25.  All 4 picks were from the AAA Phase of the draft.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 06:44 PM EST (#266539) #
Thanks - forgot about the minor-league portion of the draft.

This is what BA had to say about Sobelewski: "Best defensive 3B in Eastern Lge smacked 20 HR & reached Triple-A"

Carroll: "Physical lefty bat offers some on-base skills, some pop; good minors corner man"

Jimenez: "Stout righthander has spent last three seasons in AZL, yet to pitch above there"

And Nieves: "Brewers 7th-rounder out of P.R. in 2007, Nieves has just 63 IP above low Class A"
Magpie - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 07:11 PM EST (#266540) #
this isnít to be cryptic or to foreshadow: anything can happen

Whereas what Anthopoulos said included:

[Gibbons will] make those decisions going forward and he could change his mind in the spring and during the season

I actually formed the impression that it's Anthopoulos who sees Lind as a platoon guy and Gibbons who wants to give him one last shot against LH. Which would be regrettable, I agree.

As y'all probably know, I'm done with Lind and want Cooper to get his chance. But even so... this all seems to be how-many-angels-dance-on-the-head-of-a-pin stuff. I really can't get too concerned about what these guys say to the press in December.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 07:36 PM EST (#266541) #
Jays involved in Dickey trade talks, per Heyman:

Of course, "involved" could mean that they were involved, or they are involved. Big difference. Or that this is just a rumour with minimal predictive value (or zero predictive value, if you accept the premise that a trade involving the Jays will not happen if there is a rumour circulating about it).

All that having been said: let's go get Dickey!
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 08:13 PM EST (#266542) #
Sawyer Carroll (OF - 26) is a compliment to Gose and Sierra in AAA. Just consider him Marisnick-lite. He fills a "prospect" hole A.A.'s been making, as do Jimenez and Nieves.

Alvido Jimenez (RHP - 21) is being forgotten because he's a Reliever, an effective one at that. Did he ever get a fair chance at starting? If all he has become is a Reliever, the move him up as fast as he can go. If he could Start, then he's young enough to try.

Almost the same applies for Efrain Nieves (LHP - 23) except leave him a Reliever and see how good he can be. I'm not surprised three were picked in the Rule 5 Draft as we've lost a lot of "prospect" in the last 5 months, and this is an efficient way to fill some holes.
Richard S.S. - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 08:23 PM EST (#266543) #
Jason Grilli is considering a Toronto offer. Toronto's offer indicates A.A.'s not satisfied with the current set-up of the Bullpen. He just needs to decide - Playoffs or not.
greenfrog - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 08:42 PM EST (#266544) #
I wonder how long Grilli has been on the back burner.

Even if he no longer has a searing fastball, Grilli looks like a potentially rare find: a 36-year-old who can still get into the batter's kitchen (13.8 K / 9 IP last year). A guy with an impressive menu of offerings, despite the absence of high heat.
grjas - Thursday, December 06 2012 @ 09:26 PM EST (#266545) #
Not sure high heat matters. His SO per 9 last year were best of his career.
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 08:10 AM EST (#266549) #
I wonder whether Oliver told AA that he's likely to retire this off-season. This could explain the Jays' apparent bidding on Grilli.
CeeBee - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 08:25 AM EST (#266550) #
Grilli would be insurance if Oliver retires. If Oliver plays it gives them the option of trading him so it's a win-win type of deal.
Mike Green - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 08:41 AM EST (#266551) #
I was thinking that you could carry 3 catchers on the roster once d'Arnaud is ready, and use one (or two, I suppose) as platoon partners for Lind.  So, on a day when d'Arnaud is DHing and Arencibia is catching, you can pinch-run for Arencibia late and bring on Buck defensively.   The ideal 3rd catcher with d'Arnaud and Arencibia around would be a left-handed defensive specialist, but what can you do?
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 10:18 AM EST (#266552) #
Here's a poll question of sorts: would you trade d'Arnaud for Dickey, straight up (assuming the Jays would be given a window to extend Dickey for, say, 2/$26M)?

MLBTR reports that the Mets view the Jays, Royals and Rangers as the most likely trade suitors for Dickey. My guess is that the Mets want d'Arnaud.
John Northey - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 10:39 AM EST (#266553) #
Rotoworld says that d'Arnaud was rejected by the Jays but that Gose could be used instead. A bit odd, unless the Jays intend to extend Rasmus (here for 2013/2014 then free agent). Gose has been the apple of AA's eye for a long time so if he trades Gose that says he really, really wanted another ace.
92-93 - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 10:44 AM EST (#266554) #
I think trading the #1 C prospect in baseball for any 38 year old pitcher would be a terrible decision.

I also wouldn't hesitate to trade Arencibia & Gose for Dickey, and I actually prefer not signing him to an extension.
JB21 - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 10:46 AM EST (#266555) #
Carlos Delgado will be on the Level of Excellence as of July 2013.
Original Ryan - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 11:00 AM EST (#266556) #
I wonder whether Oliver told AA that he's likely to retire this off-season. This could explain the Jays' apparent bidding on Grilli.

Another possibility is that the Blue Jays never actually made a contract offer to Grilli. Someone on Grilli's side (i.e. Mr. Sheffield) may have thrown the Blue Jays in there as a bidder, knowing that the team would neither confirm nor deny it. It's happened before.

greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 11:09 AM EST (#266557) #
I think trading the #1 C prospect in baseball for any 38 year old pitcher would be a terrible decision.

I also wouldn't hesitate to trade Arencibia & Gose for Dickey, and I actually prefer not signing him to an extension.

An entirely defensible position. On the whole, I probably agree, but am somewhat on the fence. I think the case for trading him is as follows:

- d'Arnaud is a very good prospect but he has yet to do anything at the major-league level. He's also had enough injuries (back, thumb, knee) to suggest that he may not be able to stay healthy - or at least healthy enough to be a starting catcher in the majors, where he would have by far the most value

- Rasmus was horrible in the second half last year. If he can't make the necessary adjustments, the Jays will desperately need Gose (even more than they need d'Arnaud) over the next few years

- The Jays' window of serious contention is arguably the next two to three years. Dickey would significantly boost their chances of WS championships during that stretch - Dickey might be 38, but he's not your typical 38-year-old. He has low mileage, throws a knuckleball, and just had far and away the best three years of his career, with WARs of 3.4, 3.1, 5.6 (previous high: 0.5). How many 38-year-olds can say that?

However, I'm not sure that AA is willing to concede that the Jays won't be contenders in a few years (or that the Mets' asking price won't come down). I imagine he wants to win now *and* win later - hence the strong reluctance to deal Travis.
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 11:20 AM EST (#266558) #
Also, with regard to the status of #1 C in baseball, I think 21-year-old Mike Zunino is gaining quickly on d'Arnaud. Here are Zunino's stats to date:
whiterasta80 - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 11:33 AM EST (#266559) #
I'd give up D'Arnaud for Dickey. I'd be on the fence as to whether or not we should extend him right away or not but we're not talking about trading Mike Trout.
92-93 - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 11:38 AM EST (#266560) #
If you're willing to field a strong defensive CF who can't hit there's always plenty of options out there. As bad as Rasmus was in the 2nd half last year he was excellent in the 1st half (.259/.328/.494) before playing probably a third of the season with a strained groin. And it wasn't just Rasmus that the team kept playing despite obvious limitations to the viewer; Kelly Johnson could barely walk and he was out there playing everyday.

I understand why you'd trade d'Arnaud for Dickey, and I actually agree with most of what you said. However, starting pitchers don't fetch top prospects like d'Arnaud. Santana didn't, Halladay didn't, Sabathia didn't, Greinke didn't, etc. So even if it makes sense for the Jays to give up d'Arnaud for Dickey they'd be overpaying considering what the market has decided a great pitcher's value is.

If the Mets want a cost-controlled C that JP Ricciardi drafted and who has exhibited the ability to be an average, everyday C for the next 4 years as well as a toolsy CF who can't hit, fine. If their demand is a player that seems to be a consensus top 15 prospect, walk away.
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 11:51 AM EST (#266561) #
In my view, it's too early to conclude that Gose can't hit, although it's clear that he's a work in progress. He just turned 22 after playing his age-19 season in high-A, his age-20 season in AA, and his age-21 season in AAA, holding his own at each level.

He's obviously very athletic and apparently has made significant adjustments over the last two years. If he can improve his approach at the plate somewhat, he could be very valuable. It's worth remembering that from 1991-93 Devon White produced 6+ WAR (!) annually despite an OPS that never cracked 800 (in 1992 his OPS was 693). He's also going to be inexpensive for quite some time.
Ryan Day - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 12:38 PM EST (#266562) #
I think you could reasonably conclude Gose cannot hit right now. He may be a good hitter in the future, but he needs a lot of work at the moment.

For 2013, I have slightly more faith in fixing Rasmus than I do in teaching Gose how to hit, and 2013 is clearly what it's all about if we're talking about acquiring Dickey. Rasmus, at least, has shown an ability to hit major league pitching.
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 12:48 PM EST (#266563) #
Acquiring Dickey could very well be about 2013-15, given his apparently reasonable contract demands.

But even if Dickey is all about 2013, that doesn't seem to me to be a good argument for betting on Rasmus and trading Gose. Given the new wild card format, it would be crazy to go "all in" for one year. If Gose is traded and Rasmus (second half last year: 176/238/278, 0 SB) can't figure it out, the Jays would not only be without JJ and Dickey in 2014, they would be without a viable CF.

Also, Gose just turned 22. Rasmus is 26 - he should be in his prime around now, not figuring out how hit a baseball.
92-93 - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 01:00 PM EST (#266564) #
"In my view, it's too early to conclude that Gose can't hit, although it's clear that he's a work in progress."

Is there a difference? I'm not saying he'll never hit, obviously nobody knows that and I'm certainly not qualified to say it. It just seems to be something all the prospect pundits agree on, otherwise a player with Gose's arm, speed, and power potential would be a TOP prospect.

And I'll remind people that I thought the 2012 Jays were a better team with Gose in CF (vs. RHP) and Rasmus in RF straight out of the gate, so I'm well aware of Gose's upside and very high floor. If you told me we could move Bautista out of RF and keep him as healthy as possible by playing him at 1B/DH (with some 3B?) I'd be all for keeping Gose and playing Rasmus in RF, with Davis/Bonifacio helping out vs. LHP.
Mike Green - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 01:50 PM EST (#266565) #
I don't see why the club couldn't move Bautista to first base with EE moving to DH.  Bautista was (from my observation) better there defensively anyway. 

I would be reluctant to trade Gose, partly because of his ability and partly because the organization is now thin in centerfield. 

Mike Forbes - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 01:59 PM EST (#266566) #
I actually think quite strongly that Rasmus will have an excellent season. A slash line of 270/330/510 isn't unobtainable for someone with as much natural talent as Colby.
Mylegacy - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 02:57 PM EST (#266567) #

Mike - you're right.

Colby had a groin injury most of the second half of the season. I expect he will be healthy and at his tender age will blossom.

AA will not trade for Dickey - he is done for now (Aside from some stiff or other to back up Happ and in case Romero actually drops even more).

HOWEVER: Since the moves to date have put the Jays into "contention" - AA will be able to act like a Contender and spend the first third of the season finding what we need, getting it by the trading deadline and riding it to glory over the stretch. By the trading deadline he'll know much better how Gose is coming, d"Arnaud is responding, and guys like Norris etal are growing. He'll know better by then who to fold, who to hold, who to walk away from and who to run with. (Apologies to Kenny Rogers.) 

Time for a single malt.

John Northey - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 03:13 PM EST (#266568) #
I agree that it would be smart to wait until June to see what we really have before trading for a Dickey or other ace type pitcher.

Big questions...
1) Gose & d'Arnaud - are either ready for prime time? Will they be cheap stars for the Jays?

2) Rasmus & Lind - are they write offs or can they rebound? Both have had one great year and a lot of 'meh' or 'blech'.

3) Romero & Morrow - one is recovering from a horrid year while the other had injuries but while healthy had his best year. So, which version of each will we see? If both are at their best then we could have 4 AS caliber guys in the rotation. If not...

The answers to all of these should be fairly clear after 2 months. If Rasmus & Lind struggle then bringing up Gose & d'Arnaud (assuming they play well in Buffalo) while finding the old guys new homes makes a lot of sense. If Morrow & Romero are solid (sub 4 ERA) then the need for another starter is a lot less, assuming Johnson & Buerle are solid of course. Happ is a wild card - as a Jay he had a FIP of 2.80, but lifetime is 4.39...could he have figured something out or is he no more than a 5th guy? Even at 4.39 he is in eyeshot of Romero (4.29 lifetime).
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 03:22 PM EST (#266569) #
Rasmus really only had one good month (June), along with one OK month (May), in 2012. The month prior to his August 3rd groin injury, he hit 191/284/372.

He certainly is talented, though. Perhaps a new hitting coach will help him get on the right track. He does seem like a breakout candidate if he can get his mechanics and mental approach in order.
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 03:31 PM EST (#266570) #
I agree that it would be smart to wait until June to see what we really have

There are pros and cons to this approach. AA has actually said at a previous trade deadline that he wanted to wait until the off-season, when there tend to be more trade options available.

But I agree that it might make sense to allow certain players / prospects to rebuild some value before looking to make a trade. The Jays might be in a better position next summer to execute the trade they want. Ideally they have some true surplus talent (for example, with all four of Rasmus, Gose, Arencibia and d'Arnaud healthy and raking).
electric carrot - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 03:33 PM EST (#266571) #
I have to say I think if we're really singing the Kenny Rogers song we need to add the verse:  "Know when you've got a chance to put a clear #1 Ace in your hand and to go for it."  Have we learned nothing from not getting Yu Darvish?  I think if you look at our team without Gose and without Arencibia but with Dickey especially if you can sign an extention you see a much stronger team.  And then you ask yourself what's our window for contention?  I think it's now or never AA. It's time to go all in and get Dickey.  Look what happened when the Phillies got Halladay.  Look what happened when the Jays got Cone in 1992.  If it takes D'Arnaud you still do the deal.  And I agree Colby is going to have a good 2013. 
jgadfly - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 04:39 PM EST (#266572) #
'The answers to all of these should be fairly clear after 2 months. ...''          I have to agree with JN ... two months in would be a better time for a re-evaluation and will allow new minor league batting co-ordinator Mike Barnes to hopefully turn on some lights with the prospects and allow AA to have more higher valued trading chips
Lylemcr - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 05:06 PM EST (#266573) #
I am not a Dickey fan, but he is interesting.  Those knuckballers can play forever.....  I am not sure I would make his age a deterant for me.
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 05:13 PM EST (#266574) #
Phil Niekro's age 38-40 WAR totals:

Age 38: 8.6
Age 39: 9.6
Age 40: 7.0

His performance level did fall off somewhat after that, but he was still a valuable pitcher through his mid-40s.
k caught looking - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 05:15 PM EST (#266575) #
I think the jays have shown so far they are at least serious about fielding a competitive team. If we can say that our "holes" to the lineup are at 2B, DH, and a starter, that's not so bad at all. If the Jays want to show they are serious about contending 'now' and in the future I think the best solution might just be signing a free agent pitcher and keeping the top prospects we have. I know the jays don't have a bottomless pit but it would seem to be good bet at this point to solve this hole with money instead of trading. At well under 20M per year, a Sanchez or Jackson for 3 years might be the best solution.
greenfrog - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 05:49 PM EST (#266576) #
DBacks reportedly sign Brandon McCarthy to a 2/$15.5M deal. Interesting.
Richard S.S. - Friday, December 07 2012 @ 06:13 PM EST (#266577) #
When A.A. spoke with Mike Wilner he mentioned the Grilli offer. I have noticed since - The Trade - Toronto is no longer included in anything speculative. If Toronto is reported as making an offer, they did, but the acceptance of an offer isn't that important. Until the Mets decide whether to sign him - or trade him - it will be a long wait.
Mylegacy - Saturday, December 08 2012 @ 12:04 AM EST (#266578) #
I've read that the Mets are waiting for Greinke to sign (looks like Texas - IM(H)O).

At which point the losers for the Grienkster will feel pressured to up their ante to secure a proper sized (and aged) Dickie. Methinks there is still much to unfold before the fat lady sings to end this match.
CeeBee - Saturday, December 08 2012 @ 09:27 AM EST (#266580) #
Would you go 3/39 for Ryan Dempster? According to MLB rumours he will sign with the first team that goes 3 years instead of 2. So far he's reported to have turned down the Royals 2/26 and the Red Sox 2/25. I really think I would do it but then again, it's not my money.
greenfrog - Saturday, December 08 2012 @ 10:43 AM EST (#266581) #
A few years ago, definitely. But I'm wary about Dempster's age (although he would be a nice addition on a one- or two-year contract).

Either way, I do think the Jays need at least another couple of starting pitchers (one solid arm, one depth arm).
ayjackson - Saturday, December 08 2012 @ 12:22 PM EST (#266582) #

I think they should be targetting pre-arb starters.  If they can't find a clear upgrade on Happ like Brett Anderson, they should trade for Bauer / Hultzen type who can fine tune his pitches in Buffalo and step right in if necessary.

Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 08 2012 @ 01:04 PM EST (#266583) #

Everything, signing and trades especially, waits for Greinke and Hamilton to sign - anywhere.   Catchers are getting signed, making d'Arnaud, Arencibia and even Buck increase in trade value.   A.J. Pierzynski is the top Catcher remaining.  It matters little that A.A.'s not planning to trade any Catcher, offers will come.  

Rosters are going to be "set" (unwilling to trade) much later this year, making A.A.'s job easier.   Outfielders are getting signed, which decreases the talent level available.   I think this increases the value of Gose, Rasmus and Sierra.   Josh Hamilton, Michael Bourn, Nick Swisher, Cody Ross and Ichiro Suzuki are the top Outfielders remaining.   Offers will come, but A.A. must be careful here in making any move.

Everyone quest for Starting pitching is getting harder and more expensive.   I just don't know if A.A. gets what he wants for fair value.   Zach Greinke, Anibal Sanchez, Edwin Jackson, Kyle Lohse, Ryan Dempster, Shaun Marcum, Joe Saunders, Francisco Liriano and Carlos Villanueva are the top Starters remaining.   I think even re-signing Josh Johnson may be out of A.A.'s (reasonably sane) price range soon.

A.A.'s apparently not satisfied with his Bullpen as is attested by his Grilli offer.  Even the value here is being stretched out of shape.   Rafael Soriano, Jason Grilli, Mike Adams and Jose Valverde are the top Relievers remaining.   It's possible Grilli's reluctance to sign was his re-established value and not who made the offers.

It's going to be a slow continuance of the offseason, but interesting to follow. 

bpoz - Saturday, December 08 2012 @ 06:26 PM EST (#266585) #
Nice to hear from Mylegacy.

Are you going to lead the charge for " WS or bust". I understand something like that happened after the 1991 season.
I cannot remember who it was but there were a few players that took the bull by the horns.

Cheers !!! I will toast the Bauxites who are in for the WS or Bust. Pain & Gain come to mind.
Gerry - Saturday, December 08 2012 @ 08:27 PM EST (#266586) #
Report suggest the Dodgers are close to signing Greinke to a six year $145M deal, or $24M per season.
Richard S.S. - Saturday, December 08 2012 @ 09:31 PM EST (#266588) #
6 Years $147. MM and the dominos fall.
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