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In case you missed it, there was some NBA news today. Of course, if you follow Ricky Romero's Twitter feed, you know all about it.

Hell yea Jeremy Lin!!! Biggest news all day!
†† @RickyRo24

Meanwhile, the Jays venture to Tampa Bay to play the Devil Fishies. The Rays have gone 18-10 since their disastrous 1-9 spell at the beginning of last month.† One thinks the hole they dug themselves was just too damned big... but the AL East in 2014 bears very little resemblance to previous versions, and the wisdom of Joaquin Andujar always, always applies.

Dan Johnson is on site - he'll DH and bat 8th - and the Jays have juggled their rotation for this last series before the All-Star Break, as R.A. Dickey will take the Sunday start rather than J.A. Happ. John†Gibbons reasons that Dickey has been so good at the Trop, it would silly not to take advantage. Dickey's actually 2-2, 3.64 in 6 career starts in Tampa; as a Blue Jay he's 1-1, 4.00 in 4 starts at the Trop. But one of them was a shutout, and he is certainly better than J.A. Happ however you slice it. So, whatever....


Buehrle (10-6, 2.60) vs Archer (5-5, 3.16)
Hutchison (6-7, 3.86) vs Price (8-7, 3.42)
Dickey (7-8, 3.86) vs Odorizzi (4-8, 4.10)

Throw strikes, guys. Babe Ruth's dead.
Jays vs Rays | 91 comments | Create New Account
The following comments are owned by whomever posted them. This site is not responsible for what they say.
BlueJayWay - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 07:01 PM EDT (#289782) #
Please, please, pretty please with sugar on top....have a good series.
scottt - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 07:02 PM EDT (#289783) #
Clearly, Dan Johnson was fated to play for the 2014 Blue Jays and I'm happy it only took injuries to the regular first baseman and DH for AA to realize it.
Magpie - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 07:57 PM EDT (#289784) #
Munenori Kawasaki. You can not possibly stop him. You can only contain him.
China fan - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 09:39 PM EDT (#289787) #
"....the wisdom of Joaquin Andujar always, always applies...."

Please remind us of what he said. 
Magpie - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#289788) #
Kasi - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 09:49 PM EDT (#289789) #
Why is Gibbons taking out Cecil with two out and no one on in an inning?
Magpie - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 10:06 PM EDT (#289790) #
Presumably it was because Longoria absolutely owns Cecil (12-23). But even if Longoria hits a HR against Cecil, who cares? You're still up 5-3.
China fan - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 10:41 PM EDT (#289791) #
"Youneverknow" would certainly be the correct description for Dan Johnson and his 4 walks and 3 runs tonight.
StephenT - Friday, July 11 2014 @ 11:27 PM EDT (#289792) #
Buehrle was removed after 93 pitches (5 innings).  I suspect he would have been sent out for another inning if he hadn't been selected to pitch in the All-Star Game, in which he'll be working with just 3 days rest.
christaylor - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 10:20 AM EDT (#289795) #
I really hope Buehrle's usage wasn't dictated by his (hopefully) one inning in the All Star game. If so, Gibbons should be fired.

I have no read on this team. They're frustrating to watch and follow.

Is anyone else of the opinion that the East looks like it'll be much weaker in the next 5 years than it has in any stretch of the past 10?
Jonny German - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 11:52 AM EDT (#289799) #
There's far too much money in the East to count on that.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 12:10 PM EDT (#289800) #
Odorizzi gets the start for the Rays this afternoon, with Price going tomorrow. 
greenfrog - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#289801) #
Let's hope this series doesn't go to a rubber match.

Samardzija is looking good so far for the A's: 15 IP, 9 H, 4 ER, 1 HR, 1 BB, 10 K, 160 ERA+. Yes, in his two starts he's faced the Jays (injury-depleted version) and M's, but he appears to be adjusting nicely to the AL.
PeteMoss - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 12:44 PM EDT (#289802) #
It's a lt different pitching in Oakland (or Seattle if that was a road game) than anywhere in the al east, but yes a good start.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 12:54 PM EDT (#289803) #
Mike Wilner reports on twitter that Nolan Reimold has now hit the DL with a calf strain and Anthony Gose has been called up.  It's officially the year of the leg injury.  Personally, I prefer the year of the boar.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 01:02 PM EDT (#289804) #
Ken Rosenthal reported a day or two ago that the Jays had been making inquiries about Joakim Soria, who is having a superb year and has a $7M team option for 2015. I wonder if they're looking for a potential closer for next year to replace Janssen, or whether they're trying to add Soria and possibly extend Janssen as well. Losing Janssen without a similarly competent closer would hurt the team.
greenfrog - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 01:03 PM EDT (#289805) #
without adding a similarly competent closer
vw_fan17 - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 02:24 PM EDT (#289806) #
It seems to me that, as goes Jose Reyes, so go the Blue Jays. If Jose hits/plays acceptable defense, the Jays win. Otherwise, they lose. Of course, that may just be a reflection of the ability of opposing pitcher, which would correlate, but not be causative.

Random points:
-Nolan Reimold is injured. Quelle surprise!!
-apropos of nothing, Juan Francisco now has an OPS (not OBP, OPS) of 308 against LHP. Of course, that's just this season - his career totals are a much loftier OPS of 408. OTOH, he's still doing well against RHP. Can Bautista still handle 3B part-time?
-Dan Johnson, as has been mentioned, has almost no platoon split over his career. Also, in his career, July has been his best month (OPS 816). If we can get some of that (good start yesterday), that will help reduce the Lind/EE injuries. Especially against LHP.
-we really, REALLY need a big bat or two. If we didn't have to give up too much, I think Headly would be a good aquisition because it would steady 3B and allow Francisco to become a spot starter and pinch hitter off the bench. Then again, these days in the "condensed games", all I see is him flailing away against low sliders...
-is Izturis supposed to be back anytime this season?
-if Edwin can come back in a week or two as DH, we might be able to put this lineup together against LHP:
SS    Reyes
LF    Cabrera
3B    Bautista
1B    Johnson
2B    Tolleson
C      Navarro
CF    Rasmus
RF    Gose

Not horrible - especially if we could get Kratz back in there..

Magpie - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 03:36 PM EDT (#289807) #
Buehrle was removed after 93 pitches (5 innings).

Don't worry - I'm sure it had nothing to do with the All-Star Game. Buehrle was scuffling all night (9 H, 1 BB), and had to work out of the stretch half the time. Any pitcher will tell you that 80 or 90 high pressure pitches, with men on base all the time, is far more taxing than 130 or 140 pitches in a blowout with the bases empty.
JB21 - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 04:23 PM EDT (#289808) #
Colby's arm is comical.
Mike Green - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 04:24 PM EDT (#289809) #
No question.  Does he have a shoulder problem or something?
Mike Green - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 05:19 PM EDT (#289810) #
Rasmus isn't running well either. 
92-93 - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 05:45 PM EDT (#289811) #
And if Buehrle WAS pulled because he's going to appear in the All Star Game, that's somehow a fireable offense instead of managerial prudence?
christaylor - Saturday, July 12 2014 @ 06:14 PM EDT (#289812) #
It was a bit of hyperbole that was intended to imply that it was his not having it that lead to him being pulled but Gibbons and the Jays ought to be able to say, "No." to any work in the ASG.

Teams do this all the time (the most memorable is City not using Mussina)...
jerjapan - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 11:04 AM EDT (#289818) #
Strangely, a Soria type elite bullpen arm might be the right move with Santos scuffling - 17 baserunners in his last 8 innings, and a pricey contract option in the off season, I'm not sure how much more rope he's going to get.  Our pen is surprisingly weak with only Loup, Cecil, Jansenn and Redmond as the long man performing well.  The list of bullpen disappointments and injuries is long - Delabar, Wagner and Rogers - and guys like McGowan, Jenkins and Rasmussen are not inspiring much confidence.  I'd love to see Korecky get a shot in the short run.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 12:00 PM EDT (#289819) #
They had a helluva game yesterday in Cincinnati with offensive heroics from McCutchen and a clutch baserunner kill from Polanco.  The NL Central looks like it might be the most interesting divisional race in baseball. 
Eephus - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 12:46 PM EDT (#289821) #
Yeah no kidding, Mike. I thought the race in the Central last year was crazy enough with the Cardinals, Pirates and Reds all with a chance to claim the division crown with a week left in the season. This year it's the same three with that strong Brewers team thrown in the mix. I admit at the beginning of June I thought Cincinnati might be sitting this one out but the explosion of Frazier and Mesoraco (yikes!!!) has propelled them into the hunt. The Pirates have really come on strong lately also. Who says three divisions kills pennant races?

Interesting lineup today against Price. Normally I'd object at seeing Francisco against a tough lefty in Price, but with Tolleson at 2nd there's really nobody better you can start there. Maybe Juan gets lucky and turns on one.

Magpie - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 01:21 PM EDT (#289822) #
We're expecting a report on your trip to the ballpark today, Eephus. Just sayin'.
vw_fan17 - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 02:01 PM EDT (#289823) #
Interesting lineup today against Price. Normally I'd object at seeing Francisco against a tough lefty in Price, but with Tolleson at 2nd there's really nobody better you can start there. Maybe Juan gets lucky and turns on one.

I think I'd rather have Kawasaki/Tolleson for the improved defense. Lifetime OPS vs LHP: MK: 448, JF: 408 not much to choose from there..
Dewey - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 03:50 PM EDT (#289824) #
I wouldnít have thought it possible that anyone could be more offensively loquacious than Jerry Howarth; but Joe Siddal trumps him.  I find him almost unbearable to listen to.  Jerry has barely finished describing what has happened when Joe jumps in to Ďexplainí it.  At length, and in boring detail.  (He actually reminds me of Warren Sakiw in this.  There is much talk of various body-parts being Ďopení or Ďclosedí,  of planes and release-points.  And itís all presented with a very rapid-fire delivery.)  The games lately have been bad enough; but to have to absorb them through these two gabblers is painful.

Yes, I know, Joe is a nice guy.  Jerry has told us so, often.

This has been such a dispiriting period in the Jays season.  Iím down.  What a way to arrive at the All-Star break.  There seems to be very, very little good news to hang our hopes on.  (Reimold looked for the briefest time like he might provide some, then even heís on the DL!)  Would MyLegacy or any other of our glass-half-full people please offer some comforting perspective?  Please.  Iím hurting here.
Mike Green - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 04:17 PM EDT (#289825) #
The Blue Jays are going to rally and win this game.  There you go, Dewey!
Mike Green - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 04:22 PM EDT (#289826) #
Colby Rasmus pinch-hitting for Dan Johnson against a LHP, down 3-0 and a runner on 1st?  Weird.
Mike D - Sunday, July 13 2014 @ 04:29 PM EDT (#289827) #
There's no inherent correlation between a cheap and indifferent front office and an undisciplined, careless team, but it sure isn't fun when it all comes together like this.
acepinball - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 04:15 AM EDT (#289829) #
You may be down, but the Blue Jays are far from out of it. The year that began with the hangover from the tire fire that was 2013 was taken to the opposite extreme throughout May. I've had to remind myself this year from time to time that "this team isn't as good or as bad as they look." With May seeming so long ago and the losses piling up, it's easy to forget what we saw about the team during it's winning stretch.

It works.

The core offense of Reyes, Melky, Bautista, EE, Lind, Lawrie, Rasmus can dominate and run away with the division. Gibby effectively platoons to hide his hitter's weaknesses and has received incredible production from the bench/replacement level players.

As for pitching, the two old guys eat innings effectively, two young kids flash great promise, and JA Happ keeps Happ-ening. A so-so pen may soon be bolstered by high upside prospects (Farm is not so thin. We aren't "all-in".)

Side note: It's kinda fun to root for a bullpen where 6/7 came up through the Jays system when I began reading da Box (Janssen, Loup, Cecil, McGowan, Jenkins, Santos (ha!)). Not sure what I'd do if Aaron Hill came back and played a big role along side Lind. Probably try and find a place Chip Cannon fits.

No team benefits more from the days off than Toronto. A few extra days rest for Hutch hopefully get him primed for a strong "second half" similar to what he showed when he dueled Darvish and Anibal Sanchez. Soon enough, Lawrie, Lind, and EE will be close to returning. Rasmus/Bautista get back on track from their post-injury slump. Sanchez and Norris bang on the door.

It works. We've seen it. They CAN get healthy at the same time and play good ball. Let's hope we see it again soon. Just keep afloat in the meantime.

May was a long time ago, but 2013 even moreso. This team *doesn't* suck.

They say the darkest hour comes right before the dawn.
Dave Till - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 06:10 AM EDT (#289830) #
Some random thoughts at the all-star break. Sorry about the length of this post.

The 2014 Blue Jays are living proof of an old saying: a team is never as good as it looks when it is on a run, or as bad as it looks when it is slumping. And it didn't help that they just had to endure the Road Trip Of Death. I was honestly expecting them to get swept in all three series.

The biggest problem that the 2014 Jays have is that their hitters are old. Of the Jays' regular starting nine, all but two are past the peak age of 27, and all but three are over 30. One of the problems that older players have is that they are more likely to get hurt than younger players - and, sure enough, the Jays have had a run of injuries lately. Both Bautista and Encarnacion have suffered injuries that younger players might tend not to sustain.

The reason why the Jays have an old lineup is because their farm system has gone through a long dry spell. The only farm system product in the starting lineup is Lind, and he came up ages ago. Hutchison and Stroman are the first players to emerge in ages who look like they might have long major league careers. (Though, if past history is any guide, Stroman will first need to endure Tommy John surgery.)

I don't know whether farm system development requires superior scouting, superior player development in the minors, or just plain good luck, but it's worth recalling that Alex Anthopoulos inherited a bare cupboard when he took over from J.P. Ricciardi. The team was old and losing a lot, and the only prospect in the high minors who looked like he would be of any use at all was Travis Snider. I was seriously expecting a run of about three or four 90 to 100 loss seasons. The farm system is gradually starting to restock itself, so the future might be a little better than the present.

I'm not sure that it's a good idea to mortgage the future for the present right now. If the Jays right themselves after the all-star break, and Lawrie and Encarnacion recover in time so that the Jays go on another big winning streak, it might be worthwhile to send a bunch of prospects for a rental player. But I'd rather not see the Jays trade prospects for a shot at a one-game wild card playoff.

I don't think that Rogers are bad owners. (Compare them to Interbrew, for example.) But they are businesspeople. Which means that maximizing profit is more important than maximizing wins. Their bean counters likely have complicated spreadsheets or whatever that indicate that spending money on a top-tier free agent just won't bring enough revenue to justify the expense. On the other hand, not spending any money at all is also a bad business decision: if the Jays stop being contenders, fans will drift away from the park, sales of replica merchandise will dwindle, and ratings for Jays broadcasts will fall off. From a cost standpoint, the best approach is to spend enough to keep the team close to contending - which is pretty much where we are right now.

I think it's silly to criticize players such as Juan Francisco or Munenori Kawasaki for their faults.. Of course there are things they can't do: if they were better ballplayers, they wouldn't have been freely available talent. AA and John Gibbons seem to have been reasonably good at identifying what their talent options can do and maximizing their chances to succeed. (The fact that John Farrell now has a World Series ring and John Gibbons will likely never get one is an example of the unfairness of the universe. Gibbons is twice the manager that Farrell is.)

christaylor - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 07:22 AM EDT (#289831) #
"I'm not sure that it's a good idea to mortgage the future for the present right now."

I agree with this in general but I don't think this old saw holds given the environment of the division at the moment. Warren Buffet's advice to buy when everyone else is selling seems more closer to appropriate. They Jays should be looking to buy into a division title. At least try, all but the O's look to be in seller mode in the division and the O's aren't exactly a scary comparison.

I think it is easy to underestimate how valuable play-off baseball would be to attracting the average Toronto baseball fan. Toronto sports fans thrive on hype / trendiness -- a one game WC play-off would be the hottest ticket in town for sports in a very long time. I don't think a decade or more would be stretching it.

The combination of a bad AL East and Toronto sports environment could go a long way to Rogers being willing to sink more resources into the team. I agree they've not be bad owners, they've improved the dome, for one, however with the 2014 team all signs point to an unwillingness to throw that marginal amount into the pot at a chance at a big pay-day.

I don't think the "close to contending" argument works for the Jays like it does for the Leafs. People will always watch that horrid team, the Jays seem to have a pretty solid core, but the fickle fans that come out for hype or the Sox/Yankees are the bums in the seats and eyeballs on the screen that need to be attracted.
Dave Till - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 09:13 AM EDT (#289832) #

I think it is easy to underestimate how valuable play-off baseball would be to attracting the average Toronto baseball fan. Toronto sports fans thrive on hype / trendiness -- a one game WC play-off would be the hottest ticket in town for sports in a very long time. I don't think a decade or more would be stretching it.

Needless to say, the Jays would have to win the first wild card spot to get this one-game playoff. At present, it seems likely that the first wild card spot will go to whichever of Oakland or the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and Anywhere Else In Southern California That We Can Rebrand Our Team Name To In Order To Sell Tickets does not win the division.

Mike Green - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 11:27 AM EDT (#289835) #
I should elaborate on my comment above about the oddity of pinch-hitting Rasmus for Johnson against McGee in the 9th inning yesterday. It's a situation where getting another runner on base is the only thing of importance.  For his career, Rasmus is .212/.286/.355 against LHP.  Given his struggles generally in 2014, that would be an optimistic account of what he is likely to do.  And there is the pinch-hitter discount described by Tango et. al in the The Book.  His expected OBP against Jake McGee is probably .230 or less; Johnson's is surely better than that. 

If one is looking for non-game-related reasons for the move, it's hard to find one.  Rasmus is struggling.  Do you take a struggling hitter and put him into a situation cold that is the most difficult for him, in an effort to get him going?  I wouldn't. 

TangledUpInBlue - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 11:38 AM EDT (#289836) #
Warren Buffet's advice to buy when everyone else is selling seems more closer to appropriate.

The problem is there are still more buyers than sellers. I don't think this year is as bad as last year, but it's still a seller's market.
Mike Green - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 11:58 AM EDT (#289837) #
There are all kinds of players I would be interested in and not all of them play for sellers.  Take second base.  The club has a short and medium-term need for a second baseman, either a full-timer or one who hits LHPs.  There is a long list of players who you would consider acquiring depending on the arrangement- Chase Utley, Aaron Hill, Cliff Pennington, Gordon Beckham, Nick Franklin for starters.  In the case of Franklin, it wouldn't be a buy/sell arrangement but a traditional deal involving trading from positions of strength to areas of weakness.
bpoz - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 12:17 PM EDT (#289838) #
If you compare the position players of the 2010 Jays and today's team. I do not think today we any any better, over all that is. What do others think?
85bluejay - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 12:56 PM EDT (#289841) #
I'm predicting the Jays will acquire Chase Headley as a rental before play starts up again & Kevin Pillar will be part of the package going to SD.
greenfrog - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 02:55 PM EDT (#289844) #
The Jays' shopping list is still basically the same as it was in the off-season:

Strong SP
Second baseman
Decent RH bat / versatile outfielder (David DeJesus type)
Maybe a backup SS (early-30s John McDonald type) and/or better #2 catcher
Mike Green - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 03:15 PM EDT (#289845) #
I'll give Dewey one more thing to feel good about.  Not only will the Jays have hitters returning from injury, they will be facing comparatively weaker opponents the rest of the way. 
Gerry - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 04:35 PM EDT (#289846) #
The Jays have re-acquired Brett Wallace. Given the injuries to Lind and Encarnacion I assume it is for minor league depth.
Richard S.S. - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 06:19 PM EDT (#289847) #
I'm wondering if A.A. can take on substantial salary this Trade period. If he can, he can make deals easily, the returns will be more limited.

We need a Third Baseman or a Second Baseman (A.A., pick one). It's not rocket science, can he play his position well and be an average hitter?

As for a Starting Pitcher, If I have to listen to A.A. re-running some excuse (one of many) he's used that will include Morrow, I'll puke. A.A. has so many reasons why he can't/won't do something, I think he forgets why he should do something.

A dozen of my friends no longer watch Jays games. They're no fun to watch any more. They forgot how to play baseball.
Dewey - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 08:09 PM EDT (#289848) #
Thank you, Mike and acepinball, for your kindly attempts to boost my (lingering) sense of exasperation.  I am now able to stand again, unassisted.  No, I donít think this is a poor team; nor is Ďout ofí the race.  In fact, itís precisely because I had thought it was actually a pretty damn good team that its play in recent weeks has been so dispiriting.  For the past month and a bit, theyíve been playing at about a .350 pace!  I think.  Thatís discouraging, injuries or not.  Lawrie has been shown to be a crucial component of this team.  He makes Reyes better (and thereís much room for him to be better), and pitchers donít like to see him much; so he makes the whole line-up better.   A broken bone in the hand, however, may well affect his batting and his throwing for some time.  Really too bad.  Iím mildly encouraged by the piece Mike cites about lesser opponents in the second half; but then the Jays have a history of stumbling against lesser opponents.  Itís going to come down to who has the healthiest, most fully-functioning team in September, the Jays or the Orioles -- as I see things. 

I wish there were a few true baseball fans in the Rogers head office.  The team needs a boost even more than I do.
Mike Green - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 08:24 PM EDT (#289849) #
You are welcome, Dewey.  The return on wise player investment in 2014 has a decent chance to be reasonable.  You don't need to have a Steinbrenner-style owner to support strengthening the team, just one who choose the risk involved in spending and strengthening the club when the evidence is approximately equal in weight pro and con. 
vw_fan17 - Monday, July 14 2014 @ 08:37 PM EDT (#289850) #
Alfonso Soriano was just DFA'ed.. Worth it for league minimum as a RH pinch hitter/occasional outfielder?
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 08:51 AM EDT (#289852) #
Well, I guess the power does truly reside in the American League.  With Cruz, Encarnacion, Abreu, and Trout all on the sidelines, it still was an uneven match.  Giancarlo Stanton is an American League style slugger and that is about it.  The AL East may be a mediocre division, but it is a mediocre division in the stronger league.
christaylor - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 09:29 AM EDT (#289853) #
This team needs something. Taking a flyer on Soriano seems as good as anything. Heck, if Vernon Wells and Roy Halladay want to come out of retirement, go for it. I'm less in favor of making a win now deal that I was 6 weeks ago, but the more back of the roster flyers the better. Throw it at the wall and see if anything sticks.
85bluejay - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 10:30 AM EDT (#289856) #
Soriano is not coming to Toronto - all indications I've heard is that he's likely to retire unless a top notch contender calls - he's not going to make any more money this year & apparently he wants to travel with his family.
Richard S.S. - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 10:52 AM EDT (#289857) #
From July 18th, Toronto plays Texas Rangers (-21), Boston Red Sox (-9.5), New York Yankees(-5) and Houston Astros(-19.5) for 17 games.

Texas is, at best, a disaster and that's not changing this year. Boston is talking about being sellers. While that might seem strange, they just aren't that good. For all New York's non-pitching issues, they have no Starting staff as everyone is on the D.L. Houston is still a triple A team trying to be better.

On August 4th they have an off day and then start, at home, a three game series verses Baltimore.

During that same time, Baltimore faces Oakland A's(Division Leader), Los Angeles Angels (Wild Card berth) and Seattle Mariners (Wild Card berth) for 16 games.

On August 4th they play a makeup game (Rain-out July 8th) with the Washington Nationals (Division leading) and then play Toronto.

A.A. needs to do something NOW. This can be the 2B/3B move he's needed to make all season. If he can make another he should. After this series, he can decide what they need and go get it. He just needs to do something now.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 11:09 AM EDT (#289858) #
Shi Davidi throws out some other names as possible trade targets- Alex Rios, Marlon Byrd and Josh Willingham.  Willingham is an easy one; he's a rental and a natural fit.  Once everyone gets healthy, he'd probably be an excellent platoon partner for Lind and 5th outfielder and emergency catcher (I suppose).

Rios and Byrd raise other issues.  Davidi suggests that the club may have an outfield need in 2015 and that either of these players could fill it.  Neither can play centerfield capably at this stage of their careers and that seems to me to be the bigger question about the club in 2015.  Personally, I wouldn't attach too much weight to the potential value that Rios and Byrd would have in 2015. 
Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 11:15 AM EDT (#289859) #
The Jays could, conceivably, be a dark horse for Soriano due to their heavy Dominican Republic contingent; maybe a few calls from his countrymen would persuade Soriano to put off retirement. (Francisco apparently signed with the Jays after lobbying from Encarnacion.)

But I wouldn't worry about it too much. There's a decent chance Soriano is done, and even if he's not, he'd be a platoon bat without much defensive value. An intriguing addition, but ideally the team has bigger plans.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 11:31 AM EDT (#289860) #
Davidi suggests that acquiring Rios or Byrd would allow the club to move Bautista to third base and Lawrie back to second base.  That is true, but the defensive cost (and health risk to Lawrie) would, in my view, outweigh the offensive benefit. 
Chuck - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 11:32 AM EDT (#289861) #
The Jays could, conceivably, be a dark horse for Soriano due to their heavy Dominican Republic contingent

Soriano would really have to want to keep playing at this point. He's guaranteed his money for this year and wouldn't earn any more to sign on with anyone else. And it's not like he'd be auditioning for future work. I'd be surprised if he plays again.

Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 11:34 AM EDT (#289862) #
The Jays potentially have to replace Cabrera and Rasmus, so New Acquisition could play LF/RF while CF goes to Gose/Pillar/Somebody.

(If you wanted to be really optimistic about things, you could say Gose can keep CF warm for a couple months until Pompey is ready.)
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 11:47 AM EDT (#289864) #
Rios could potentially be the starting left-fielder for the Blue Jays of 2015 at $13.5 million.  That is not an obvious bargain.  Byrd could be the starting left-fielder in 2015 for $8 million (but I see that his contract allows him to block trades to Toronto).  He will be 37 next month, and I am not sure that he is a great bargain at $8 million either. 

I wonder if Cabrera would be open to an extension.  His value has bounced around, but I think that it is pretty clear that he won't contribute as much as he did in 2011 and 2012.  He can still hit, and you could do worse than having him as a LF/DH for another 3 years. 

Ryan Day - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 12:04 PM EDT (#289867) #
Soriano would really have to want to keep playing at this point. He's guaranteed his money for this year and wouldn't earn any more to sign on with anyone else. And it's not like he'd be auditioning for future work.

You could be right. But there's rarely been a shortage of players who keep going well after they have any logical reason to. (Just casting a casual glance at the Oldest Players list, I don't understand why Jason Giambi is still hanging around.)
85bluejay - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 12:12 PM EDT (#289868) #
Byrd has said that the artificial turf in Toronto/Tampa is why he has both on his no-trade list - I've always been skeptical of Alex Rios's compete level, so I'm a no on that front - I expect Reimold will be in the outfield mix next year and frankly, I hope the Jays make a QO on Melky and he signs elsewhere.
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 12:22 PM EDT (#289869) #
If the Jays make a QO to Cabrera and he signs, it's not a huge deal. 

I wouldn't be opposed to the club acquiring Rios.  At this point, his trade value has to be quite low- his batting line of .305/.330/.440 is all BABIP-driven; he has been an ineffective base-stealing threat in 2014 and he is only a so-so defender at this point.  If you see him as a low-end rental, and pay accordingly, that would help.  If they did that, they could move Melky into the DH slot until Lind is ready. 

85bluejay - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 12:39 PM EDT (#289870) #
Sorry, I assumed that Rios had another year, it's only a 1 mil. option, so as a rental for this year, he's o.k
Melky on a 1 yr. deal is fine - it's hard to hate 1 yr. deals
Mike Green - Tuesday, July 15 2014 @ 09:13 PM EDT (#289873) #
Other outfielders potentially available include one of Bourjos and Jay, and Dexter Fowler.  Fowler could be used as centerfielder against LHPs and a left-fielder against RHP with Melky DHing until both Encarnacion and Lind are healthy. 
Magpie - Wednesday, July 16 2014 @ 02:34 AM EDT (#289874) #
I don't understand why Jason Giambi is still hanging around.

Why Jason wants to hang around, or why they let him? Why Jason wants to is easy - it's baseball. He likes going to the park, putting on a uniform, taking a little BP, hanging out. And now and then he even gets to play. Lots of guys just like the life. From Rickey Henderson to Ramon Ortiz.
vw_fan17 - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 01:41 PM EDT (#289894) #
-Jays have (re?)-claimed Brad Mills from the A's, who DFA'ed him, after acquiring Shark + Hammel. He had a 4.41 ERA in 3 games. Might be a relief candidate? Or AAA filler? Spot starter? Maybe a plan to try to get Richmond a spot start or two and keep Mills as the long man?

-I see Luke Scott was fired from his Korean team for being disrespectful. Was hitting a ton (.267/.392/.505) there, so not a performance issue.
-he had an OPS+ of 108 last season, lifetime OPS of 845 against RHP, 742 against LHP

Take a flyer on a rest-of-the-season + option deal until Lind gets healthy? If he hits, pick up the option and decline that of the injury-prone Lind for someone who doesn't have to be platooned?
Gerry - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 01:48 PM EDT (#289895) #
According to Jeff Blair, Aaron Sanchez has been moved to the bullpen in Buffalo to get him ready to be called up to help the Toronto bullpen later in the season.
Gerry - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 01:54 PM EDT (#289896) #
Ken Rosenthal reports the Jays have checked-in on Alfonso Soriano. Soriano is deciding between various offers.
Thomas - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 02:31 PM EDT (#289899) #
It's being reported that Mills is expected to be placed on the team's active roster in time for Friday's game. That surprised me, as initially I thought it was a depth move. No corresponding transation has been announced yet.
Gerry - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 03:02 PM EDT (#289902) #
Deck McGuire has been DFA'd off the 40 man. A 25 man roster move is still required.
Chuck - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 03:07 PM EDT (#289903) #
You can give someone a penny for their thoughts on Brad Mills. You can then give them your two cents worth. Finally, you can top that up with another 97 cents and voila, Mills can be yours.

Or maybe that deal wasn't in effect this time around?
Chuck - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 03:10 PM EDT (#289904) #
Prediction: Santos to AAA to make room for Mills, who becomes a long man. Redmond now gets some non-long man playing time as RH setup man #2, to complement McGowan, and make up for Delabar's absence.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 03:18 PM EDT (#289905) #
Mills as a LH long man with Redmond handling some higher leverage roles until Sanchez is ready?  Makes sense to me.  You can still have Redmond throw a couple of innings at a time, but it is more likely to be when the club has a 1 run lead or the game is tied after 5 or 6 innings.

Now, a bat or three please!

Ryan Day - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 03:29 PM EDT (#289907) #
I'd guess that if Mills is going to be a long man, Jenkins will get a bus ticket back to Buffalo. I'd probably dump Santos, but they seem to like him.

Unless there are other shoes that haven't fallen yet, like a starter about to hit the DL - Happ's last start looks like the sort of thing that happens before a DL stint, and Hutchison's been all over the place.
christaylor - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 03:48 PM EDT (#289909) #
I want the answer from data to be "No, more than other GMs." but does it seem/feel to anyone else that AA is not an especially creative GM? A fair number of the names seem to be plucked from players lists (prospects, top picks etc) of the late 00s, former Jays, or names that just seem _familiar_.

I like both moves but Mills and Soriano both seem like that sort of move. I know there are only so many major league calibre players to go around, but if that's true why acquire Brett Wallace. Just wondering if anyone else thinks this -- for all that was awful about JP's decision making, he did at least seem to try to be creative. AA's style seems to go with the safer options or known entities.
85bluejay - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 04:26 PM EDT (#289913) #
I remember how disappointed I was in the McGuire pick back in 2010, seemed like a quintessential J.P pick to me and coming after another low ceiling college pick, Jenkins in 2009, it was depressing esp. with Chris Sale available - I'm guessing someone will claim McGuire.
It's interesting that the HS guys Sanchez & Syndergaard seem to be working out, while the "safe" & quick to the majors college guys McGuire & Wojo. seemed stalled.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 04:50 PM EDT (#289915) #
Chris Sale was a collegian too.   The White Sox had him in the major league pen for a year and a half, learning his craft while not racking up many innings on a young arm.  He had the grand sum of 10 innings in the minor leagues.  An interesting approach.   
85bluejay - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 05:06 PM EDT (#289917) #
I know Sale was a collegian - he was a high risk/high ceiling (pitching motion/build) kinda pick - There are lots of high ceiling college talent as well as low ceiling HS

Sale signed quickly & reasonably because his "advisor" got the White Sox to agree to call him up to the ML team in exchange - wanted his service clock to start.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 05:07 PM EDT (#289918) #
Happy birthday to Adam Lind and Steve Delabar.  There have been only 33 major leaguers ever born on this date.  Aside from Lind and Delabar, there are an unusual number of interesting players: three long-time shortstops- Hall of Famer Lou Boudreau, Gold Glovers Roy McMillan and Don Kessinger, Bobby Thigpen, primo pinch-hitter Jerry Lynch.  And then there's Deron Johnson (check out the 1965 NL MVP voting to see how RBIs used to be seen).

Chuck - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 05:08 PM EDT (#289919) #
I wonder if this new wave of parity (making it a seller's market) explains the amount of quiet on the trade front this all-star break. Am I mistaken or is Jason Frasor the biggest name that has moved so far?
Mike Green - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 05:16 PM EDT (#289920) #
Right, 85bj.  I did not like the McGuire pick at all at the time either.  Apparently some scouts that he had high upside.  I didn't see it at all, although I am far from an expert on anything to do with pitching.  
Chuck - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 05:51 PM EDT (#289921) #
What do hard times look like? Signing a washed up Carlos Pena to be your first baseman.

What do harder times look like? Calling JP Arencibia up from AAA to be your first baseman.
christaylor - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 05:53 PM EDT (#289922) #
Does parity make it a sellers market necessarily? I'd assume the opposite more teams willing to buy for a shot at the playoffs. Sellers in this market have to convince their fan base to swallow not taking a shot.

Tampa can do this and fan graphs has a nice article how the Jays stand to benefit the most from the acquisition of David Price.
Mike Green - Thursday, July 17 2014 @ 06:03 PM EDT (#289923) #
What do harder times look like? Calling JP Arencibia up from AAA to be your first baseman.

As the Rangers come to town.  Revenge is a dish best served, um, cold. 

Aaron Gleeman describes Arencibia's career major league on-base percentage of .255 as ghastly.  Synonyms of ghastly include awful, grim, hideous,  horrendous, horrid, sickening and terrible.  I am partial to "sickening" in this case, but that might just be me.
Mike Green - Friday, July 18 2014 @ 09:54 AM EDT (#289932) #
The Mariners are apparently interested in Price and Zobrist.  Price, I get.  Zobrist not so much.  He's not a shortstop. They already have a second baseman and he adds less value in the outfield than at second base.  Anyways, Zobrist has gone on a tear over the last month and has probably priced (!) himself out of the Jays range, talent-wise.
Thomas - Friday, July 18 2014 @ 11:12 AM EDT (#289937) #
Interestingly, while I've heard the M's are quite interested in Price and would have the prospects to get it done, I've also heard they're equally as focused on Zobrist and may be interested in acquiring him regardless or whether they can get Price included or not.
smcs - Friday, July 18 2014 @ 02:45 PM EDT (#289956) #
With Dickey going tonight, is this the first time in Jays history the same pitcher has started back to back games?

Chuck - Friday, July 18 2014 @ 03:26 PM EDT (#289960) #
Uggla has been released. Yes, the team needs a RH-platooner for 2B or 3B. But I can't see this being the answer.
Gerry - Friday, July 18 2014 @ 03:28 PM EDT (#289962) #
Chad Jenkins is Buffalo bound to make room for Mills.
Mike Green - Friday, July 18 2014 @ 04:09 PM EDT (#289967) #
Dioner Navarro DHs tonight and bats cleanup.  It's a bit of an odd choice- Navarro has never hit much against RHP and has never faced Darvish.  Gose has hit as well as Navarro against RHPs in his career and runs just a little better. He's actually done well against Darvish in a few at-bats. You could play him in left-field and let Melky DH with probable offensive and defensive gain.  Reyes/Gose/Bautista/Cabrera/Johnson/Francisco would be a natural start to the batting order.  You could alternatively hit Kawasaki second and Gose ninth.
christaylor - Friday, July 18 2014 @ 06:41 PM EDT (#289973) #
That's a good idea -- that said, I don't know in what universe the scales are tipped such that Gibbons makes that call. Gose seems like a natural fit on a Gibbons bench for a late inning defensive replacement slash pinch runner situation and Navarro gets the nod as a veteran.

We all kind of knew what sort of manager Gibbons would be and this fits with his pattern.
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