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Spring training games start this week, on Wednesday to be precise. I know the game is on MLB Network, a channel that I can get, and it's free for now. The Thursday and Friday games are on Sportsnet 1 and regular Sportsnet respectively. Saturdays game is on the radio and Sunday's is shown on MLB Network on a delay. If you can get the MLB Network and Sportsnet you can see lots of baseball this week.

Elsewhere there is not much to report, the Jays do not appear to be interested in any free agents, Scott Boras thinks Rogers is a cheap owner, and the Jays added another AAA pitcher in Liam Hendricks. That transaction leaves Brett Morel in the waiver dark-zone.

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Today was the first day of camp for pitchers and catchers. Sunday was physicals day and the pitchers will start their throwing programs tomorrow. The pitchers are alone for a few days until Thursday when position players are due to report. The first spring training game is a week from Wednesday, on the 26th.
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I have heard through my sources that the Blue Jays have signed a new player, a pitcher by the name of Godot. Not much is known about him but Alex Anthopoulos and John Gibbons are waiting outside the RC for him to arrive. They are confident that his arrival will change the fortunes of the team.
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Pitchers and catchers for the Blue Jays report on February 16th, two weeks from today. Football is over but there is no sign of spring in Ontario. After weeks of nothing happening will anything happen this week? Who knows.
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Tanaka is off the market, as is Matt Garza. That leaves two valuable starting pitchers who are still without a home for 2014. How long will it take for Ubaldo and Ervin to sign? Spring training starts in three weeks, unless you play for the Dodgers or Diamondbacks who start 2014 in Australia and as a result they start spring training a week early.

When will they sign? earlier this week AA suggested the signing could even go into March, mainly because of the draft pick compensation that is attached to both starters. I tend to think the players would get anxious to know where they are going but if their agents can make a strong case to wait they might do that. Do the Jays have the budget to sign one of these starters? Unless they sign one we may never know.

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This should be the week that the Tanaka saga reaches the end. Tanaka must sign by Friday and there are suggestions today that his destination might be known by Wednesday so all the medicals and documentation can be completed in time.

There are several stories around the interwebs that claim to know what is happening. A couple of these stories have come from Japan. The Blue Jays have not been mentioned as being in the race, is that true or is it AA operating in secret? The stories suggest that Tanaka will sign a six year deal at $20M per season. Is that in the Jays budget and are the years do-able? Another story suggests that Tanaka s looking to play in a big city and/or for a winner. With a lot og big clubs bidding it seems like a long shot that Tanaka will come to Toronto. It would seem that the Jays would have to add a 7th year or go to say $22M per season (not couting the $3M per season going to Tanaka's club) to sign him. I am very doubtful that the Jays would do that.

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This off-season has been the slowest for Blue Jay news that I can remember.  The Navarro signing was months ago and since then there has been nothing.  Last winter AA was putting in a new waiver claim every week, this year just one.  The Tanaka affair seems to be holding up all free agent pitcher signings and we are just five weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting. 

The Tanaka deadline is January 24th so I assume that Tanaka, Jimenez and Santana will all sign between January 24th and January 27th.  I don't see much happening before then. 

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2014 is here and the big question for Blue Jay fans is this: Will 2014 be better than 2013? This time last year AA had made some big moves and fans were expecting great things in 2013. This year AA has done little and fans are not as enthused as they were a year ago.
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This year Da Box lost Mick Doherty, a long time bauxite. In addition to his Hall of Names threads Mick was known for his Christmas Day post. Here I am reproducing Mick's last Christmas thread from 2011.

We ask this every year as Christmas comes (and if I read my watch right, in Toronto this year, that's in about 20 minutes!) so ...

What'djaget???

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It has been very quiet in Blue Jay land.  The expected influx of starting pitchers, second basemen and right hand hitting DH's has not materialised.  Will anything happen between now and the new year?  We can use this thread for the drip, drip, drip of the wait.

There are a couple of small items of news today, Monday.

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It looks like winter outside and the winter meetings are in Orlando where I assume it doesn't look like winter. There was so much activity last week that one has to wonder if this week will be a let-down. It seems the market is still undefined particularly in starting pitching where the Jays are looking.
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The signing of Robinson Cano has got my mind back into the wondrous world of wishful thinking...
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This is the last week of activity before the winter meetings begin on the ninth. GM's are seeing if they can get something done before the meetings or if it will have to wait.

Today, Monday, is the non-tender deadline whereby teams have to decide if they are willing to offer arbitration to their eligible players. Some players will be non-tendered but there may not be many decent starting pitchers or catchers among the non-tendered. The Jays biggest decision is whether to offer arbitration to JP Arencibia, I assume they will.

Ken Rosenthal is reporting the Jays have agreed to sign Dioner Navarro on a two year deal.  I believe the reports on him are good bat, less than good defense.  We will see.

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New member stemac has written an article analysing the value of RA Dickey when he is not pitching. There has much anecdotal discussion regarding the difference between facing a knuckleball pitcher and a regular pitcher. This discussion is often focused on the relievers who follow the knuckleballer. But in this pinch hit stemac looks at the impact on the next days starter,
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I received a copy of the new Davidi/Lott book this week from the publisher for review.  I read it in three days, in part because it is not a very lengthy read, the book is 180 page of print plus 16 pages of photographs, and in part because it is an easy read.

When I first heard that this book was on its way I wondered what kind of book would it be?  There are those books that are essentially diaries of the season, a day by day or week by week summary of the season that was.  Then there are the books that are about the team, the players and staff, more than they are about the season.  These books rely on interesting characters to provide the backbone of the book.  Finally there are the insider exposes, a tell-all of sorts, as in here is what really happened behind the scenes.

I also wondered whether the authors were able to breach the secretive world of the Anthopoulos front office, would he open up for the sake of history?

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