Guess I’ll call Jan and tell her we’re not going to Orlando.
Bob Elliott looks at the Jay Bruce thing in a piece for the Toronto Sun, telling us that he’s heard the Reds would be looking for “inexpensive major league-ready players.” After asking his source if a Sean Nolin might be a fit, he was told, “”More than that. And the way I heard it … there was an ‘s’ on the word players.” You know where I stand on this one.
Juan Francisco’s time in Boston was short, as he was D’d FA to make room for Hanley Ramirez yesterday, as first tweeted by MLB.com reporter Ian Browne. Cue “it’s the Edwin story all over again” stuff from hopeful Jays fans, except… no. No, no, no. Though… OK, he wasn’t even as bad as we like to remember. And especially decent — 124 wRC+ — against right-handers, which is something the Jays currently need. It’s just… didn’t he get to that number by being at like a 170-odd wRC+ for six weeks then slowly watching it all evaporate? Not entirely, actually. His April (140 wRC+ overall), May (180), and July (134) were all pretty good. It was June (59) and August (5 — yes, five) that killed him. Didn’t really play in September, unsurprisingly.
Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle suggests that the Athletics are taking calls on lefty-hitting catcher John Jaso, including ones from the Jays. Sean Nolin is the reported ask at this point, which seems steep for a team with three catchers already and myriad other holes to fill, but if Navarro and Dickey/Thole are the ones getting traded to those ends, as is certainly possible, a veteran backup catcher with some lefty pop, and who can sure take a walk (career rate: 12.6%), off the bench could be a nifty idea indeed. Even if it would just encourage Wilner to do that thing more frequently.
Dirk Hayhurst has been looking for some of that Canadian bacon lately, which sounds like a great idea for all of us, as he weighs in on the Jaso talk, and also talks about the Navarro-Thole-Martin drama, and relates an encounter with Avril Lavigne.
Ken Rosenthal tweets, tongue somewhat in cheek (maybe?), that a “mystery team” can’t yet be ruled out in the bidding for Cuban outfielder Yasmani Tomas. I wouldn’t hold your breath on this one, but the Jays certainly haven’t been linked much to Tomas at all. Go do it, I say.
Tom Dakers of Bluebird Banter makes Tomas his suggestion in his contribution to their staff free agent picks. He linked to the rest of the series, too! For Noah Sherman, on the other hand, it’s Luke Gregerson.
Speaking of the relief market, MLBTR has the details on the Rays’ signing today of reliever Ernesto Frieri, a buy-low candidate on an incentive-laden deal (something the Jays don’t do — or are very reluctant to do) who, we’re told, misses back and should see some natural bounceback, you’d figure, because of crazy bad HR/FB and strand rates last year. Sean Rodriguez was D’d FA to make room, a right-hitting utility man whose power spiked last year, who could intrigue. He was a below replacement level in 2014 thanks mostly to UZR hating him at 2B, 3B, and in the outfield, though DRS had him as even at the two infield positions. He stopped walking altogether, but the power pushed his wRC+ to about league average, which… is maybe enough to make him a reasonable utility candidate, even if he might be kinda terrible. He produced 5.9 WAR over the previous four seasons, to boot (though weighted mostly towards 2010 and 2011).
Speaking still of relief, at Sportsnet, Ben Nicholson-Smith excellently surveys the market, making cases for and against the Jays going after a really big name, expensive free agent reliever.