Well, I didn’t go to computer academy!
Keith Law has elaborated in a on why he’s soft on Devon Travis in a post at ESPN.com analyzing several recent transactions, suggesting that the Jays’ acquisition is a “below-average defender,” and citing concerns about the second baseman’s “unorthodox” swing. “He has leaky hips and starts his swing from a dead stop with his hands loaded low, making up for it a bit with strength, something that won’t work as well against major league pitching,” he explains. It’s certainly not an unfair concern, though I’m glad that several other evaluators don’t appear to agree.
Bob Elliott’s piece on the Gose-Travis trade for the Toronto Sun includes some interesting information on the differences between the Jays and Melky Cabrera as they continue to try to come to an agreement that would see him return. Cabrera has told friends that the Jays offered three-years and $39-million, apparently, but “the outfielder’s agent is believed to be looking for a $50 million package.” Honestly, I think that’s a fair price for Melky to be pushing for, and a fair offer from the Jays. It’s not looking good.
So… you know that thing about how the Jays are supposedly after Russell Martin? I actually quite like the idea — he’s a marked upgrade on Dioner Navarro, especially defensively, and especially with respect to receiving and framing, and moving Navarro to a backup/DH/PH role would be rather ideal — but there’s a problem. As Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, and others, tell us, the Dodgers are interested. I’d suggest that maybe some Canadian sentimentality could work in the Jays’ favour here, but if a thing like that’s going to be a factor at all, all else would have to be equal. When Dodgers money is involved, I’m not sure I’m seeing the Jays being equal.
Shi Davidi wraps up the GM meetings in a piece for Sportsnet, explaining that the Jays’ deal with Detroit came about suddenly, that the club doesn’t have anything else imminent, noting that they checked in on Andrew Miller as part of their pursuit of a revamped bullpen, and suggesting that Brook Jacoby isn’t the only person being considered for the club’s vacant hitting coach position. “Asked about Jacoby’s chances of landing the job, one source said ‘probably,’ while another noted other candidates are in the mix,” we’re told.
As noted earlier, Ken Rosenthal tweeted this morning that the Jays were the team that the Tigers “feared most” in the bidding for Victor Martinez. That’s certainly a nice thought for a fan base that, despite all the early off-season rumours, still isn’t convinced that their team actually has any money that it’s willing to spend. But does it change anything? As much as Martinez would have been a better fit than Adam Lind — he’s a switch hitter who can even spend a little time behind the plate — he’s still not exactly ideal for a club losing two thirds of its outfield and still searching for infield and bullpen help. He’d have been a great addition, don’t get me wrong, and lately I’ve been of the mind that if any of the top free agents is willing to take the Jays’ money, they should go ahead and give it to him and sort the rest out later — they just so rarely get the opportunity to add top talent to this organization. But the piece from Davidi linked above, he characterizes Martinez as a player who the Jays “expected would remain with the Tigers all along.” Hmmm.