Reliving And Making Sense Of A.A.’s Wednesday Afternoon Scrum

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Alex Anthopoulos had a scrum this afternoon with reporters at the Winter Meetings in San Diego, as is tradition, and while some of the most important stuff has already been covered in my post about payroll parameters once again potentially rearing their ugly head, there are still many more things he spoke about worth noting. So… um… let’s note some of them, by reliving the scrum chronologically through tweets from the local media…

  • Ben Nicholson-Smith was first out of the gate, tweeting what we’ve all surely heard by now: that Anthopoulos figures he’ll be looking to make trades to get relief help, rather than looking at the free agent market, with Barry Davis adding that the G.M. doesn’t anticipate any moves getting done while in San Diego.

The second part is unsurprising — Alex prepared us well in advance for the fact that it’s his preference to make his moves before or after the event, but not during, though he later added that it’s possible something could come together quickly, so we can’t quite yet rule anything out.

As for the first part, maybe it’s true. Or maybe it’s posturing for the benefit of some agent. Whatever the case, it definitely doesn’t make sense — at least not if taken literally. Maybe if he means to get bona fide late inning help, sure. But there are going to be a tonne of arms out there for cheap and for minor league deals with invites.

Maybe not what we want to hear on the matter, but building a bullpen that way couldn’t hurt. I mean, look at the 2013 bullpen that worked so well for this club. The eight guys with the most innings without a start that year for the Jays? Janssen, Loup, Cecil, Delabar, Oliver, Wagner, Perez, and Lincoln.

Not exactly a who’s who.

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Gregor Chisholm Lays Down An Excellent, Deflating Point About Payroll

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Where’s the money, Anthopoulos?

Alex Anthopoulos spoke to reporters this afternoon, discussing things like the relievers signings made by the Astros — Luke Gregerson and Pat Neshek both went to Houston, in part, perhaps, because of Texas’s lack of a state income tax — which has all been excellently recapped in a piece at BlueJays.com by Gregor Chisholm.

But it’s when he goes beyond the quotes, and starts talking about payroll, what might be available, and why, that Gregor’s piece really gets ones wheels turning. And not necessarily in a good way.

To wit:

The Blue Jays are expected to have an increased payroll in 2015, but there are a number of factors that will be a concern for the organization. Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, R.A. Dickey and Ricky Romero can be bought out of their contracts at the end of the ’15 season for a combined $4.6 million. Romero is the only one of that group that’s expected to have his option terminated, but there is still time for that to change.

If Bautista, Encarnacion or Dickey suffered a serious injury that jeopardized the 2016 season, the options could be bought out. Even if that’s unlikely it’s something the organization will have to take into consideration for accounting purposes. In other words, the buyout would have to be paid immediately and could not be deferred to the following season.

The Jays, he’s surmising, can’t plan on a gift from ownership if they’re tight against their budget number come next November, so whatever that limit is, they need to be sure the money to pay those buyouts is there. They can’t spend quite to their full budget, they have to be $4.6-million under, just to be safe.

Of course, that was the situation last season, too. There were $1-million buyouts for Adam Lind and Brandon Morrow, $750K for Sergio Santos, $500K for Dustin McGowan, and $200K for J.A. Happ. So that’s almost $3.5-million there. But I think the point is that we maybe can’t just look at last year’s $137.2-million payroll figure and assume to get to there from where they are now is entirely simple.

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Red Sox Land Wade Miley (Possibly?)

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Ken Rosenthal tweets that Diamondbacks starter Wade Miley is on his way to Boston in exchange for Allan Webster and Rubby de la Rosa (though according to a tweet from Bob Nightengale, Dave Stewart — who is suddenly all reluctant to talk — says there’s no deal in place). Both prospects have struggled to find their feet in the big leagues, but perhaps especially intrigued Arizona because they came from the Dodgers, where Diamondbacks’ Senior VP De Jon Watson had them, as Jon Morosi points out.

They were nice pieces of depth for the Red Sox, but you can understand their moving them for a guy with a better track record. I mean, as much as talent and potential and projections mean a whole lot, when it’s your job on the line, and you truly expect results — as opposed than just hoping for them — there is value in knowing that someone has done it before. That’s something I think the Jays are thinking about in their quest for relief help too — they certainly could just collect cheap arms and hope for the best, but you understand the temptation to feel that much more comfortable.

But… um… exactly how much more comfortable is Boston going to be with Miley? I guess quite a bit — enough to part with the two arms, plus a third as-yet-unnamed prospect — but should they be?

I said on Twitter when this trade broke that I’ve learned my lesson about laughing at the Red Sox, so I’ll refrain from that, but… well… I can’t say I’m particularly nervous that, instead of Jon Lester, the durable left-hander who is now a member of Boston’s rotation is the guy who has been hit to the tune of .263/.324/.422 by right-handed hitters in his career (albeit while playing in a hitter-friendly home park).

I suspect Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, and Josh Donaldson aren’t particularly nervous about it either.

Which isn’t to say that Miley isn’t a nice piece — I wrote about Miley and the Jays this morning (and, for what it’s worth, didn’t see a fit if the starting point was going to be Dioner Navarro) and definitely highlighted some positive — It’s just… this could be fun.

And now Arizona has an extra arm, too — possibly making one of their relievers available (like Ziegler, who I wrote about earlier, or Addison Reed, who some readers pointed out).

So… there’s that.

Image via sec116pix/Flickr

Diamondbacks GM Says Navarro Could Be A Fit

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From Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:

First off, as @House4545 astutely points out, uh… can he say that?

I mean, I know he’s not saying anything that anybody doesn’t already know, but I really don’t think he can talk about players under contract to other clubs like that.

Whatever the case, maybe this changes some of what I was talking about earlier today, when I wrote about Wade Miley.

Which isn’t to say that anybody — even someone catching-desperate and willing to admit he’s a fit — is going to see Navarro as comparable in value to a plough horse of a pitcher with three years of control still remaining. But maybe there’s something else on Arizona’s roster that could be a fit?

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Winter Meetings 2014: Wednesday Housekeeping

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Day three of baseball’s annual Winter Meetings is ongoing in San Diego, and the action all day has been thick, as we head toward the final stretch. Teams generally start to get out of town after Thursday morning’s Rule 5 draft, so the rest of the action will likely take place tonight. And for the low down on that, stay tuned for more of our traditional wall-to-wall coverage — maybe the Jays will actually do something interesting!

But first, let’s refresh our memories with some housekeeping:

  • First, if you’re a Twitter user, be sure you’re following me — @AndrewStoeten — for all kinds of breaking news, retweets, and pithy rejoinders that might not necessarily get posted about in full here at the site (or even “Presented Without Comment…”).
  • Secondly, yet another reminder that I have finally setup a Facebook page for the new site, and will be sharing everything that gets posted here just as soon as it goes up. So, if you want all the latest Jays news pumped straight into your news feed, like AndrewStoeten.com on Facebook.
  • Third, some of you may have noticed that I’m now running some ads on the site. Some of you may not have, perhaps because you use some kind of ad blocking software. It’s obviously your choice, but I would truly appreciate it if you could exclude this site from your adblocker, as my work is now going to largely be supported this way. My hope is that they’re not too intrusive or disruptive of what’s otherwise a pretty clean-looking page. I’m still playing around with it, and it may be more ad-heavy at the moment than I’ll ultimately decide is reasonable. Whatever the case, feel free to contact me if something isn’t working, or is especially annoying, makes noise, covers up content, etc. Or if you’re interested in advertising on the site. Please also note our privacy policy.

In case you missed it, here’s everything Jays-related that has happened at these Winter Meetings so far:

Wednesday

Tuesday

Monday

Sunday