Tuesday, 9 August 2011

I need a hobby

I really just don't know what to do with myself half the time on the day after an offday.  Without the euphoric glow of previous night's win/depressed killself attitude of the previous night's blown save by Jon Rauch, I really do spend most of my Tuesday sitting on the couch thinking "Well now what?"  And sometimes, the internet just doesn't have much for me to hold me through until the game starts (except for Henderson Alvarez news, but more on that later).  I do, at times, just kind of let my mind wander about things like getting rid of Aaron Hill or something, but that's hardly interesting.

Or is it?  Now, I assume Hill was placed on trade waivers, just as pretty much every player is, since, if claimed, they can be revoked if the current team so chooses.  I'm also not sure whether anyone opts to claim him, or if AA allows the claim to go through.  Hill is almost certain to be worth a Type- B compensation at the end of the year, but will probably also accept arbitration since he sucks and wouldn't get half a turd on the free agent market.  The real question here, is whether a trade could be worked out between the Jays and whoever the fuck opts to claim Hill, presumably with the intention of offering arbitration and greasing a pick away, while taking the risk of having the black hole that is Aaron Hill's bat in the lineup next year if he accepts the arbitration offer.

Now obviously, AA isn't one to get fleeced, and would only make such a deal if (a) he was unwilling to risk Hill accepting arbitration, and, by extension (b) had no interest of having Hill back.  I know I don't have any interest in seeing Hill back, since, you know, this team is supposed to contend next year; Hill is basically John Mcdonald, and that's not the kind of guy you have in the lineup everyday on a contending team.

In no particular order, the following are the needs for this team to be competitive going forward: SP, RP, 2B (which, obviously, we can forget about).  The most natural idea here is that the Jays take on a reliever with a modest pricetag, or simply kick in cash and buy a prospect.  Would anyone fall for that?  I mean, CWS took Alex Rios off our hands, ANA took Vernon Wells.  You know who's never hit 36 HR's in a season?  Alex Rios and Vernon Wells.  Aaron Hill hit 36 homeruns 2 years ago, and does have some decent-to-good seasons in his career before falling off a cliff last year.  At worst, he provides good defense at a premium position.  I'm sure there's SOMEBODY out there who thinks that they can turn this shit around.

I have no idea what kind of return/price it would take to land anything useful for Hill in a waiver trade this month, but my problem lies herein:  Hill's bat wouldn't be an upgrade for anybody, and his value is entirely glove right now, and if it was, that team would have to be pretty bad.  Would a team who thinks Aaron Hill is useful give up any kind of prospect?  If the Jays have to dump cash, wouldn't they just be better off offering arbitration and risk keeping him around, rather than dumping cash elsewhere?

I really feel like we're stuck with Hill for the rest of the year, and won't be getting a pick for him without an agreement in place that states that he'll reject arbitration at the end of the season.  This is a giant mess.

What else is going on around here?

Jose Reyes got hurt again, which is going to hurt his free agent value at least slightly.  It has always seemed unlikely to me that the Jays would go after Reyes, and I still feel that way.  I have no idea how he's going to age, but fast guys and leg injuries scare me.  I really hope the Jays don't go for him now even more so than before.  He's going to command 7 years, and I'm just not sure he can be elite for anywhere close to that long. The Jays have Yunel Escobar now, not that he stays at SS forever, but I think that the way AA operates in his Moneyball-ish+trade-rape fashion, a $20MM/season guy just doesn't seem likely to me.

Mark from MLBTR thinks that the Jays could extend Brandon Morrow in the offseason if his agent allows it.  They feel like AA is sharp enough to see Morrow's ERA over 4 despite low-to-mid 3 FIP and xFIP and pounce while Morrow's value is still fairly low, so 3y/$19MM (with club options, obviously) would be fair.

As previously mentioned, the Jays have called up 21-year old Henderson Alvarez to start Friday in place of Carlos Villanueva. Alvarez had been pitching in AA New Hampshire to this point, and can apparently touch 100-MPH with his fastball.  There were some rumors going around that he didn't get as many swinging strikes as someone with 100-MPH heat should, but he's struck out something like 7.6/9IP over his last 45IP, so I think we can put that to rest.  He's also got a pretty small walk rate for a power pitcher.  I don't remember where I read this, but I remember seeing Keith Law writes something about how close he was to a MLB-ready pitcher back at the all-star break.  Something about him working on the breaking ball to the point where all it needed to be was average-ish and he'd be lights out.  I'll try and find that, but a quick google showed nothing.

Update- It was on DJF, who found it on Bob Mccown's Primetime Sports for me, since I pretty much refuse to listen to that nonsense.
He was 93-97. The breaking ball is coming. It's a fringy pitch right now, but it's in there. We know he's got a good changeup. He keeps the ball down, he gets a lot of ground balls-- I'm just not sure what he is. I know he's a starter, I know he's a good starter, but I don't know if he's a one, a two, or a three-- but he's something. He's not that far off-- it's really about the development of the breaking ball. If the breaking ball comes on to the point where it's just a usable pitch-- just an average Major League curve ball-- plus changeup, good velocity, gets a lot of ground balls-- that's a big league starter. And it's almost there. It's just so close, I'm sure it's a little bit frustrating for the Jays to see him. 'Man, that one night that curveball's there, we can probably run this guy right up to the big leagues,' because everything else is where you want it to be.
So yeah, forget Brett Lawrie, he's old news.  This is our man now.
Update 2- The Jays made room for this by outrighting Wilfredo Ledezma to AAA Las Vegas.  This removes Ledezma from the 40-man roster.  Ledezma can now take 72 hours to choose whether he would like to be released or report to the minors.

Finally, Ricky Romero was named MLB AL Player of the week.  He pretty much strung together 2 really good starts in a row, with 12 K's and 5 hits in 16 innings pitched.  Stealing spotlight from Henderson Alvarez already, I see. Just jealous.

I dunno, I guess I got nothing else.  Brett Cecil tonight against the A's.  I thought the Angels were in town, but I guess they're next.

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