Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Anthopoulos Chat

Apparently Alex Anthopoulos met with reporters this morning or afternoon or today or something, and fortunately for us, Shi Davidi and Gregor Chisolm were there and have updated their twitters.

Among the noteworthy items:

-Tony Lacava is interviewing for a position with another team, and as such, is not part of any discussions relating to building the 2012 Bluejays at the moment.  He'll be brought back in to the loop if he doesn't get the Baltimore job, though it looks like he's got a pretty good shot at getting that job.

- Edwin Encarnacion still apparently has 30HR potential.

-Jon Rauch is still a candidate to be brought back next year, just not under his club option.  I'm reading between the lines here, but I think that means that they won't offer him arbitration, and will offer him a contract with a slight discount from what he made last year, with the hopes that he'll get good again and be a type-B again next year. Rauch had 5 straight seasons of league-average-or-better ERA's before this one, but he was downright terrifying all year long this past season.  That could be any combination of the AL East, the Skydome, injuries, bad luck (or 5 straight years of good luck before a regression), or he might just be bad now.

-The Jays haven't ruled out signing a DH, and allowing Edwin to play 1B or LF.  David Ortiz was rumored to be interested in playing in Toronto, and AA definitely said that he would consider looking in to it.  If Ortiz is a fit, I'm sure Jim Thome would be too...  DH is very low on the priority list, but Edwin is playing LF in winterball.

-Brett Lawrie and Travis Snider's injuries that they picked up at the end of the season are not a concern moving forward.  Both will be ready to go for spring training.

I don't think I can stress it enough, especially at this time of the year-- MLBTradeRumors.com is absolutely invaluable.

They offer a list of their top 50 free agents, and where they think each will sign.  Bluejay highlights from that:

5.  Yu Darvish - Blue Jays.  Darvish is not technically a free agent, and in fact he hasn't even decided about being posted at this point.  If he does come over from Japan, a $100MM commitment will likely be required.  The Yankees, Red Sox, Rangers, Nationals, Mariners, and Royals could put in bids, and it wouldn't be surprising to see a few "mystery teams" enter the fray.

13.  David Ortiz - Blue Jays.  Ortiz backed off from his comments about Red Sox drama, and there's a limited market for an expensive player with no ability to play defense.  Still, he'd give Toronto's offense a nice boost without requiring more than a two-year deal.  That might leave Edwin Encarnacion having to play a significant amount of first base, however.

28.  Erik Bedard - Blue Jays.  If the Blue Jays hit on a wild card like Bedard and also land Darvish, they'd have a fearsome rotation.  Bedard is a healthy free agent for the first time, and perhaps he'll lean toward his native Canada.

23.  Kelly Johnson - Dodgers.  Johnson could provide the Dodgers some offense from second base, though the Blue Jays and Tigers could also be in the mix.

The Jays are also mentioned as players in the Albert Pujols sweepstakes, as well as players for CJ Wilson. There's also another Japanese starting pitcher who is expected to be posted, Tsuyoshi Wada, who I expect the Jays to at least look in to.

Speaking of Yu Darvish, fangraphs has a piece about how he isn't Daisuke Matsuzaka.

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