I was going to write this a few hours ago, but all of the arbitration decisions just took for-fucking-ever to come to light, and there wasn't really anything else worthy of its' own to put up, so meh. Anyway, the Jays have offered arbitration to all of their free agents, except for Shawn Camp.
Kelly Johnson, a total lock for an arbitration offer, is almost certain to be gone, based on the market development for second basemen around the league. He made $5.85MM last season, and would more than likely get a raise in arbitration, but he's almost certain to get a multi-year contract on the free agent market. Considering Aaron Hill got 2/11, Johnson is sure to find something better than that on the market. Depending on who signs Johnson, the Jays can get a pick as early as 17th overall in this year's draft, especially now that a team won't have to give up their own first rounder. Now does anyone think that the D'Backs won the Hill-Johnson trade?
Jose Molina has practically already signed with the Tampa Bay Rays, and was therefore a pretty safe decision.
Frank Francisco had an incredible second half of the season, and could certainly be brought back to the bullpen depending on the way things shake down. If Frank chooses to accept arbitration, he'll get a raise on his $4MM salary from last year, so it really depends on whether someone will give him a multi-year contract, or a guaranteed contract for more than $4MM a season (though he might just find some guarantee of a closer role and go crazy with that at a discount). I think this one really depends on how the market shakes down over the next week or so, but if Frank accepts, I can see the Jays being glad to have him back and sticking him in the closer role.
The most interesting case here is Jon Rauch. I'm fairly surprised Rauch got an offer if Camp didn't. Camp was a mile better than Rauch, despite not being fantastic last year. Rauch quickly took the place of Jesse Carlson as the least watchable reliever on the team last year almost immediately. His career numbers aren't nearly as bad as his 2011 numbers (despite spending most of his career away from the AL East), so maybe there's at least a hope that Rauch can turn things around. There's always a chance that there was an agreement in place before the contract was signed last offseason that Rauch would decline arbitration, which would definitely be an explanation to why Rauch got an offer, and Camp didn't.
Anyone who accepts arbitration can still negotiate a deal with the team until mid-February, and only 1/6th of the arbitration total is guaranteed money. Teams can trade or release these players at any time, so a player accepting arbitration is far from the end of the world.
Overall, this means that the Jays can have up to 8 picks in the first 2 rounds of the draft this year: their own 1st and 2nd rounders, plus the 21st overall pick for not signing Tyler Beede, as well potential picks for Kelly Johnson (another 1st rounder if he is signed by a team without a protected pick, and a sandwich selection), and 1 each for Frank Francisco, Jon Rauch, and Jose Molina. This is probably going to be the last season for the Jays to really game the system in terms of scamming draft picks, so I fully expect the Jays to do everything they can to ensure that all those guys reject arbitration and find deals on the free agent market.
Roy Oswalt didn't get an arbitration offer from the Phillies, nor did Brad Lidge. Rafael Furcal was not offered arbitration by the Cardinals. David Ortiz, and Mark Buerhle, recieved offers from their teams unsurprisingly, but Juan Pierre got one from the White Sox.
Brian Jeroloman was waived by the Pirates the other day, and has been claimed by the Blue Jays. I'm pretty sure this means that he's back on the 40-man, and should be exempt from the Rule-5 draft, but I'm not certain about that. I honestly doubt he lasts long before getting DFA'ed again, so this probably doesn't really matter a whole lot. For what it's worth, he was a .240/.335/.295 hitter in AAA Las Vegas, and he apparently wasn't worth getting a single AB during his month long vacation in Toronto, sooooooo...
A few signings today: Bruce Chen got 2 years and $10MM guaranteed, which uhhh... yeah. I'm sure he can put up 2 wins, but this is just kind of like the Aaron Hill deal, though I don't hate it nearly as much. Chen's never really had front-of-the-rotation inning totals, and he just came off of his best season at age 34, where his fip was 4.39, and he got pretty fortunate with regards to babip and HR/FB ratios. I'm not fussy.
The Yankees signed former Blue Jayson Nix to a minor league deal as well. Good luck with that one.
Tom Tango is smarter than MLB, and proves it by showing tiny little flaws in the draft spending budget before it is even released. Within that Tango post is an article by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, in which he tells us the budgets for the first 10 rounds and their signing bonuses for this year's draft, which can also be found right here. Passan was the first to break the top-4 recommended draft slots (7.2, 6.2, 5.2, and 4.2 million). I know that I saw somewhere that the slots for picks 1-30 would be released... Jon Heyman tells us that pick 30 will be slotted at $1.6MM.
Parkes predicts the new market inefficiencies, now that the new CBA has suppressed the ones Andrew Friedman came up with.
And finally, some guy went and hung out at Kenny Williams' house.