AA mentioned after the Reyes/Johnson/Buehrle trade that his payroll guidelines are currently way, way behind him, and that he wasn't going to be able to tack on any more cash to the budget. He then went ahead and acquired RA Dickey and extended him for two more years for a total of a $30MM commitment. He traded away John Buck and his $6MM contract to do so, but still; he added a little more, even when he apparently had none left.
That kind of begs the question: is AA finished for the offseason? I mean, he told us that he was pretty well done after the Melky signing, but that's par for the course with AA-- he's not going to let anybody know that he's interested in something major, because nothing good can come of something like that. Having said that, it seems really unlikely that he's going to have another major signing or acquisition, since AA probably isn't lying about the money (assuming he doesn't have a reason to?).
As good as this team looks on paper, there could still be some improvements. Depending on Darren Oliver's decision, I'd like to see at least one other reliever, preferably a lefty. I really don't want to have to depend on JA Happ to be the lefty specialist when he's actually the best option we have for a sixth starter, but having Happ replace Oliver isn't the end of the world. Someone who can platoon with Adam Lind against lefties, if not straight up replace him at 1B/DH would be convenient, and another replacement level starter or two, just in case an injury rears. Whether those pickups come via trade or free agency doesn't make a huge difference, as long as the club can pay the checks at the end of the day.
See, there's a pretty big difference between being broke, and simply having no money left. AA might not have any money left to spend, but he has plenty of assets that he could sell off.
Assuming there's no money left (or very little, anyway), we're going to have to jettison a bit of salary from the big league roster. The obvious candidate is Adam Lind and his $8.25MM total salary between now and the inevitable "no thank you" to his club options at the end of the year, but if we're talking about getting creative, Emilio Bonifacio and Rajai Davis are pretty well the same guy, and are both making more than $2MM. JA Happ is due a raise from his $2.35MM that he made in arbitration last year, but I'd be surprised if the Jays moved him, considering he's the current #6 and might be Darren Oliver's heir apparent as lefty setup guy.
I know what you're thinking: "There's no fucking value in Adam Lind with $8.25MM due between now and December." Well, yeah. You'd be right. There wasn't any value in John Buck at $6MM either though, but he helped get a Cy Young winner. I suppose you could say that Buck's negative value may have negated the steep price that the Jays paid as far as prospects are concerned.
I'm not saying that it's a good idea to trade Adam Lind, and throw in a nice prospect with him, just so the Jays can find some salary relief, but I'm not saying that it's a bad idea either. Lind kind of saved himself with his second half last year, but let's not kid ourselves here; Lind can only hit right-handed pitching, which really kills his value to the Jays, both in a trade, and in the lineup.
If the Jays can find someone who can DH (or play 1B) and hit both lefties and righties, I don't see why moving Lind and a nice prospect, rather than eating some of Lind's contract, in order to free up some salary space. Just because there's no money left doesn't mean that there's no way to pay the players.
Fuck making a new post.
Sergio Santos is going to be ready to start the season. DJF has more on that.
Jayson Stark is aware that the offseason isn't over yet, but this is good news for Jays fans.
I'm watching "Knuckleball" right now, and it's quite good. I'd suggest it.
Finally, a little nugget from Keith Law's chat today.
Iain (Toronto)So where do you rank Toronto's farm system now? 1-30Klaw (3:06 PM)I haven't done firm rankings yet, but top of my head I'd say 16-20 range.