Monday, 25 July 2011

Cecil is dynamite against Texas

Serious, how fucking clever is that?

Brett Cecil avoided the bullpen blowup last night by opting for the complete game, 4 hit shutout.  He walked 2 and struck out 7, and was straight up dominant.  Not necessarily a coincidence is the fact that Cecil had a mohawk.

This is good news, especially since Texas was, coming in to this matchup (and probably exiting it as well, technically) the hottest team in baseball, winning like 12 of 14 or something like that.  With the win, the Jays get back to the ever so important .500 mark that people seem to care so much about.

Over at Fangraphs, they're beginning a 3-article thingy about trade deadline happenings for each team, and they opted to feature the Jays, among others, in piece #1, rendering parts 2 and 3 entirely useless to me. Well played fangraphs.  And wouldn't you know it, I wish I didn't read part 1.  Here's what they say about the Jays:
By signing Jose Bautista and Yunel Escobar to team-friendly contracts and getting rid of Vernon Wells salary, Alex Anthopolous has set the Blue Jays up to make a strong push at Prince Fielder and Albert Pujols in the offseason. As for the current season, there really isn’t much the Jays can do. Their rotation is filled with youngsters who need some more seasoning, so a trade for a veteran starter for the back-end could be interesting, but it isn’t needed. Other than that, and seeing if there are any takers for Edwin Encarnacion as a bench bat and possible DH, there aren’t many deals to explore here right now.

First off, there is definitely room there to get a reliever traded if someone is willing to overpay.  Pittsburgh and  Arizona specifically. Given both teams' good farm systems, I can't say I'd be terribly surprised to see AA pull the trigger somewhere, especially with Pittsburgh, who, for some ungodly reason, have an interest in Octavio Dotel.  There's also that little thing about AA being a loose cannon when it comes to trading stuff.  Secondly, Prince Fielder?  Albert Pujols?  As if, man.  I haven't seen anything that suggests that the Jays are at all willing to go out and use any money they have to go out and fetch a $175MM free agent, let alone one that won't be going anywhere (Pujols), let alone fat DH-tpyes, let alone guys who probably have no interest in playing in Toronto.  The plan we've heard all along here is that AA is looking for young, controllable type guys, who, even signed long-term, won't be placed ahead of the success of the team or be albatrossy or whatever.  I'm sure this means, more than anything, "we won't sign guys to long-term deals in which they'll be crappy bench players making $20MM and have no value to us."  AA even said in the Bautista presser that the big part of the negotiations was that they didn't want to have a contract on their hands that they can't trade later on.  Don't hold your breath on seeing either of those two in Bluejay blue anytime soon.

The only thing I see happening on the free agent front this offseason for the Jays is more relievers to rebuild this rebuilt bullpen that will once again need a rebuilding, and probably a 2B/SS type (Kelly Johnson is my first choice), depending on what the score is with Yunel Escobar in the next couple years.  If there's a cheapish DH to replace Edwin Encarnacion, assuming he leaves, that could happen too, but guys like Thames, Lawrie, Cooper(?), possibly even D'Arnaud depending on what goes on between now and next season's opening... there are certainly some internal options that don't particularly necessitate going out and getting an expensive guy who doesn't really offer any value beyond a bat.

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