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Blue Jays Acquire Miguel Olivo from Rockies, Decline on Kevin Gregg, Coaching Staff Update

Wow. Less than 3 hours removed from my last post, a flurry of Jays news hit cyberspace and had to be reported on. Let’s get to it!

Update 11/05/10 12:34am EST: According to John Lott of the National Post, Anthopoulos will be discussing both the Olivo and Gregg moves in a media conference call Friday at 11:15 a.m. In case you miss it, I’ll try to have a summary of it on here later in the day!

JAYS ACQUIRE Miguel Olivo FROM ROCKIES

In somewhat of a shocking move to kickoff the 2010 offseason, the Jays have acquired catcher Miguel Olivo from the Colorado Rockies in exchange for cash or a player to be named later. I’m assuming the Jays are likely offering cash here, or if they offer a PTBNL it would hopefully be one of the players they were going to non-tender anyway (Tallet??). Olivo isn’t exactly enthused with the move though.

Olivo, 32, had virtually the best season of his career in 2010 with the Rockies posting a .269/.315/.449 line with 14 HR and 58 RBI in 112 games. He did, however, fade drastically in the second half of the season, hitting just .193 with 3 HR and 16 RBI. Initially I tend to discount National League stats because playing DBacks and Pirates doesn’t exactly relate the same to playing the Red Sox and Evil Empire, but Olivo has had success in the AL as well, as recent as last year with the Royals. He had a .249/.292/.490 line last year, hitting 23 HR and 65 RBI in 114 games.

The Rockies had until midnight tonight to exercise Olivo’s 2.5M option for 2011, and they were likely going to decline and pay him the 500k buyout. The Jays faced that same decision, which they have now apparently decided to decline his option and pay him the 500k buyout, making Olivo a Type B free agent. The move saves the Rockies a very small chunk of change, and Olivo’s Type B free agent status would net the Jays an extra sandwich pick in the deep 2011 draft should he decline arbitration from the Jays. Even if he were to accept arbitration, he isn’t THAT bad where the Jays couldn’t stand to keep him, but there have been rumblings that Florida was just waiting for him to be declined by the Rockies so they could grab him, and that the Jays could factor Olivo in a package for say, reliever Leo Nunez in return. Regardless of the Marlins, if the Jays hold onto him, let the trade speculation circulate. Let’s just say we really never have any idea what the crafty Alex Anthopoulos is up to.

More to come.

JAYS DECLINE OPTIONS ON Kevin Gregg

In an interesting move which would be surprising to some and a relief to others, the Jays decided against bringing back closer Kevin Gregg for the 2011 or 2011-2012 seasons. The Jays are still expected to offer the Type B free agent arbitration, and should he decline and sign with another team the Jays would get an extra sandwich pick in the 2011 draft.

It’s important to note that the Jays have the potential (as it stand right now) to have 8 picks in the top 50 selections of the 2011 if everything goes according to plan. Scott Downs and Jason Frasor (Type A) would each net 2 picks, and John Buck, Kevin Gregg, and now Miguel Olivo (Type B) would all net the Jays one sandwich pick, in addition to their own. All might not decline arbitration though, specifically Frasor. Once again, Anthopoulos keeps impressing me with each move he makes.

For a rundown of what the options were worth, and for Gregg’s 2010 stats were, check out my previous bullpen post here.

COACHING STAFF UPDATE

It appears that Don Wakamatsu is close to coaching in the AL East. Ken Rosenthal first reported (via Twitter) that the Jays have in fact interviewed Wakamatsu to be John Farrell’s bench coach. He goes on to mention that the Orioles are also interested, but that the Jays could offer him a better deal. Wakamatsu, 47, was most recently the Seattle Mariners manager before he was let go after 112 games in August.

In other coaching staff news, Bob Elliott reported (via Twitter) that Dwayne Murphy is confirmed to be returning as hitting coach for the 2011 season as well. He also wrote an unbelievable article about how the Jays came to finally announcing John Farrell as their next manager that is worth a read.

Neither of these announcements have been reported by an official team press release, but if both officially workout, that is one hell of a coaching staff…

If you’re not excited about the Jays 2010 offseason, hopefully you are now!

-JM

Topics: Alex Anthopoulos, Colorado Rockies, Don Wakamatsu, Dwayne Murphy, Florida Marlins, Kevin Gregg, Miguel Olivo, Toronto Blue Jays

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