Winter Meeting Jays Notes: Day 1


As Day 1 of the winter meetings continues to develop, I’d like to go over some of the rumors and possibilities that involve the Jays at this point in order to put everything in one place for Jays fans. Here’s the latest:

  • Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star confirms earlier reports from Bob Elliott that the Royals are reportedly asking for both Kyle Drabek and Travis Snider in a deal for Zack Greinke. Although this is bad news because I’m almost positive the Jays would not touch that deal, it is also reported in the same article that KC is getting tired of low ball offers from Texas, meaning that their dealings with Toronto have been more promising. That’s an interesting fact. I wonder if the Jays would be willing to do a package centered around Zach Stewart instead of Drabek.
  • Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star tweets another Alex Anthopolous quote about Brett Lawrie “He has that confidence, that swagger that determination and that’s what the great ones have. And he’s 20 years old.” I think that’s an indication of how much he likes him, and the facvt that he dealt Marcum for him confirms it, and do believe he is not going to deal or flip him any time soon. Richard also adds a little quirk about the deal was also added in another tweet where he quotes Melvin’s reaction to a question: “Melvin asked about precedent of 2 Cdn. GMs dealing a Cdn. player. “I don’t know, but I still have my Justin Bieber posters on my walls.”” Great stuff, and that definitely has to be a first.
  • Ricky Romero‘s Tweet about the Marcum deal: “Gonna miss my boy Shaun this year wish him the best”.
  • According to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star, through Twitter, Alex Anthopolous stated the following about the rumors linking him to many 1B: “I’ve never been involved in so many false rumors”. Griffin adds that the Jays have no interest in “flipping” Brett Lawrie to another team. Why would they? He may very well be the best Canadian baseball player in all of MLB in a few years. Talk about a marketing dream for a team like Toronto and what a lure for fans from BC! He does add that the Jays may be open to moving him to another position if need be, as there are some holes in his game defensively speaking.
  • Add Ty Wigginton to the list of players the Jays have shown some level of interest in. He is much more affordable an option than Carlos Pena – both in years and in salary terms – and  is more versatile since he can man 1B, 2B, and 3B. I see him as a bench player with the quality of Lyle Overbay at 1B and an added bonus of being able to fill in at the other positions. I’m not sure he’d accept a bench role, so we’ll see how it plays out.
  • The Shaun Marcum to the Brewers in return for Brett Lawrie deal is official as both players have passed their physicals. The Jays just got 8 years younger and added another top prospect who could rival Kyle Drabek atop the new Jays prospect rankings. Ken Rosenthal also provides some thoughts on the deal here.
  • Although Heath Bell is apparently not on the trade market at all and is therefore not really an option for the Jays closing situation, Jonathan Broxton may be available from the Dodgers and Matt Lindstrom has also been made available by the Astros. Lindstrom may not be an automatic closing suitor, but he could provide some depth in the pen.
  • Apparently the Mets are willing to listen on David Wright and Jose Reyes. Wright is signed through 2012 and will cost the Mets $13 and $14 million in 2011 and 2012 respectively. At this point, he’d cost a massive haul to get him over to the Jays, but I can’t help but wonder if Alex could pull this one off.
  • One rumor that caught my attention was the possibility of the Jays being involved with Russell Martin. He fits the buy low model AA uses, can alternate with J. P. Arencibia at C and DH, and can also learn to play 3B for a possible move to the position when required. He may cost a lot due to the interest in his services coming from high payroll teams like the Yankees, but the Jays have more than enough budget space to take him on. The big question mark for Martin is the years he’s seeking and the status of his hip injury. Both could be barriers to a deal with the Jays.
  • If James Loney and Jonathan Broxton is all it takes to get Prince Fielder to the Dodgers as is rumored, Alex Anthopolous better get back on the phone with the Brewers and get him ASAP. That’s a ridiculous rumor and I do hope the Jays top any offer made for the big man. However, this has be refuted by Ned Colletti and there is word that the teams haven’t spoken at all at the meetings. Still, the Brewers are said to be having meetings internally to evaluate what they should do with their prized 1B.
  • As Jared MacDonald posted on JJ, the Jays are rumored to be in on Carlos Pena. Neither of us believe it, but, there it is. With the money and years he’s bound to ask for I seriously doubt the Jays are even chatting with his representatives.
  • Ex-Jays catcher Gregg Zaun has drawn interest from the Cardinals, while ex-Jays reliever Jeremy Accardo has drawn interest from the Dodgers and the Pirates.
  • The Jays are also rumored to be contemplating Matt Diaz, I would presume as a possible 4th outfielder. Others interested in Diaz include the Mariners and Yankees. He would become a specialist against LHP as he has a strong .335/.373/.533 line against them over the course of his career.

Finally, I couldn’t go through this without mentioning the fact that Pat Gillick, one of the people responsible for the Championships the Jays won in the early 90s, has been elected into the Hall of Fame. He definitely deserves it and we at JJ salute all of his achievements and thank him for his contribution to the Jays.

Day 1 isn’t over yet, so we’ll update this post as necessary!

- MG

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Tags: Aaron Hill Brett Lawrie JP Arencibia Shaun Marcum