Jays Notes: Manny Ramirez, Carlos Villanueva, Jon Rauch and Other Notes

As we head ever-so-close to Spring Training, 2011 edition, we hear more Jays chatter and are about to embark in what should be a very entertaining arbitration eligibility year. Here are the notes for today:

  • What does it mean when a team is “said to be still considering Manny Ramirez“, as has been reportedby Jon Heyman on Twitter? Does that mean they’ll just answer his agent’s calls, or that if his price comes down low enough they’ll willingly make an offer to him? Either way, it doesn’t sound like the Jays are “chasing” Man Ram. It’s more likely that they’re waiting to see how his market plays out before they close the book on him altogether.
  • Heyman also reports that the Jays avoided arbitration with Carlos Villanueva after signing him to a reported $1,415,000 contract this week.  He should be an interesting addition to the pitching staff in 2011, and one that could prove helpful after the loss of Brian Tallet as a long reliever. Carlos has enough starting experience to fill that role.
  • The Jays are going to have to show Brian Fuentes the money if they want to lure him up to Canada. He seems to be more confident in Oakland’s ability to compete in the AL West (who can blame him?) and is from an area 2 hours away from its stadium. Good luck competing with that Alex! It would be another coup for his cap if the Jays are in fact able to lure him to Toronto. I’m thinking more and more like he’s been looking for another option than Toronto for a while now, and that the Jays may very well already have made their best offer. If he hasn’t taken it by now, I don’t expect to see him taking it at all.
  • Since Brian Fuentes is looking like more of a long shot than anyone else out there, the Jays have kept very close tabs on Jon Rauch who is also being chased by the cash-strapped Rays. He’s a mammoth of a man at 6’11″ 290 and would provide the Jays with yet another veteran RHP in the pen with some closing experience. The mix would result with Jason Frasor, Octavio Dotel, and Rauch all competing with David Purceyfor that closing role amongst Jays relievers. Competition, exactly what Alex Anthopoulos wants in his pen and rotation at all times.
  • Russell Martin signed with the Yankees even while offered the same amount of cash to sign with the Jays, according to Richard Griffin’s tweet. I don’t have much to say other than thank goodness we saved some money on this one, not to mention playing time that should rightfully go to J. P. Arencibia. Enjoy working with their rotation Russell, and make sure you take good care of that wonky hip! I’d say “good luck to you in ’11″, but I wouldn’t mean a single letter of that sentence.
  • Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe hits us with the blazing news that Jose Bautistawould rather play RF than 3B. It’s pretty old news that’s been around since before Christmas, but I thought it was worth mentioning once again that Jose’s inflated defensive abilities in RF are only based on his canon of an arm and fail to look at his limited range. His dWar (defensive wins above replacement for position player) number in 2010 was a lowly -1.5 and his Rtot (total zone total fielding runs above average) was even worst at -13 in RF. In basic terms, he’s not a great Right Fielder, he’s simply a great thrower. The Jays are putting him at 3B as a polite way of saying thanks for the memories of all of those assists Jose, but we’re better off with you at 3B. End of story.
  • I’ll just touch on the Eric Chavez reports a little tiny bit: please don’t do it unless he’s headed to AAA. Enough said.

I’m looking forward to seeing where minor league players are sent, how arbitration works out, and how much Jose Bautista ends up costing the Jays in ’11 and beyond. It’s going to be a very interesting week for Jays fans, so stay tuned to JJ as we try to break it all down for you and make sense of the chaos that is the “off season”.

- MG

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Tags: Brian Fuentes Carlos Villanueva David Purcey Jason Frasor Jon Rauch JP Arencibia Manny Ramirez Octavio Dotel

  • Mylegacy

    Bautista and Rauch.

    On the Beast – I’d sign him – IF he would agree to a three year contract – 10 million in 2011 (he was born Oct 19th 1980 so he will be 30 ALL of the 2011 season), 11 in 12 and 12 in 13 – PLUS I’d sign him for two consecutive options of 13 million at the club’s option – for 2014 and 2015 having the Beast turn 35 almost the day we win the World Series in 2015.

    IF – we have to sign him for one year – THEN – IF – by near the All-Star break he looks like he’s still Da Beast – then – I say dig up the gold hidden in the basement at the Rogers Center and SIGN him LONG TERM – almost whatever it takes – With Him and Snider BOTH being beasts – the middle of the line-up will look great – and with speedsters like Gose, Hech and Lawrie coming up to balance the attack – we’ll be quite a nifty team!

    On the Giant – it was obvious to me we were out of the Fuentes running when it turned out we were interested in Jon – I doubt AA will be interested in, most likely OVERPAYING for another RHP – if we can’t get a “good” lefty – lets go into spring with what we’ve got.

  • Steve

    I’d like to see the Jays add another arm to the mix. I like Rauch better than some of the other relievers that we missed out. Hopefully AA can get him (without overpaying). Otherwise, I’m fine going into spring with the present group. As for Bautista, I agree that his high assist number has caused a lot of people to overrate his defensive value in RF. His range is not exceptional. A lot of times a suddenly large number of assists for an OF is a result of opposing teams taking chances against an arm they’re not overly familiar with, so even in terms of judging his arm, I’d say the sample size is not enough to say he’s got a cannon for an arm. Not saying he doesn’t have a good arm, just I’m not entirely convinced. I’m wondering if the “interest” in Chavez is merely to show Jose that AA tried to get a 3B before moving Jose back there. I think Chavez is done.