The Jays agreed to terms with newly-acquired Frank Francisco yesterday, settling on a 1-year/$4 million contract. I was a little surprised that Francisco, the front runner to be the Jays’ closer in 2011, did not receive at least a club option on this deal, considering how long GM Alex Anthopoulos has said he has sought Francisco’s services.
Former Blue Jay and Canadian Shawn Hill recently signed a minor league contract with an invitation to Spring Training yesterday with the Florida Marlins. Hill was released to make room for Rajai Davis in November, but it’s odd the Jays could not have signed Hill to a deal like the one he got from the Marlins for 2011, considering he went 1-2 with a 2.61 ERA (3.08 FIP) in 4 starts (20.2 innings) for the Jays in a small sample size this past season.
The Jays also agreed to terms with right-hander Jason Frasor, who was signed to a 1-year/$3.5 million contract with a 2012 club option worth $3.75 million. The club option was likely what sold Frasor on the deal, as it was incredibly hard for him to find a multi-year deal this past offseason as a result of his Type-A free agent status.
Onto the links!
Arbitration Board: Jose Bautista – CBSSports.com
The CBSSports.com staff do a simulation of a Jose Bautista arbitration hearing, including a verdict at the end. It’s definitely worth a read, and 71% of readers think the Blue Jays would win the hearing if it ends up taking place.
The State of the Franchise Recap – The Blue Jay Hunter
Ian over at the Blue Jay Hunter offers a fantastic rundown of what transpired at Friday’s State of the Franchise event for Blue Jays season ticket holders. Great to hear one of the many raving reviews for Roberto Alomar and his guest appearance at the event.
Jays Cash Conspiracy Makes No Sense – The National Post
Jeremy Sandler of the National Post looks at the way Alex Anthopoulos has evaded questions regarding the $5 million that the Jays sent to the Angels in the Vernon Wells trade.
Fans Endorse Anthopoulos’ Vision – Rogers Sportsnet
A Rogers Sportsnet article about the State of the Franchise event, including a three minute, 1-on-1 interview with Alex Anthopoulos.
Richard Griffin’s Mailbag – The Toronto Star
Griffin’s latest weekly mailbag from January 27th. Topics include Brett Lawrie in 2011, John Farrell, and the Jays’ bullpen. Griffin hosted a live baseball chat on Wednesday too, and you can find the results here. Griffin also offers his take on the State of The Franchise event, and thinks the Jays should bring Michael Young to Toronto.
Alex Anthopoulos – From Hero to Villain??? – 500 Level Fan
Jeremy Gibson over at 500 Level Fan looks at the Mike Napoli/Frank Francisco trade and how some people reacted to it differently than the Vernon Wells trade.
Make Your Predictions: Jose Bautista – Bluebird Banter
Tom Dakers over at Bluebird Banter has the latest entry in their “Make Your Predictions” series.
Only The True Messiah Would Deny It – Getting Blanked
A comical interview with GM Alex Anthopoulos where he talks fantasy baseball and whether or not he’s the second coming of Christ. Due to technical issues, I couldn’t embed this video in a post a few days ago, but Dustin Parkes over at Getting Blanked has it.
Audio Clips Worth Listening To:
Gregor Chisholm Interview – North of the Border
Gregor Chisholm, MLB.com reporter for the Blue Jays, did a great job yesterday in an interview on Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590. You can find the link on his blog, North of the Border, as well as a tidbits piece from January 26th that is worth looking at.
Paul Beeston on the Jeff Blair Show – Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590
Paul Beeston talks to Jeff Blair one day after the State of the Franchise event. Beeston mentions the desire to boost payroll at the same time as revenues, as well as feeling that the Jays can draw 3,000,000 in annual attendance again.
John Farrell and FOXSports’ Jon Morosi on the Jeff Blair Show – Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590
John Farrell starts the show off by talking about primarily the Frank Francisco trade, including some call-ins from listeners. FOXSports.com’s Jon Paul Morosi chimes in near the tail end with his thoughts about the Blue Jays and Derek Jeter‘s stance with the Yankees.
Alex Anthopoulos on the Vernon Wells trade – Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590
Audio clip from January 24th when Alex Anthopoulos was on the Jeff Blair show on Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590.
Vernon Wells in Toronto – Sportsnet Radio The Fan 590
Roger Lajoie fills in on the Greg Brady Show taking calls about the Blue Jays, specifically Vernon Wells. Blue Jays color commentator Alan Ashby kicks off the call ins.
Hopefully that should be enough to get you through the morning and, if not, there’s always older posts here on Jays Journal to take a gander at!