Jays Notes: Jose Bautista Arbitration, Ryan Shealy, Travis Snider, and Others

Here are some of the news making the rounds these last few pre-spring training days:

  • The arbitration hearing for Jose Bautista is set to take place on Monday, Valentine’s day. Will cupid’s arrow strike the two sides in order to bring a long-term deal to fruition, or will it miss them entirely and allow for the hearing to take place? If the latter holds true, the Jays-Jose relationship will surely change forever. Just to recap, Jose is seeking $10.5 million, the middle point is $9.05 million, and the Jays want to settle at $7.6 million. Surely there’s a chance that a 2,3 or 4 year deal gets done here. If not, he may become the best trade piece the Jays have at the deadline, because there’s no guarantee that they could retain him for 2012 if he has another monster season. The countdown to the hearing begins!
  • The Jays made a pretty decent “safety net” addition to their depth chart by adding 1B Ryan Shealy. He’s a big guy, at 6’5″ 240 lbs, who has yet to get a full-time gig in the majors but has some alright stats in the minors. His career stats in the majors thus far, at age 30, is 545 ABs, 26 doubles, 19 HRs, 94 RBI, 46 BB, 150 SO, and a .268/.331/.424 line. Not bad overall, aside from the strike outs. What’s even more encouraging is his career line versus RHP (.304/.359/.476) that shows his utility to be an effective backup plan to Edwin Encarnacion or Adam Lind if either should go down to injury. At worse, he would make a decent bench option, but should spend the majority of 2011 in AAA Las Vegas, answering part of the question of who will play 1B there in 2011.
  • Gregor Chisholm has a great piece on Travis Snider and his attempt to become an everyday player from 2011 onwards. The best quotes from the article are from Snider, which once again solidifies Alex Anthopoulos as a classy guy that understands people more than anything else:

“I’m very thankful for the relationship that Alex and I have been able to develop,” Snider said. “He has always been approachable, very easy to talk to, and we’ve had a great line of communication in the past two years since he has taken over.” “Their goals and their plans for me have been very clear. They want me to be a part of what they’re doing here, but there are a lot of things that have to take place. I’m excited to have that opportunity, and any time your GM backs you like that, it’s definitely a confidence booster.”

How great is it to hear that? As we found out with the John Buck situation in 2010, where J.P. Arencibia’s playing time was limited due to a promise made by Anthopoulos to Buck that he’d get starter playing time with the Jays, the Jays GM is a man of his word and will tell players how this are, and how they will be. What a concept, and a refreshing one to say the least! I expect big things from Snider in 2011, something that I’ll point out in our 2011 Jays Player Profile.

  • Albert Pujols talks are not going well at all. Will he decide to take his show elsewhere in 2011 and allow a trade to happen if he sees that a deal is not going to happen? Food for thought.
  • Gregor Chisholm also took a look at Dana Brown and his opportunity to interview for the Mets GM job. He’s currently a special assistant to Alex Anthopoulos, also has Expos roots, and is likely to get more opportunities of the sort in the future. He’s yet another quality person in the front office of the Blue Jays. Great quick read.

That’s all we have for now! With spring training around the corner, we anxiously await the beginning of the season and can’t wait to see who ends up where in the minors, who will be pushed closer to The Show and who will be held back. Great stuff!

- MG

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Topics: Adam Lind, Edwin Encarnacion, Jose Bautista, Ryan Shealy, Travis Snider

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  • Mylegacy

    On Jose – I say it goes to arbitration. Jose wins. If I’m AA I honestly don’t know what I’d do – I do know this – almost for sure – if Jose is signed for more than one year – someone, either the Jays or Jose will get screwed. I think I might tell Jose we want to sign him long term(ish) – but it’s not fair to us or you when we’re all guessing what his value is. IF he has a good first half – and he still wants to be a Jay – we’ll offer him a contract based on the “good” Jose – if he comes down a few pegs – we’ll offer him a fair contract for that as well.

    IF – we don’t sign him by the All Star break we trade him at the deadline if it’s a great deal or hold on, try to get him after the season and if we can’t, take our two draft choices (if that is still in the contract the next year). Jose is a really messy situation – someone’s gotta lose. IF I was AA I’d be really uncomfortable.

    Pujolis – no way the Jays get him. Period. Obviously, they’d like him – but X years for Y zillion dollars is just not gonna happen. Just WAY too much for one guy from one budget. IF – it happens – sh*t – I’ll definitely have my self a few extra doubles, single malt, natch.

    Snider – this year – 2011 – the BEAST EMERGES! You can bank on it! Have I ever lied to you before? (Whatever you do don’t talk to any of my ex-wives – unlike me – they all lie!)

  • Mat Germain

    Agree on Snider, and my stat prediction for him in our upcoming player profile series will be aggressive.

    As for Jose. I still think that a 2-3 year deal with Jose, with a mutual option for a 3rd or 4th(or something of the sort) will get done before arbitration. I’m just not sure on the $$$, and you’re exactly right, AA’s in a tough spot.

    Regardless of what happens, whether Jose lights it up or not, he’ll be a decent trade piece because teams will know that he CAN achieve 54 HR level greatness when everything’s clicking. I’m not saying that they’d trade for him if he had 4-5 years left on an outrageous deal, but with 2-3 years left, he’d be moveable so long as it’s not Vernon Wells type money. If you’re Jose, you want some insurance against a slump just as bad as the Jays don’t want to look foolish. That’s why I think a deal gets done.

    I haven’t seen an update on comments from Jose’s agent for a while, after he voiced his surprise that the Jays had not approached him with a long term deal offer. That tells me that there may be work being done in the background and that a deal could be done in time.

    As for Pujols, if no deal’s done before the season starts, he’ll be under constant pressure ALL YEAR LONG to talk about the contract and free agency. The Cards do have an exclusive window to sign him before the World Series end, but who knows what happens at that point. If Pujols doesn’t think a deal will get done, he could open up the options for trades. If that happens, who knows where he’ll want to go. All I know is that it will be a contender, it will be a team with deep pockets and space to add his contract, and it would be a team with prospects to deal. (the Jays check off all of those spots, so..)

    But, like I said in my previous posts, I still see Pujols in a Cards uniform for life and think both sides are posturing right now. I put the chances of him leaving the Cards then at 0.05% and maintain that. BUT, if he does leave, I put the Jays well within the top 5-6 teams to land him if he opens up to a trade or lands in free agency.

  • Mylegacy

    Mat – IF I was Jose – no way I sign for two or three years – at this point. I’m sure Jose THINKS he’s at least a 40 homer guy and – lets face it – this is his ONLY chance for a truly life changing contract. IF I’m him either the Jays offer me a silly five year contract – which I’d take – or I play this year – let the chips fall where they may – and based on 2010 and (from his view) HOPEFULLY 2011 – he gets that 5 year mega contract from SOMEBODY.

    If I’m AA – I think that’s the way I see it playing out as well. Jose DESERVES what he’s worth. He and the Jays will both know by the All-Star break what he is – at that point – IF we both still want to be together – he’ll entertain that 5 year contract. IF – he’s too pissed by then to sign with us – so be it – we trade the beautiful beast for the best we can get.

    On Pujols – NO WAY we trade for him mid-season UNLESS we had been given permission to work out an extension before and we’d been able to get an extension worked out. Whoever trades for him mid-season will pay a kings ransom – no way we do that unless – we KNOW we’ve got him signed long term.

    I just don’t see it happening.

  • Shawn K

    I think Josh Hamilton may have just set the market for Bautista. 2 years for $20 million plus an Option for $15

    Get er done.

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