After a mild first day of the winter meetings, things ramped up on Tuesday, with the Jays acquiring their closer in Sergio Santos from the White Sox via trade, a lot of quotes from Alex Anthopoulos and John Farrell, and the Jays getting two compensation draft picks after the Mets signed both Jon Rauch and Frank Francisco.
Here’s a rundown of everything that took place on day two of the meetings:
- Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun notes that Japanese agent Don Nomura tweeted that he’s heard that the Blue Jays have won the bidding for Seibu Lions shortstop Hiroyuki Nakajima. Elliott suggests that the Jays could ask Nakajima to play second base like the Minnesota Twins did with Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
- Former Blue Jay Dirk Hayhurst was on Sportsnet Tonight with Jeff Sammut Monday night to discuss the Jays’ spending habits, offseason approach, and some of his interesting tweets during the day on Monday.
- Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe says that the Red Sox will make a play for A’s closer Andrew Bailey.
- Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post reports that Hanley Ramirez is said to be “distraught” over likely having to move positions now that the Marlins have signed Jose Reyes. If he’s unhappy about moving positions, then rule out any trade scenarios with the Jays because Yunel Escobar is sitting pretty there for the next four years.
- Pirates GM Neal Huntington, in a YouTube interview, said that the first day of the meetings is really to just go over your game plan before getting to the real tasks at hand over the final three days. Wonder if Alex is thinking the same thing?
- This has nothing to do with the winter meetings, but if you’ve ever wondered what kind of laptop John Olerud had in 1993, this is for you, courtesy of the SI vault.
- Bob Elliott of the Toronto Sun was elected the 2012 winner of the J. G. Taylor Spink Award for “meritorious contributions to baseball writing” and will be honored during induction weekend at the Hall of Fame next July. He’s the first Canadian to ever with the award. Congratulations to you Bob for getting due recognition for your work over the last 30 years.
- Sportsnet Radio’s Mike Wilner offers a tribute to Elliott in his blog, and goes into detail why it’s a big deal that he won the award.
- SI’s Jon Heyman tweets that the Rockies are talking to the Jays and other teams about their closer Huston Street.
- Of course all of that doesn’t matter, because Alex Anthopoulos made a trade! According to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi, the Jays have traded top pitching prospect Nestor Molina straight-up to the White Sox for their closer — and former Blue Jay infielder — Sergio Santos!
- Here’s an article from ESPN Chicago in July that ranked Santos’ slider as the best strikeout pitch in baseball. Can’t wait to see it live next season.
- Here’s ESPN’s reaction to the trade, followed by the Toronto Star, and the Chicago Sun-Times, just to link to a few.
- Alex Speier of Boston-based WEEI.com feels it’s safe to count the Blue Jays out on David Ortiz because of the draft pick loss.
- Joe Cowley of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter) had a few quotes from White Sox GM Kenny Williams about the trade: “We are very happy we could acquire [Molina]. … I didn’t anticipate it would take Sergio to do it. Sergio was caught off guard … But he took it very professionally. … We had no intention of trading for him.”
- On the other side, Gregor Chisholm, also via Twitter, had some early quotes from Anthopoulos on the trade:
“He’s definitely going to close for us. He saved 30 games last year and we think he’s going to get better.
“It took some time to really wrap our heads around it. There were a lot of heated debates in the room about it but ultimately I just felt with everything that we have going on this makes sense for us.
“For us, if we’re trading top prospects we need to get guys that have years of control.”
- Longer audio clip of Anthopoulos discussing the trade, from sportsnet.ca.
- Chisholm also had a few extra tidbits over at his blog, North of the Border.
- You can also view out breakdown of the trade here.
- Michael Grange has an interesting article over at Sportsnet.ca entitled, “Time to Bite On Prince“
- Mike Wilner tweets that there will be an open competition between Snider and Thames for left field in spring training, according to manager John Farrell.
- Wilner has a full rundown on his chat with John Farrell over on his blog on sportsnet.ca.
- In terms of a look back to the winter meetings, Monday marked the 21-year anniversary of the blockbuster trade that sent Roberto Alomar and Joe Carter to the Jays. Here’s an old article from The Hardball Times looking back at it.
- The Mets signed free-agent reliever Jon Rauch to a one-year, $3.5 million deal plus performance bonuses. The move means that the Jays will get a compensation draft pick in next year’s draft between the first and second rounds.
- The Mets don’t seem to be done either, as they’ve inked Frank Francisco to a two-year, $12 million contract according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi. Another draft pick for the Jays!