Dec 6, 2011; Dallas, TX, USA; A general view of a vidoe screen as Toronto Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos answers questions during the MLB winter meetings at Hilton Anatole. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

General Managers Meetings Live Blog: Day 2


Yesterday saw the opening of the Major League Baseball General Managers and Owners Meetings. While there was plenty of hints and whispers flying around, there was little movement on day one. One thing that did happen of note was the inevitable, where all players who were offered qualifying offers declined them, preferring to test their worth on the open market.

So what will day two bring us? Will there be a little more noise on the hot stove on Tuesday?

3:43pm: Teams are inquiring about the availability of Blue Jays slugger Jose Bautista, but as of yet, there is no indication that Toronto is willing to move him, according to Nick Cafardo. It’s not shock considering Bautista’s very friendly deal (2-years, $28 million plus team option for 2016) and the complete lack of right-handed power on the market.

3:19pm: According to the latest tweet from Ken Rosenthal, the New York Yankees are doing everything they can to guard against being held captive by either the suspension drama of Alex Rodriguez or the free agency of Robinson Cano.

That’s right, that Kelly Johnson, the former Blue Jays second baseman. The 31-year-old enjoyed an up and down season in Tampa Bay in 2013, hitting .235 with a .715 OPS, but also severly trimmed his strike-outs from the year prior. After having been bitten by injuries in their infield last season, one cannot blame the Yankees for turning over every available stone.

2:49pm: News out of Denver, courtesy of Troy Renck of the Denver Post, has the Colorado Rockies making an offer to free agent catcher Carlos Ruiz. Ruiz is one of the catchers that the Blue Jays have been tied to, along with about a dozen other clubs who view him as a more cost effective option to Brian McCann and Jarrod Saltalamacchia. No word on what the offer is or whether Ruiz has accepted as of yet, but the Phillies were said to be looking at fellow backstop A.J. Pierzynski to hedge their bets against a Ruiz return.

1:21pm: Chalk this one up to the “Things We Already Knew” category, but Jon Morosi at Fox Sports tweeted the following:

Toronto would love to upgrade at second base, as Maicer Izturis is not the answer and the team isn’t quite convinced that Ryan Goins will hit enough at the Major League level over the course of an entire season. That said, Goins had a solid audition for the job in September and wowed the team with his defense at the position. This is the Blue Jays lowest of their big three priorities, so expect them to focus their attention on their pitching and catching needs first.

11:18am: Now here is one that may have some Blue Jays flavor to it. Jon Heyman of CBSSports is reporting that the Houston Astros are fielding trade inquiries on catcher Jason Castro. As reported earlier, the Blue Jays are certainly looking to upgrade from J.P. Arencibia and a trade for Castro may be a good move. The 26-year-old had a slash line of .276/.350/.485 in his first full season of play, hitting 18 home runs and driving in 56 in the process.

11:10am: The first free agent domino has fallen, but its a small piece. According to Ken Rosenthal, via Twitter, the Philadelphia Phillies are finalizing a two-year deal with outfielder Marlon Byrd.

No terms are available yet, but it will reunite the 36-year-old Byrd with the Phillies after eight seasons and five teams apart. Byrd split 2013 between the Mets and Pirates, hitting a combined .291 with 24 home runs, 88 RBI, and was worth 4.1 wins above replacement according to FanGraphs.

10:29am: Despite plenty of rumors, the Oakland Athletics will not be shopping shortstop Jed Lowrie this winter. The still see top prospect Addison Russell as a year away from making an impact and want Lowrie to stay where he’s at to help bridge the gap, according to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports.

Lowrie had a slash line of .290/.344/.446 in his first healthy season in the Major Leagues, adding 15 home runs and 75 RBI for the A’s.

9:37am: A few Blue Jays tidbits from last night, courtesy of Shi Davidi. Davidi acknowledged that the Blue Jays are actively looking for an upgrade at catcher, and could even be fielding trade offers for soured incumbent J.P. Arencibia. Moving Arencibia will help clear some salary space and allow the Blue Jays to pursue the likes of A.J. Pierzynski, Carlos Ruiz, or maybe even Jarrod Saltalamacchia.

Toronto has also checked in on a few pitchers, including Tim Hudson. That’s a bit surprising, given that Hudson is said to want to play for a guaranteed competitor next season, and the Blue Jays will need to do a lot to convince him that he is the missing piece in Toronto.

Finally, Davidi acknowledged that the team could bring back shortstop Munenori Kawasaki on another Minor League deal, albeit at a price somewhere between the $1 million option the team declined already this winter, and the $600K he earned a season ago.

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