Good Morning Blue Jays fans. Still quiet on the Toronto Blue Jays hot stove front, for the most part. However, that hasn’t stopped the Blue Jays blogosphere from creating news and bantering about trying to keep the fires stoked.
Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos Fan 590′s Prime Time Sports to help feed the fires himself, as detailed by Andrew Stoeten at Drunk Jays Fans. Among the nuggets of wisdom conveyed by Anthopoulos was the desire of the team to explore the free agent market rather than expose their minor league assets, the possible role of J.P. Arecibia with the team in 2014, and the team’s pursuit of Carlos Ruiz. As noted by Stoeten, the team’s discussion of Arencibia’s “better attributes” indicates that they will try to shine up that penny a bit. Whether that is for the sake of making him more attractive on the trade market or simply trying to prepare the fan base for his inevitable return, remains to be seen.
Over at Bluebird Banter, Tom Dakers dissects the trade that Jim Bowden proposed over on ESPN, that would send Brett Cecil, Ryan Goins, Matt Dean, and Anthony Gose to the Cincinnati Reds for Brandon Phillips and Ryan Hanigan. Now I like Hanigan as much as the next guy, and this deal really isn’t too bad for the most part, at least in terms of players involved. However, the biggest concern is that the Blue Jays would be taking on a big chunk of salary for Phillips, while also trading away two of their best trade chips without landing a single pitcher in the deal.
Speaking of pitchers, Kyle Boddy at The Hardball Times circles around Blue Jays prospect Marcus Stroman and discusses his merits as a starter, rather than the purported projections of him being better off as a reliever. He does a great job of breaking down his delivery and pointing out why Stroman is well on his way to being a Major League pitcher.
By now, we’re all aware of Josh Johnson signing with the San Diego Padres, and the fact that he did so at a contract rate that would have been more than feasible for the Blue Jays. Eno Sarris at FanGraphs takes a quick look at the contract and its protection for the Padres, which was smart business on their part. That said, Johnson’s rate to pitch at Petco Park was likely a lot lower than he would have demanded from the Blue Jays to pitch at Rogers Centre. Petco will make him look better in 2014, and that is exactly what he and agent Matt Sosnick are looking to accomplish before hitting the free agent market again next winter.
Finally, Gregor Chisholm at MLB.com breaks down the five burning questions surrounding the Blue Jays this winter, and they are all pretty much exactly what we’ve been discussing as a collective since the season ended. One key question though that seems to fly under the radar is whether or not the Blue Jays are comfortable with what they’ll get out of Melky Cabrera in 2014, both with the bat and in the field. That’ll be interesting if a surprise move is made there in the coming months.