Here are some quick Jays news, rumours, and possibilities:
- GM Alex Anthopoulos admitted to working tirelessly to attempt to fill the lack of a SS impact player the Jays currently have. He seems focused on one team since he admitted to trying to work out 3,4,5 team deals to get this one player, but as usual he kept the rest of the information confidential. It seems that this is Alex’s #1 priority.
- The Jays also made it known around MLB that both LHP Scott Downs and RHP Jason Frasor are available and that the Jays are waiting for offers. I know that 95% of teams in MLB are never fully satisfied with their pens, so it shouldn’t be long before the Jays unload their 2 most expensive and soon to be FA relievers. Should both be dealt, Jeremy Accardo and Dirk Hayhurst are almost guaranteed pen spot, and Daniel Farquhar will have a better shot of making to the show at some point in 2010 – not bad alternatives / replacements for the Jays. This is priority #2 for Alex.
- Cito is getting old. First, he is advocating for 1B Carlos Delgado to be signed by the Jays after every team in the league who saw him play this winter said he had serious mobility issues while playing in Puerto Rico. Even the Mets, who have a giant hole at !B, have decided to look elsewhere. Add to that the fact that the Jays have 4 guys to play 1B, and you have to start wondering if Cito will be a liability for the young Jays in 2010. Secondly, he got Casey Janssen and Jeremy Accardo mixed up when asked a question at the season-ticket holder event. Age can catch up to the best of us, but if you can’t tell who’s who in a relaxed non-pressure situation, how can you be expected to know who to call on when you have a runner on 2nd and 3rd, no outs, and a lefty at the plate? You can’t. So, here’s to hoping that priority #3 for Alex is finding a replacement for Cito and getting him in place ASAP. We know Cito’s leaving after 2010, but it may be better to get someone in early rather than spend 1 giant frustrating year watching Cito juggle the pen and batting Travis Snider 9th in the lineup.
- Dustin McGowan threw off a mound recently and had no pain whatsoever thereafter. Not only is this great news for the Jays in terms of having Dustin around for 2010, possibly, but it also adds some ammunition for Alex to use in trade talks. Trading either Shaun Marcum or Ricky Romero would give the Jays GM much more adequate ammunition to find that impact SS he’s looking for. Either way, making room for some of the pitchers with 0 options is priority #4 for Alex and the Jays.
- The season-ticket holder event was deemed a success and the entire event seemed pleasant to say the least. Jays fans were appreciative of the new direction the Jays have taken and were very happy with the job done by Alex “The Great” Anthopoulos. Interestingly, Mr. Beeston stated at the event that the Jays are NOT in rebuilding mode, but in building mode. Which means that they could spend the money needed for them to compete effectively as early as 2011. That’s great news for Jays fans and makes a ton of sense when you foresee the arrival of SP Kyle Drabek, SP Zach Stewart, SP Chad Jenkins, RP Tim Collins, RP Daniel Farquhar, 3B Brett Wallace, and CF Darin Mastroianni at some point during the 2011 season. Even C Travis d’Arnaud, 2B Ryan Schimpf, SS Justin Jackson, and 1B Michael McDade may be possibilities if things go as well as planned. I’m not looking that far yet since I’m sure 2010 holds a ton of highlights for us Jays fans, but the 2010-2011 off season should be a great one for Jays fans to watch. Just who will the Jays go out and get to fill the remaining spots? Targeting the right players for 2011 is priority #5 for Alex and the Jays.
- Finally, Johnny Damon has stated he is more than wiling to go to the Jays if they want him on board in 2010. I say he’s the perfect fit, would bring some butts to the seats of Rogers Centre, and that the jays should also try to add Erik Bedard. The only reason I can see that what is reported by the media as “mutual attraction” between Bedard and the Orioles has not resulted in a contract signed between the two is that Erik wants to see if the Jays would be willing to pay him for 2 years, instead of taking one from the Orioles. I doubt the Jays would, but Erik would be a great fit in Toronto, would definitely add a ton of butts to the seats, and is affordable on a 1 or 2 year deal. Figuring out whether either one will end up a Jay is priority #6 for the Jays at this point, a nice possibility, but definitely not the top priority of the Jays due to their future oriented direction.
I’ll keep everyone updated on the situations above. Here’s to hoping Damon and Bedard are brand new Jays by the end of next weekend!