Blue Jays Morning Brew: Hot Stove Off To a Hot Start


Good Morning. Wipe the sleep from your eyes because we’ve brewed up a fresh pot of Blue Jays goodness to start your day. Here’s your Blue Jays Morning Brew. Today, we’ll look at some of the fallout from this past weekend and the flurry of activities.

On Saturday, Shi Davidi explored a little tidbit dropped by Alex Anthopoulos during a conference call. The Blue Jays GM says that they are not exactly close to agreeing on a deal with Melky Cabrera. In fact, AA says that they are far apart. Given that they’ve extended the qualifying offer of $15.3M, one has to think that the stumbling block here is years. Melky would likely be seeking a 4 year deal with an AAV of at or above the $15.3M. For fans who’ve been screaming for this to be done months ago, this process is growing more and more frustrating. And, as it does, it becomes more worrisome. 

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Shi Davidi wasn’t done there. He explored the trade of Adam Lind as a piece of a bigger plan that the Blue Jays have. While we may not be privy to that plan, Davidi insists there is one. In fact, he goes on to discuss that all of the moves done thus far have been not to set up the roster for 2015, but to facilitate other deals and moves this off season. “this move is more about creating opportunities during the off-season rather than putting together the lineup for 2015” OK, I can buy into that. I guess. But, the relative “meh” factor of the moves thus far leads me to hope that there are some hum-dingers coming up.

If you’re interested, John Lott provides a timeline highlighting Adam Lind’s time in Toronto HERE.

An interesting turn of events in Kansas City has me thinking. Andy McCullough of the Kansas City Star describes the option on Billy Butler being declined. He says that the Royals still want to bring him back but not for the $12.5M he would have made had they picked up the option. Butler will become a free agent. That means that 29 other teams will enter the bidding. Maybe. One such team might be the Blue Jays. In his conference call, Alex Anthopoulos said that the moves thus far (in particular trading Lind) will allow them to pursue a DH type player. The cost might be prohibitive, but Butler may be that kind of guy. 

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  • One guy who MAY fill in for the departed Adam Lind is recently claimed Justin Smoak. And, John Lott explored the oddity that was him having a conference call recently. As Lott points out, it is not conventional for a minor deal like a waiver claim to warrant a conference call, especially since it isn’t really clear what role he’ll be playing in 2015, if he even plays a role. What stood out to me was Smoak’s belief that playing in the AL East will be better for him as the parks are more hitter friendly. Wait. What? Does he knows something we don’t? it seems he’s the only one who thinks he’ll be playing there. Some have suggested he’s AAA depth. Others that he’ll be used for other deals. Not many are saying he’ll actually see much time with the big league club.

    Whatever their plans for the offseason, Richard Griffin offers advice for the Blue Jays. He thinks the Jays could learn some lessons from the Giants and Royals in this past World Series. His lessons are put thusly: 1) Target 90 wins: they don’t need the 95 as some had thought. 2) Build a strong bullpen: yeah…that’s gonna need some work. 3) Find a workhorse catcher: I think the Blue Jays were happy to get the amount out of Dioner Navarro that they did. He’s no Buster Posey or Salvador Perez, though. 4) Focus on defense- yeah…that’s gonna need some work. What Griffin doesn’t mention is the starting rotation. A rotation that gets you deep into games saves the bullpen. Actually, an improved rotation can help with all of these things. The problem is that the rotation is the hardest (and most expensive) area to improve upon.