Blue Jays Morning Brew: Winter Meetings and The Presidency


Welcome to this morning’s Blue Jays Morning Brew. The Winter Meetings are set to begin and there has been some interesting rumblings surrounding the Jays. Let’s take a look:

To kick things off, the Sportsnet Crew gave us a preview of what to expect at the Winter Meetings. They list teams we should watch out for. Of the ones discussed, I am leaning toward Shi Davidi’s thought that the Yankees couldn’t possibly sit out much longer this winter. They’ve watched the Jays and Red Sox improve and…THEY’RE THE YANKEES. Do they really want to rely on their mess of a rotation?  Aside from teams who may surprise us like the Cubs or Astros, they list the Yankees as a team that also NEEDS to make a move. I tend to agree. 

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  • Bob Elliott tells us what we probably assume: the Blue Jays will be focussed on bullpen arms during the Winter Meetings.  But, specifically, Alex Anthopoulos is looking to not just add one piece. He’ll be looking for at least 2, maybe even 3. The fact that he’s said such a clear statement of intent is a bit surprising, but would also match his aggressive nature this off season.

    But, that is not the real gem of Elliott’s piece. At the end, we get some insight into the money that changed hands in the J.A. Happ/ Michael Saunders deal:

    "“The Jays will pay the difference between what Happ earns and what Saunders will make in 2014, according to those familiar with the contract talks. Happ has a $6.7- million US option for next season, while after earning $2.3 million in 2013 Saunders is eligible for salary arbitration. He could earn in the $3- million range. That could make the difference $3.7 million range which the Jays will pay Seattle. Both clubs refused to confirm that the Jays would be paying the difference in salaries.”"

    I’m not sure how I feel about this. Either way, it is still a much cheaper way to fill the left field void than bringing Melky Cabrera back. Oddly, though, the Mariners are rumored to be VERY interested in The MelkMan. 

    More from Toronto Blue Jays News

    The winter Meetings are not the only thing we have to look forward to. The Rule 5 Draft is also coming up and over at Cluthlings, we get a rundown of who has potential to be claimed from the Blue Jays. Jon Stilson, Gregory Infante and Tyler Ybarra stand a chance. As pointed out, Stilson is coming off surgery, so he’ll likely be passed on. Too, Ybarra would be a surprise to go as he struggled in AA. He wasn’t claimed last year, either. Infante may stand the biggest chance of being chosen. He is doing well in Venezuela and we all know how much of a “what have you done for me lately” sport baseball is. His recent performance may be enough to make at least one other team take notice.

    Apparently, there is quite the battle started when word was dropped that the Blue Jays were looking for Paul Beeston’s replacement. The two names being tossed around are Dan Duquette of the Orioles and Kenny WIlliams of the White Sox. I can’t help but wonder if Williams may be too ‘wild’ for the current Blue Jays ownership group and the cautious Alex Anthopoulos. But, Duquette is an interesting option who apparently WANTS the job.

    Although, he signed with the O’s through 2018, so they’ll need some convincing to allow him to depart:

    This is quite the turn of events and a unique position for the Blue Jays. We all remember how John Farrell left.

    And, finally, I absolutely love this piece by Bob Elliott for the Canadian Baseball Network. In it, he puts the Rogers Centre turf on trial for causing Brett Lawrie‘s many injuries. If you’ll recall, Lawrie said the turf messed with his body and was looking forward to playing in Oakland. We all kind of knew it wasn’t true, but Elliott’s trial convinced us.

    As for Lawrie’s replacement? Well, it would appear that new hitting coach, Brook Jacoby is going to have an interesting go with Josh Donaldson. According to David Laurila at (h/t to Minor Leaguer) , Donaldson’s former hitting coach, Chili Davis gave a slightly unfavorable assessment of the slugger.  Davis basically said that Donaldson didn’t take too kindly to advice. He would grumble about it and disagree. But, then he would end up following it anyway. Apparently, “He’s a guy who wants adjustments to be his idea.” I guess time will tell if this is going to be a problem.