Blue Jays Podcast (VIDEO): Jays’ Nest Talks Josh Donaldson
Welcome to Jays’ Nest, a show about your Toronto Blue Jays. Each week we attempt to bring you insightful, engaging conversation about Canada’s only MLB team. We offer the show LIVE on Google Hangouts and we offer the episode in an audio podcast form. Episodes are available on ShoutEngine.com and on iTunes.
This week, we had the pleasure of being joined by Tony Frye, editor at Swingin’ A’s. We asked Tony to be part of our show as we discussed the deal that brought Josh Donaldson to Toronto for Brett Lawrie, Sean Nolin, Kendall Graveman and Franklin Barreto. Lots has been discussed from the Blue Jays perspective around these parts, but we thought it would be great to hear about how this deal is perceived from the point of view of the Oakland Athletics.
Toronto Blue Jays
Before we got Tony on, we discussed the recent arbitration case of Josh Donaldson. We wanted to sort out the idea that by going to, and eventually beating him in arbitration (thus paying him $4.3M rather than the $5.75M he asked for), the Blue Jays may actually be getting off on the wrong foot with a guy who is new to the club and supposed to be a high impact player. Would the process of arguing why he isn’t worth $5.75 sour things moving forward? Eventually we came to a consensus that the arbitration process was a business move that the Blue Jays were smart to make.
Part of the concern surrounding the arbitration was how it would make the team look to potential free agents and MLB in general. Would the Blue Jays come off looking cheap? Or, as Jays Journal writer, Jeff Morten pointed out, it may be another example of the team focused on “team friendly” deals. If that is the perception, that this team will only operate on team friendly terms, they may have a tough time moving forward.
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Once Tony joined the show, the real fun began. We really wanted to know who he felt was the highlight of this trade. He surprised me by saying that he was really excited to have Brett Lawrie come to Oakland. He thinks that Lawrie could be a high impact player and make the club miss Donaldson less. He has high hopes for what Lawrie can bring to the table. He says that the coaching staff in Oakland have a knack for keeping guys on the field and maximizing their potential ( a them we talked about a lot during this show). It is interesting to see how others value Lawrie. It would appear that they think as much of him as Blue Jays GM, Alex Anthopoulos did. I, for one, really hope that Lawrie can stay healthy and challenge those who doubt him.
One of the pieces that Blue Jays fans may have been upset about losing was soon to be 19 year old short stop, Franklin Barreto. When asked about Barreto, Tony said that he has a relatively clear path to the big leagues since the A’s don’t have a whole lot of depth in the middle infield. He would expect that Barreto could be in big league camp by 2016! That may sting a little bit as Blue Jays fans look forward to Jose Reyes reaching the end of his contract in the next couple years.
Other points of discussion were:
- a new stadium and possible move for the Oakland A’s. Jays Journal’s Ryan Mueller had an interesting idea for Tony about where the team could move. Hint: it’s a lot further North-East.
- the madness of A’s, GM, Billy Beane and how he has an uncanny ability of buying low and selling high on players and turning over a roster so frequently and still managing to contend year after year.
- the value of Josh Donaldson and his possible regression. Tony suggested that the arbitration process may actually be good for the Blue Jays as Donaldson’s numbers may start to decline.
As always, we hope you enjoy this episode of Jays’ Nest. The live feed had some technical difficulties with getting Tony in to the show. The audio is more streamlined to avoid having to wait so long for him to join. If you are interested in the lively and surprisingly interesting conversation about outfield depth and so much more, you might prefer the video version. We’ll call it the “Jays’ Nest Technical Difficulty Extended Remix”. Otherwise, the audio is more to the point.