MLB Rumors And Strangeness

If this is what we have to look forward to as the off-season beckons, you’d better get yourself a raincoat and a gas mask because it’s getting worse before it gets better.

Jed Hoyer to the Cubs?

Jon Heyman suggested this on Twitter, so it’s in the Joel Sherman-realm of the idiotically speculative; but if Hoyer, who’s been with the Padres for two years, is already considering leaving to join Theo Epstein as (one would presume) the GM of the Cubs to run them on a day-to-day basis, I have to ask what goes on in San Diego that Hoyer would want to bail so quickly? Are he and Epstein that close that they have to be near one another? Is there something wrong with his current job that he needs to leave? The Padres have a lot of young talent and good starting pitching, so if he’s bailing, I have to wonder if Jeff Moorad is interfering and making it an untenable, unattractive situation in which to stay.

The funniest thing in all of this maneuvering is that Epstein would presumably inhabit the role of his nemesis, Larry Lucchino, and hover over his former protege while he tries to do the GM grunt work.

A rift is inevitable.

Here’s some really weird logic.

In this posting on MLB Trade Rumors, the Blue Jays off-season outlook is explored.

The author doesn’t think as highly of the 2012 Blue Jays as I do with the “maybe” tone of their potential to contend as soon as next season; I’m saying right now that the Blue Jays will make a serious run at the playoffs in 2012.

What I don’t understand is the following statement regarding the closer situation and GM Alex Anthopoulos:

Anthopoulos said after the season that he expects the Blue Jays to go outside of the organization for bullpen help, either through trades or free agency. This makes sense, though the Jays have some internal options. B.J. Ryan‘s contract is off the books, but the memory of his contract lives on. I don’t expect the Jays to bid aggressively on the top free agent closers, especially those who cost draft picks.

The logic of this is what? That because a closer like Ryan—who was Cy Young Award-contending brilliant in his first season with the Blue Jays—got hurt and turned out to be a costly mistake, the Blue Jays should ignore any and all free agent closers?

Ryan also had one of the worst sets of mechanics I’ve ever seen in my entire life, so it shouldn’t have come as a shock when he needed Tommy John surgery.

This argument is akin to saying because the Blue Jays drafted infielder Russ Adams in 2002 and he didn’t work out and since they bypassed the chance to draft Cole Hamels and Matt Cain, that they should shun any infielder that comes up in the draft and take a pitcher instead.

It’s stupid.

The Blue Jays are thisclose to having a superior starting rotation with Ricky Romero, Brandon Morrow, Henderson Alvarez and Kyle Drabek; the two things they need more than anything else are a legitimate closer and a veteran, 200-inning starting pitcher.

Jonathan Papelbon is out there and available; the Red Sox are in absolute disarray and have always been in question as to whether they were going all out to keep Papelbon; there’s an opportunity for the Blue Jays to make a rapid strike and get themselves an All Star closer with a history of dealing with pressure and getting the big outs in the post-season and simultaneously hurt one of their division rivals.

Barring a pursuit of Papelbon or Heath Bell, they could make a trade for a Joakim Soria or see if Epstein would be willing to move Carlos Marmol.

B.J. Ryan has nothing to do with anything unless they’re looking for reasons to avoid paying a closer. And that would make zero sense.

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  1. #1 by norm depalma on October 18, 2011 - 8:40 pm

    As a Jays fans, I always like to see a Jays piece on your site. What you may not know re. Jays fans (and most Canadians) is that they have an ingrained uber respect for authority: when JP was GM, most of the fans (especially the sabermetric nuts at sites like Bluebirdbanter.com) went along with all of JP’s moves and hilariously with all the inevitable post facto JP excuses and rationalizing. So after the BJ Ryan ‘fiasco’, the consensus was that signing a free agent closer was a mistake from a sabermetric perspective (small sample size bias be damned in this case) and that JP was somehow influenced or ‘pushed’ into doing it. Similarly, see the Vernon Wells contract.

    Since AA became GM, the respect for authority has shifted to his reign. While I am not suggesting that AA is a bad GM, the level of deference to his decisions has been quite ridiculous. The only ‘concrete’ thing he has accomplished so far is establishing a much more professional and ‘mensch’-like atmosphere than his predecessor. But unless he makes some good moves this summer, the whole AA reign will probably be a bust:
    although the Jays farm system is now highly rated, the window for opportunity for this team is really the next 3 years: i.e. the length of Batista’s prime years. After that, considering the strength of the AL East, one cannot predict continued success, notwithstanding Romero, Lawrie etc.

    So basically the Jays need some major changes this summer. The starting rotation is ‘promising’, at most. Drabek is definitely not ready for prime team and his Triple A experience this past year probably set his progression back. (why their triple A team plays in that awful spot for pitchers and 3000 miles away from toronto is a continuous wonder). Morrow looks like another AJ Burnett. Alvarez showed potential only. Cecil’s velocity dropped. Only Romero is a certified stud.
    I would consider bidding for Darvish (and can see AA pulling an A’s like move of winning the posting bidding war only then to not sign darvish so as to forestall Darvish’s signing by the Yanks or Sox.) I would definitely try a trade for Garza or his like but that would be tough. And in an emergency I would sign Vasquez to a $6 million contract or Edwin jackson to a 3 year $30 million contract to eat innings and try very hard to sign Buehrle for 3 years and $50 million.
    As for bullpen, Francisco proved serviceable in the last half of the season. And with Litsch, Carreno, Jannsen, Perez etc, they could form a Cardinals like bullpen without needing to sign Papelbon or his ilk.
    The major move the Jays will try to make is to trade for Votto. I can see AA swing it: Lind, Escobar, Drabek and two ‘stud’ starters from Double A might suffice. Then the Jays would bring up Hecchavaria and live with a .200 batting average if need be.
    If that trade can’t be swung, I would install a Rays like platoon system, with Rasmus, Snider, Thames, Encarnacion and Lind all starting approx 120 games at their various positions. With Arencibia probably improving to 27 homers 90 rbis and Lawrie at .280, 20, 80 and great speed and defense, the Jays could sneak in to wild card if they get some breaks.
    This winter will probably be the make it or break it season for AA’s career. So far, for every great move he has made like trading for Lawrie, he has made a poor move like trading Napoli and (probably) trading for Rasmus. Let us remember that the Jays are in reality a big market team with endless resources from a rich ownership and a potential market of 30 million fans. They could have made a couple of smart personnel moves (like picking up a decent lefty slugger) and won a Wild Card spot in the past 4 years; instead they wasted the best years of Halladay, Burnett, Marcum, and Wells.
    Anyway, sorry for the length of this post but I got excited.

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