(And note the name stenciled on the side of that dumpster: A.J. Pain. Too true.)
With the decline in the Canadian dollar (which currently sits at 0.7919 cents U.S.), this year's winter confab in Vegas looks to be an exceptionally quiet week for the Jays.
The team overspent on a few signings over the past few years of currency-related windfalls (we're looking at you, Mr. Wells). Account for the 2009 raises that are coming for most of the Jays' regulars in the middle of long term deals, and there's precious little room to maneuver for J.P. Ricciardi et al in Vegas, no matter how much A.J. Burnett, David Eckstein, or Frank Thomas money comes off of their payroll.
(Our brilliant idea: Put Lyle Overbay's entire contract on red at the roulette wheel. No, really.)
As J.P. told a group of drunken beat reporters (and MLB.com's Jordan Bastian): "Anybody we add, we're going to have to subtract...I don't think we're able to take on a lot of payroll. So if we want to do some things, we're going to have to eliminate some payroll."
Unfortunately, we don't think that the Jays will be able to eliminate payroll by bringing contracts out to the desert like they did with Joe Pesci in Casino. Although that would be kinda cool.
So given this shite state of affairs, it should surprise none of us that on the second day of the meetings, we're reading about Chris Duncan as the Jays' next designated hitter. (This is the punishment we get for speaking wistfully about John Thomson yesterday.)
Also, if you're interested, the lede in that same Bastian piece is the fourth or fifth cycle of Rafael Furcal to Toronto rumours, which are too fleeting and far-fetched to even ponder at this point.
In other news that's as depressing as a 6 am, hung-over viewing of Mike Leigh's Naked, the Jays are apparently talking to Carl Pavano. We see Pavano as an option for the Jays rotation, in as much as he has two arms (slightly used) and opposable thumbs. Aside from that, we're not sure that Pavano (5.77 ERA, 1.49 WHIP in limited innings in 2008) would be a much better option than just letting the other team hit off a tee.
Mind you, Pavano (and feel free to sing this part along with us, because you certainly know the words) does have "a relationship with Brad Arnsberg". Which, as we all know, is the best way for the front office to sell this shit as Shinola.