We're a little over 2 weeks away from this year's MLB Winter Meetings, where the bulk of the offseason action is likely to take place. That means your humble (no, really) weekend keyboard monkey has little of substance on which to pontificate.
Instead, here are some hot (er, lukewarm?) topics running through my head:
* It's been mentioned in the comments section, and it bears repeating here since I've often had the same thought - why can't Brian Dopirak be a serviceable option in the Jays lineup next year? No, really, I'm asking. I've heard - and can't necessarily disagree with - all the reasons why he's a longshot to stick at the major league level: it took him 4 seasons to get past 'A' ball, he's old for the level, he's beating up on minor league retreads, etc.
But here's the thing: his numbers have been fantastic since the start of 2008. He comes with a pedigree (2nd round pick). And he's no longer blocked (/sarcasm) by the manager's favorite, Kevin Millar.
Can't it be that he just turned the corner in his development and is now reaching that 2nd round potential? And can't we give the dude a shot before writing him off? For my money, he's exactly the type of player a "building" team needs to take a long, hard look at. It will be a disappointment - for me, anyway - if he doesn't break camp with the team (pending any substantial offseason moves to shore up 1B/DH, of course).
* .....and since we're here, is it completely unreasonable to assume (hope?) that one of Jarret Hoffpauir or Mike McCoy can be a useful player in the infield? I mean, as it stands, we're looking at Aaron Hill....and that's about it, as far as sure-fire returnees go. Personally, I'm hoping for one or both to make the team, if for no other reason than the blogging possibilities (Hoff! The Real McCoy!). Yeah, maybe I'm reaching now.
* We all now Alex Anthopoulos has floated the notion that he isn't adverse to trading Roy Halladay within the division. On the surface - as brutally gut-wrenching as it would be - it makes sense to take the best deal for the Jays out there. But I'm starting to think that might just be a smokescreen to drive up the market for non-AL East teams who might be interested in acquiring the services of the true Ace (Doc is a capital-A ace).
And maybe it's working? Fresh off the news that the Dodgers (let's ignore the implications of ol' Frankie McCourt's divorce) are focusing on Doc - with the name 'Chad Billingsley' being tossed around - comes word of early discussions with the Cubs.
During last season's trade deadline fiasco, the Cubs were never viewed as a serious players, due primarily to the perceived lack of prospect depth. But they do have Starlin Castro, who's generating some pretty serious buzz, and potential big bat Josh Vitters in the system, so.....
* I don't see any way that the (unreasonably) under appreciated Lyle Overbay returns, at this point. Given the volume of trade rumors surrounding him, and given the return of Cito....I just think it would end badly.
* Rethinking the Brandon Phillips speculation....unless one of Phillips/Hill were to make a move to SS....yeah, what's the point. His bat would not be an upgrade over Edwin Encarnacion, and it's impossible to say how he'd play defensively at the hot corner. But a double play combo of Hill & Phillips up the middle might not be so bad, would it?
* Something has to happen in the outfield, doesn't it? Can we really envision an everyday alignment of Lind-Wells-Snider defensively? That's assuming of course, that Snider sees AB's against more than just right-handed pitching, and Lind doesn't move to 1B, and....
* One thing's for certain: AA has his work cut out for him. He has no choice but to put his stamp on the team. Let's just hope it's his own.