Heyo friends - who wants to talk about shortstops?
Yeah, me neither. When do the Winter Meeting start again? Until then, I've got questions, maybe you have some answers....
When did prospect porn become the baseball fan's vice of choice?
Regurgitating discussion from comment sections this week....but seriously, what's up with the completely absurd fascination with unproven prospects - talented as they may be - who haven't even advanced beyond the low minors?
Honestly, if I read "No way I would give up (Casey Kelly, Jesus Montero, Ryan Westmoreland, Kyle Drabek, etc) for one year of a 32 year old pitcher" one more fucking time, I think I might just go on ahead and gouge my eyes out.
There are so many things wrong with the reasoning behind this line of thought that I'm not even going to bother taking it down. Actually, yes I am:
(1) That "32 year old pitcher" is one of the best (if I was biased, I'd say the best) in the game, he's at his peak, he's not declining, and nobody works harder. I understand, prospect fans, that you love to show just how clever and informed you are by touting your team's "next big thing"....but in actuality, all you're really proving is your ignorance by dismissing the greatness of Doc. Jesus, this makes me angry.
(2) In all likelihood, you're not getting one year of Doc, you're getting a contract-extended Doc. Oh, and don't worry about the goddamned payroll - you are all big market, free spending clubs. You'll manage.
(3) Your teams are involved in the discussions because they are built to win now. Prospect X, should he pan out, will be a guy who can help you win in 2 or 3 seasons. What, you have an aversion to winning today? You'd rather roll the dice on potentially being in the same position a few seasons down the road?
(4) Please, Yankee/Red Sox/Phillies/Dodgers (to a lesser extent) fans, don't insult our intelligence by clinging to the value of "cost controlled players". Are you just trying to be cruel?
(5) That player you're touting as the next big thing? The guy you've never seen play, but can't possibly bear to lose? He'll be replaced in short order by the next guy on your team's top-10 prospect list, or perhaps by the next high schooler who slips to the 6th round on signability concerns that your team drafts and "convinces" to bypass college.
Why can't Dustin McGowan become Toronto's Jonathan Papelbon?
....minus the part about being a douchebag, of course.
I'll remind you this is all hypothetical on my part. I'll let you know that I know there's probably a prettttty, pretty slim chance that ol' Dusty can even recover from his shoulder woes to be an effective MLB arm. But hear me out - didn't Boston go through the same thing with their (begrudgingly) nails closer? I can't pretend to know the severity of Papelbon's history of arm troubles, but I do recall (with a google assist) that Papelbon was a rising power arm who was moved to the bullpen in an effort to placate that tender shoulder.
Can this scenario unfold for McGowan? And really - doesn't he seem perfect for the role? Power fastball? Check. Hammer breaking ball? Check. Superficial "unique" look required for a memorable closer? His lambchops say "check".
Bears watching, is all I'm saying.
Shouldn't we be talking a little more about Jesse Litsch?
Hey, he is what he is. Jesse Litsch is probably no more than a back end starter who can provide the club with some serviceable major league innings. That's not a knock, that's just who he is. In fact, I mean it as a compliment, because I really do believe that he doesn't receive near the credit he should for being just that.
He doesn't throw 95 and he won't get you more than about 5K/9. But if he can bounce back from his TJ (does that stand for "Tommy John" or "Toronto Jay"?) surgery and provide the club with some rotation stability, the club will be much better for it. And that, my friends, would be admirable. I'm pulling for the guy.
Do writers make absurd claims because they think the Jays are wholly incompetent? Or are they just smug?
Actually, I've got the answers here:
YES, the Jays will offer Marco Scutaro arbitration.
NO, the Jays will not accept a package of Ian Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, and Francisco Cervelli in exchange for Doc.
...and NO, Alex Anthopoulos will not "throw in" Adam Lind to "even out the deal" in exchange for your precious little prospects.
Can we convince ourselves that the disdain we feel for the Jays offseason moves to date will dissipate as the plan becomes clear?
Yeah, I probably can, personally. I've been getting on (for now) by telling myself that if these were the final moves of the offseason (throwing 2 years at Johnny Mac, signing Alex Gonzalez v2.0) rather than the first moves of the offseason, things would make more sense.
I'll carry on believing that these moves are not a precursor to more of the same in addressing the many other holes on the roster, and by April 1 we'll have reason for hope.
I keep telling myself that it's all part of the process, and AA knows what he's doing - because I want him to succeed. I'll keep believing that better days of baseball are ahead.
We have to, man.