But first, an apology of sorts
Let's just get this out of the way. I've been a bad blogger for the better part of the season. I know it, you know it, let's not pretend otherwise. One post weekends have become the norm rather than the exception.
It's not from a lack of interest from me - far from it. This team seems to be so close (yet so far) from contending that it's exhilarating watching the pieces slowly fall into place, following along in the game of AA Ninja.
It's just about time, man. Busy work schedule, occasional travel, two kids, summer holidays..... so cliche yet so unavoidable. So there you go. It's not you, it's me.
Trade deadline - chips?
Old Dutch plain ripple and a tub of dill pickle dip FTW.
No but seriously.... with lots of periphery chatter about how hard Anthopoulos is working the phones (big surprise), could something actually be, y'know, up?
Generally with AA, where there's smoke there isn't fire, and the big moves come out of the blue. Thing is, with all the reports of the Jays working the phones.... they aren't actually tied to anything big. So are they?
Yes, of course I'm just stirring the pot and playing the proverbial devil's advocate here. But it's fun so what the fuck, right? If the Jays were to do something "big", who's in play?
How about Travis d'Arnaud? I know, I know, and I know. But hear me out first....
I'm just as protective of future studliness as the next guy.... but if the team plans on contending within the next few seasons, and it's generally accepted that even the studliest of catching studs playing AA ball won't be impact players at the major league level for a few seasons beyond that, isn't he then a prime chip?
And does anyone really believe that JP Arencibia is really a .217 hitter? Isn't it reasonable to assume he can at least be a .250 player (yes, I know. Batting average hahahaha) with 25-HR power & passable defence? And isn't that pretty close to all-star production at the position?
I'm just saying, a top-20 prospect at a premium position could bring back a pretty big return at a position of weakness. Whatever that may be....
The end of summer (of Jo-Jo)
Kind of says it all that the news is buried this far down in the post. And doesn't warrant more than two sentences.
So what are the missing pieces?
The d'Arnaud bit above got me thinking.... just what exactly are the holes in the Blue Jay roster that need to be filled for this team to take a legitimate run in the next few seasons?
We can reasonably assume that AA's phone calls do not revolve around acquiring a catcher, first baseman, shortstop, third baseman (the job is Lawrie's), or right fielder.
Center fielder can't be seen as a priority given what's on the roster and coming up (Gose)... unless Colby Rasmus is indeed "in play". And you would think that left field is kinda sorta maybe reserved for one of Snider or Thames, at least in the near-term.
So what does that leave? Another big arm in the rotation? Are Aaron Hill's days numbered? A stealth upgrade at a position covered above? More "future pieces"?
In reality, this is all an exercise in futility. Trying to get in the head of Alex Anthopoulos? Forget it.
On Kevin Slowey and Heath Bell
Is Slowey really much more than a refined Jesse Litsch? And are we really still pursuing relievers for comp pick purposes?
On Brett Lawrie
8 for his last 15 Vegas at-bats. Bring him up before he gets hit again.
On Roberto Alomar and Pat Gillick
They are Hall of Famers. And I will be watching tomorrow and remembering '92 and '93.
Holy shit, those were good times.