Saturday, December 4, 2010

Remember this team...

... because a week from today (or thereabouts), it might not look the same.

The evolution of the roster has already begun, with the departures of John Buck (he got paiiid), Edwin Encarnacion (released, claimed, non-tendered, in therapy), Freddy Lewis (good luck finding those everyday AB's, Fred), and Brian Tallet (who will be serviceable in 2011 for the Cards). Those certain to find new homes in the days ahead include arb decliners Scott Downs and Kevin Gregg - who apparently didn't appreciate the lack of fan support for his white-knuckle ninths. The nerve of Blue Jay fans!

Who's new? Rajai Davis takes the at-bats Freddy Lewis left behind and Carlos Villanueva will eat up the hipster's innings - both low cost upgrades at their respective positions, but hardly the game-changers we've all been speculating are ahead.

So which is it - the calm before the storm, or a much quieter offseason than previously anticipated?

Anthopoulos has made no secret of the the fact he's more willing than ever to take calculated gambles in assembling a roster poised to contend for seasons to come. That means dealing quality players & top prospects at positions of strength to fill perceived areas of weakness. Hardly proof positive, but the Jays have been "tied" to every high-upside player bandied about the hotstove thus far. So is a big move inevitable?

On the other hand.... is it prudent to shake up a roster of players already seen as "on the rise", especially given a new on-field coaching staff? Would simply adding solid veterans and capable major-leaguers to fill the roster holes during another year of team maturation be a reasonable strategy?

Quite frankly, I waffle back and forth on this. It's a talented team with questions at the core (Hill, Lind, Snider, Arencibia) that need answering. Is now the right time for a Big Splashy Move? I really don't know, but Anthopoulos does. And we're probably pretty close to finding out.

Jason Frasor will be a Blue Jay....
... and I'm OK with that. A complete bullpen overhaul consisting of mostly unproven arms is terrifying. Frasor might not be Duane Ward, but he's no Frank Wills either. And let's not sweat the salary he's sure to land in arbitration, all right? It's a one year commitment that won't break the bank for 7th or 8th inning work. Frasor's decision to accept or decline arb was a win-win. So we win!

.... and AJ Pierzynski will not be
Two words: thank fuck.


William J. Tasker said...

Downs is a puzzle too. He's a Type A, isn't he? Will someone want to drop two draft picks to sign him? Probably. Those picks would help AA deal some prospect now perhaps.

You are right about Perzynski. The White Sox were nuts to re-up him.

It will be interesting to see what happens the next five days with AA at the meetings.

MJK said...

Would simply adding solid veterans and capable major-leaguers to fill the roster holes during another year of team maturation be a reasonable strategy?

in order to answer this question you need to know what the organization's goals are for the coming year, and they have given no indication on that matter other than the usual platitudes.

do you believe the team wants to win more than 85 games in 2011? do you believe that management aims to make the playoffs in 2011? they have not said that.

the offseason will be a good indicator of the team's commitment to winning. mild upgrades to the 4th OF and the long relief man are not likely to lead to many more wins. the Jays need upgrades over Overbay and E5 if they hope to get to 90 wins, and be in a playoff race.

The Ack said...

@William - teams only give up one pick for signing a Type-A - the other pick awarded is an "extra" supplemental pick.....and with the way the Sox have picks coming at them (VMart, Beltre?), they wouldn't mind losing one to nab a reliable late inning arm like Downs.

And speaking of the Sox....fuck them. The Gonzalez acquisition depresses me. I suppose I should have expected it, but....fuck.

Mylegacy said...

I never read the Gonzalez Acquisition, however I've read lots of Ludlum's other books - great writer!

I'm pissed too. Drabek, Gose, McDade would be similar to but better than what Boston offered and if we threw in Jenkins to make our package MUCH better how could the Padres have refused? The problem is that we wouldn't put that package together for ONE year - and Gonzales - the PRICK - wanted to play for Boston and would only sign an extension with them.

I'm sure AA is gnashing his teeth at this outrageous fortune as we sit here drinking our second bottle of single malt - the 18 year stuff is best if you want to forget - it worked really well after my first two marriages.

Andrew said...

Agreed on Frasor, it's not like the Jays would otherwise have gotten somebody who's much better. It's not like they were candidates for Rafael Soriano, and I don't think the return of Frasor affects the likelihood of them bringing in someone like Guerrier or Crain.

With regards to Gonzalez, I think he and JoBau would be a phenomenal combo in the middle of the order next year, but I'd be very willing to bet that the team would only be able to keep one of them going forward. Personally, I don't think any player is worth giving up Bautista, plus three or four of Drabek, Arencibia, Snider, Stewart, Jenkins, Gose, Hechevarria, etc.

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