We’ll start with the Blue Jays. Jordan Bastian has an article up on MLB.com reporting that the Jays have been in contact with Matt Clement. He says that the team has "always liked Matt," but added that he think "it depends on what Matt’s looking for a this point."
Indeed, Bastian opines that the club "would likely take a shot on Clement if the pitcher agreed to a Minor League contract with a chance at competing for a job with the Jays." With interest from a few other clubs, that seems unlikely. So this is likely one big non-rumor.
The article also quotes Ricciardi saying that Reed Johnson will be the team’s leadoff hitter in 2008, "for the most part." This would indicate that Matt Stairs is indeed a backup, and it certainly doesn’t bode well for Adam Lind. It surely fuels the speculation that Lind could be traded, as Keith Law noted yesterday.
Finally, the Jays are looking to bring back Sal Fasano to back up Gregg Zaun, though that might not happen until Fasano shops his services at the Winter Meetings, beginning December 3. Note that I am disappointed that Sal doesn’t have his own category here at MLBTR.
On the Rays end, we have reports that Nationals manager Many Acta has attended Elijah Dukes’s games in the Dominican this winter. Dukes’s team is managed by Tim Tolman, the Nats’ third base coach. 7dias.com reports that Dukes has said that "he desperately needs to leave Tampa Bay in order to resuscitate his career."
There’s a note on the Rays possibly being interested in Michael Barrett, but then mentions the forfeiture of the team’s second round pick as a deterrent. Indeed, Barrett may have few options beyond the Padres because of his free agent classification.
Speaking of catchers, if anyone was hoping that the Rays would leave catcher John Jaso (.316/.408/.484 at AA this year) off their 40-man roster, you’re going to be disappointed. The Rays plan to add him prior to Tuesday’s deadline for the Rule 5 draft.
Joe Pawlikowski is co-author of River Ave. Blues.