Jays “Shocked” By Asking Price For Free Agent Closers

Bob Elliot of the Toronto Sun has a host of Blue Jays news including numerous quotes from GM Alex Anthopoulos:

  • Elliot hears that the Blue Jays have been "shocked" by the asking prices they've received when contacting the representatives for free agent closers. Anthopoulos sounds wary of signing closers to four- and five-year deals. Noting some research he did on injuries long-term deals for relievers when he was still an assistant GM, Anthopolous said: "…basically if you were giving out a five-year deal you were only going to get a player for four seasons."
  • When asked what the club's greatest surplus was, Anthopoulos replied "prospects," which Elliot speculates could hint that the Jays may try to acquire a closer via trade.
  • The Blue Jays aren't prepared to trade J.P. Arencibia because of Travis d'Arnaud's minor league success. The 22-year-old d'Arnaud ranked 36th on Baseball America's Top 100 Prospects list prior to a 2011 campaign that saw him hit .311/.371/542 and crush 21 homers at the Double-A level.
  • The organization is at least one year away from considering d'Arnaud for the Major Leagues, and the same goes for shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria.
  • The Blue Jays are content with Colby Rasmus as their center fielder for 2012, and Anthopolous calls him an upgrade defensively.
  • The Jays need an everyday second baseman, which leads Elliot to speculate on Brandon Phillips.

270 Responses to Jays “Shocked” By Asking Price For Free Agent Closers Leave a Reply

  1. Sports33 4 years ago

    Frickin’ RAJ…

    • vonhayesdays 4 years ago

      partially his fault for sure but , id blame bush and the infamous  a-rod deal for just blowing up all MLB salaries 

  2. Cheeseballs 4 years ago

    Colby Rasmus…. Forgot about that guy. What an utter disappointment.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      I’m too tired for this.

      • Cheeseballs 4 years ago

        I meant for the Cardinals.

        • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

          oh, okay. Though he was plenty good for the Cards.

          • Cheeseballs 4 years ago

            I wouldn’t agree with plenty good. I’d say he was under achieving. Which is not good.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            You mean in 2011. He was damn good in 2009~2010

          • Cheeseballs 4 years ago

            Disagree with ’09. And 2010 was a good year, but not Damn good.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            7.1 fWAR for age 23~24 seasons. I’d say that’s damn good.

    • Andy Mc 4 years ago


      • azdsnd 4 years ago

        Laugh all you want, but I vaguely recall the Cardinals winning the World Series this year in large part thanks to that move (it significantly improved the team in the short-term, which they needed every bit of to make the World Series in the first place).  It’ll help the Jays down the road too in all likelihood, but nobody in St. Louis is crying over having lost Rasmus.

        • azdsnd 4 years ago

          to make the playoffs in the first place*

          Got ahead of myself.

        • Bluejaysnation 4 years ago

          I agree. Without that trade St Loius doesn’t even make the playoffs let alone world series. So no matter what happens with Rasmus’s future its a win for the Cards cause they reached their goal in the trade.
          Now hopefully Toronto gets their return and has many years of production from Rasmus and everyone comes out a winner!!

          • deere5800 4 years ago

             Without the Braves the Cardinals don’t make the playoffs. Maybe the trade helped them, but 9 out of 10 times they still don’t make the playoffs and have traded away a good young player.

    • Compared to his outlandish projection and ‘potential’ yes a disappointment. But in his three seasons he’s had a really good year, an average year, and a bad year. That’s a solid player. He’ll have a nice career. Probably an all star once or twice. But I don’t miss him in the least bit. I’ll take Jon Jay’s heart and hustle over anything Raz brings any day.

      • Cheeseballs 4 years ago

        The heart and hustle is where my disappointment stems.

      • johnsmith4 4 years ago

        an honest assessment….also in line with expectations from most Jays fans.

  3. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    Shut up Bob Elliot. Shut up, shut up, shut up.

  4. notsureifsrs 4 years ago

    doing it right

  5. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    I don’t know why they’re shocked. Scott Boras represents two of the better closers available (Madson and K-Rod).

    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      I’m sure Heath Bell wants a lucrative deal to leave San Diego. I can’t think of reasons anybody else would have a high asking price in terms of years. Dollars, I can see for a lot of guys but I can’t see Joe Nathan asking for a four year deal at this point in his career.

      • wickedkevin 4 years ago

        You replied to yourself.  #foreveralone

        • NYBravosFan10 4 years ago

          Oh, way to go bruh you got him there {rolling eyes}

          • wickedkevin 4 years ago

            Oh, I see what you did there…(eye roll).

          • wickedkevin 4 years ago

            Oh, I see what you did there…(eye roll).

        • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

          I didn’t want to edit it in case somebody replied to me… just adding on to what I was saying.

  6. At least The B.J. Ryan Experience was a good learning experience for the Jays’ front office crew.

  7. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    I get that the bullpen was a major area of concern last year, but I really hope AA doesn’t sign any big FA deals or trade any significant prospects for any bullpen help

    with Janssen, Litsch, Beck, Villanueva, Carreno and possibly a Cecil or Mcgowan joining as well, the bullpen just needs 1 or 2 pieces to round things off, perhaps a Broxton or Harden.

    I’d throw a 2 years 6 million for harden and use him in late innings.

    • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

      ↑ He knows what he’s talking about.

      I have to disagree with Harden though, well, sorta. I’d be cool with a Broxton signing. Hell, I’d be cool with a Brad Lidge signing. All 3 are made out of glass, so midaswell look to sign the one’s that have more experience in the bullpen, for whatever that experience is worth.

      • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

        No Brad Lidge, thank you.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        why no dice on harden? I think in a limited role, he’d really excel and maybe it would help keep him healthy.

        Broxton shouldn’t cost much, harden made 1.5 mil this year, these would all be pretty small investments.

        • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

          I got nothing against the guy as a player, I got something against his stubbornness. He only wants to start, and then proceeds to have his arm in need of replacing for the upteenth time. If he were an intelligent specimen, he’d change to being a reliever, stay healthy, and make $8MM a year being (most likely) solid instead of signing for $1.5MM every year because some team decides he’s worth the flyer. If he were to agree to stay in the pen, I’m all for it, but it won’t happen. Oh, he hasn’t even been average for the last 2 seasons when healthy.

          Lidge would be perfect if he were to sign on a one year deal with a vesting option, regardless of what FrankieRex says :p

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            Lidge’s 5.2 BB/9 over the last 3 seasons will work real well in the AL East… yup, real well.

          • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

            … … well played Mauer…

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            Funny how you use the last three seasons as your endpoint.  Juuuust long enough to include that disastrous ’09, eh?

            Say what you want about how disappointing Lidge was for the Phillies, but since changing his approach after that horrible ’09, he’s been very effective.  Most hard-throwing relievers completely collapse once their fastball starts losing velocity in their early-30’s and never recover, but Lidge realized it and went from throwing 50% fastballs and 50% sliders to throwing 30% fastballs and 70% sliders.  It’ll probably destroy his elbow, but it’ll at least keep him effective when he’s on the mound.  For the right kind of contract (low base, heavy incentives, short-term) he’ll give you some good value, and might just give you a surprise year of closer-level performance.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            well, considering he’s 34 (he’ll be 35 in December) right now, yeah. He’s not going to be posting the numbers he had at age 27.

            His “very effective” BB/9s of 4.73 in 2010 and 6.00 in 2011 are really impressive. I’m almost tempted to sign him. Not.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            And yet Carlos Marmol comes up in the thread as a good solution….

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            For the record, I never said Marmol was a good option.

            Also, come talk to me when Lidge posts a K/9 of 15.99

            edit: also, Marmol is 6 years younger than Lidge.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            Fair enough on the first point.

            As for the second, he got closer than most in 2004 with his 14.93 K/9.  I know he’s now a mere figment of the pitcher he was then, but the same can be said about Marmol now compared to Marmol 2010…

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            that was 7 years ago. 2010 was last year (or 2 years ago). Whichever you cut it, Marmol is a much better bet than Lidge.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            Financial commitments even, sure, but not at $17MM.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            Marmol, last 3 years: averaged 1.47 fWAR. 2.94 fWAR – $17MM = roughly negative $3.77M.

            Lidge, last 3 years: averaged -0.07 fWAR. -0.07 fWAR – $4M = roughly negative $5.32M.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            Again with the three year endpoints, eh?  We get it, Lidge sucked in 2009.  Completely different pitcher now.  He probably won’t be on the mound much in the coming years and I certainly won’t bet him being a closer because these guys just don’t last long.  Not sure if what you’re getting is that I’d rather have Lidge than Marmol as my closer, because, well, I kind of would rather have neither.

            Also, past performance from closers over multi-year spans – particularly those of over two years – RARELY indicates future success for same-length spans.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            Okay then, use last 2 years:

            Marmol, last 2 years: averaged 1.9 fWAR. 3.8 fWAR – $17M = $0.01M
            Lidge, last 2 years: averaged 0.3 fWAR. 0.3 fWAR – $4M = negative $2.65M

            Edit: Then why the hell are we arguing this? Lidge is terrible, Marmol is nearly as bad. I don’t want either.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            You’re kind of missing my point about the whole past success not ensuring future success and 2010 Marmol being a figment of history.

            But, yeah, neither is someone I’d want as a closer.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            Then what’s the point of even signing “proven” closers like Rivera? Yeah, he was elite for 15 years, but none of that matters because past success doesn’t ensure future success. That means signing Rivera to a long term contract is the same as signing Brad Lidge to a same long term contract, which is ridiculous.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            I suppose I should elaborate.  Carlos Marmol has, for the better part of his career, relied on pure velocity and gobs of effort in his delivery to blow people away.  It’s just the way he pitches, and it works.  But it only works for a short time until the rigors of closing and all of that effort sap his arm of that velocity and render him as a nice complimentary reliever.

            What makes guys like Mariano Rivera, Dennis Eckersley, and Trevor Hoffman seemingly able to close until their dying day is the fact that they really don’t rely on pure velocity or on max-effort deliveries: they use either movement (Rivera) or deception (Hoffman).  But that’s not the typical closer, it wasn’t Lidge, it’s not Marmol, and it certainly isn’t Papelbon (LOLPhillies).

            Of course, there are outliers with all things, and the big example for the hard-throwing camp is Billy Wagner.  But there’s really only one Billy Wagner in the last 20 years, and a veritable wasteland of Gagne’s, Wetteland’s, Nen’s, Benitez’s, Rocker’s, Mantei’s, Urbina’s, and Ryan’s.

          • i think people should be more concerned with marmol 2015 and beyond if they think handing him 40+MM bux is a good idea

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            I think people should be concerned with Marmol 2011 and beyond.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            as much as Lidge?

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            Honestly, yes.  2010 Marmol isn’t coming back, I guarantee it.  His velocity drop is here to stay unless he needs major surgery – the only closer I can think of in my brief study who ever gained velocity after seeing the first signs of serious drop-off was Billy Wagner in 2010, and he needed TJ to get that velo back.  Marmol lost about 3 mph last year from 2011, so the 2010 Marmol is here to stay.

            I’d be willing to bet that Lidge’s ERA is lower than Marmol’s in 2012.  He won’t be on the mound long enough to have similar overall value, but I do think he’ll be more effective when he’s out there.

          • ask brett anderson how throwing tons of sliders is working out.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            It’s a good recipe for effectiveness, particularly for once-late-inning relievers who have lost the power to their fastballs, but a bad recipe for staying healthy.

          • Khabibulan 4 years ago

            Marmol is a mess

          • vonhayesdays 4 years ago

            Id sign lidge to be a set up guy if he were able to get his fast ball back above 88 but im not sure he will close again unless the guy he sets up for just sux out loud or gets hurt.  but your right worth a shot if he comes cheap 

    • Howard 4 years ago

       Where do you people keep getting your info that Villaneuva will be a reliever? He is now a starter as he proved himself before hitting the DL. Expect him in the top 5 rotation. If anyone is going to the bullpen it’s Litsch, Drabek, McGowan or Cecil.

      • Where do you get your info that Villanueva will be a starter? He was drastically better as a reliever as a starter and he won’t be a starter unless he is somehow pressed into the role. He came back after his stint on the DL as a reliever for a reason, he is simply better and more suited there.

        Oh and no chance Drabek ends up in the pen next year. The kid can still be kept in the minors to work things out and there’s no reason to give up on him as a starter just because he had 1 bad year when he was 23.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        umm seriously?

        When he came back from the DL was he put back in the rotation?

        Litsch is already in the bullpen.

        Mcgowan will be given every opportunity to start because of his ceiling and because they decided that rest days are more important to keep him healthy

        Drabek in the bullpen? Seriously?

        Cecil, maybe, one day, but he’s probably ahead of Charlie on the depth charts so when the day comes that Brett is put in the pen, it will be to join Villanueva.

        Villanueva filled in admirably when the rotation needed help, but that doesn’t mean he’s a starter moving forward, a few times around the league and batters started to knock him around.

        • Howard 4 years ago

           He’s much better as a starter though… he’s not needed in the bullpen we have enough spots for it. Cecil and McGowan should fight for #5 spot. Drabek needs to stay put in AAA

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            He’s not better starting than in the bullpen though, and like I said, Cecil will be given a chance to start over Villanueva..

            So if the jays dont acquire a starter it will be Romero-Morrow-Mcgowan-Cecil-Alvarez

            if they do require another starter, it will be Romero-Morrow-starter-Alvarez- Mcgowan/Cecil

            Unless their are a bunch of injuries in spring training, Villanueva will start in the bullpen.

          • Lucas Kschischang 4 years ago

            If McGowan progresses as the Jays like, then I wouldn’t expect Cecil to be around much longer. He simply does NOT have the stuff to keep up in the AL East; and his softer tossing style isn’t really suited to the ‘pen either. AA has repeatedly said that they Jays are strongly interested in hard throwing, ground-ball pitchers. Romero, Morrow, Alvarez and McGowan all proved last year that they are very good, hard throwing ground-ball pitchers.

            I’d also like to bring up Morrow’s splits from the last two years:

            ’10 Home: 8-1, 82.0 IP, 2.74 ERA, 24 BB’s, 97 K’s
            ’10 Away: 2-6, 64.1 IP, 6.72 ERA, 42 BB’s, 81 K’s

            ’11 Home: 4-8, 91.1 IP, 6.31 ERA, 36 BB’s, 105 K’s
            ’11 Away: 5-2, 88.0 IP, 3.07 ERA, 33 BB’s, 98 K’s

            If Morrow can figure it out, there’s really no need to bring in another starter, as Morrow has posted Cy Young type numbers if you are to combine his ’10 home and ’11 road stats. He’s had success both at home, and on the road, so what’s left? He needs to draw from his success and build on it – If all goes well (best case scenario), he could seriously challenge for the AL Cy Young.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            wow what a weird home/road split

          • The 1.60 ERA as a reliever compared to a 5.15 ERA as a starter disagrees with you.

          • johnsmith4 4 years ago

            His low percentage of quality starts should be the icing on the cake.

      • Bluejaysnation 4 years ago

        Doubt very much Villaneuva is in the rotation.
        After Romero and Morrow,(and whoever they add via trade or FA to go with those two) the rotation will most likely consist of Alvarez and either Cecil, Drabek or McGowan.
        Whomever they like best out of spring training.
        Litsch and Villaneuva are most likely done as starters.

    • Khabibulan 4 years ago

      AA could really buy low on Broxton. I like the idea, he’s worth taking a chance on at least. Can’t be any worse than two-headed monster of Frank Frank and Rauch.

      • slider32 4 years ago

        The problem is that you are going to have to over pay for a free agent!

    • Bluejaysnation 4 years ago

      I agree. kinda like repeating what we’ve done the past few years in taking chances on retreads and questionable arms for the 8th and 9th but theres no sense in spending 10m+ on a FA reliever.
      With Francisco likely leaving we’ll need to replace him with another FA or trade.
      So those two (Broxton/Harden) would be interesting.

    • rbeezy 4 years ago

      Who’s going to be in the rotation? Villanueva & Cecil are the 4th & 5th starters next year?

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        romero, morrow, alvarez, mcgowan and a 5th starter

  8. 55saveslives 4 years ago

    Guess the Jays won’t be “Coming Hard” at any closers?

  9. I kind of hope Dayton Moore is taking notice… If the FA price for closers is that high, Soria and his club friendly contract should be able to be the centerpiece of a deal for a quality starter.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

       if a team has a quality starter to spare, why wouldnt they just put him in the pen instead of given them up for a one trick pony?

      • azdsnd 4 years ago

        Because a mid-rotation starter probably won’t make as good of a closer as Soria is?  Unless you’re looking at Edwin Jackson’s clone as your spare starter, you’re probably not going to find someone with the electric fastball to pitch in the ninth inning in some spare, mid-rotation starter that’s lying around.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          unless we’re talking about a mariano, a good young, controllable mid rotation starter will almost always be worth more than any reliever.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            Well of course, but that wasn’t the scenario that was framed.  As a starter, he’ll be worth more than the reliever, but if moved to the ‘pen because of a surplus of starters, as you suggested, he’ll likely be worth less than the guy who is already a phenomenal reliever.

        • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

          People seem to forget that most good closers were once failed starters.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            I very much did not forget this, but you forgot an important detail.  Most closers are actually a very specific type of failed starter, a starter who had one or two excellent pitches but no third pitch.  Quite a lot of #3 starters in the big leagues don’t have the two killer pitches that are typically required to close, but instead have a balance of three pitches that are all above-average (maybe with a plus pitch).  If moved to the ‘pen, that three above-average pitches < one/two dominant pitches.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            strange, because that’s exactly how Soria operates. He uses 5 pitches, a fastball, cutter, curveball, slider, and changeup. Not one of them is a dominant pitch. He doesn’t have a +95 MPH fastball or disgusting slider. Instead, he gets by using a combination of all his pitches. This is exactly the opposite of what you just described.

            In fact, Soria would make a very good starter. I don’t know why they haven’t converted him yet.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            Four pitches, almost 75% fastballs according to FanGraphs.  Might add a bit of cut to a fastball on occasion but it’s not enough for FanGraphs to recognize that he’s thrown even a single cutter in his career.  Heavens knows how it works, but that sounds a lot like a closer to me.  The three off-speed offerings are unusual, sure, but he rarely uses each of them and he’s also a bit atypical in that his “dominant” results are more the product of low BABIPs and walk rates than exorbitant K-Rates, like most supposed “closers” have.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            Over last 2 years: 53.9% Cut Fastball, 22.2% 4-seam Fastball, 8.8% Changeup, 8.1% Slider, 7.0% Curveball.

            According to Texas Leaguers.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            FG clearly not seeing the cutters and fastballs as materially different….

            …. Except that on their Pitch f/x charts, they have cutters cropping up in 2010. No fastballs in 2010, then a mix between fastballs and cut fastballs in 2011.  Weird one, FanGraphs.

            However, the difference between the two pitches seems pretty minimal.  Vertical movement nearly identical, horizontal movement typically within five inches of each other.  Still awfully confusing, though.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            Texas Leaguers is much more accurate than FanGraphs when it comes to Pitch f/x. Arm slot and velocity are pretty different for the two fastballs.

          • azdsnd 4 years ago

            Can’t claim to be an expert on the differences between the two.  Soria would probably make a solid starter if the pitches are as different as TL suggests.  Shame the Royals probably won’t try it.

          • Maybe Soria is injury prone or has a violent delivery, the other reason a good starter is converted to a reliever, I’m not speaking from a factual basis here, I actually want this question answered I’ve barely seen Soria pitch.

      • slider32 4 years ago

        It’s called scouting, AA appears to be afraid to take a chance because of what has happened in the past. He is a 4th place team trying to move up, you can’t do that unless you are the Rays and stink for a number of years. Then you will be drafting in the top 10 and get players like Starling, Hultzen, or Bundy. These players look to be can’t miss.

        • some of the rays’ best players were drafted after the 1st round, so you dont necessarily have to suck to get good players through the draft. many players fall because of signability, so if you’re willing to pay you can still get high end talent late in the draft, which the jays have done. 

  10. Patrick the Pragmatist 4 years ago

    Well if they were not content with Rasmus, I think they might be able to get Brandon League back for him.  Maybe Zduriencik would take Lind for League.  The M’s could use a power hitting DH more than a closer at this time.

    • I don’t think AA would trade Rasmus for League even if he had a gun pointed at his head.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        it would really depend on the type of gun in my opinion. 

      • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

        but then he’d be dead

      • slider32 4 years ago

        The Rasmus trade was a bad one for the Jays, just another below average player.

        • Steelslayer 4 years ago

          Do you know what they actually let go to get him?  Spare parts and one younger lefty specialist who could excel at the role—-for a young, controllable, potential all-star player.  It worked out for the Cards, and hopefully it will work out for the Jays, but don’t label him a “below average player” at this point in his career–not even you–in all of your evidently OBVIOUS baseball knowledge can say that yet 

          • stl_cards16 4 years ago

            Him calling Rasmus a below average player is no different than you calling Rzep a lefty specialist. That’s what they were this year but both have a lot more potential.

          • Steelslayer 4 years ago

            Is that not what he did this year and is it not what he seemed to excelled at this year?  Why would they want him for something other than that–it is a high leverage, very important role.  Check out his numbers as a starter or middle reliever, not nearly as impressive when he faces an entire order especially a number of times through.  The jays struggled with finding a role for him, and I personally really liked him in that role.  But considering he is not in the American League East anymore, he could perfom better than what he did for the Jays as a starter or middle reliever– 

          • stl_cards16 4 years ago

            Yes that is what he did this year just like Rasmus was a well below average player. They both have potential to be much more. Rzep has the upside to be a very good MOR starter, just as Rasmus has the potential to be an all star cf.

          • Steelslayer 4 years ago

            Look— I am not knocking Rzep, and I hated the fact that he was in the trade.  For the last 3 years i have seen him struggle to find a role on the team, and I seen him pitch a good game and then get hammered in the next two, all the while I cheered for him to make it as a starter.  This year he seemed to have found his role as a lefty specialist, and he was awesome doing that job, but it was a small sample size.  However, as far as his upside, when compared to that of Rasmus is certainly not the same.    Rasmus could be flop, but given the volitility of relievers from year to year, so could Rzep.  All things being equal I would much rather take the potential value of a Rasmus over that of Rzep who has struggled as a starter.  At best Rzep would probably slot in as a #4 or #5 starter, i don’t agree with your analysis of his future potential being anything more than that.

          • stl_cards16 4 years ago

            and I’m not knocking Rasmus.  I liked him.  I also don’t care if you think Rzep can be a starter or not. A lot of people around St. Louis can say the same about Rasmus.  He had some good times and showed his potential, then he had some really ugly times.   It’s just not fair to knock someone for calling him a below average player and then you say Rzep is a lefty specialist. 

          • Matthew Mueller 4 years ago

            If that trade doesn’t happen Scrabble is in bullpen in 2012.  It sounds kinda weak to call Scrabble a lefty specialist because he did well for the Jays.  But even if he becomes a middle of the rotation starter, there wasn’t a spot for him in the rotation in Toronto. 

            Hopefully he is a good addition to the Cardinals rotation, but if that trade doesn’t happen, he wouldn’t have the opportunity to be a starter.

          • stl_cards16 4 years ago

            haha…you’re kidding right? Are you trying to say he only has a chance to be a starter because the Cardinals rotation isn’t as good?  If a guy is good enough to be a starter, you make him a starter.  The Cardinals rotation is stacked with guys ahead of him but that shouldn’t stop them from seeing what he can do as a starter.  If he turns out to be a decent starter, that’s a lot more valuable than out of the bullpen.

            He will most likely come out of the pen in 2012 for the Cardinals, but that doesn’t mean that’s his ceiling.  Cardinals have Carp, Wainwright, Garcia, Lohse, Westbrook and Lynn on the big league roster that are all starters.  They also have 2 of the top 5 pitching prospects in all of baseball.

          • Matthew Mueller 4 years ago

            No, I was trying to be nice.  I guess we agree.  He has failed as a starter and is now a LEFTY SPECIALIST.

          • stl_cards16 4 years ago

            In the same way the Colby Rasmus has failed as a CF and is now a ~.200 hitter?  Then yes, we agree.

          • Steelslayer 4 years ago

            I never called him (Rzep) a below average player, and the truth is he is a lefty specialist to this point, and does not really project to be much more.  Me calling him a lefty specialist is not an insult, look at my post-these guys come in to the game in high leverage situations, which would also suggest a more prominent role than just a “middle reliever”.  I am suggesting to you two things, IMO a lefty specialist is important and good on him for for that and excelling at it, and secondly that generally speaking he does not have the same potential upside as Rasmus does.  If he can find himself as a middle of the order starter in the NL, then great, but his “stuff” has not translated like that in the AL and his numbers suggest that.

    • vilifyingforce 4 years ago

      Don’t want League back. He’s been fantastic at home and terrible on the road.

  11. I don’t see why they had to put the Rasmus piece in there. Obviously their content with him.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      slow news day

      • When a headline is that AA is shocked that a player’s price is high…it’s been an uneventful day.

    • goner 4 years ago

      What I don’t understand is why Anthopolous was so defensive when he called Rasmus an upgrade :shrug:

      • because he knows how batshit crazy most fans are. just wants to prevent them from jumping all over rasmus after 100 PA’s. 

  12. Might go without saying, but there’s a pretty natural fit here to bring Brandon League back to the Jays. They’re heavy in prospects, and one of those young catchers would be right up the M’s alley.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      He’s only got 1 year of control. I wouldn’t give up any of the C prospects straight up for League.

      • I seem to be the only person that remembers what League was like with the Jays.  Every time he was out on the mound, I was afraid of a 3 or 4 or 5 run inning.  Even watching him with the Mariners, it was the same old Brandon League.  In my opinion, he just got lucky and converted a good chunk of his save opportunities.

        • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

          er, no. He’s pretty good. Pretty much the equal of Francisco. Not something worth trading a whole lot for, but nice to have.

          edit: He also seems to have changed since he became a Mariner. More of a “Pitch-to-contact” guy now, in a good sense (if that’s possible)

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      I guess ackley would be coming back our way in this scenario?

    • slider32 4 years ago

      League is the guy the Jays should have kept, he has nasty stuff, no wonder they are looking for pitching the Jays traded it all away in the past few years and now AA is crying that the market is too high. Go figure!

      • Oh yes a setup man who became a closer for a number 2 starter horrible trade, also realistically there’s no reason any one of the pitchers jn the jays bullpen can’t step up and be a closer just like league did look at beck he’s got the stuff

        • Frank Drebin 4 years ago

          Morrow is brutal, he’s a number 2 starter on 4th place teams like the Blue Jays.

          • A fourth place team that probably could have competed for the title in three out of six major league divisions.

          • johnsmith4 4 years ago

            His 3.4 WAR and 3.64 FIP suggest otherwise.  Morrow was definitely a victim of poor outfield defence.  A full season of Colby Rasmus in CF will certainly help Morrow’s ERA.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            Snider will also help, he’s a much better fielder than Thames

      • vilifyingforce 4 years ago

        4.85 ERA, 1.462WHIP 2.33SO/BB. Who would want to keep that?

    • NexttoIgnore 4 years ago

      League was great while in TO, except those long centre field moon shots I seem to recall him giving up to NY and Boston. I wish him well in Sealttle, but I see no chance of reacquiring him now that he is established there. 

  13. Bob George 4 years ago

    Carlos Marmol is likely available.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      he also comes with a 17 mil price tag

      however considering its only for 2 years it wouldn’t be such a bad idea depending on what would have to go the cubs way.

      Marmols one of my fave pitchers in the league.

      • Encarnacion's Parrot 4 years ago

        If the Jays ate all of the contract, not as much as if the Cubs took on some of it. Dude’s got tons of value, but his price tag kills much of it.

        I like the idea though.

        • jayrig5 4 years ago

          I’d argue his price tag is getting more and more attractive.  This relief market is full of potential closers, and Papelbon still got 4/50.  I’d think Marmol is highly movable, if the Cubs wanted to do it.

          If they did, I’d guess they’d slot Cashner in as the closer for next year, to let him build up his arm for the rotation in 2013.  

      • East Coast Bias 4 years ago

        Dude’s unhittable when he’s on!

        • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

          well, technically, he’s unhittable when he’s off, too. He’ll be walking everyone.

    • azdsnd 4 years ago

      He’s also rapidly on the decline.  Average fastball velocity went from 94.1 mph in ’10 to 91.8 mph in ’11, and having done some similar research to what AA reportedly did, that velocity doesn’t come back once it starts leaving.  Marmol’s doing the smart thing as far as effectiveness goes and throwing more sliders, but the arm is clearly showing signs of breaking down, and the sliders are probably going to eat at his elbow pretty quickly.

      I’m afraid the end is nigh for Marmol.  Just another fabulous Hendry move.

  14. Jeff 4 years ago

    If I was the Braves, I’d look at shopping Johnny Venters for a boatload of prospects.

    He’d be a really good closer, but I trust Kimbrel more, and I think EOF and Medlen would be lights out at 7th/8th inning guys as well.  Also, the Braves have so many guys that some will be converted to lights-out relievers as well.

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      ??? Why would the Braves trade a cost-controlled, ridiculously good reliever?

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

        because they have so many arms, they could use one or two to fill some holes.

        Braves usually don’t go the FA route. its not the worst idea actually, but a team would have to pay handsomely 

        • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

          Why would they trade Venters though? They should trade O’flaherty. He’s the worst of the three.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            he’d also be the least likely to bring back something significant to improve their offense.

            Braves are literally stacked with pitching prospects, they can stand to lose a couple of important pieces if it means they get some offense.  Jays don’t match up with the braves will though.

          • Jeff 4 years ago

            And would get the least haul, since he’s 1 yr from FA.

            I’d be ok with trading EOF as well though, if it meant getting the player we really wanted (in addition to a Prado or JJ combination, EOF himself doesn’t have great value as trade bait, you’re not getting say Dexter Fowler or Headley for EOF)

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            I don’t know, I just think trading Venters seems like a huge waste for the Braves. The guy’s a monster. Him and Kimbrel should be the best relief 1-2 combo in baseball for the foreseeable future

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            a good back of the bullpen only matters if the team has the lead.

          • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

            and having the lead only matters if you can keep the lead. It works both ways.

          • slider32 4 years ago

            The Braves made their pitching trade dumping Lowe, remember a good trade is one that works out for both teams.

        • slider32 4 years ago

          That knocks the Jays out of the picture.

      • azdsnd 4 years ago

        Because they break down remarkably quickly?

    • inkstainedscribe 4 years ago

      You’d be selling high on Venters, too. He’s also run out of gas the past two Septembers. I think you could get a ton for Everyday Jonny, move EOF or Medlen into the eighth-inning role, and do just fine.

  15. MrBaseball29 4 years ago

    What? No more BJ Ryans on the market!! Ha no closer in baseball can keep you out of 4th place

  16. If every closer on the market gets a 4 year deal of at least 40 million in value we’ll have one of the most amusing offseasons for bad contracts. I look forward to it.!

  17. I can’t see why the Jays are so shocked, it’s only a million or two more than what the Jays forked out for BJ Ryan. We could say they set the market that lead to these outrageious prices. It’s basic supply and demand. There’s short supply of proven closers and many teams who need one. If I was a closer or his agent, I wouldn’t exploit this as much as I could.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      he’s basically saying this doesn’t make any sense so I’m not doing it.

      of course the supply and demand has lead to the contracts, but it doesn’t mean every team will partake

    • notsureifsrs 4 years ago

      “I can’t see why the Jays are so shocked, it’s only a million or two more than what the Jays forked out for BJ Ryan.”

      …that’s exactly his point. he’s shocked people still haven’t learned what is a very obvious and expensive lesson

    • johnsmith4 4 years ago

      I think it is called “negotiating”….when you respond with “I am shocked by what you want” in place of…”what you are asking for is perfectly understandable given supply and demand rules….but….we won’t meet your demand”.

  18. TartanElk 4 years ago

    “Hi, Ruben, this is Alex in Toronto. I’d like to talk to you about closers. WHY DID YOU SET THE MARKET SO DAMN HIGH? THEY ALL THINK THEY CAN GET 10 YEAR DEALS!!!”

    “Alex, I’m not quite certain I see the problem.”

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      Then Anthopoulos acquires Bastardo for a bag of balls.

  19. I’m quite relieved.

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      you were worried?

    • cyberboo 4 years ago

      Knowing the way Alex works, he would just grab Aumont and De Fratus from the Phillies for Thames and Encarnacion.  The Jays would then have the same 1 – 2 punch in the eighth and ninth that many Phillie fans hoped to see in 2012, only on the Phillies team.  lol.  Aumont is from Montreal which is an added bonus.  I would love to see an all-Canadian team beat up on their US counterparts.  lol.   

      League, anyone that says he should actually be traded back to the Jays for more than a rookie ball player is delusional.  Toronto watched too many years of Brandon League and for fans in Toronto, Brian Tallet was a better pitcher and everyone knows what a disaster he was.  League pitches to contact and unfortunately, in Toronto, too many of the contact pitches sailed over the left-field wall, or were moon-shots to center field.  Safeco park isn’t the Rogers center, where pitchers can get away with mistakes.  In Toronto, New York, Boston, the normal outs in Seattle are 3-run homers in those cities.

      • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

        “I would love to see an all-Canadian team beat up on their US counterparts.”

        No one cares.

        “Toronto watched too many years of Brandon League and for fans in
        Toronto, Brian Tallet was a better pitcher and everyone knows what a
        disaster he was.”

        Are you being purposefully ignorant? I just can’t tell.

  20. johnnycomelately9 4 years ago

    Pap set the high bar.  Every deal from here on it will be smaller and smaller so it’s a lot of posturing by a good but overrated GM. 

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      “Every deal from here on it will be smaller and smaller”


      “so it’s a lot of posturing by a good but overrated GM”


  21. johnnycomelately9 4 years ago

    If the Jays want to be cheap with money they can trade prospect but that price isn’t going to be cheap either.

  22. azdsnd 4 years ago

    I just (like, literally yesterday) did research along the lines of AA’s following the Papelbon signing.  These guys break down most often between the ages of 31-33, and the only real shining examples in the last 20 years of hard-throwing closers showing any real longevity are Dennis Eckersley and Billy Wagner.  Not sure I’d give someone in this market four years because I’m banking on them being the next Billy Wagner….

    Oh, and to address the “ZOMGZ MARIANO RIVERA” cries, the dude isn’t really a hard thrower.  He gets by with his disgustingly good movement.  Like, really, it’s just silly.

    • inkstainedscribe 4 years ago

      And Eckersley wasn’t a particularly hard thrower his final three or four years. His control was unreal and that slider/changeup/whatever it was could be unhittable. So yeah, Wagner’s the only truly hard throwing closer with any longevity.

  23. Cmckeel24 4 years ago

    I wouldnt mind Hanrahan from the Pirates. Few years left of control. Not gonna be a 18 million price tag like marmol. Throw two B prospects to the pirates and closer situation fixed.

  24. Any guesses on what it would take the Jays to get Phillips from the Reds?

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

      why would they want to?

      • Matt Moore 4 years ago

        Because he is one of the best 2b in the major leagues?

        • Frank Drebin 4 years ago

          Exactly. That’s why he won’t be traded. Duh.

  25. coolstorybro222 4 years ago

    I don’t get it. they don’t have any in house options?

  26. Bob9988 4 years ago

    What about RP League/ RP Dan Cortez / 2B Kyle Seager for 3B Brett Lawrie?

    • FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago


    • Matt Moore 4 years ago

      Wtf?? Are you serious????

    • Frank Drebin 4 years ago

      Not a chance Bob. Lawrie, if you didn’t know, is the best player in the league, and should be in the Hall Of Fame already.

      • johnsmith4 4 years ago

        ya…fans are thinking Lawrie is good only because the start of his career is comparable to the stats of Hall of Fame third basemen at the start of their career.  Stupid Blue Jays fans. 

    • Did u seriously just offer up Lawrie?  Brutal.  and for what…not much

    • Lucas Kschischang 4 years ago

       If we could get League, Cortez and Seager… That’d be incredible.

      Definitely not giving up Lawrie though…

  27. towney007 4 years ago

    Is there a shift in baseball that everyone’s kind of sitting on right now? Like the new thing is to go hard after bullpen arms?

    -You saw the RP market go practically stagnant at the 2010 deadline because the price for guys like Scott Downs was just stupid. 

    -You saw 3-year deals getting carted out for guys like Joaquim Benoit a year ago… Scott Downs, Jesse Crain, guys like that… all got decent-sized deals

    -Trade deadline this year the Rangers and Cardinals go berzerk trading for relief arms

    -This offseason we’re seeing the first two closer contracts offered be ludicrously high..

    Not that  those things enough on their own are indicative of a trend, but are front offices re-thinking relievers all of a sudden?

    • I’d be disappointed if they were, I understand the value the reliever provides but that effectively eliminates my favorite part of baseball, the starting pitcher who finishes what he started.

  28. BLEACHER_CREATURD 4 years ago


  29. BLEACHER_CREATURD 4 years ago


  30. tiduss 4 years ago

    You gotta pay to play.

    • that’s the philosophy which has taken the rays to the playoffs 3 of the last 4 years! (!)

      • Frank Drebin 4 years ago

        So that automatically means they Jays can do it.

  31. the player the Jays should trade is Travis Snider. if you have an OF of Bautista/Rasmus and Thames/Davis in LF with Encarnacion at DH, there’s no room for Snider.  Snider has shown he can hit in the minors, but 3 years now hasn’t done much in the majors.

    Ramus obviously didn’t do well with the Jays last season, but he is still capable of repeating/improving on what he did in 2010.

    • U know between all the juggling around of snider the jays have done he actually has only played one seasons worth of years even if they were spread out so don’t give up sooo easily

    • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

      trading snider now would be dumping him when his value is low.

      • Howard 4 years ago

         His value is just going to get lower…..

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          based on what?

          you’re the same guy who flipped when we put Villanueva in the 2012 bullpen, your opinion is fluff

          • Howard 4 years ago

             My opinion is my opinion, much like yours is too. He will get lower because he’s going to start in AAA. Thames is going to make left field and has proven his bat is more consistent. Snider keeps having to make adjustments and I don’t see how he can improve unless he stays in the minors longer…

    • Howard 4 years ago

       I agree. I think we deal Snider while he is worth something.

  32. Isn’t Kyle Drabek ready?


    • Frank Drebin 4 years ago

      Ready, just overrated as hell.

    • You wouldn’t put Alvarez back in the starting rotation? if not, why not?

      • Howard 4 years ago

         I would…. Romero-Morrow-Villaneuva-Alvarez-Drabek/McGowan/Cecil/or a new starter

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          lol villanueva is not going to start did you just skip all the stats list on the previous page that disprove this opinion completely?

          • Howard 4 years ago

             You don’t know that he won’t be, your not manager. How can you say no to an idea that worked before he hit the DL and an idea that is still possible (maybe not in your eyes but the actual organization it might be if needed).

  33. tomymogo 4 years ago

    After the Red Sox sign their closer, I would expect the price to drop. Heath Bell would be a good fit for the Jays IMO

    • Not if it takes a pick to sign him AND he wants three to four years.

    • Howard 4 years ago

       For the Jays yes, but for Bell – no. He’s already expressed accepting arb. from San Diego because he wants to stay with a team on the West coast.

  34. smokinjays 4 years ago

    The comment board beneath that Sun article makes me appreciate MLBTR all the more.

  35. scottmaure 4 years ago

    Love the talk of Phillps. Really good glove, really good bat, and a real character guy.  Someone to help keep locker room loose and and some quotes to the media.  Would really help bring some attention to the Jays in and around TO. 

    • Frank Drebin 4 years ago

      There is no “talk” of Phillips. It was an off the wall suggestion by a Jays writer/homer.

    • Howard 4 years ago

       Jays won’t acquire Phillips. His contract is too much.

      • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

         what?  do some research before you post please

        • Howard 4 years ago

           His option is worth more than 10m a year, and Reds will want too many prospects. You do your research… I’m from Toronto I know what I’m talking about lol

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            its a 1 year option though 

  36. Funny, AA is shocked and RA offers 2 closers 4+ year deals in the matter of days.

    How does RA have a ring?

    • Rabbitov 4 years ago

      Don’t know which way your comment is going, but AA keeps making himself look smarter.  That Papelbon deal is gonna bite the Phillies.  

  37. Eduardo Medina 4 years ago

    50 MM for Papelbon, that´s what I call “shocked”

  38. Can McGowan be considered a lock for the rotation then?

  39. oppotaco2 4 years ago


  40. oppotaco2 4 years ago

    Thoughts on Cespedes.. would it makes sense for the jays?

  41. Alex, Just hurry up and sign Madson for 4 years and $40M.  Its only adding $10M/yr onto our payroll and we will still be under $100M payroll.  Its gotta happen, so just let it happen.

  42. okbluejays 4 years ago

    I’m glad the Jays aren’t willing to spend big money and long term on relief pitching, as for the most part it makes 0 sense. A guy like Nathan could be interesting, depending on the price. Bailey is another guy that has been brought up in trade talks, another guy i’d be happy with, depending on what Toronto was giving up. The Brandon Phillips talk interests me more, as I think he’d be a great fit in Toronto…but he’d probably cost a kings ransom, coming off his best year ever.

  43. dorsett10 4 years ago

    Am I the only one that laughs when i read grown men on the internet complaining about people who type in CAPS instead of what the person wrote? Who cares if a person writes in caps it still reads the same.

  44. revpauld 4 years ago

    So the Blue Jays are satisfied with Colby Rasmus in CF, and consider him a good defender? Have they actually seen him play yet? And yes, I know he finished the season there, but it’s still a valid question, seeing as he hit less than .200 for them after the trade, and the Cardinals considered Jon Jay an upgrade in CF.

  45. Jacob Phillips 4 years ago

    Brandon Phillips is available? News to me. 

  46. This is why the Jays will never compete, they don’t want to spend. They need a closer. Either give up some prospects or open your wallet cause that’s the only way the Jays are going to get someone who can close games.

    The years the Jays won the world series, they had the highest payroll in baseball. I don’t need them to be #1 again, but Rogers can afford to be in the top 10, and we’re not even close. Stop being such cheapies and SPEND ALREADY!!!!

  47. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    you’re actually really starting to grow on me. 

  48. grownice 4 years ago

    Broxton or Nathan wouldn’t hurt either.

  49. Tko11 4 years ago

    Bleacher Creature = Samuel L. Jackson?

  50. wickedkevin 4 years ago


    I also agree with Lunchbox. If you’d stop with the caps then we would actually embrace you here since you stopped with your only red sox bashing.

  51. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    no, I like the caps. keep it.

  52. Matt Moore 4 years ago

    Why the hell do you care if he uses caps? I dont get it…

  53. It’s his trademark. If BleacherCreacher ever posts using anything but caps, we’ll all know its a fraud.

  54. I still hear it as yelling when I read it.  But I’m used to it and I love it.

  55. FunkyTime 4 years ago

    Bleacher Creature = Gordon Cole from Twin Peaks

  56. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago

    Broxton and Nathan and “wouldn’t hurt” :)

    edit: cmon, you guys don’t see the irony in that?

  57. TartanElk 4 years ago

    I have to agree. They do seem knowledgable.

  58. TartanElk 4 years ago

    That’s why I love it. How can you not laugh out loud at “TAKE A CHANCE WITH JANSSEN?” I mean, it’s not funny on it’s own at all, but man does it crack me up.

  59. Joel 4 years ago

    In all likelihood it is yelling

  60. Dodgersarelife 4 years ago

    I think bleacher creature should be an honary writter on MLBTR!

  61. grownice 4 years ago

     I totally meant to do that…

  62. grownice 4 years ago

     It’s true , i’ve read it four times now, laughed just as hard each time.

  63. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

     he should just quit baseball. who does he think he is to suck for 100 PA’s?

  64. Dodgersarelife 4 years ago

    I’ve been reading since 2008, just cause I have 50 comments you think you have the right to be able to treat me as an inferior being. Haha

  65. Jeff 4 years ago

    Vizcaino could fill Venters role quite well, or be a top-flight starter.

    Delgado’s going to be a good starter.

    You can always move a starter to the BP. 

  66. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    When there is another way to judge how long someone has been reading, let me know.

  67. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    It’s all in the 😉 face.

  68. Dodgersarelife 4 years ago

    Don’t judge bro don’t belittle. that’s the better way

  69. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    It would have just been better if you said “judge me by my number of comments, do you?”

  70. Dodgersarelife 4 years ago

    Last response, the point is if I saw a commenter who had 50 or so comments I wouldnt go out of the way to point it out. The point is sometimes it is better to keep your judgememts to yourselves. Im done, you and me have spent too much time arguing this point.

  71. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    All caps articles , freekin a double e awesome 

  72. Dodgersarelife 4 years ago

    I’d love to see an MLBTR article in all caps.

  73. vonhayesdays 4 years ago

    Heck yeah


  74. slider32 4 years ago

    It’s called scouting!

  75. Bleed_Orange 4 years ago

    Ok that one made me laugh.  “ENGLISH MOTHER ****** DO YOU SPEAK IT.”

  76. wickedkevin 4 years ago

    I don’t remember arguing.

  77. Coollet 4 years ago

    Found JP Riccardi!! He’s been here on MLBrumours this whole time, under the name angry3

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