Morosi On Blue Jays, First Base, Starters, Cespedes

The baseball world figures to remain relatively quietly until after the New Year, but as Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports writes, there is still a lot of work to be done before the season begins. Let's round up Morosi's rumors…

  • The Blue Jays are saying they will not give a hitter a contract of more than five guaranteed years, though they'll likely have to violate that policy if they want to sign Prince Fielder.
  • The Brewers, Cubs, Nationals, Indians, Mariners, Orioles, Rangers, Rays, and Pirates are all considering non-Fielder upgrades at first base. Carlos Pena, Casey Kotchman, and Derrek Lee remain unsigned, among others.
  • Some within the game believe that Joakim Soria and Carlos Marmol could be had at the right price. The Cubbies are said to be planning a "complete and total rebuild."
  • Both Kyle Lohse and Jake Westbrook remain available, and the Rangers may be willing to trade Matt Harrison for a more established starter.
  • Most believe Yoenis Cespedes will sign for more than the $30.25MM Aroldis Chapman received because as a position player, he carried less risk. A larger number of interested teams and the new collective bargaining agreement will also help his cause.

111 Responses to Morosi On Blue Jays, First Base, Starters, Cespedes Leave a Reply

  1. Pawapuro 4 years ago

    Harrison for Westbrook? Very nice!

    • Rangersfan32 4 years ago

      Yeah I highly doubt Texas would EVER make Harrison available for freakin Westbrook. No thanks. I’ll take the guy who’s younger who also had the MUCH better season last year. And whoever reported that rumor should really check their sources cause nobody, other than maybe Atlanta, values their young pitchers more than Texas.

      • bighiggy 4 years ago

        but what if the cards threw in a future second baseman in zach cox, ate 4 mil of westbrooks contract and added maybe adron chambers, then could harrison be had?

        • KeithLawSucksInStl 4 years ago

          Um, no.

          • bighiggy 4 years ago

            why not, you think bad deal for them or us?

        • Buford14 4 years ago

          Cox is a 3rd Baseman

          • bighiggy 4 years ago

            actually the scouts say cox will not play third cause he doesnt have the arm or range, they say he is probably destined for second base!

  2. J-P Morosi shouldn’t be allowed to write about the Blue Jays.

    • cyberboo 4 years ago

      I agree.  Teams offer Prince what they feel he is worth.  He has the option of taking it or sitting at home in 2011.  Teams didn’t cave into Barry Bonds and they won’t cave into anyone else.  Fielder is unreasonable with his demands and teams don’t want another Barry Zito, Carl Crawford situation, where an albatross contract cripples their team for years.  Those contracts didn’t exist a mere twenty years ago, but fans wouldn’t know that, because they grew up during the reckless, insanity years of Hicks and Steinbrenner.  Those two destroyed the whole salary structure of a league where 3 year contracts were excessive. 

      Fans don’t care about risk factors due to aging, because they don’t care.  It isn’t money out of their own pockets and someone else is forced to pay. Just look at the Giants now.  They are looking at losing either Cain or Lincecum, players that actually perform, because Zito hasn’t done anything in years, yet he is still owed 48M in the next two years. Thank Zito and his long term deal for taking championships from the fans, because they couldn’t address their offense due to it with someone that actually hits.  Toronto fans still remember the Wells, Rios fiasco and that is why they refuse to repeat their mistakes.

      • Guest 4 years ago

        and don’t forget Angelos in the albert belle years

  3. If the Rangers trade Harrison they would not trade him for a worse pitcher.

  4. Rabbitov 4 years ago

    Orioles, always looking for a bargain.  Typical. 

  5. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    I know everybody is all worried about Prince breaking down because of his weight but I don’t buy that. Seriously. The guy is still very young and a seven year deal would not even be that risky of an investment given his track record, especially if he signs in the AL and DH’s in the later parts. If the Jays don’t go above five they are crazy and will undoubtedly lose out. Because the market for Prince isn’t amazing but its still gonna get him over five years I guarantee.

    • Mattsui 4 years ago

      Albert Belle spent his whole career in the AL and look how early his career ended. Then again, look at Frank Thomas’ longevity. But, I also remember the Mets’ horrid Mo Vaughn experience. It’s really anyone’s guess when it comes to the big black dudes in the game.

      • Leonard Washington 4 years ago

        Thats all fine and good but that doesn’t scream anymore risk than your typical high priced free agent. Any player could just stink spontaneously like Andruw Jones or any other player so while there is clear risk I dont see it as anymore than any other than other elite hitters risk.

  6. Harrison for Westbrook and Lohse = amazing!!!

  7. Ferrariman 4 years ago

    please baby Jesus let Westbrook get traded.

  8. FreshMintt 4 years ago

    Ha Lohse and Westbrook will remain available because nobody is dumb enough to trade for them, although Lohse actually had a decent year last year.

    • Westbrook is a nice number five. If he can stay healthy, he can eat innings. That’s all a number five is really for anyway. Lohse could be a great pickup for a few teams. He’s a very underrated pitcher.

      • nictonjr 4 years ago

        Lohse is pitching for his next contract.  He’s been average to horrible everywhere but StL.  He’s not waiving his NTC.  

  9. jephdood 4 years ago

    Why would the M’s be looking for lower-level guys at first base when they have Smoak and Carp already?

    • DickHarden 4 years ago

      It’s a ruse to get Fielder to sign.

      M’s FO: “You don’t like our offer? Fine, we’ll go after Kotchman. He hit for a better average than you last year, he can actually play 1B, AND he doesn’t want a ten-year contract.”

      It won’t work. Fielder will be a Ranger in two weeks.

      • Shikikazu 4 years ago

        The Rangers/Blue Jays/Orioles etc can have Fielder well see how he does in 4 or so years after giving him a fat contract.

        The Mariners should just focus on drafting/developing offensive prospects or trade for one rather than signing Fielder and crippling the team.

        • nictonjr 4 years ago

          The Mariners refuse to trade Felix.  I’d guess Pineda is their next best chip.  I

        • Paul_Zuvella 4 years ago

          Prince will be hitting bombs well into his 30s…the guy is 27 for god’s sake and is a premium hitter. He’s worth a 6/7 yr commitment and any team that gets him will not be poorer for it (aside from money of course). The Mariners would be smart to go after him hard…but I doubt that they have the resources to do so.

          • vilifyingforce 4 years ago

            Worth 6/7 sure. He wants 10 though.

  10. Bob George 4 years ago

    MLBTR needs to stop referring to the Cubs as the “Cubbies.” That’s not the team’s name, and it makes no sense as a nickname either because it’s longer than “Cubs.” Nobody refers to the Pirates as the Buccaneers, their nickname is the Bucs. The Mariners are the M’s, etc.

    • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

      I can feel your passion about this issue. How long has it been bothering you? If more than 5 seconds then you probably wasted too much time.

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies Cubbies

    • KeithLawSucksInStl 4 years ago

      If you’re asking for the MLB to take the Cubs seriously, take a look at the last 100+ years.

  11. Bruce Thoele 4 years ago

    i say trade lohse for harrison and resign e-jax and try to keep westbrook because he is a good person for the club house he is definitely a great teammate

    • mickblue66 4 years ago

      Yes trade one bad contract on it’s last year for a brand new bad contract for Jackson???????? Jackson isn’t even an upgrade over Loshe and both are extremely streaky so it’s not like Jackson is even more consistent, that deal would make zero sense if that’s what they planned to do with the money.

      And why do people think players are worth millions just to be a “good teammate”. I’m a great teammate, pay me 9.5mil this year like Westbrook and I’ll be the happiest guy in the clubhouse

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Wow…really? Compare Lohse over the last 3 years vs EJax and I think you’ll see different. Not saying the Cards SHOULD sign him but the numbers say he’s better than Lohse.

        • Bruce Thoele 4 years ago

          thank you

        • mickblue66 3 years ago

          Well actually when Loshe has been healthy his numbers are better than Ejax and just like Loshe, Ejax is incredibly inconsistent. 

      • Bruce Thoele 4 years ago

        first of all get your facts straight he is getting paid 6 mil this year not 8.5 and second of all you act like having good teammates are unimportant well let me tell you one thing without good teammates who are you gonna have to step up and be a leader

        • mickblue66 3 years ago

          Seriously???? Look if you’re going to call someone out at least be right so you don’t look like even more of a fool. Where in the world did you come up with 6mil??????? He is getting 8.5mil plus a 1mil buyout….which totals…..drum roll…..9.5mil NOT 6

    • Rangersfan32 4 years ago

      Good luck getting Harrison for Westbrook. Harrison is way younger and better. I wouldn’t take 5 Westbrooks for Harrison right now

  12. YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

    I wonder why the Jays have a policy against giving hitters a 5 year contract? I completely understand that policy towards pitchers. I completely understand that policy towards a free agent of a certain age. By why that policy towards a hitter? 

    • johnsmith4 4 years ago

      They are willing to give five years.  But, it is their “practice” to not go beyond five years unless they are team options.  It is a practice put in place by AA.  Why?  The last two contracts longer than five years were Vernon Wells and Alex Rios.  In short, AA considers contracts longer than five years to be too risky.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Sorry, I worded it incorrectly. I mean why are they against giving up a contract greater than 5 years to a hitter.

      • YanksFanSince78 4 years ago

        Giving up a 6 year contact to a hitter isn’t the risky part. Giving to the likes of Wells and Rios is the problem. Wells was an inconsistent hitter with 2/5 years with an OBP above .330. Rios was an extension gone bad, which happens, but at no time did Rios establish himself as a hitter worthy of a multu-year contract that would pay him $12 mil per for 4 seasons. 

        Saying that 5 year contracts are a bad idea means nothing if you don’t consider WHO was giving out those deals (JP) and WHO he gave them too.

        That’s like Cashman saying he won’t sign Felix Hernandez (if he were a FA) to a contract greater than 4 years because the 5 year deal he gave to AJ Burnett didn’t work out right.

        • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

          This was an old policy, left over from the glory days..

          unfortunately.. times and baseball have changed. You arent going to get a top name free agent position player for less than 5 years, unless they are past their prime .

          The very idea that, the jays are willing to spend only when the fans come back is moronic in itself.. put a better product on the field, fans will come back.

          • vilifyingforce 4 years ago

            I think the Jays will spend when AA thinks the time is right to spend. Still way too many question marks to start gunning for top-tier guys (as much as I would like to see Darvish/Fielder on the Jays).

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            oh you mean like how he was gunning for Beltran??

            He wants to compete, he knows the team is close, he just doesn’t have a budget to get it done..

            Probably because rogers will end up selling the jays. The cheaper the payroll is the more attractive it will be to bidders.

          • vilifyingforce 4 years ago

            How do you know he was gunning for Beltran? It’s all rumours. If you have concrete evidence that AA offered money to Beltran I’d like to see it. I’ve never seen a GM operate under such a complete iron curtain, there is zero information that gets out.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            just because a team doesn’t leak anything doesn’t mean things dont get out..

            agents are usually the ones doing the leaking anyways.. There was plenty of reports that the Jays were in on Beltran. And judging how he just signed a 2 year deal, I doubt it was his agent trying to raise his stock.

            There is no logicial reason not to sign fielder. The only reason is money and cheapness.

          • vilifyingforce 4 years ago

            Signing Prince Fielder to a ten year is not logical.

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

            prince isn’t getting 10 years

            he will probably end up getting 7..

            So what are you going to say then?

          • vilifyingforce 4 years ago

            Pending the dollars isn’t insane I’ll say we missed out on an excellent player, but, I’ll keep my faith in AA for now. You’re still speculating though; were you expecting Pujols to get ten years?

          • Lunchbox45 4 years ago

             yes I was. but Pujols is a 2 way player, fielder is a 1 way player

        • johnsmith4 4 years ago

          In my opinion, AA will have an exception to the rule or prove it to simply be a guideline when they encounter the right player and the team is in the right situation.

          Agree with your qualifications to your statements. Hopefully I didn’t put any words in your mouth.

          I think Jays will be in the right situation when they catch up to Rays. It
          might happen this season. Red Sox will be in an interesting situation when they make contract extension decisions for Youklis and Ellsbury if the team is near its budget limit. Both players have two years remaining on their contract.

        • NexttoIgnore 4 years ago

          Both JP Richardi then Kenny Williams felt the value was right on Rios. He looks like a great baseball talent with irritating inconsistency. Not the contract nor the consistency to build a World Series run on. Hit ‘Next!’ and replace with Jose Bautista and move onto the next position Repeat with Rasmus over VW. Repeat at 3rd with Lawrie. Looking back at the past 3 years you wouldn’t have thought AA actually worked for JP. 

        • Runtime 4 years ago

          Ah Rios. That man was done in this town once he refused to sign an autograph for a young boy.

    • jedicouncil 4 years ago

      ever heard of vernon wells

      • melonis_rex 4 years ago

        Vernon Wells was a decent deal for the Jays. Look at how heavily backloaded that contract was. In hindsight, the Jays got a pretty good deal and Wells in his prime. The Angels get to pay him $20MM+ a season now, which is hilarious.

        Of course, Tony Reagins is not a GM anymore, so that strategy is moot.

  13. Andrew Rock 4 years ago

    Just take Westbrook’s contract, give us a 30 year old Low A pitcher, I don’t care. Oswalt is out there and could more than replicate Westbrook’s numbers for similar money.

  14. hallwagner 4 years ago

    i will lmao if fielder isn’t signed by opening day

  15. gwells 4 years ago

    sorry, there’s no reason the nats would be looking at *any* non-fielder 1Bs. none of those guys listed are anywhere near as good as morse would be, and none as good as laroche if he is healthy. i don’t see any reason they would consider signing any 1B that wasn’t fielder. that must makes no sense at all.

    • AaronSomers 4 years ago

      Agreed. Plus, once LaRoche leaves at the end of the 2012 season, first base can be filled with Morse and Chris Marrero – who will presumably be healthy by then. The organization isn’t in need of a long term solution right now, considering the in-house options.

    • HalfSt 4 years ago

      I agree as well. LaRoche is as good as the other choices, as long as he is healthy. Marrero, unfortunately, is not. If the Nats don’t get Fielder (and I hope they do), then I hope they go hard at Cespedes. Morse can take first the year after if Cespedes pans out.


  16. Brewcrew00 4 years ago

    Randy Wolf for Harrison

    • Snoochies8 4 years ago

      …at least it’s a better proposal than a bunch of jays prospects for tulowitzki, but harrison has more value at the moment than randy wolf

  17. bobbybaseball 4 years ago

    Of course Marmol is available and it has nothing to do with rebuilding. He was awful in 2011 and there is no way I would put him at closer next year. But his salary will now start to get expensive.

  18. Mattsui 4 years ago

    Why would the Nationals (LaRoche, Morse) or Mariners (Smoak, Carp) be interested in “non-Fielder options” at first base? Especially when those options only include the likes of Pena, Lee and Kotchman. I can’t imagine that they’d really be in the running, it seems overwhelmingly pointless. I would love to see Pena end up back with the Rangers, who drafted him, or the Pirates, to continue his NL escapade.

  19. BirdmanRob 4 years ago

    Pena on the Orioles would be nice

  20. Wrek305 4 years ago

    D Lee should just retire he had one good year the last 10 yrs. He’s done. He was the main reason for the Pirates downfall the day they got him they lost 10 straight games plus he was a downgrade to Lyle Overbay too.

    • BlueCatuli 4 years ago

      Where do you come up with this stuff?

      • Wrek305 4 years ago

        Well let’s see, see the simple fact that the Pirates lost 10 straight games from the day they got him.

  21. cyberboo 4 years ago

    Long term contracts were invented by Hicks who bankrupted the Rangers and Steinbrenner who loves overpaying dramatically for players that never live up to the contract later on.  That invented the term Bad contract, but fans under thirty wouldn’t know that, because they have only seen the game of today, where insanity rules.  There isn’t a player alive worth 10M a season, but teenagers think 25M is a bargain.

    • grownice 4 years ago

        I didn’t realize being 25  makes me completely brain dead. I don’t think anyone in the world thinks 25 Million is a bargain , that’s just what a dumb team will likely pay. Difference.

  22. Patrick the Pragmatist 4 years ago

    Teams should look at other options, especially any ones that do not have Scott Boras as agent.  So they can  force Boras and Fielder down to a more practical level.

  23. bagsmd 4 years ago

    The Nationals are not looking for any kind of upgrade at first base (non-Fielder or otherwise), unless GM Mike Rizzo is lying.  He said in a conference call with the media on Friday that Adam LaRoche was his first baseman entering 2012.

  24. Tajiks 4 years ago

    The troll is hungry today!

  25. Leonard Washington 4 years ago

    I liked this only because for once another team in the AL East is getting crap on this forum. I don’t fully agree though AA appears to have a strong hold on what he is doing and it shows. The Jays are a couple of pieces away from making their presence felt.

  26. RYC09 4 years ago

    Obviously they would care. More wins equals more profits. It’s as simple as that. Your argument makes no sense.

  27. Haters gonna hate.

  28. Haters gonna hate.

  29. Paul_Zuvella 4 years ago

    I can be as pessimistic as anyone on the motives of Rogers, but the Jays themselves are not mediocre. The team that AA has assembled is getting stronger and has both a solid core and a quality farm system moving players closer to the major league roster. Rogers has mega buck resources, but has not invested much in this team during the AA years. Aside from the need to add some quality free agent talent, they’ll continue to build from youth. Prince would be an awesome addition, but the Jays are NOT in the mix at all. 

    As for the fans, they’re just hungry for the team to be a legit contender….so go “f” yourself if you think otherwise. The fans realize that the team is no longer carrying albatross contracts, they see discount talent on board in Lawrie, Arencibia, Rasmus, Escobar, Morrow et. al and want to see that money reinvested. Find me another group of fans that wouldn’t want the same.


  30. blurnandez 4 years ago

    The only thing I agree with you about is the Jays having a dumb fanbase overall. But…it’s due to fans of your ilk.

  31. grownice 4 years ago

    Recycle. Rinse. Repeat.

  32. Tajiks 4 years ago

    I don’t want him to die. 

  33. Ya that is true, but what would the Rangers be willing to give up?

  34. Ferrariman 4 years ago

    i don’t care, they can just take him for a PTBNL who amounts to nothing.  Just move the salary.

  35. chaifetz10 4 years ago

    You couldn’t even come up with a logical player to target for a fantasy style trade?  Interesting.  

  36. jedicouncil 4 years ago

    dont listen to him AA, sign fielder

  37. Maybe the Rox, but not the Jays.

  38. Snoochies8 4 years ago

    considering the rockies just gave a contract extension to tulowitzki, keeping him under contract until 2020….no, no it would not…not even close….not even laughably close

  39. Ferrariman 4 years ago

    no, probably not.  

  40. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    wow, just wow.

  41. jedicouncil 4 years ago

    it would be enticing to the rockies, but the jays would laugh in your face, get real buddy

  42. FrankTheFunkasaurusRex 4 years ago


  43. Snoochies8 4 years ago

    tulowitzki’s under contract until 2020, no offer the jays can make right now would be enticing to the rockies, especially considering how good tulowitzki is and that he’s in his prime. maybe wait 5 or 6 years then start thinking about the offers that the rockies can reject

  44. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    I’m predicting the nats..

    they’ve already shown their fondness of bonehead moves, a 9 year deal seems the next logical step.

  45. Snoochies8 4 years ago

    couldn’t have said it better myself

  46. sonofsnake 4 years ago

    You couldn’t even start with Marcum and work your way up? 
    Maybe if Zduriencik BEGS Jon Daniels he’ll allow the Mariners to take Harrison for Felix straight up.

  47. dashatt 4 years ago

    Dont sweat it. They are just holding out to see if Fielder drops in there lap and have no other use for other first basemen. They are not looking at Fielder for his glove or base stealing ability. They would just like his power bat anywhere they can get it.

  48. sam_lammert 4 years ago

    you forgot your picture

  49. knowidyuh 4 years ago

    Also, Haters gonna hate.

  50. HalfSt 4 years ago

    Other than Jayson Werth’s contract, which you are judging based on a single year of 7, which moves are you thinking about? Are you calling the Gio Gonzalez trade a failure already?


  51. Lunchbox45 4 years ago

    not a failure, a bonehead move.

  52. Coollet 4 years ago

    Could have won multiple (still can, but not as easily)

  53. cyberboo 4 years ago

    The point I was making is the Giants have their championship from 2010, but they lost it in 2011, plus who knows when they will return, since Zito is eating the 20M they could have used to sign a player that adds offense.  Without cash on hand, areas get neglected, leading to failure each season.  It also means that valuable pieces can’t be resigned, leading to trades for even more prospects that could or couldn’t work out.  That is the handicap of long-term contracts.  You hope players live up to them, but history proves that they turn ugly really quickly. 

  54. Coollet 4 years ago

    True, but you should kept feeding him, even trolls should eat on Christmas.

  55. Runtime 4 years ago

    Lawrie and Morrow are going to demand huge contracts in a few years…

  56. Let’s just agree that this Tulowitzki to Jays thing will never, ever happen.

  57. dashatt 4 years ago

    I believe the trading of Smoak is media driven. He is not worth anough to trade and any ideas of shedding the good young bats the Mariners do have would make signing Fielder a waste time.

  58. Snoochies8 4 years ago

    no, it would not be enticing to the rockies at all. Tulo is one of the best, if not the best, shortstop, and he’s locked up through 2020. The only package that could entice the rockies right now is harper, strasburg, and anthony rendon, plus others, and that will never happen. rockies would hang up before the jays could finish the second name in that group

  59. cyberboo 4 years ago

    When Morrow, Arencibia, Lawrie, etc prove their value in major league baseball, unlike the Rays, the money is there to resign them to contracts.  That is the blessing of NOT having albatross contracts for many years hanging over your head. 

    The Jays are perhaps the only team that puts a value on a player and sticks to it, where other teams happily throw away twice that value on contracts and then wonder why the player didn’t live up to those standards. 

    Adam Dunn didn’t earn his salary.  Crawford didn’t earn 25M in 2011, neither did Werth.  Zito definitely isn’t worth 20M a season in San Francisco, yet GM’s throw money at players after one good year, expecting them to be superstars. Lackey handicapped the Red Sox. The Yankees are still trying to discard Burnett and his 16M a year with no takers, because he is valued at twice what he is worth.  You live by the sword, you die by the sword and many teams are now stuck with bad contracts as a result.

  60. Wrek305 4 years ago

    No the only time he had MVP votes was his one and only good year with Chicago and that year I think Pujols won with about 90% of the votes.

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