Blue Jays Notes: Bullpen, Romero, Johnson, Villanueva

MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm provides a look at the Blue Jays upcoming offseason and tackles a host of free agent issues in the process:

  • Of the team's four free agents — Kelly Johnson, Brandon Lyon, Jason Frasor and Carlos Villanueva — the most likely to return is Frasor or Lyon. The bullpen has become a position of depth, however, with the acquisitions of Steve Delabar and Brad Lincoln. Sergio Santos should return in 2013 as well. That could mean all four free agents will find new homes.
  • The team has no interest in shopping Ricky Romero and selling on the left-hander when his value is at an all-time low.
  • There doesn't appear to be much interest in retaining Johnson, according to Chisholm. The team once had eyes on bringing Marco Scutaro back to Toronto, but his torrid run with the Giants has likely made him too spendy. Instead, Adeiny Hechavarria or Mike Aviles could take the role.
  • The Blue Jays aren't willing to give Villanueva a multi-year deal and an opportunity to pitch out of the rotation — two things that the free agent is seeking. He'll likely pitch elsewhere in 2013.
  • Anibal Sanchez will probably get an "extended look," according to Chisholm, but it's more likely that GM Alex Anthopoulos will upgrade the rotation via trade.


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48 Comments on "Blue Jays Notes: Bullpen, Romero, Johnson, Villanueva"


2 years 10 months ago

How come with Romero its “The team has no interest in shopping […] and selling on the left-hander when his value is at an all-time low.” but when it comes to Escobar it’s “SELL NOWWWWWWWWWW!”? I swear if Escobar gets traded, its for a junk 5th spot pitcher this winter

2 years 10 months ago

how dare you bring logic in to a situation like this.

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

agreed.

I’m comfortable with Escobar returning in 2013. He’s got a good contract and plays the position well.

Howard
2 years 10 months ago

A guy who hits 50 rbi’s a year doesnt deserve 5 million a year…sorry to say.

Tim Sproule
2 years 10 months ago

Justin Verlander didn’t hit more than 50 RBI’s this year and made well more than 5 million. You can’t make an accurate judgement on just one stat.

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

lol

he was leading off most of the year. rbi is a meaningless stat

johnsmith4
2 years 10 months ago

Outside of Jose Bautista, Yunel Escobar is the only player on Toronto’s roster who has more than one 4+ fWAR season. He seems to alternate between above 4 fWAR and below 4 fWAR each season. So, he must be do for an above 4 fWAR season.

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

I’d bank on escobar having a good 2013. Im really not sure it will be in a jays uniform unfortunately.

johnsmith4
2 years 10 months ago

I have been wondering about his future as a Jay. Where do you see him going?

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

I’m not sure.. but I think they can plug in Hechavarria and move on.

lots of teams need SS upgrades, A’s, dodgers, tampa, red sox, etc

I could see him going to the mariners, maybe with rajai davis and a prospect for a young arm

johnsmith4
2 years 10 months ago

I think Mariners make the most sense in that they are the weakest at positional players out of all the trade candidate teams. Plus, they do want to compete now. This makes them a motivated buyer.

Myself, I can see AA using Escobar to swing a deal for Jason Vargas given this is his walkaway year. Plus, Vargas is due to get $7.4 mil in arb.

I am not sure about the market for Davis. He is a CFer and many teams need one. But, I wonder if anyone gives him serious thought.

LukeNalooshe
2 years 10 months ago

Escobar for Vargas is a gross overpayment. Seattle gets a talented player with 2 cheap club options at a prime position for a HR-happy, soft-tossing lefty in a walk year? No thank you.

johnsmith4
2 years 10 months ago

Fair enough. But, Jays do need starting pitchers and Escobar is a trade candidate. What do you see as AA’s options for getting starting pitchers?

gunitpants
2 years 10 months ago

Brendan Ryan is literally the best defensive SS in the game. Mariners won’t move him unless they are wowed. and Yunel is not wowing anyone these days

Tim Sproule
2 years 10 months ago

Love to have one of their big three to plug in. Escobar, Davis, McDade and Stilson for one of Hultzen, Walker or Paxton

2 years 10 months ago

Cardinals would be a good fit.

safari_punch
2 years 10 months ago

Cards wouldn’t want a player like him. They prefer professionals with ability.

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

I really hope they bring Lyon back. If Oliver doesn’t retire, we’d have a great bullpen

also if hech or aviles is the starting second baseman this year, huge fail

Brandonio Branderas
2 years 10 months ago

No way, Aviles can have a big year at Skydome. I love that we got him for Farrell. And yes, why wouldn’t they keep Lyon AND Frasor? Their bullpen will be solid next year.

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

You’re sorely mistaken about Aviles.

crashcameron
2 years 10 months ago

actually it turns out it was Aviles for Farrell, Tovullo AND Butterfield

ice_hawk10
2 years 10 months ago

doesnt seem to be much quality available at 2B where the price wouldnt be exorbitant. if aviles can manage to be roughly average at his position, which he was last year, i think the jays can get away with him as their starter. ideally, hechavarria continues to make progress and takes the starter job later in the season.

assuming substantial upgrades to the starting rotation (2 mid-rotation guys at least), a realistic opening day lineup that i’d be ok with looks like this:

C – Arencibia
1B – Encarnacion (probably some kind of rotation with Lind)
2B – Aviles
SS – Escobar
3B – Lawrie
RF – Bautista
CF – Rasmus (Davis giving days off vs tough lefties)
LF – dunno, someone substantial, maybe Pence?
DH – Lind/someone-who-can-hit-lefties-decently platoon (EE when not at 1B)

i feel pretty strongly that Escobar will bounce back and Lawrie will put together a good year, so i like the looks of the offense. will like it even better if D’Arnaud pushes out Arencibia at some point.

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

Aviles has had 2 straight seasons of sub .300 OBP and slugs under .400, I don’t see how that is in any way ‘average’ he’s a back up infielder at best.

and I would hate to have to watch pence he makes me nervous.

ice_hawk10
2 years 10 months ago

meant as an overall player obviously. UZR and DRS both like him on defense for his career and especially last season..

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

UZR and DRS really like johnny mac too, doesn’t mean he should be a starting secondbaseman

ice_hawk10
2 years 10 months ago

nice strawman

Karkat
2 years 10 months ago

Frasor would just end up back with the Blue Jays again anyway

The Data
2 years 10 months ago

Remember when Romero was an ace because of his 2011 ERA? Good times.

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

romero was never an ace.

and while his era in 2011 was low based on his more advanced stats, the advanced stats could not/did not predict his 2012.

The Data
2 years 10 months ago

Most jays fans around here would have and did say otherwise this time last year. 2012 was an aberration too, of course, but I don’t hear any of them claiming it’s his real talent level now.

Funny how that works. Like most other fans, the interpretation is: good aberration = “progress”; bad aberration = “fluke”.

Jaysfan724
2 years 10 months ago

Remember when people didn’t know what the term ace truly means and they for some reason associate with the #1 pitcher in the rotation…oh wait they still do.

johnsmith4
2 years 10 months ago

Yep, the very same people who want to trade Jays pitching prospects who have two plus pitches for guys with one plus pitch who flashed one “ace” season.

Guest
2 years 10 months ago

Nice job on basically copying what the Jays site already says…no real insight or predictions by this site?

Lunchbox45
2 years 10 months ago

that’s what they do here. its a collection of rumours and stories by other sources.

$1529282
2 years 10 months ago

If it’s not one of their original content pieces, it usually doesn’t offer a ton of personal insight. Would you prefer that the author make up rumors to appease your boredom?

bobbybaseball
2 years 10 months ago

“too spendy”?

Morley C
2 years 10 months ago

“Spendy” is to “expensive” what “asplode” is to “explode”. Come on man, get with the lingo.

bigpat
2 years 10 months ago

They totally botched the Villanueva situation. They better hope they bring in a quality starter or two or they will end up with a ton of egg on their face. He held his own in the AL East and would probably be a very good addition for a NL team.

Jaysfan724
2 years 10 months ago

You mean Villanueva botched the Villanueva situation…AA said he didn’t think Carlos is reliable enough to last a whole year as a starter and in back to back years, Carlos has had arm fatigue not even starting a whole year.

KB
2 years 10 months ago

CV is nothing more than a 4.5 ERA pitcher in both NL and AL. the only reason he would leave the jays is because the FA crop of SP is weak this year and he could potentially get a 5 year 45M deal on the market.

$1529282
2 years 10 months ago

You think some team is going to give Carlos Villanueva five years and $45M?

…Seriously?

johnsmith4
2 years 10 months ago

CV made $2.28 mil in his final (third) year of arbitration. The rule of thumb for third year arbitration is to pay the player at 80% of his expected free agent value. Although, $2.28 mil was settled outside of arbitration, it is safe to say it was close (and probably over) to the expected ruling. Last year, this website projected CV to receive $1.9 mil from arbitration.

CV’s market value is probably around $2.5 mil to $3 mil per year. If he gets anything more than one year term, it probably will involve generous team options.

safari_punch
2 years 10 months ago

Ahh…the ridiculousness that is Alex Anthopolous.

Carlos V was the best starter the Jays had for the majority of the year. Yes, he faded down the stretch, but this was also a pitcher who has been treated like a yo-yo; going back and forth between starting and pitching. If he were given an opportunity to know what his role is going to be going into the season (which changed each of the last two years), perhaps he’d be more effective. A pitch to more effectively deal with lefties also couldn’t hurt.

Never understood why AA went out of his way to put Carlos V down with the media.

rdillon99
2 years 10 months ago

I’d like for the Jays to bring back CV in a long relief/swingman role, but to give him a multi-year deal and a guaranteed rotation spot would be a mistake. Having 2/5 of the Jays’ rotation being Happ and CV is not a recipe for success in the AL East, and the Jays already have Happ under contract. CV’s contract demands makes it an easy decision to let him go as a free agent.

safari_punch
2 years 10 months ago

What is the big demand? A rotation spot? Carlos V never should have lost his spot in the rotation at the end of 2011.

Morley C
2 years 10 months ago

He didn’t go out of his way to put anyone down, he stated factually that he had concerns about the guy’s durability, which is totally justified.

safari_punch
2 years 10 months ago

If you ever listened to the Sporsnet 590 throughout the baseball season this year and last, you’d know that Anthopolous put out his negative vibes about Carlos V a number of times.

Watch Carlos go somewhere else and find success like other Jays seem to be able to do. Big mistake to let him go when he really wouldn’t cost that much and the Jays have nothing better to offer in the mid to back end of the rotation.

Terry Powers
2 years 10 months ago

He wants to start and wants a multi year contract. In other words, it would cost a lot for a guy who would be nice to keep around in the pen. He’ll get the deal he wants, and I for one hope it isn’t from the Jays. If he is willing to come back to the Jays pen on a one year deal, I’d do it. but, no more thank you.

The Jays need to fill out the rotation using the trade market and maybe a select free agent. there is much better than Villanueva out there.