J.P. Arencibia Rumors

Blue Jays Notes: Anthopoulos, Arencibia, Rogers

Here are some news items looking ahead to what will surely be an eventful Blue Jays offseason…

  • The Jays are under great pressure to improve in 2014 but have relatively little payroll space or minor league trade options to work with, and Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi warns that "operating under such need can often lead to poor choices."  Davidi cites the Angels and Phillies as teams that have bloated payrolls and thin farm systems after making ill-advised moves to stay competitive, and he thinks there is potential for overspending on free agent pitchers who wouldn't necessarily represent the clear upgrade Toronto needs in their rotation.
  • Speaking of pitching, GM Alex Anthopoulos told media (including The Toronto Star) that the rotation is "the most glaring hole on this team and that’s the most glaring area we need to address."  What exact kinds of starters will be acquired, however, is still up in the air.  “Can it be done with five mid-rotation starters? Would we be better off with two front-of-the-rotation guys and three guys that are five-hole or four-hole guys? … I think it’s as much about guys who give you a chance to win games," Anthopoulos said.
  • Anthopoulos also defended J.P. Arencibia, yet didn't give any hints either way if Arencibia would be brought back in 2014, simply saying "we need to upgrade the production" from the catcher's spot.  Arencibia entered tonight's action hitting .194/.229/.365 with 21 homers in 490 PA and is on pace for one of the worst full-season OBP years in baseball history.
  • Esmil Rogers was acquired as a reliever but was pressed back into service as a starter this season and hopes to continue in the rotation in 2014, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm writes.  Rogers, 28, posted a 4.77 ERA, 2.18 K/BB and 6.3 K/9 over 44 games (20 of them starts) this season, and he is eligible for arbitration for the first time this winter.
  • Sportsnet.ca's Ben Nicholson-Smith examines the trade value for every member of the Blue Jays roster.

Blue Jays Notes: Reyes, Lawrie, Wang, Arencibia

Jose Reyes ran the bases yesterday and today practiced taking double-play relays. The big question posed to GM Alex Anthopoulos, when he met with reporters before the Blue Jays' three-game winning streak ended with a 6-4 loss to the Rangers, was the timing of Reyes' return. "Our medical staff had said about 10 days or so, maybe a little bit less, but he’s certainly getting close and it’s great to see," Anthopoulos said (as quoted by Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca). "Then it will be a question of how many at-bats is he going to need and how do his legs feel playing seven innings, nine innings, and so on. We’re definitely going to be anxious to have him back." Based on that timeline, Davidi speculates Reyes, on the disabled list since April 13 with a left ankle sprain, could begin his rehab June 19 and rejoin the Jays for the start of a four-game series in Boston June 27. In other Blue Jay notes:

  • The injury news isn't as encouraging for Brett Lawrie, who is now wearing a protective boot to speed the healing of his high left ankle sprain. "I don't really have a timeline [for his return], because it just takes time to heal," said Anthopoulos (as quoted by MLB.com's Evan Peaslee). "Again, he's going to have to get back to running and all those kind of things. It's not as severe as Reyes, but it seems like it's certainly healing very slowly right now."
  • Anthopoulos is taking a game-by-game approach with right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, who was signed Friday to a $500K contract, reports Davidi. "We hope he makes a lot of starts for us, but we don’t want to go in and promise x-number amount of starts," the GM said. "Hopefully, he does well and we catch lightning in a bottle with him. But he understands, his agent understands, that if things don’t work out, we have the right to turn the page."
  • Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star feels the offseason moves made by Anthopoulos will only be judged as a total failure if he starts a firesale at the Trade Deadline and continues in the off-season to quickly turn some of his off-season acquisitions into prospects because he would invariably receive less in return than what he surrendered.
  • Asked in a readers' mailbag about the possibility of trading slumping catcher J.P. Arencibia, Griffin writes this is one question the organization has to really think about moving forward, but there are no internal, minor-league options after trading away Travis d'Arnaud. If Arencibia (owner of a .220/.240/.436 line with 72 strikeouts and five walks in 225 plate appearances this year) were to be dealt, Griffin thinks it would only happen during the off-season when a quality replacement could be acquired.
  • Griffin still sees the Blue Jays as contenders in the AL East because, even though all five clubs could finish with winning records, it is unclear whether there is a 100-win team in the division and 90 wins could quite possibly be enough for the second Wild Card berth.

Quick Hits: Lohse, Volquez, Bourn, Phillies, Blue Jays

Padres starter Edinson Volquez is eligible for free agency after the 2013 season, but his preference is to sign an extension with San Diego, says Bill Center of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Before considering a new contract, the Padres want to see Volquez improve his control, Center notes. Volquez allowed 105 walks in 2012. Here are more notes from around baseball…

  • The Dodgers' surplus of starters is yet another factor working against Kyle Lohse as he tries to find a suitable deal this winter, rival officials tell Buster Olney of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd).  Teams looking for pitching can pick up the phone and call the Dodgers to ask about Chris Capuano or one of their other available starters.  Lohse is obviously a stronger option, but he's also more expensive and teams have less flexibility than they did earlier this winter.
  • Pitcher Kyle Davies agreed to a minor league deal with the Twins that does not include an invite to big league camp, tweets Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.  The 29-year-old owns a career 5.59 ERA with 6.4 K/9 and 4.3 BB/9 across seven big league seasons.
  • New Indians outfielder Michael Bourn says that the offseason market for his services took a turn for the worse after the Twins traded not one, but two center fielders in Denard Span and Ben Revere, CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports. The trades of Span and Revere took the Nationals and Phillies out of the market for a center fielder. "I was looking at that like, ‘Man, are you serious?' Those were two teams I pretty much thought would be fighting for me," Bourn says.
  • The Phillies discussed trading Domonic Brown to the Astros this offseason, Jon Heyman reports (on Twitter), but the Phils, still low on talent in the outfield, are reluctant to deal him. The former top prospect is current competing for time in left field with the Phillies.
  • Blue Jays manager John Gibbons hints that the club might turn to Josh Thole or Henry Blanco, rather than J.P. Arencibia, to catch R.A. Dickey, Richard Griffin of TheStar.com reports. The Jays will go with a personal catcher for Dickey, MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm notes. Arencibia wants to catch for Dickey, but Thole and Blanco both caught Dickey and his knuckleball when Dickey played for the Mets.


Blue Jays Notes: Oliver, Gose, Bench, Arencibia

The Blue Jays have been very busy this offseason swinging a 12-player trade with the Marlins, acquiring R.A. Dickey from the Mets, and signing Melky Cabrera and Maicer IzturisMLB.com's Gregor Chisholm touched on what these moves mean for the franchise and the other roster decisions that still need to be addressed when he recently opened his inbox.

  • This offseason will determine the legacy of GM Alex Anthopoulos, not based on the timeline of winning but on the amount of money spent. Chisholm writes it's a similar investment to the one former GM J.P. Ricciardi made in 2006 by signing A.J. Burnett, B.J. Ryan and trading for the likes of Troy Glaus and Lyle Overbay. When those big moves didn't pan out, it reflected negatively on Ricciardi and ultimately led to his firing.
  • Darren Oliver is still leaning toward retirement and the Blue Jays aren't expecting to hear a final decision until January.
  • Anthony Gose is set to begin the season at Triple-A Buffalo with Rajai Davis assuming the role of fourth outfielder and late-game pinch-runner.
  • The Blue Jays have one bench opening left to fill. With the versatility of Davis, Izturis, and Emilio Bonifacio, look for that final spot to go to somone invited to Spring Training on a minor league contract.
  • In a separate article, Chisholm writes J.P. Arencibia has solidified his spot in the Toronto lineup for the forseeable future. Anthopoulos made the rare move of reaching out to Arencibia telling him not to concern himself with the trade rumors. "Not only does that make me feel good, but it makes you want to go out and work harder, go the extra mile and go the extra distance for this organization," Arencibia told Chisholm. "If they tell me I need to run through a wall, I'm going to try and run through that wall."

Blue Jays Working On Trade For R.A. Dickey

After a long day of rumors on Friday, the Blue Jays and Mets are nearing a trade that would send R.A. Dickey to Toronto for top prospect Travis d'Arnaud according to Jeff Passan of Yahoo! Sports. Other players involved in the deal are unconfirmed. Here's the latest on the potential trade…

  • It's currently a 3-for-4 trade according to Sherman (all Twitter links). Dickey, Thole, and a prospect will go to Toronto for d'Arnaud, Syndergaard, John Buck, and a prospect. Sherman says the two unnamed prospects would not be elite guys. He adds that the framework could change since the Blue Jays will send the Mets money to help cover Buck's salary.
  • Martino reports (on Twitter) that Blue Jays pitching prospect Aaron Sanchez has also been discussed.
  • Rubin heard from a source that it's unclear if there will be resolution tonight (Twitter links). A Mets official indicated the same to Puma, saying "there is a lot to this."

Earlier Updates:

  • As of this morning, the deal had four players coming to the Mets and three to the Blue Jays, according to Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter links). Toronto also wants a catcher back in the deal, and that could be Josh Thole. The Mets have discussed getting pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard in the deal as well, Puma tweets.
  • The two teams are inching towards the finish line, a source tells Passan (via Twitter). At least some players' medicals have been reviewed and a deal is imminent.
  • Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com says the two sides have agreed that d'Arnaud can be the centerpiece of the trade after the Mets rejected a Gose/J.P. Arencibia package (all Twitter links). Once they finalize the rest of the players involved, it's believed Dickey will talk about an extension with Toronto.
  • Sherman reports (on Twitter) that Gose is not part of the trade talks for Dickey. The Blue Jays are building a package around d'Arnaud.
  • Richard Griffin of The Toronto Star reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays need to sign Dickey to an extension and receive a top prospect from the Mets if they're going to include d'Arnaud and Gose in the trade.
  • Joel Sherman of The New York Post says (on Twitter) the two sides are still working through matters are there is confidence the deal will get done.
  • Dickey has not yet engaged the Blue Jays in contract extension talks, reports Adam Rubin of ESPN New York. He also has yet to be asked to take a physical.
  • The Blue Jays are willing to include d'Arnaud and Anthony Gose in the trade according to Andy Martino of the New York Daily News (Twitter links). Any other names remain unconfirmed.
  • Martino reports (on Twitter) that the Blue Jays have been reviewing Dickey's medicals since yesterday afternoon.

Blue Jays, Mets Close To R.A. Dickey Trade

All signs point to the Mets trading R.A. Dickey, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The sides aren't progressing toward an extension, and Dickey's one-year, $5MM salary seems quite appealing to teams seeking pitching. Here are today's Dickey rumors, with the most recent items up top…

  • The Blue Jays and Mets are close to agreeing on a trade that would send Dickey to Toronto, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The names in the trade aren't finalized, but outfielder Anthony Gose is likely to be included in the deal.  The Mets also are expected to acquire either J.P. Arencibia or Travis d’Arnaud.  However, the Blue Jays are looking to get more out of the deal if they surrender d'Arnaud.
  • D'Arnaud is very much in play in the talks, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports.  The deal would be bigger, however, with multiple pieces going both ways.

Earlier updates:

  • The Mets may be landing d'Arnaud in the deal, Heyman tweets.
  • Travis d'Arnaud was a "must have" during the winter meetings for a deal with the Blue Jays to happen, sources tell Andy Martino of the Daily News (via Twitter).
  • Two sources involved in the talks say not to expect any resolution with Dickey tonight, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
  • The Mets and Blue Jays have made progress on a potential deal, Morosi reports (on Twitter). They aren't in agreement at this point.
  • It looks like the Mets have a good offer from the Blue Jays, Matt Cerrone of MetsBlog reports (on Twitter). The Mets still appear to be talking to the Angels and Orioles.
  • A high-ranking executive of a team that pursued Dickey believes the knuckleballer is being traded to Toronto, Morosi reports (on Twitter).
  • Rangers GM Jon Daniels said on MLB Network Radio that if Dickey is being traded it's not to Texas, Casey Stern of MLB Network Radio reports (Twitter link, audio here). Daniels acknowledged that he had some dialogue about Dickey.
  • The Blue Jays are growing confident they will acquire Dickey, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). Mike Wilner of Sportsnet 590 the FAN would characterize the Blue Jays as "hopeful" (Twitter link).
  • The Mets were interested in Buckel, though he wasn't necessarily being offered, Martino clarifies (on Twitter).

(more…)


Blue Jays Notes: Arencibia, Davis, Niese, Happ

Yesterday, the Blue Jays non-tendered Bobby Wilson, leaving J.P. Arencibia, John Buck, and Travis D’Arnaud as the remaining catchers on the 40-man roster.  Here's the latest out of Toronto courtesy of Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports..

  • Arencibia is the most likely to be moved and the Jays previously have talked about him in trades for pitchers such as Rays right-hander Wade Davis and Mets left-hander Jon Niese, according to major league sources.  The Jays might need to give more than the 26-year-old to acquire such a pitcher, but aren’t necessarily eager to make that type of move.
  • Toronto seems more inclined to add depth than find an upgrade over fifth starter J.A. Happ, sources say.  Happ, 30, posted a 4.79 ERA with 9.0 K/9 and 3.5 BB/9 last season for the Astros and Blue Jays.
  • With that in mind, the Jays could look to sign a low-end free agent pitcher as well as minor league free agents to ensure that they are better protected against injuries than they were throughout last season. 

Rosenthal On Royals, Uehara, D’Backs, Span, Catching

Here are the latest hot stove items from FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal….

  • Teams in search of bullpen help have been looking at Royals right-handers Greg Holland and Aaron Crow, though Kansas City isn't likely to trade any of its Major League players unless they can move Jeff Francoeur.
  • The Royals bolstered their pitching staff by re-signing Jeremy Guthrie and trading for Ervin Santana, but Rosenthal still feels the team needs a true ace.
  • The Phillies are interested in free agent reliever Koji Uehara.
  • The Diamondbacks could deal Jason Kubel instead of Justin Upton, which would be an easier move to make though Kubel would bring back a lesser return.  A source tells Rosenthal that the Rangers are still interested in Upton but are waiting for the D'Backs to back down on their demands for Elvis Andrus or Jurickson Profar in return.
  • Denard Span could be a good trade target for a club that doesn't want to pay for one of the expensive center fielders on the free market.  With the Twins desperate for pitching, Rosenthal speculates that a team like the Braves (who need a center fielder and have pitching depth) could be a trade partner.
  • The free agent catching market is stalled since the Red Sox and Blue Jays have catchers available for trade, plus the Yankees are waiting to address their pitching before making a decision on Russell Martin.
  • Speaking of the Blue Jays' catching depth, Rosenthal thinks that Toronto is in no hurry to deal J.P. Arencibia, as a dependable catcher is needed if top prospect Travis D'Arnaud hasn't recovered from his season-ending knee injury.
  • Reed Johnson is drawing interest from several teams, including the Braves, who acquired Johnson from the Cubs last July.

Blue Jays Notes: Gibbons, Coaches, Payroll, Buck

Earlier today the Blue Jays announced the hiring (or re-hiring) of former manager John Gibbons, though not everyone around the game is impressed by the move according to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. Here's the latest out of Toronto…

  • "I've got more conviction in this hire … than in any other transaction," said GM Alex Anthopoulos of the Gibbons hire according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca (on Twitter) Gibbons received a two-year contract plus an option for a third year, tweets Davidi.
  • The Blue Jays have not yet made any announced about the rest of the coaching staff, but MLB.com's Gregor Chisholm says (on Twitter) they want to take care of that quickly.
  • The team has exceeded payroll expectations, but Anthopoulos reminded everyone that he promised the money would be there when the time was right according to Mike Wilner of The Blue Jays Radio Network (on Twitter).
  • Anthopoulos said he will now focus on improving the team further, specifically mentioning both rotation and bullpen depth, tweets Davidi.
  • John Buck will serve as the backup catcher to J.P. Arencibia according to Anthopoulos, tweets Davidi.

Rangers Interested In Arencibia, Buck

The Rangers are known to be seeking catching help this offseason, and Gregor Chisholm of MLB.com tweets that both J.P. Arencibia and John Buck appear to be on their list of targets.

The Blue Jays have three serviceable catchers on their Major League roster following this past week's blockbuster trade, including top prospect Travis d'Arnaud. With nearly every position on the field accounted for following the Melky Cabrera signing, it's safe to speculate that the Blue Jays would seek more pitching in return for one of their backstops.

Texas' primary catcher for the past two seasons has been Mike Napoli, but it appears there's a good chance that he'll sign elsewhere via free agency. General manager Jon Daniels acquired Geovany Soto from the Cubs over the summer, but the former Rookie of the Year's projected $4.6MM salary and dwindling production make him a non-tender candidate.

Arencibia, who will turn 27 in January, has averaged 29 homers per 162 games to date in his young Major League career, but also has an underwhelming .275 career on-base percentage. He won't be arbitration eligible until after the 2013 season.

Buck, 32, cashed in on his career year in 2010 (.281/.314/.481 with 20 homers) to the tune of a three-year, $18MM contract with the Marlins that offseason. He has one year and $6MM remaining on his contract, but has slumped since signing his deal. In two full seasons with the Marlins, he batted just .213/.308/.358 with a more than half of his walks coming from the eighth spot in the order, ahead of the pitcher.

The Rangers have also been connected to Russell Martin so far this offseason.