Blue Jays GM Ross Atkins and Jay Alou (Jose Bautista’s agent) have remained in contact since speaking on the final day of the Winter Meetings, FOX Sports’ Jon Paul Morosi tweets. It seemed like the door was more or less closed on a reunion between the two sides, though the fact that talks re-opened during the Meetings and have apparently continued represents notable progress. If the qualifying offer and accompanying draft pick compensation has indeed been hampering Bautista’s market, re-signing with the Jays would seem like a logical avenue for Bautista. From Toronto’s perspective, the team would have to see enough value in bringing Bautista back into the fold that it would be willing to pass on the first-round compensation pick the Jays would receive if Bautista signed elsewhere.
Here’s more from around the American League….
- We’ve already heard about the Indians’ one-year offer to Mike Napoli, though earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported (Twitter link) that the Tribe also offered one-year contracts to Matt Holliday and Michael Saunders. Holliday was known to be a Cleveland target and he ended up signing a one-year, $13MM deal with the Yankees. The Blue Jays and Orioles have shown interest in Saunders but the winter rumor mill has otherwise been pretty quiet for the Canadian outfielder. Saunders hit .253/.338/.478 with 24 homers over 558 PA for Toronto last season, though his production badly declined after the All-Star break. The Tribe already has several left-handed hitting or switch-hitting corner outfield options, though Saunders could play in the field or perhaps get some DH time when Carlos Santana is at first base, given Saunders’ poor fielding metrics last season.
- The Rangers continue to have interest in a reunion with Colby Lewis, though there doesn’t appear much has changed between the two sides, GM Jon Daniels tells MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan. “There is always going to be interest in Colby. There is no doubt about the man. No question there. There’s not much I can say that hasn’t already been said. It’s more dollars and what the opportunity there is,” Daniels said.
- After a dire 2016 season, the Angels are already looking in better shape for next year, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal writes. The acquisitions of Cameron Maybin and Danny Espinosa fill two big lineup holes for the Halos, and they’ve added pitching depth to bounce back from the rotation’s injury-plagued season. In Rosenthal’s view, the Angels could be a .500 team with better health and better luck, though making the postseason is still unlikely at this point.
It’s a long shot for the Angels to be a .500 team, they have an okay lineup, and bullpen with the worst rotation. Imo that means they’ll be in that 70-77 win range
Concur! No way is this team a .500 team, 70 – 77 looks reasonable.
Mike Trout could be a James Hardin type and carry this team to the playoffs. Espinosa will add to a very good defense making the pitchers look better. And even Maybin or DE could have solid career years to contribute to a core of Trout, Simmons, Calhoun, Pujols, Richards. The Angels could surprise
Their lineup is going to produce. They just need their rotation to be healthier and could maybe use another arm. Street needs to be healthy as well. I’d definitely sign another reliever if I were Billy Eppler.
baseball isn’t like basketball. It takes more than 5 people at a time and 1 person can’t really carry a team…as evidenced by Mike Trout’s awesomeness and the Angles awfulness
No Mike Trout can’t. The way baseball and basketball is played, the top basketball players are significantly more valuable than the top baseball players even tho they play in about half the amount of games if healthy
Baseball isn’t like basketball because one player can’t carry a team. NBA teams are carried by a superstar all the time. The Angels are far off. They have one of the worst rotations and the worst farm systems in baseball. I would keep Trout but trade away Pujols because that system needs to be built back up. Also, I’m not sure why any Angels fan was/is happy about the Simmons acquisition. Yes Simmons is one of the best defensive SS but the Angels completely depleted their farm system and gave up way too much for a SS who hits like 4 HR and bats .280. A great defensive SS with a .280 AVG is solid but not for what they gave up. Also Espinosa is terrible. He is a .200 hitter and is terrible against righties.
James Hardin plays basketball. 5 on 5. Baseball with 25 man roster and 8 other players bat and he doesn’t control the pitching one centerfielder doesn’t make that big of difference
Agreed. You can’t walk Harden every time up. Trout can’t have as substantial an impact if they hold up four fingers.
Don’t forget, we had a lineup much worse than this one 3 years back when we were the winningest team in the league…
They won 74 games last season with a patched together rotation, without a true left fielder or starting second baseman. You guys are going to be surprised if you don’t think this is at least a .500 team.
70-77 equals 147 games. The MLB season is 162 games.
He meant 70 to 77 wins on the year.
Didn’t see the comment he was replying too. I think the Angels need to continue to build around Trout. They have a very weak farm system and rotation and if they continue to do what they are doing they won’t be winning anytime soon. They should trade Pujols to get some money off the books and to add some youth.
Nobody is going to trade the Angels for Pujols though. The guy is owed $140M over the next 5 years is 37, injury prone, and coming off a season which he totaled 1.4 WAR.
They would have to eat money, no question about it but if you can get a prospect or two in return that’s a start. The Angels don’t have enough in their farm system to acquire meaningful enough players. Yes Maybin and Espinosa are upgrades but they aren’t going to make the Angels contenders. The Angels players are all very difficult to trade because either they aren’t good enough and won’t get a good return (Escobar, Simmons, Street etc), are too expensive (Pujols, Wilson, Nolasco, etc), or are too much apart of the future (Trout, Calhoun, Richards etc).
What was this evaluation based on?
I feel like they definitely improved their defence though. Strong defence up the middle now with Simmons and Espinosa in the infield and Maybin at center could lead to better pitching results. Still, outside of Trout and MAYBE Calhoun and Pujols, that lineup seems lacking. I think they can get to .500 if they can get improved pitching.
they should sign ivan nova and greg holland
The article says they already added pitching depth (Jesse Chavez and Andrew Bailey). What more do they need? lol
they need more depth then that
Both pretty bad lol
Jays can bring Joey back to play 1B full time while dumping Smoak and using Pearce as a UT player !!!
That will still allow the Jays to pursuit 2 OF to pair up with Upton, Pillar and Carrera !!
Revere would be one great option for 1 on perhaps a 1 yr deal 2club options that can be picked up if he performs well with the team while other option could be trading for one of;
Car-Go, Blackmon, Peralta or Melky !!!
Saying we get Peralta and Revere that would give us a line up of:
Navy C, Upton OF, Carrera OF, Pearce UT.
That wouldn’t be too bad at all !!!!
Barney and Goins can serve as IF reserves in AAA !
I like where your heads at, but you don’t have a backup infielder. Pearce can play second and third, but you need someone who can spell Tulo (enter Goins or Barney). I love the Revere and Peralta ideas, but that means Carrera is expendable. I would also move Travis to the two hole and everyone else down a spot. I’d still rather EE over Jose too. Love the ideas though
David peralta? What would the jays have to give up to get him I wonder ?
I wonder what would happen if the Pirates offered Cutch to the Jays for Stroman and TJ Zeuch.
Nothing to be honest. Jays already balked at the idea of dealing Stroman for Blackmon straight up. Both Cutch and Blackmon have their red flags(Coors effect for Blackmon, Cutch’s down year) plus the Jays don’t have a proven viable option to replace anyone in the rotation and the FA market has very little to offer to offset a loss.
At least Blackmon still had pretty good numbers away from Coors…I’d vastly prefer him to hoping Cutch bounces back. I still wouldn’t trade Stroman for either though.
Not an unreasonable wish list, although club options are all downside for a player. I very much doubt Revere would agree to that, even as marginal of a player as he is.
What the heck are you smoking??? So we sit Pearce (a projected .280 hitter) to play Bautista and his .230 average? This is a business… We pay Pearce $6-mil a year vs $17-to-$20 million for Bautista … I’m sure you can afford to rent a brain if you can’t grow one !!!??? And finally , instead of you putting Morales and his projected .290 average behind Donaldson, you want our previous strikeout king, Bautista and his .230 average there so every team will throw garbage pitches, or even walk Donaldson so that they can pitch to Bautista!!!???
Again, stick to your Barbie dolls and leave the Jays to someone that knows what they’re doing!!!
Lol, batting averages…
Wow. Is this 1956 again? We’re using batting averages to evaluate players?
WOW. I just want to make sure we’re on the same page here. Pearce is not an everyday player. He is an extremely useful platoon. He plays against LHP and you need a LH OF to play the other side of his platoon. His signing was great for the Jays needs, but he’s not an everyday guy. IF they brought Bautista back his OBP is very good, so I could see your point in switching Donaldson and Bautista.
Sometimes, on other sites, one person sets up more than one account and then proceeds to create dialogue between himself, often among his selves..
117 ops plus is pretty good for a down year like Bautista had
Someone got up on the wrong side. What ever happened to civility?
In 2015, Ben Revere hit .306 and Mike Trout hit .299. Ben Revere is a little bit better hitter than Mike Trout.
I’m not going to delete this comment, because I think other commenters have done a good job of explaining where it’s misguided. But please, back off of the personal attacks if you wish to participate in the discussion here. It is just unnecessary.
Lol, are important…
As well as age salary and attitude
I am the first to realize Joeys faults, attitude is not one of them unless you just watch the American feed when your team plays the Jays. Give me 25 with his attitude.
Agree. He does have his personality faults, but I think 99% of Jays fans overlooked that when he was mashing from 2010-2015. He is declining and should be a full time 1B/DH, but he is still useful. If the Jays can’t find something better then I’d take Jose back in a heartbeat (short term obviously).
Having the appearances of an inconspicuous rebuild, the Jays have no need of Bauts, his attitude, nor such a millstone contract : the Jays already have one such geriatric ball n chain at ss..
Some observers say there are two,( the dugout marshall), even three, but i feel Martin is most valuable to the pitchers.
And those fans are the idiots who don’t understand baseball
Its not like it will take a “millstone contract” to re-sign Bautista, now that he’s seen the market.
Rebuild?? What move have they made that indicates they are in any way rebuilding? Does not signing a player you wanted qualify as rebuilding now?
FanGraphs actually has the Angels as the fourth best team in the AL at 85-77 and the first Wild Card spot.
The Angels are the fourth best team in the ALWest. Is what I think you read. That makes more sense. Anyone that follows the Div knows that.
no he meant what he said…
No I read FanGraphs and that’s what it says in their steamer projections. You might want to take a look and get some real in team and player evaluation.
I’m not buying them at all, Angels rotation is still full of injury risk/questions.
It’s fair enough to worry about that. It needs to happen for people to buy into them next year.
Aww…Come on! Fangraphs and Steamer projections are NEVER WRONG! LOL
“… the Angels could be a .500 team with better health and better luck, though making the postseason is still unlikely at this point.”
Dear Mike Trout,
I am so very sorry.
True Baseball Fans Everywhere
hahaha so true though
It has already been stated that Fangraphs projects the Angels to have a WC spot.
Adult literacy in America
No need to actually play the season. Fangraphs has spoken.
My mistake, because Fangraphs is never wrong and the Angels rotation has a group of reliable arms with no health problems……
Thanks for the enlightenment.
people need to stop saying angels are a below .500 team. We are better than that, and it’ll be funny to hear what you guys say if the angels stay healthy and win a lot of games
Aside from Garett Richards (health is questionable) they have no starting pitching
Matt Shoemaker & Tyler Skaggs say hi
Nice of you to prove his point.
Fangraphs, using its depth-chart projections for 2017, actually rates the Angels as the fifth-best team in the American League, behind the Red Sox, Astros, Indians and — believe it or not — the Yankees.
Site Ken Rosenthal
Their steamer projections have them 4th in the AL.
Joeybats has earned his free agency. It’s a different team now that he has moved on.
As for the angels being .500 that is a stretch.
Pujols decline and health are issues.. however his contract is the albatross. That ain’t going anywhere. What the angels require is starter Depth. Their minor system is not good at all.
They require pitching and young stars.
What they should consider is trading trout to Toronto for California boys Pillar, Sanchez along with Stroman, Smoak to spell off Pujols and versatile infielder Goins.
Angels get affordable controllable player starters. Two phenomenal aces a defensive superstar and two depth infielders. Goins has tremendous range and a rocket arm and smoaky is a very capable first baseman with pop. That would vault the angels from below .500 and a contending team on the up and up.
Espn writers are expecting a phenomenal year from Stroman next season.
Two potential Cy young winners. Sanchy and stro.
That’s what the angels should do.
The Jays had the best pitching staff last season and they can withstand the loss of the majors ERA leader (sanchez).
I will stick with fourth in AL West at this point I just don’t see anything to move them that far up the needle. Seattle and Houston will be fighting for the top spot in the Div and the Halos and Rangers for the bottom spots with the Rangers coming out on top. Major injuries to Seattle or Houston is the only way I see them not finishing 1,2 this year. Just not sure which order. It will be a dog fight but right now the nod probably goes to Houston but if Dipoto pulls the miracle i am hearing it swings back Seattle’s way.
maybe, the next important step is who the backup catcher will be , for it has to be someone who will replace Martin when he goes down for the two or three times during the season.
More importantly it should be someone who can work those two R5’s, and someone who can work with the Jays’ own R5’s ( Borucki, Girodo, and Dermody), who, it appears, might be weaved into the bp by their taking turns, as it were, as the #13 pitcher on the team.
I remain positive about the opening day onfield product nevertheless.
Only one rule 5 was part of the major league portion, and they’re going to add a lefty, whether by trade or FA signing. The backup catcher isn’t close to being the most important thing they need, just let a defense first catcher catch twice every week
I think backup catcher is important for the Jays. Maybe not the number 1 or even next priority like 7leven suggests but they still need a decent to good one. Martin broke down quite a bit last year and battled through a few injuries(knee, quad and shoulder) and it showed in his hitting and more importantly his defense. I firmly believe had the Jays had a competent backup instead of Thole, Russ would have likely seen at least 1 DL stint or at least had 10-15 extra days off.
We have to remember that Russ is going to be 34 come opening day and has nearly 12,000 major league innings on his knees. It’s a huge reason why I’m not thrilled he’s playing in the pointless WBC. Any extra time we can give him to rest is going to help keep him healthy and productive both offensively and defensively.
To JDG, I will try to expalin what i see happening, from the p of v of my rocking horse:)
Biagini was last year’s R5 and is still on the roster. When the league readjusts this year to Biagini, he is going to need coaching, which may come from Walker, but more than likely from the in-game catcher(s).
Martin is not going to be playing the full 162 games and the team needs a reliable backup, who knows how to work with these young pitchers.
And then there is the Starkmann who seems to be a keeper ( with ST two, three months away:).
This management didn’t place those minor league pitchers lhps on the roster just to keep them: I feel that they will be used as the 13th pitcher throughout the first several months of the season, to see who can stick, etc.
Then, the management will start looking for more experienced bp pitchers, when the other teams start selling off assets, for minor league players.
In this alternate universe, the additions of Maybin/Espinosa initiated this new hope.
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Will this work for my favorite BB team too? Can they win the World Series every year if I join? Oh wait the Stienbrenners already belong never mind.
This just in!
Atkins signs outfielders Rob Ducey and Jacob Brumfield, catcher Randy Knorr, Right handed reliever Mauro Gozzo and Left handed pitcher Jesse Litsch. Off season needs are now addressed.
Holliday probably would have signed with the Indians, but they refused to budge on giving him a no-trade clause to the Athletics. What a shame
Kind of mind-blowing if that’s true, I mean what were the odds that they were going to need to trade him to the A’s at some point next year? Probably less than 0.1%.
It’s not. It’s tongue in cheek because of his one team no trade clause to the A’s, the most petty thing ever. Pretty sure the A’s want no part of him either
The Jays should put the QO back on the table. 1 year 17.whatever million. Let him try and rebuild his value. I doubt Bautista’s ego would let him take it though.