I get home from a nice long weekend in Chicago, where I was visiting family for the U.S. Thanksgiving, and the Jays hold press conferences on consecutive days. Needless to say, I’ve been a bit busy lately.
Here’s some news from the last few days:
- Toronto is thinking about keeping Aaron Hill at second base after all. The Jays are interested in Royce Clayton for shortstop and are also considering going with more than one player at the position.
- John McDonald is part of the plans for next season, but as the utility player — not as the starting shortstop. Jason Phillips is also in the plans as the backup at catcher and at first base. Both are arbitration eligible.
- GM J.P. Ricciardi said he didn’t think Toronto would be in the running for Vicente Padilla or Mark Mulder. He said Tony Armas Jr. was a "backburner guy," so there is some limited interest there. Other than that, he acknowledges that there’s a few things going, but won’t get into specifics yet.
- Toronto had Gil Meche up for a visit on Tuesday. Frank Thomas and Pat Hentgen both met with him to pitch the city and the team. Ricciardi went to a Maple Leafs’ game with Meche during his stay. Meche and Lilly appear to be Toronto’s top two targets.
- The Jays don’t plan on going after any bullpen help. Brandon League, Jason Frasor and Jeremy Accardo will get the chance to replace Justin Speier, who signed with the Angels.
- Toronto will be in the market for a fourth outfielder and Ricciardi said he’ll be looking for a cheap solution at the Winter Meetings. The Jays would like to keep rookie Adam Lind at Triple-A so he can get regular playing time.
- Blue Jays president and CEO Paul Godfrey said the club hopes to make the payroll figure public before Christmas. The Jays have an idea what the number is, but it has to be approved by the Rogers Communication board of directors first.
- According to Ricciardi, free-agent catcher Rod Barajas signed a terms sheet before backing out of a two-year deal with the Jays. After he signed the agreement, Barajas only needed to pass a physical to complete the deal. The Jays had a press conference planned and were going to fly Barajas’ family to Toronto before the catcher backed out of the agreed deal.