Whispers in the pressbox, plus Game #7 pregame

The rumors have been flying ever since Phils GM Pat Gillick popped into Toronto’s spring training site before the Grapefruit League schedule began. They picked up momentum when Gillick showed up at Knology Park last week. Now, the rumors have a full head of steam here at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater.

The rumor is that Gillick is extrememly high on Jays right fieleder Alex Rios, who isn’t in attendance at today’s game against the Phils. Possible scenarios being churned are Phils outfielder Aaron Roward and pitcher Jon Lieber for Rios, or for Rios and an unknown reliever. Phils are trying to get some more bullpen help.

Rios is under contract for $2.535 million this year and isn’t eligible to be a free agent until after the 2010 season. Lieber and Roward are under contract for $7.5 million and $4.35 million, respectively, and both are free agents after this season.

Keep in mind, these are merely rumors at this point. Toronto GM J.P. Ricciardi has said that he’s not interested in dealing Rios, so it’d take a significant package to change his mind. But, when writers from both teams are saying they’ve heard things about the rumor, it makes you wonder how much validity there is to it.

Stay tuned for more…

Toronto at Philadelphia
at Bright House Networks Field in Clearwater, Fla.

Today’s lineups:

BLUE JAYS
Royce Clayton, SS
Lyle Overbay, 1B
Vernon Wells, CF
Troy Glaus, 3B
Matt Stairs, RF
Gregg Zaun, DH
Jason Phillips, C
Russ Adams, 2B
Jeff Duncan, LF

PITCHING: LHP Gustavo Chacin

PHILLIES
Jimmy Rollins, SS
Shane Victorino, RF
Chase Utley, 2B
Ryan Howard, 1B
Pat Burrell, LF
Wes Helms, 3B
Aaron Rowand, CF
Randall Simon, DH
Carlos Ruisz, C

PITCHING: RHP Brett Myers

NOTE: DH Frank Thomas will likely make his first spring appearance in Thursday’s 10 a.m. B game (A.J. Burnett is pitching) against the Phils at Knology Park in Dunedin, Fla. Thomas will make his first Grapefruit League start on Friday at home against the Astros.

10 Comments

If they Jays trade Rios I’ll be very dissapointed. It just doesnt make sense for the Jays to tade Rios for those two players. Rowand is a good player, but Rios is young and only getting better. Rios is my opinion has the ability to hit .300 and 20+ home runs on a consistant basis and that is being somewhat conservative. This is a player who was at one point last year leading the league in batting average. Lieber is a good pitcher as well, but do we really need him? Why not see what John Thompson has or if Josh Towers can bounce back before we start to make deals. Maybe the seeds are being planted for later in the year if the Jays realize they need some pitching help. But untill then I really hope they sit tight and let the pieces fall into place.

Rios for Hamels, or nothing.

No one is untradeable. If they get the right deal in return, while it would be sad, I say let Rios go. But this is not the right deal. Those two players cost a LOT combined and are free agents at the end of the year. That’s a bad deal. And Riccardi has proven in the past he too doesn’t like bad deals. (Which you would think would be the general consensus of GMs but it’s not always for some reason.)

It’s Rowand, btw. And this is a silly rumour. We take a big downgrade at RF, waste a good defensive CF, pick up a bunch of salary, and have nothing after this season for…Lieber?!

I agree this is a silly rumor, I dont see how in his right mind J.P. would consider this.
This isn’t the only season the Jays should be contending, they have alot of pieces locked up for the next few years, Rios included.

I agree that it *should* be Hamels or no deal, but Brett Myers would be acceptable.

Rios for Lieber and Rowand? Simple: NO

JP has shown in the past that he is looking to the long term, so I don’t think this is going to happen. Lieber isn’t much of an improvement over what we have in camp right now, and we have a bunch of fine arms in the pipe for the future. While Rowand would be a known quantity, we have yet to see the best of Alex Rios. He has the potential for 30+ home runs, and a gold glove in his future, and I don’t want to miss that. Rios for a guaranteed 15-20 game winner with a few years locked in? OK, but nothing less.

Trade winds blowing…

Forget talking about Gillick and the possible trade of “Rios”, NOT going to happen… Look what happened when the caveman “Johnny Damon” was traded from KC… A World Series ring and now he is a member of the enemy…

I would like to hear more about John “Wayne” Gibbons and his anticipation of opening day in Toronto at the “Roy Rogers” Centre… Rumour has it, Gibbons will be wearing his brand new rattlesnake cowboys on opening day. He wants to be the first manager in MLB history to wear cowboy boots! I can’t wait to see his first visit to the mound and history in the making…

Go JAYS Go !

I personally would like to
see Rios as a Jay for at least a few more seasons just to see what he is capable of. Like they said, he could pump out a 25-35 HR season anytime soon and that would really help us. So, I’d say don’t trade him, at least not this year.

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