Winter Meetings, Day 1

Bwm_header_07NASHVILLE – So Day 1 here in the massive Opryland Hotel is in the books. I’m still carrying a map of this place in my back pocket, but I’ve learned my way around the joint pretty quickly.

Sure, I have to hoof it over a few bridges, across the indoor river a couple times and work my way through the crowds, but all and all in ain’t too hard to navigate through this madness.

The Jays have been quiet all winter, but it’s sounding more and more like they might retool their roster via trades if given the right opportunity. Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi admitted today that the team would listen to offers for A.J. Burnett (he’s likely to opt out of his deal if he has a decent showing in ’08), is talking to "a couple clubs" about possible trades for a backup catcher and that the Jays aren’t done exploring other options for left field.

Personally, I think Reggie Willits of the Angels would be a good fit. He’s an on-base machine, switch hits, can lead off, play left and is controllable for another four or five years — nevermind the fact that the Halos have a surplus of outfielders. I’d hate to see Reed Johnson go, but he’s a free agent next winter, is an injury risk this season and is going to command a hefty salary.

Ricciardi said the team is still talking to catcher Sal Fasano, too, about possibly re-signing, and the GM said Toronto is hoping prospect Robinzon Diaz might be ready to join the Jays by June or July. Paul Bako has also been rumored as a potential target for the backup job.

As for Matt Clement, he’s getting a fair number of suitors and the Jays appear to only be interested if he agrees to an incentive-laden deal. Jeff Blair wrote in the Globe and Mail that he believes the Jays might be able to get in on the Erik Bedard trade discussions — them and everyone else, though.

In the same story, the Giants are reported to possibly have interest in third baseman Troy Glaus and SanFran has Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain as trade bait. I say, done. You never know what’s going to happen when the Mitchell Report comes out, or if Glaus can be the same offensive force after battling leg/foot injuries the last few years. If anyone shows interest in Glaus, with his salary and his other baggage, I think the Jays would be wise to consider moving him.

Ricciardi also said the Jays were in on Troy Percival, but only if it were a one-year deal. He signed for two at $8 mil with the Rays on Saturday. This begs the question, do the Jays really believe B.J. Ryan will be 100 percent by April? Why add a late-inning reliever to a stacked ‘pen if you think Ryan’s fine? I’m sure we’ll try to follow up on that.

Jays also lost Ty Taubenheim to waivers to the Pirates on Monday. Ty’s a great guy and I enjoyed working with him, so I personally was upset to see him go. But he’ll get a better chance in Pittsburgh and he did have a rocky tour with the Jays since coming over with Lyle Overbay in the deal with the BrewCrew back in ’05.

Jays removed Taubenheim from the 40 to clear a spot for Thursday’s Rule 5 Draft. Ricciardi said the club has its eyes on a couple guys. Perhaps it could be a utility type guy to add to the mix for the final bench spot (they did that last year with Jason Smith) or an arm to add to the bullpen mix. We’ll see.

Jays_edited_4On Monday, the Jays also unveiled their new uni additions for this season. They wil sport the powder blues for Flashback Friday home games and the new grays on the road.

There were some trades that went down on Monday, though Johan Santana and Miguel Cabrera remain with the Twins and Marlins, respectively, for the time being. The D-backs sent Carlos Quentin the White Sox and the Nationals acquired Elijah Dukes from the Rays.

The Santana sweepstakes will carry on into the night and on over into tomorrow and throughout the Meetings — deadline set by the Yanks or not. I don’t buy the deadline thing. This is coming from the same club that said if A-Rod opted out they wouldn’t negotiate a contract with him. Hmmmm.

Anyway, I am about to wind my way through the maze that is this hotel and make my way to the light at the end of the tunnel — the Irish Pub. Nothing caps off a good day of standing around in a hotel lobby like a cold Killians in my hand.

Stay tuned for all that will be Day 2…

13 Comments

I’ve stayed there, it is amazing… But don’t eat the salad, they got 800 people deathly I’ll when I was there with food poisoning. Luckly, I had skipped the salad and wasnt one of the people running to the river, but not to enjoy the view. Even got a call from the Dept. Of TN Health when I was back in Chicago to check up on me! Have fun!!

Day two rumor could include an eight player, three way deal between San Diego, Washington, and New York (AL).

Also look from the Giants to get hot on the Miguel Cabrera trade, and adding Tony Clark.

The Padres might also close-in on Fukedome.

The Royals are loaded with yound talent, but needing pitching. Rumor-land says Yankees might team up with KC to land Santana.

Miguel Tejada will not move for at least another week, but the Reds are very interested.

Is JP telling us More Lies?? , but then maybe not as his definition of a lie differs from mine ” it’s not a lie if we know the truth”Why would he be interested in Troy Percival with Accardo, & Ryan supposedly coming back in spring ,May at the Latest,,Ian

inmackay:

As Jordan pointed out, the Jays likely showed interest in Percival because they can’t be sure that Ryan will come back at 100%. I don’t think you should read too much into it — there’s nothing wrong with looking into adding some veteran depth to a very young bullpen.

Cheers!

And what do you fine folks think of this Glaus to the Giants rumour? To tell you the truth, I’m skeptical that any N.L. team would be interested in him considering his past injury history. If he falls apart, they wouldn’t even be able to slot him into the DH spot.

But Lincecum seems like an interesting option. Does anybody (I’m looking at you gsumner!) know anything about his minor league career? Matt Cain’s numbers in the past three seasons are nothing to scream about, but they do show some promise….

Personally, I think the Jays should move Glaus if there are any takers. If it weren’t for big Frank, I’d say keep him and move him to DH, but keeping him at 3B seems risky….

inmackay:

I also just read on Wilner’s blog that the Jays were interested in Percival in case Jannsen moves into the starting rotation. It’d be nice if the Jays could have that kind of flexibility!

I just read an article on the Giants site stating that their GM would have to blown away to trade Cain or Lincecum.
http://sanfrancisco.giants.mlb.com/news/article.jsp?ymd=20071203&content_id=2316318&vkey=news_sf&fext=.jsp&c_id=sf

Personally, because of where Glaus is health-wise in his career, I would trade him to the Giants for a package that included Noah Lowry and prospects even…but that’s just me. Glaus can still hit, and still a decent fielder, but we can’t compete with Glaus getting hurt so often.

Joedude: Thanks for the link!

Considering that the Giants are nervous about Tejada’s salary and age, a potential trade involving Glaus seems like a long shot….

Hem

I don’t think it matters what Linecum’s minor league stats were-The Giants would be crazy to do a deal for Glaus or even Cabrerra. These two young pitchers mark the start of a nucleus for them to build around-no way they trade them.

One of the interesting things I read on Lincecum from various scouting reports, is he’s a Tommy John surgury waiting to happen-as a result of bad pitching mechanics.

I still think our best trade is to trade Thomas-to La and keep Glaus as the DH. Hopefully we could get Figgins in return.

Hem-gold
Maybe you are right,I did not think it through,just don’t trust JP anymore,Ian

gsumner:

Although he’s a huge defensive liability at third, I’d love it if the Jays could swing a deal for Figgins. I’m not sure, though, that the Angels would bite on a Thomas for Figgins deal.

For one, I’m pretty sure Figgins’ has a much lower salary than Thomas, so I’m not sure they’d want to swing that kind of deal unless the Jays ate up a bunch of salary. Also, with the recent injury problems of Vlad Guerrero, it’s looking like he’ll need more time at DH. Considering that Thomas offers no flexibility position wise, the Angels might be hesitant to pick him up.

The Angels also have a huge surplus of outfielders at the moment — Guerrero, Anderson, Gary Matthews, the recently signed Torii Hunter, and Reggie Willits. So I think any trade they’re going to do will have to involve one of those guys….

So I guess my point is that as sweet as it would be to pick up Figgins, I think the Angels will want to hold onto a guy like that who can play a bunch of infield positions.

hem

The difference in salaries isn’t as huge as one might expect-its less than 4 mill per year. At the moment, LA appear ancious to find HR power. They are the best bet in getting Cabrerra-who would play 3rd base for them. If that happens they’d be somewhat clogged up in the infield, but would, I think still jump at more HR power-so they might have interest in Frank.

If they don’t do the deal with Florida for Cabrerra-I’d offer Glaus instead.

I just think having two guys like Glaus and Thomas that both run like sherman tanks in reverse really clog up the basepaths and as much as I like their HR power-think having a speedster like Figgins who hits for high average .333, high OBP-.393 and 41 stolen bases either leading off or hitting second is the medicine our offense needs.

Even is we have to sweeten the offer, I think it’d be worthwhile.

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