Day 3: Deal or no deal
NASHVILLE — My bad for the lack of blogtivity today. No excuses — just me taking one thing off my plate on Day 3 here at the Meetings. But, after downing some PF Changs and working the lobby some late tonight, I return to my keyboard at 2:23 am ET with the latest:
— Talked to one Major League source tonight who indicated that there is indeed a straight-up Alex Rios for Tim Lincecum deal tabled. The only hangup is on the Giants end. If San Francisco agrees to this trade, all indications are the the Jays will pull the trigger. Then again, it’s looking more and more like Giants GM Brian Sabean isn’t going to swing the trade before the teams book it out of Nashville on Thursday.
— If the Jays don’t complete the trade for Lincecum, which would mean the Giants realize they’d be crazy to give that arm up, Toronto is still willing to explore an extension for Rios. One rumor had the Jays discussing a six-year extension, but a source with knowledge of the negotiations said a four-year pact was more likely. That’d take Rios one year beyond free agency, keeping him with the Jays through 2011.
— The Jays have talked to the agent for free-agent catcher Paul Lo Duca and have reportedly offered a one-year deal. Lo Duca has a few more suitors, some of which might be able to offer more playing time. One report had the two sides close to a deal Wednesday night and Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi said the situation might be resolved before the Meetings end. Considering Lo Duca would be in a platoon-type spot with Gregg Zaun, my guess is he’ll weigh his other options before signing with Toronto.
— There were reports that had the Mets contacting the Jays about A.J. Burnett and the Dodgers asking about Troy Glaus. Ricciardi quashed both rumors, saying he’s had zero inquiries about either player. I find it hard to believe that no one’s at least asked about Burnett, but the Jays won’t move him for package of prospects — Toronto would want a big-league ready arm in return.
— Ricciardi admitted to asking the O’s about Erik Bedard, and there’s certainly a chance he’s also inquired about Oakland’s Dan Haren. In both cases, it’d be really hard for the Jays to pull off a deal. Toronto’s best bargaining chips are at the Class A or Major League level, and it’d be difficult to form a package that would convince the O’s or A’s to take any potential Jays offer over what they could get elsewhere.
— The Jays did make one minor move on Wednesday, acquiring outfielder Buck Coats from the Reds for a player to be named or cash. Something tells me cash will suffice at some point. Coats can vie for the 25th spot and fill in as an outfielder or maybe around the infield. He’s hit well in the Minors and has some speed, which would help off the bench. Think Cody Haerther, who the Jays claimed and lost to waivers earlier this offseason, but possibly a slight upgrade.
— The Rule 5 Draft is at 10 am ET on Thursday and the Jays could be in play. Toronto’s roster is at 40 after picking up Coats, so the club would have to clear room by 9 am if it wants to make a pick. The Jays may take a chance on an arm to compete for a bullpen job, or they may just stick with the internal options already in place.
That’s all for now. I have to hit the sack so I’m filled with energy for the always riveting Rule 5 selection show. Come tomorrow night, I’ll be the lone body left in the Opryland. I’m not bolting until Friday afternoon, so I can meet up with a relative that lives near here. Good times. Let’s just hope the Johan Santana deal doesn’t go down tomorrow night, because I’ll be the only MLB.com soul occupying the joint.