Nats ink Lo Duca

LoducaTORONTO – It’s been a quiet few days since all us writers bolted out of Nashville. There was a flurry of talk and rumors and then the Winter Meetings ended and the Jays’ front went quiet again.

And for all the talk about closing in on a deal with catcher Paul Lo Duca, the Jays fell short. Lo Duca has signed with the Nationals. Toronto was reportedly offering $3 million and wasn’t willing to budge beyond a one-year deal. Lo Duca was seeking $5 mil and probably more playing time than the Jays had to offer.

In Toronto, Lo Duca would’ve been in a split role with Gregg Zaun, who was signed last offseason to be the Jays’ starter. Bringing in Lo Duca, who has been a starter for years now, might have created some playing time issues. In the end, it might be better for the Jays and Lo Duca that he opted to head to D.C. instead.

So, where does that leave the Jays’ backup catcher situation? Sal Fasano is still out there. Toronto could certainly sign him and hope Robinzon Diaz is ready during the season. We’ll see what happens. Paul Bako’s name has been mentioned in rumors, too.

As for all those Giants and Jays trade rumors…to be continued. I’m heading to NYC tomorrow for a day, so knowing my luck something will go down then. Also, Wednesday is the last day for teams to tender contracts to unsigned players. No offer, and they become free agents.

49 Comments

Didn’t J.p. profess interest in Mike Leiberthal (sp?) what’s he asking for ?

Maybe they’ll end up talking to Rod Barajas again lol.

On a different and, no doubt controversial note, I think that it is time for JP to step to the plate and trade Roy Halladay. If a player of the caliber of Santana can be (potentially) moved, Roy is certainly not untouchable. It is fairly patent to me (and the stats back this up) that Roy is not the dominating pitcher he once was. Moreover, it is likely that his arm is going to put him on the disabled list sooner than later. That said, he is still one of those pitchers whose reputation precedes him. I would love to see Phil Hughes and a bevy of top-rated draft picks coming back in return. Hughes seems to have as good, if not better stuff, than Roy at the same age. As for top-notch draft picks, yes they don’t always work out in Toronto, but in New York’s case, they tend to do quite well! I know that JP will not move Roy, but I am also convinced that we will see the Twins in the world series before series long before the Jays. The key to winning with a small budget team is not to fall in love with your players, and to trade them when you can get the most back for them. At least, that is my opinion.

Burt,
I think you used the right term when you said contraversial. However I think that might be the only thing we agree on with that subject. The reason the twins are shopping Santana is because his contract runs out at the end of the season and they don’t want him to leave without getting anything in return. Halladay’s contract isn’t up for another few years and I can’t say I see enough evidence that he is declining to cut him loose yet. Let’s not forget who lead our team in wins last year. Also in reference to the statement you made about his arm putting him on the disabled list, I have one person who certainly takes resposibility for that. John Gibbons seems to be obsessed with letting pitchers go untill their arm falls off because he doesn’t want to trust any members of his bullpen (save for three of them). Too bad you can’t trade managers, although I don’t know who would want him!

Halladay’s disabled list problems have had little to do with arm trouble so I don’t understand how it is Gibby’s fault for leaving him on the mound for too long. He did have that one year, where he wound up on the dl due to arm fatigue so hopefully that doesn’t happen again. If it does I take back defending John on this one.

christiani

I definately agree with your point on Abner and his obsession with leaving starters in way too long. If we ever do contend with him as manager, we probably won’t go far in the play offs cause our starters will be tired.

burt-I do agree we can’t fall in love with our players, so that being said, I think we’d have to listen to any offer for Halliday.

Halliday brings a lot to this team in quiet leadership, though, I’m not sure that intangible can be replaced all that easily.

On the other hand, I wonder who we’d have got if we had traded Johnson last winter when he just came off that great year.

I agree with enigma. For the most part, Halladay’s injuries have been weird flukes in the past couple of years — the line drive that broke his leg and the appendectomy come to mind. I don’t think any manager, no matter how cautious they are with pitch counts, could have prevented those trips to the DL….

As for LoDuca, I can’t say I’m that surprised. He doesn’t seem like the kind of ballplayer who’d like to take a backseat to another guy at his same position. Like Lilly and Meche last year, maybe he was just using the Jays’ offer as a means to drive up his price with another team?

All in all, I can’t say I’m heart-broken by his decision not to sign in Toronto. I say bring back the man with the awesome mustache!

Burt,

A few points about Halladay:

He is a filthy pitcher… A combination of bad luck and strange injuries are the only reason Roy did not amass 20 W’s every season since ’03…

In 05 He was leading the league with 12 wins before the allstar break…

Anyway… Halladay’s numbers and pure stuff is not a secret…

What you need to realize is:

1. Halladay is still one of the best pitchers in baseball…

2. He is the face of the franchise…

3. He is under control for 3 more seasons at about 60% of what Santana is going to ask for next year.

4. With a few ongoing adjustments as he ages I have no reason not to see him progressing like Glavine or Meddux, perhaps not getting to 300… but certainly retiring as one of the most notable pitchers of a generation.

I echo Enigma’s sentiment about Mike Liberthal ? He’s an awesome backup who likes being a backup, unlike LoDuca

Also, why not Damian Miller ? He’s older then Zaun,

but !

Throws out 37% of runners. And were not talking stats taken from a small sampling either, over each of the last three years over a hundred guys tried to run on him every year and he’s still throwing out almost 40%. Also his CERA is pretty good, so he’ll be good with the young pitchers.

Their is the downside though, that he could take batting lessons from Johnny Mac, but since everyone will have Denbo-itis next year, is that really a problem ?

Dave,
I like your idea of Damian Miller, another name i’ve tossed around is Doug Mirrabelli but i’m thinking that Mike and Damian are definitaly better options.

According to Tsn Riccardi has other cards on the table (other then the Rios deal). Seeing as how no other deal has been done since the winter meetings I am assuming that those other “cards” are pending a trade of Rios. I think if the jays do acquire Lincicum they’ll either go after Lofton as suggested by Wilner, or get one of the other starters (i.e. Burnett, Litsch or Jansson) and try and swing a deal for Jason Bay. I would love to see the latter, but i’m just speculating.

I’m not sure signing a Damian Miller, Doug Mirabelli or a Mike Liberthal helps all that much. They all hit as badly as Zaun and all have defensive limitations.

My choice is to either sign Sal Fasano, a guy that helped both Halliday and Marcum this year or bring up Robinison Diaz either. The pitchers love throwing to Fasano, and he has a great arm. He has the same offensive limitations as any of the others, but if we use him only against teams with base running skills-he’s a real asset.

I think Sal could be a great coach some day and hope he stays in our system. I also don’t think he’d demand $5 million dollars.

I was pleased that JP didn’t go any farther than 3 million for Lo Duca-good luck to The Nats and their $5 million deal. Money is better spent some place else.

Also, other teams bring up guys like Diaz early to get coaching from the major league team. We have 3 catchers to help him out. I’m sure if Whitt worked with him daily, he’d be ready to go sooner than if we left him in Syracuse.

One thing is for sure-his bat is already ready, so he’d be a good pinch hitter option the day he arrives.

I love Sal’s moustache ! Which is the reason i think most people like him — which is great since he doesn’t play much,

but,

I just remember the game were he couldn’t stand up cause his knees hurt to badly and Halladay had to have him taken out of the game. No-knees Fasano just doesn’t seem to cut it.

Miller played way more games then most backups, has good D, and was voted Brewers player of the month once, and it wasn’t because of his hitting !!! Solid Def catcher, who can throw people out. Sal only looks good at throwing guys out compared to Zaun, which isn’t a feat.

If we need another coach, we should get one, not a backup who does more coaching then backingup. Sal just has a buncha seasons were he’s hurt, but i suspect GSumner wants a backup for only the first half, until we bring up Diaz.

I hope Sal never shaves his moustache, but, i also want JP to chose guys based more on ability and less on facial hair.

Dave

Actually,I forgot about his moustache until Hem raised it in his post. The reason I like Fasano the most is both Halliday and Marcum stated it was Fasano that straightened them out when they were struggling. I also like his throwing arm as do the pitchers and possibly the main reason they love throwing to him.

Actually, Riccardi only wants a back up for the first half,stating he felt Diaz would be ready bu June. I just wonder if we’re better off bringing him up early and have Whitt work with him every day to get him ready sooner.

Dave:

You’ve convinced me to change my mind about Fasano. The moustache, of course, is still awesome. But, yeah, that game where Halladay yanked him was painful to watch. To have a creaky guy like that on a major league team, no matter how small his role might be, does seem a little ridiculous.

And in other news, former Expo and Jay (briefly) David Segui has fessed up about his steroid use:

http://www.globesports.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20071211.wsptsegui10/GSStory/GlobeSportsBaseball/home

Thanks for your responses to my question about trading Halliday. That said, I would like to point out that even with Halliday in the line up we are not contenders, only pretenders. Two of my favorite Jays were Tony Fernandez and Fred McGriff. I am old enough to remember feeling terrible when I heard that “stand Pat” had traded them. In retrospect, it put us over the top. Trading Halliday will not put us over the top, but it could bring in a bevy of very good young players. Don’t kid yourself. Phil Hughes has electric stuff. Add at least a couple of other top-notch Yankee prospects, or a regular player, we weaken the Yanks long term while strengthening ourselves long term. This is the time that JP needs to pull off a blockbuster that has us looking good for years to come, in my opinion. There are too many good young players we can get back at this stage not to consider doing a deal. Whatever JP adds now is not going to make us anything other than pretenders in the east.

Burt:

Fred “Crime Dog” McGriff was my absolute favourite player on the Jays in 1990. I couldn’t believe it when I heard about that trade to the Padres, but looking back, of course it was the best thing to do.

So I understand what you’re saying about the Jays and trading Halladay. And despite really wanting the team to win, I’m in agreement that a playoff spot next year, with or without Rios or Lincecum or whoever else is added or taken away, does seem like a long shot.

But I’ve got to say that trading Halladay to the Yanks would be extremely painful. At least send him out of the A.L. East! I can’t even imagine seeing the guy in Yankee pinstripes….

I dunno. I agree that the Jays should really shake things up, but I think dealing their ace would be a huge mistake. Imagine not having that rock in the starting five every five days? With Burnett getting injured every other month and McGowan still an ace in the “making”, it would be an extremely long year….

Hem

Well, with Detroit bulking up, Boston-the odds on favorite to sign Santana, New York strengthening along with Tampa Bay, it’s going to be a long year any way.

Right now, I’d predict the wild card race is between New York, Detroit and Cleveland. I just don’t think we have the horses to match them.

Face it-at best we’re playing for 3rd place in the AL East and with the moves Tampa Bay has made-maybe 4th.

Burt might be right.

Hem

Just as a matter of interest, if you were JP, what would you do?

Jordan,
just giving you a heads up, if you’re interested in the Bourne Ultimatum dvd it’s $19.99 at best buy (that is if you’re still in canada) i’m sure it’s not too different in New York though.

my mistake, it’s actually future shop that has it that price, and according to the commercial it’s today only.

hem
You sure your not “ABNER”LOL.

Trade the Doc get real,
Why not trade Wells Rios Marcum Accardo the whole team for prospects,without the Doc there is no team anyone who thinks he should be traded hang your head in “SHAME”.

Robert i see your back just as rude as ever tell me what is your alias.

As reported by Associated Press

HOUSTON (AP) — Former American League MVP Miguel Tejada was traded Wednesday from the Baltimore Orioles to the Houston Astros.

Tejada’s agent, Fernando Cuza, did not know the other players involved in the deal.

The Sun in Baltimore reported on its Web site that the Orioles will receive outfielder Luke Scott, pitchers Matt Albers, Troy Patton and Dennis Sarfate, and third baseman Michael Costanzo.

I think that the Yankees and the Red Sox will always be contenders. My “real fear” is that Tampa Bay one day starts playing up to its potential. In which case, we are 4th at best. Moreover, with Baltimore potentially blowing things up, a few years now, they may have the young studs required to push us into the basement. If the Jays can not realistically win in the next 2 or 3 years, and even the most hopeful Jays’ fans must admit that this is very unlikely, there is no reason (other than public relations) to keep this team together. If we don’t move soon, we may not have the talent to finish higher than 5th in the division. This is my concern.

Burt it’s a legite concern, but I believe that the Jays do have enough to get a wild card spot this season (especially if Rios for Lincicum happens, though the jays do have to add another good bat if it happens.) If i’m wrong then i’ll agree with you start dismantling the team but I’d give them one more year. The only way I give them 2 yrs is if they miss it by 3 games or less in ’08 and then can add a top of the line player (where needed)in that offseason.

burt

Your fears about Tampa Bay are well founded-they have really improved themselves from last year. Whether the improvement is emough to catch us or not-time will tell.

enigma-with the current team we have-we have two chances of winning a wild card-slim and none.

Both, Boston and New York have improved from last year-a year in which Boston won 96 games and New York 94.

Cleveland, won 96 last year, Detroit won 88 and we won 83.

I don’t see Cleveland dropping and I see Detroit improving signifcantly.

3 of these teams will be in the playoffs next year. We haven’t made any significant moves to really help ourselves and are simply depending on the same roster being healthy and winning 95-97 games.

For us to win the wild card, our entire team has to play above their normal averages,AND we need two of the four teams mentioned to have signficant injuries and play well below expectations.

Can it happen, yes-is it realistic-not on your life.

The Blue Jays lost Ryan Houston to the Houston Astros today. With Ty and now him gone the jays’ playoff aspirations are quickly fading lol.

The Giants just signed Aaron Rowand to be their middle-of-the-lineup guy. This might mean the Giants will not trade for Rios.

I agree it lessens the possiblility of the Rios for Lincicum deale, but Rowand isn’t really a middle of the order guy, and they truthfully need more than 1 bat. So it’s on life support but the deal is still possible.

Sabean said that the signing of Rowand definitively kills any deals for Lincecum or Matt Cain.

tomgaston

Not surprised Sabean said that. Rowand provdes them with the middle of the order guy they were looking for. His numbers this year were actually better than Rios:

Rowand: .309BA/.374OBP,.515 slugging, 27 Hr’s, 45 doubles and 89 RBI’s.

Rios: .297BA, .354OBP,.498 slugging, 24 Hr’s, 43 doubles and 85 RBI’s.

Courtesy of CBS Sports

General manager Brian Sabean repeatedly said he hoped to hold onto Cain and Lincecum, but being a last-place team it was his responsibility to be open-minded and listen.

“With this move, we will no longer listen to any offers for Cain and Lincecum,” Sabean said. “We know the value of both individuals believe me, maybe more so now that we’ve gone through this exercise. They might be the hottest two names in baseball.”

“We still have to address what have to do at third base,” Sabean said. “We’ll wade through what the possibilities are.

**It doesn’t appear that Sabean likes Pedro Felix, so they might have some interest in Troy Glaus. I just don’t know who we could trade him for-any ideas?

Does anybody think that we should take a chance on Freddy Garcia? I believe he can still pitch even though he just had some shoulder problems. Although he is comming off one of his worst seasons ever, that could be a good thing because his price probably dropped a considerable amount.

I’ve asked about Garcia before, more people then not on this blog think it’s a bad idea, and that he’ll still ask for a good chunk of money.
I’m with you though i’d like to see the jays try it.

Senator George Mitchell’s report due tommorrow will apparently identify 60-80 players linked to performance enhancing substances.

If A-Rod’s name is in the report I wonder whether his records will be asterized like Bonds?

One way or the other it will be a sad day for baseball.

sumner,
I guess the Giants don’t realize the mvp potential in Rios that you do huh? Rowand’s a guy who’s probably coming off a career year, he’s now 30 and likely wont improve much more then what he did in ’07 (especially with a weak supporting cast). It’s too bad the Jays aren’t getting either Lincicum or Cain. I wonder now if Rios will even want to sign a long term deal knowing that the they tried to deal him. Of course in almost every case money talks.

enigma

Personally, I’m glad they didn’t do the deal for whatever reason they had. As I have said before I don’t think we needed another right hander-we need a lefty.

Sooner or later we will need to trade an outfielder. With Lind knocking on the door now and Snider late this coming year-we will have a surplus.

Personally, I wouldn’t trade Rios, I’d trade Wells, I think Rios has tremendous upside, whereas we’d seen the upside of Wells already.

If we are not in the playoff hunt, I’d trade Wells around the trade deadline, put Rios in center, Johnson in right and Lind in left. Once Snider arrives-which I assume will be as a September call up, I’d trade Johnson.

We still have a committment to Stairs for the next two years, and by the time that contact is up we, hopefully will have a 4th outfielder come up through the system. On the other hand if someone wanted Stairs, I’d trade him along with Johnson and take our chances.

freedom

The major problem with Freddie Garcia is, he isn’t expected back from his 2007 season ending surgury until June/July, assuming he makes it back healthy.

It will be interesting to see if anyone signs him before he comes back-apparently The Mets are sniffing.From our standpoint, we should have Ryan back by then, so if we do need another starter we could always move Janssen from the bullpen-so I just don’t see him fitting for us.

He’s also coming off of a $10 mill per year contract, so he certainly won’t be cheap.

Great pitcher at one time though. I watched him stymie the Jays in Safeco field more than once.

gsumner!

Do you see them?

The flying pigs outside your window.

I agree with you!

I wish we could trade Wells too. lol.

So what’s the over under on current or former Blue Jays to be named in the report tomorrow?

I certainly hope Clemens gets nailed, obviously Canseco and Segui and Glaus, I’d bet on Brad Fulmer.

I’m too tired to think of anymore than that, it will be interesting.

Brad Fulmer admitted it didn’t he ? or was that Segui..
Anyone think A-rod will be named ?

Other then Glaus, any current Jay ? Personally I doubt it.

Sumner,

I’ll agree with you on the preference of trading Wells instead of Rios but the fact is if you want to get something good in return Rios is the one teams will be asking for, it’s unfortunate because of Wells’ contract but that’s the way it works. I’m curious sumner, what would you offer for Rios on a contract extention? 5yrs at 60 mill ? that’s what i’d offer at first.

robert

Well, if Canseco was telling the truth about his upcoming new book, A-Rod, Manny and Ortis will be named along with countless others. Hey, a drug store in a small town in Florida doesn’t grow their prescription sales from $350k per year to over $40 million without a lot of people taking the stuff.

Frankly, I’d be surprised if only 60-80 players were named. I’d be more inclined to believe only 60-80 players weren’t taking the junk, considering how much of the **** was sold.

I expect Mitchell to hammer the owners, management and players union as the real culprits and rightfully so. Players were commonly putting the stuff in fridges inside the clubhouse-no one can ever convince me management didnt know what was going on. The owners, management and players union continually agreed to disagree on a drug testing policy and penalties. The only time baseball did anything was when the US government interviened and told them if they didn’t deal with the situation the government would.

I also think making Barry Bonds the scapegoat for the situation just shows how messed up baseball really is.

It will be good to get it out in the open, but I am a little crass on the whole druging subject. The reason being, I think the drug Doctors are always going to be one step ahead of the testers as they have been for the last 10-20 years. As the testers come up with a test to find the new toy, the Doctors will re-engineer it and move on.

Drugs in sports as in other parts of our life will never go away. The only time they catch an Olympic athlete today is when either the athlete or Drug Doctor screwed up.

Freddie Garcia got fined this week for smoking weed while on a baseball rehab in Venezualea. His defence was all the ptichers in the major leagues smoke grass, and it’s not illegal there-why am I being suspended. To me personally Marijuana is the most dangerous drug there is, since it’s a gateway drug to others. But is it covered under the MLB drug policy?

In my opinion, most of them take something and that’s never going to change. They’ll bring out the issue,point a lot of fingers, make lots of promises and sweep it under the rug until the next time.

Enigma

This is Rio’s second year of arbitration and there’s one more to go: so if we don’t sign him, Rios could be a free agent in the 2010 season.

Rios is coming off of a $2.535 million contract and obviously due a raise.

I do hope the Jays can sign him for 5 years-meaning Rios would give up 3 years of free agency. Right now if he was a free agent he’d likely get $18 million per year, like Wells, Hunter and other premium outfielders seem to be getting.

Those 3 years equate to $54 million, plus what he gets for the next two years. If you assume in arbitration he’d likely get $5 million this year, $7.5 next, you’re up to $66.5 million.

Now, of course it’s worth tons to the player to have a 5 year contract since it’s guaranteed, regardless of how he performs or whether he’s injured, so there is a discount to present day value. I’d expect a deal to be in the range of $50 to $55 million-maybe more.

I heard that Josh Towers will be named in the Mitchell report.

The claim hasn’t been substantiated since Towers has failed to accumulate any new muscle since leaving highschool.

gsumner,

Marijuana is not a gateway drug…

Take a look at the situation in Holland where this stuff is perfectly legal…

Thanks god for sport doping…

All this money flowing from multimillionaire athletes has really pushed that stream of research…

Now many sick people in the world can benefit from things such as steroids

Good comments, rontal. I like your style. Being Dutch, and a worker in the health care industry, I’m in full agreement.

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