Zaun won't be returning to Toronto

TORONTO — Free-agent catcher Gregg Zaun vented some frustration with the Blue Jays in an article that appeared in the National Post on Monday. In July, Zaun admitted to being open to a trade out of Toronto, but general manager J.P. Ricciardi countered by saying there were no interested parties. Zaun told the newspaper that the Jays “had a trade in place” and backed out.

“It sure wasn’t easy to take when J.P. in the papers was telling everybody in the baseball world that nobody wanted me, when I knew that that was in fact not the truth,” Zaun told the newspaper. “To say that nobody was interested in me was inaccurate and embarrassing and it really made me look bad. I wasn’t happy with that.”

Zaun also expressed some frustration about an apparent lack of communication from the Blue Jays, who handed the starting catching job to Rod Barajas after Zaun returned from a stint on the disabled list midway through the season. Earlier this offseason, the Jays picked up Barajas’ $2.5 million club option to bring him back in 2009.

The 37-year-old Zaun, who made $3.75 million last year, finished the 2008 season hitting .237 with six homers and 30 RBIs in 245 at-bats — the fewest trips to the plate in his five-year tour with Toronto. Zaun and Ricciardi ruled out a return to Toronto and the catcher said he hopes to land a backup job with a contender or a regular role on a team with a young pitching staff.

“That would be a fun job for me,” Zaun said. “It’s what I did when I started with the Blue Jays. I was a part of the maturing process of all those young pitchers.”

~JB

28 Comments

Isn’t this all just moot anyway? Zaun wants more than a 1 year deal anyway and he wont get that from the Jays. The Jays are only looking at bringing back Rod for a year anyway. The Jays will tire of Barajas’ .250 avg by the all-star break and deal him at the trade deadline to whichever contender needs to fill a hole at catcher from injuries. They may as well start the year with Brian Jeroloman as the back-up and bring J.P. Arencibia up around mid-season.
What’s with all of the jabbing through the media? Zauny, you’re a class act and we expect more from you. Don’t stoop down to JP’s level, it doesn’t look good on you. The fans know that you will land on your feet!

What does everyone think of the Matt Holliday to Oakland deal? It chaps my rear! If the A’s can afford him, so can the Jays! And all the A’s gave up was Street (lost his closer job after imploding), Smith (7-16 rookie campaign) and Gonzalez (mediocre rookie year). Couldn’t the Jays have offered Accardo, Litsch and Lind and grabbed Holliday? Just goes to show the difference in negotiating skills between JP and Billy.

The Jays paid Zaun $7.5 million in the last two years which is more than Zaun made in total the previous 14 years and he’s whining????????
He’s complaining that the Jays didn’t trade him-is he the GM now???????
He’s complaining that he lost the starter’s job to a very hot Barajas. He expected someone to say “sorry Greg but Barajas is hot as hell and by the way he throws out runners and your throwing arm is like a uncooked noodle!!!!!!
When Hillebrand left and dissed the Jays on the way out, the first guy on the soapbox was Zaun who stated “what Hillebrand did was very unprofessional, those things should be either discussed behind closed doors or not discussed at all” And now he’s saying what???????

What really pisses me off about this situation is Zaun did something I didn’t think was possible to do-he made JP look like a class act with JP’s comments of ” Zaun did a great job for us.” Greg Zaun-a crybaby loser. Good ridance.

Andrew.
So you’d trade Accardo, Litsch and Lind for Holliday, when we’re short on pitching and already have two left fielder’s, knowing you pay Holliday $13 million per year and he’s a free agent after 2009?

Okey dokey!!!!

“Andrew.
So you’d trade Accardo, Litsch and Lind for Holliday, when we’re short on pitching and already have two left fielder’s, knowing you pay Holliday $13 million per year and he’s a free agent after 2009?

Okey dokey!!!!”

I never thought I would say this regarding your posts, but great point.

Zaun obviously thinks he is good. Wow! Perhaps someone should send some videotape of him playing the last few years. lol.

Gs,

Your right ( Zaun ) made J.P. look good. I think I have seen it all. lol. Players like Zaun make me laugh! Nothing but a below average player. Not too mention a whiner. Why does he think he is good? He made nearly 4 million in 2008, he should give most of it back! LOL!!

People are praising the A’s on the Holliday deal because you know as soon as the trade dealine comes, and if the A’s aren’t contending, Beane is going to haven’t another barginning chip to salvage another pack of prospects.

Street was coming of a bad year, Gonzalez might be great, but we are yet to see it, and Smith was nothing special. Beane is simple simply unloaded some prospects, so he can have a bargainning chip to reload in the future and start anew with fresh young faces. Gutzy move, but that is what the guy has been doing that for years. No second thoughts, he just goes with his calculations.

You could praise it now, but I’d be skeptical, I want to wait and see how it plays out.

I am coming to the conclusion that this year The Jays should seriously considering a re-build as a result of circumstances, which are in some cases beyond their control.

The first fact is TB, Boston, NY and Baltimore all all going to be stronger next year, so if we’re going to win, The Jays have to significantly increase payroll to sign free agents, since we don’t have the depth in our minor league system prospects for trades.

Fact two is the Canadian dollar has really tanked; so badly that it’s likely going to cost the Jays a minimum of $20 to $30 million “Canadian dollars. Just think that 100 million payroll would cost about $95 million Canadian dollars a few months ago and now it costs $120 and that doesn’t include all the other costs payable in US dollars. Yikes.
Combine the dollar problem with the Yanks opening their own stadium this year and no longer contributing to gate equilization, The Jays will probably not get the same support they have in the past-and this was a significant source of revenue.

For us to really compete, we need two strong bats, a lead off hitter and a solid innings eating starter. That’s a lot of holes to fill, and unless we get the very best bats like Tiexera and Manny, we’ll still fall short and finish in 4th or 5th place.

So I believe it’s time to unload those enormous contracts and trade for high quality prospects in order to seriously compete in 3-4 years. Specifically, let’s trade Overbay, Rolen, Wells, Halliday, Ryan, Barajas and Downs for sure and possibly Rios if we get the right offer. Let’s cut player salaries to the bone and invest heavily into new draft choice signings and really build a strong minor league system so we roll out lots of high quality prospects year after year.

And, let’s bring the kids up and let them play.

Last year Beckett was the favourite to win the CY . He had more wins than Sabathia but Sabathia captured every other category and we all know who won . Lee has more wins and Lee’s ERA is slightly better than Doc’s but Doc beat him in every other category and pitched in more games with no support . Is there a chance for Doc ? I doubt it, I think Jay’s players are lost to MLB . Maybe its a female thing, but for me its hard to see Doc move on . I do think its the only way he gets the recognition he so deserves plus it gives him a better chance to pitch in the post season . I read where they may even give the CY to Mussina ( sentimental vote )…..now that would be a travesty .

gs,

No team is going to take on those contracts except Doc’s and Downs’ as both are a bargain . Our farm system will not get any better . I am not sure if its the scouts that suck , JP ( ok we all know we need a change in GM ) or both but Jay’s drafting is less than stellar. We don’t have the players in the farm system to rebuild and with what we have to trade , other than Doc and Downs ( Rios if included ), we won’t get anything great in return . Jays can’t afford to pay part of a player’s contract and Roger’s can increase the payroll but you have to have somebody who knows how to get value for the dollar which the Jays don’t have . It doesn’t matter that our dollar is no longer on par or above , it was only that way for a relatively short period. For years the canadian dollar was well below the american . Its not how much money that matters but how that money is spent . TB sure proved that last season .

indigo
What the Jays really can’t afford is to stay in limbo. Unless they seriously increase payroll, we will be in 4th place again next year-maybe 5th. Fan support peaked in 2006 with very limited growth ever since. I expect it to start dropping in 2009 because of the economic situation and if we head to last place fan support will drop through the floor.

Our farm system can improve like others IF we have the right management. Oakland added 19 prospects to their depleted minor league system this last year through trades-so it can be done in other ways than just drafting. Frankly, with gate equalization looking like its going the way of the do do bird-I don’t think we have a choice.

I think Ryans contract is very tradeable as well, providing we trade him at the right time. I expect he’ll be back to 2006 form this spring, so I wouldn’t trade him until he proves it. I expect we’d have to eat a chunk of Rolen, Overbay and Well’s contracts-although NY could potentially be a good fit for Wells. I agree we wouldn’t get much for Rolen, Overbay, Wells or Barajas, but we can’t win with them, so why would we keep them.

But now is the right time to trade Halliday and Downs, their value will never be higher than it is right now. I’d expect we could almost name our price for Halliday and get 4 grade a+ prospects, and two top prospects for Downs, who could be marketed as a low cost high quality closer. Imagine what this team would look like ( offensively) if we traded Halliday and Overbay to Milwaukee for Escobar, Gamel and Fielder. Our 4th hole guy, ss, lead off hitter, 3rd base guy with power positions would all be filled with huge talent and potential. Downs and Ryan could be traded for top flight starter pitching prospects. Dump Wells and Barajas, play Rios in center, Snider in rf, Lind in left, bring up Arrencibia and Jeroloman ( although personally I don’t see Jeroloman staying long) and our position players are set.
With Litsch, McGowan, Marcum, Janssen, Purcey, Cecil, Romero and Brad Mills, plus a couple of other prospects, we’d have fine starters in a year.
Accardo, League and Carleson at the back end of the pen combined with others like Wolfe, Davis Romero and young guys coming up-I think I’d take my chances.

A good team is made up of both veterans and rookies, checkout the Redsox , Angels even the Rays brought in Floyd as a veteran presence in the clubhouse. If you trade away all the Jays veterans you lose the identity or the face of the team . If you think fan attendance is down now, it will bottom out if you trade away everyone. Those you have remaining do not have the same impact as Wells or Doc. Maybe with time they will but not yet. Fans need a player or players to identify with the team.

We agree on the farm system , that we can draft good players but we don’t have that right now . Like I said its either the scouts , Riccardi or a combination of both that are not doing their job well when it comes to drafting.

As for Fielder , I don’t want to see him in a Jays uniform . I agree he can hit but his defence is lacking , he could stand to be in better shape and by the time this “new” team gels , he will become a free agent and his representative is Boras . The Brewers aren’t going to give him up while they have control of his salary. I don’t want Manny either . I think he will cost too much money for too many years and as he declines , which he will do eventually , the Jays will be stuck with another inflated contract that can’t dispose of .

Next year will be a tough one for sure . The ALE is getting more difficult as the teams in this division try to build for the season . The Jays are lacking in many areas and I don’t see next year being much better than this past season . I said earlier its time for fresh ideas , a new GM and until that happens the Jay’s will continue to stagnate . I don’t think increasing the payroll in this case will help , look at the Yankees . Its not how much money but how wisely you spend it . Jp doesn’t spend it wisely

Congratulations to Cito Gaston for winning the Jackie Robinson Lifetime Achievement Award ( Legacy Award )

Note to gsjays: Careful, you are starting to sound a lot like me! Unfortunately, I can tell you from experience, many contributors to this blog cannot see the big picture you are painting. They may start to listen after next year’s 5th-place finish – but by then, our tradeable assets will have diminished in value to the point that it will be difficult to acquire the packages of young players you are after. Nevertheless, keep up the good fight!

Indigo
Actually the Brewers have let it be known they would consider trading Fielder. Fact is Fielder might or might not be the “big bat” we need in the 4th hole, but clearly we need one.
Frankly, I’d be as interested or more interested in Gamel and Escobar. Gamel could turn into that big bat and Escobar could turn into an all star ss, hitting for high average and good speed.
Although, I somewhat agree the team needs veterans to win, I think you’ll agree the veterans must be the leaders and neither Wells, Rolen, Overbay, Downs or Overbay fit that mode-which is one of the main reasons they have to be dumped. Halliday and Ryan are leaders, but they are along with Downs, are the prized assets we need to trade to get better and contend.The leaders on this team in the future have to be the Hills, Rios’s and Marcums.
I’m glad you agree 2009 doesn’t look good and increasing the payroll isn’t the way to go. That being said, we need to trade these guys and bring in prospects in order to rebuild for 2010 and 2011.
Although I agree fans come to see Halliday pitch, I disagree on Wells or any of the other veterans. Wells is currently the 25th ranked outfielder in MLB, is way over paid, and this team wins more without him than with him. Attendance is going to drop one way or the other, although I think more fans came out to see Snider than Wells.
I think if we do the right deals, we will bounce back very quickly. Look at Minnesota and how they did this year after trading Santana. And watch out for Oakland in 2009.

My concern though, is we might see JP trade the Sniders, Linds, Cecils and Romeros in order to be “competitive” this year and save his butt again. I can read the PR’s now with JP saying “we’ve liked this guy for a long time.” and trade for 30-35+ veterans with limited upside and we finish 4th again. The Robinson Diaz trade comes to mind.

Burt,
There is a big difference between a discussion and a “fight”. I don’t fight …lol…too much negative energy. I have a business so I always look at the big picture …look to the future

I have never been privy to the conversations that go on in the locker room so I have no idea who the leader is nor do I think any of us do. I do recall Hill saying when Doc speaks they all listen. However for the good of us fans, I am willing to take on the locker room assigment.

I am not disagreeing that we do or do not need a big bat , I just don’t think Fielder is the one . Jays shouldn’t give up the defence to satisfy the offence. Wells is ranked so low right now because he had 2 injury seasons, stats can be misleading.
I think we should be concerned about Riccardi trading the few ,young talented players the Jays have. We can play armchair manager all we want but ultimately Riccardi will do what he thinks is best for the team and himself . He seems to prefer proven players over rookies. Lind is a good example. he would still be in the minors had gaston not brought him up .

Burnett is gone , Doc is traded as is Downs , McGowan and Marcum both don’t come back next year until mid season . Janssen is doing ok but not great , who do you see pitching ? Remember Hughes was baseball’s #1 prospect and he has tried the majors 2 years in a row now and failed . Rookies don’t come with guarantees. Look at the Marlins who won the WS , disbanded the team and have done squat since .

Indigo
I’m sure if you became the locker room leader, we’d win the series. I’d bet Garry and Bosox will agree on that point. lol
I disagree with you on Lind still being in the minors. I think it’s better to bring these kids up early rather than late-because our coaching and mentoring is so much better here than the minors and the kids will become better players as a result. Lind is a perfect example of that and Snider will be as well.

If you start off with the assumption we’re going to finish 4th or 5th next year unless we dramatically increase salary, then play the kids, we might be surprised as we were with Marcum, Litcsh and McGowan. I do also think Jannsen will make it back-he’s got a lot of desire which is what’s needed to come back from that injury and he has the time.

So starters-I’d play 5 of Litsch, Purcey, Cecil, Rickie Romero, Janssen, Mills and Richmond with McGowan coming back in June. For the pen, League is the closer, Accardo is set up, Carleson and Davis Romero the lefties, Wolfe, and two of the starters above-likely Mills and Richmond. This assumes we get no propsects capable of taking any of these spots.
Marcum will not be back until spring of 2010.

As for Minnesota , they are a great blend of veteran and rookie players and Santana is only one player . Minn also has a very good farm system that primarily focuses on pitchers. They also have , what I think , is one of the best managers in baseball in Gardenhire .

I think you misread what I typed about Lind . I get the feeling Riccardi would have kept Lind in the minors choosing to fill the void in left field with yet another free agent like Stewart. I think Gaston was the driving force in bringing up Lind and keeping him here which was a good thing .

I just don’t believe Riccardi will do any of the things you dream of . To rebuild this team with mainly rookies , it will be probably 3 years before we contend and Riccardi doesn’t have that much time ..his time is running out and he is looking for the lightning in the bottle

Now where do I apply for concierge of the locker room ….lol…

I agree on Gardenhire, I also agree on the quality of Minnesota’s minor league system-I wish ours was as good.
Yes, I did misread what you said on Lind, and I agree with your comments. I have never understood why JP kept him in the minors.

I know JP will not do what I’m suggested, nor do I want JP to do the rebuild-I have no confidence in him whatsoever. JP has had his time to prove his worth and after 7 years, we finish lower than the year before he joined us with a lot poorer outlook for next year than we’ve had for some time. We have a minor league system stocked with “nice” players that’s still in the bottom quarter of the league. We’re stuck with contracts on Wells, Overbay and Rolen we can’t unload without huge hits. Imagine, we pay these 3 guys 41 million in 2010 and if Ryan doesn’t improve add another 10 million to that number, it’s outrageous. We’ve already taken sizeable hits on Thomas, Henske, Koskie and others. We’ve had one good and one reasonable draft year in 7. He’s lost all credibility with the fan base, the press and any free agent in MLB that’s worth anything. Frankly, the only thing worse is to allow him to trade all our propsects for more of the same he’s done in the past.

The only positive thing for this year is you being the concierge of the locker room. I’ll be a reference for you as I’m sure both Garry and Bosox will. The question is how good are your massages? lol

Maybe it’s possible since the padres are looking to trade, maybe the jays could swing a deal such as Overbay, Mills, and first or second rounder for Adrian Gonzalez. Perhaps San Diego would do it because it looks as though they are ready to unload Peavy any day now and will need good pitching prospects. If all else fails we could maybe get them to throw Greene in as well, if we strike out on the open market. Inglett seemed to do a good job for us leading off, and was clutch at time, hitting a lot of triples, he
could even man ss if it comes down to it. Overall he does more than macdonald and Scutoro.

Gsjays.
I think Kate was thinking of being massaged not giving them lol.

For the most part I was illustrating how easy it is to make your team better and how lacksidasical the approach is that the Jays brass is taking. The Rockies were absolutely ripped off in this deal and the Jays should be looking for deals like this one. Teams are GIVING away players and if the Jays are the buyers that they claim to be, they should be exploiting the teams that are making trades just to dump payroll. Now that the Padres have announced that they wont be bringing back Hoffman and are also looking to deal Giles, the price of Peavy has been cut in half. The Rockies are looking to sell Atkins as well (the Jays should be all over them) and the Marlins are looking to deal Hanley and Uggla.

$13M for Holliday is a bargin (even if he leaves after 1 year)! He is pretty much a lock for .300+ 30+ HR, 100+ RBI, 20+ SB – How long has it been since a Jay put up stats anything like that??? The names Carlos Delgado and Roberto Alomar come to mind. I understand that the Jays have an abundance of OF, but aquiring Holliday would allow them to trade away Rios and / or Wells. An OF of Holliday, Wells and Snider would be one of the best in baseball. The Jays need a # 4 & # 5 hitter. And Wells & Rios aren’t the answer (neither are Overbay or Rolen or Barajas or any of the other guys that the put in that role last year – well, other than Thomas). Wells is a good #3 guy, and Rios could be a #2 or #7 guy, but definitely isn’t a middle of the order guy. The Jays need to make a splash if they want to be a contender, and the price was right to get Holliday. It was too good to pass up, even if it isn’t exactly what they are looking for. If you can get a player like that, for that cheap of a price, YOU HAVE TO TAKE IT!

PS – Congrats to Cito! Well done Old chap, well done! Great to see you back in uniform. Maybe next year, with a full schedule under your belt you’ll be looking at some 1st place votes.

Even though Gaston only managed for 3 months, he received 2 , 3rd place votes for AL manager of the year putting him in 6th place . First the Legacy Award now this, something went right for the Jays last season

Garry-you think???
Hey, I’d offer to give Kate a massage at anytime. lol

garry,
Good idea , I never thought of that ……lol…….I was worried how I was going to keep up , with your idea I don’t have to . How is your wife doing ? I hope she is well

Kate my wife is doing well and she said thank you for your concern.

Well, whether it is JP or Zaun’s fault is not that important now in the team’s perspectives.

I have been researching lately for some backup catchers, primarily those stuck in AAA and acquired some MLB experiences. In my opinion, Pierre-Luc LaForest, a lefthand hitting Canadian recently released by the Phillies AAA is an option. He will be 31 and showed a career .807 OPS in the minors with 148 AB over 3 years of MLB services.

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