Game 95: Cleveland at Toronto pregame

What does it mean if the Blue Jays do decide to trade ace Roy Halladay? Asked that question recently, catcher Rod Barajas smirked, knowing that he and the reporters surrounding him all knew exactly what such a move would mean in terms of the direction the organization was heading.

It would mean the focus has shifted toward being competitive in 2010, or perhaps even further down the road.

“We don’t want it to happen,” Barajas answered. “We’d like to keep fighting and giving ourselves an opportunity to do something. If Doc’s gone, then that pretty much means…”

Barajas paused, realizing where he was going with his thought.

“… it means that we’re not looking to win this year,” he continued. “Not so much win, but compete for a playoff spot. We hope it doesn’t happen, but if it does, it’s almost like you’re looking to next year.”

The reality is that the club was looking ahead to 2010 before this season began. That changed some when the Jays got off to their hot start. Given the recent slide, though, it makes complete sense to question if contending next season is realistic with the current nucleus of players.

Even with all that being very much the case, the players inside Toronto’s clubhouse don’t want to believe that there isn’t enough time to still make a run at the playoffs this season. Obviously, having Halladay leading the young rotation would be necessary for that type of miracle turnaround to happen.

Rookie Ricky Romero doesn’t like that people are dismissing the Jays already.

“What would be better than making a run with our young pitching staff when people are counting us out?” Romero said. “People are saying we’re no good, this and that. To me it just lights a fire under my skin and I want to go out there and just do the best I can.”

Chatted with Vernon Wells today about his thoughts on the whole Halladay saga. More on that later on bluejays.com.

Today’s lineups:


Thumbnail image for Thumbnail image for Indians.jpgCLEVELAND INDIANS (37-57)
Fifth place AL Central, 13.5 GB

1. Grady Sizemore, CF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Victor Martinez, C
4. Travis Hafner, DH
5. Jhonny Peralta, 3B
6. Ryan Garko, 1B
7. Ben Francisco, LF
8. Luis Valbuena, 2B
9. Chris Gimenez, RF

Starter: RHP Carl Pavano (8-7, 5.13)

Thumbnail image for BlueJays.jpgTORONTO BLUE JAYS (46-48)
Fourth place AL East, 10.5 GB

1. Marco Scutaro, SS
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Adam Lind, DH
4. Scott Rolen, 3B
5. Lyle Overbay, 1B
6. Vernon Wells, CF
7. Alex Rios, RF
8. David Dellucci, LF
9. Raul Chavez, C

Starter: LHP Ricky Romero (7-4, 3.25)

Don’t forget, you can follow me on Twitter: @MLBastian

~JB

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19 Comments

Maybe Vernon should chip in $7-$8 million per year to keep Halladay. Rios can add $2-$3, Halladay gets a nice raise and fans won’t feel Vernon and Rios are so over paid. Then possibly the Jays can find some budget to sign a real power hitter and we can leave Vernon and RIos in the 6th and 7th hole to continue to produce as they currently are. lol

Vernon can always opt out after 2011. [hoping]

“hoping”, naw dreaming . lol

Hey, Vernon hits one when it matters. How about that.

Has anyone else seen that video of Matt Bush being arrested from last week? The only thing worse is this Tony Bernazard guy from the Mets.

Actually Bernazard reminded me of Gibbons, who also fought with his players.

A bit of a sloppy start from Romero with 5 walks, but Cleveland was generous and gave us 7 walks in return and for the first time in a long time, our guys made them pay. Romero goes 8-4 in his first 15 starts.

Like that Jay homeritis disease, hope it stays around for a while.

Just in case anybody missed it last night, JP said that Halladay will be seeking free agency after 2010. If they let him walk, anybody that can afford him will be drafting near the bottom of the round, but since he should be one of the first free agents signed, at least they won’t get pushed back like the Burnett picks. If they can’t do a deal before the deadline, we will probably see him gone over the Winter.

My feeling on Halladay right now is if he wants to test free agency, then we should let him go. I have no doubt that he will be seeking a 6 year deal that will take him into his forties, and there are clubs out there that will go for it. The Jays can’t afford to tie up huge amounts of salary in a 34 year old pitcher who is probably at the peak of his ability right now. Thee is too much risk of a sudden decline, or a career ending injury, AKA BJ Ryan. At that point, all you could do is have him bronzed and use him for a boat anchor.

When you guys were talking about minor leaguers the other day, did anybody mention Moises Sierra? The 6’0″, 225 lb Dominican Right Fielder went 3 for 3 last night, with 2 doubles, 4 rbi, and 2 walks. In 79 games this year he is hitting .321 with an OBP of .398. A former FSL player of the week, he is liable to repeat if he keeps it up!

JG was a memeber of the Mets? Coincidence?

Speaking of the minor leagues, next year is a big year. A lot of the top prospects will be making that big jump from A+ to AA.

(Assuming everyone does get promoted.) We’ll get to see what guy like Sierra, Thames (if he can stay healthy), Ahrens, Jackson, Tolisano, Collins, Liebel, and Magnuson really have and how close they really are to being ready.

It’s also interesting because some of the guys in NH are going to have to move up to AAA to make room. Specifically, talking about Emaus who started hot but faded fast this year.

There are a lot of plugs in AAA though so they won’t have to make room there but the catching situation is muddled especially will Barajas a FA and Arencibia sturggling a bit this year and Jeroloman waiting in AA.

I think it is also a big year for the ‘athletic’ guys like Wilson, Crouse, Brisker, Eiland. They have to prove they can do something more than run.

Halladay just turned 32 mid-may , don’t make him older than what he is because then it makes me older…..lol…he is a couple years older than I am, almost to the day . I don’t blame Doc for wanting to test free agency . I think Halladay will look for 5 years which will make him 38 at the end of that contract ( he will be 33 at the end of next season ) . If he leaves the Jays and gets his chance to play October ball then maybe at the end of that contract he comes back to TO to finish out his career. I would be happy he got the chance to pitch in a WS and hopefully win . Though I hate to see him leave I certainly understand

My understanding of free agency is the Jays get 2 draft picks but if the team that signs Halladay signs another FA who is ranked numerically higher then the Jays’ draft picks will get kicked further down which is what happened with Burnett picks. Tex was ranked numerically higher so even though Burnett was signed before him, Jays’ picks dropped down . I think it stinks but thats how MLB does things . Yanks should have lost their first round picks for the next 3 years for signing 3 type A free agents , CC, Tex and Burnett .

I heard that interview from JP as well and the last thing I want us to do is depend on draft picks. What we would get is a first rounder and a sandwich pick, BUT depending on who signs him and how many free agents they sign before they sign Halladay, that could be a first rounder and a sandwich pick or a 3rd or 4th rounder if they signed other free agents and a sandwich pick at the end of the sandwich round. I suspect Halladay would not be the first free agent signed either since he will be the best one available.

That is exactly how we got screwed on Burnett, our first rounder for Burnett was in the 3rd round because NY had already signed CC and Tiexera. Two draft picks are a lot riskier than 2 to 3 A grade prospects who’re already playing pro ball. We should trade him now, while his value is the highest and that is right now.
I wonder if Halladay expressed that before or after JP talked to the press.My take is Halladay expressed this to Beeston, in their meeting this week.

I doubt there are many players ranked higher than Halladay in the Elias Rankings though (let alone someone who is a FA who signs with the same team) so it most likely would be a 1st rounder. Last years situation was pretty freak.

That’s what I thought about Burnett as well, I’d still rather have prospects, and Halladay’s value is better now than it will ever be from our point of view.

Trade him now.

peemicee

No way Ahrens or Jackson get promoted and Magnuson is probably unlikely. I do think Sierra, Thames, Tolisano and Collins deserve the promotion with Liebel on the line along with Magnsuson.

Ahrens is a huge disappointment so far and Jackson is not far behind. Neither have shown they can field or hit for either average or power in the 2+ years they’ve been pros. They’re both hitting .215 or under and have 2 hr’s and 30 errors between the two of them. I’m starting to wonder whether they’ll ever make it.

Of the entire group in Dunedin, I like Sierra the best, although Tolisano is finally starting to move up the scale.

I was less using those players as specific examples and more eluding to the fact that the ‘top’ position prospects haven’t progress through the system fast enough to clear room. So now players like Emaus are blocking players like Tolisano and players like Jackson are blocking players like Pastornicky from next year promotions to use a few examples. So some players are being blocked and others are being pushed quickly to free up playing time for other following behind them.

Right and at this level we have Millar blocking Dopirak, Delucci blocking Snider and Chavez blocking Arrencibia.

We’re not in nor will we be in contention this year and probably not next. We should dump the dead wood up here promote these 3 kids and let them get acclimatized, but more importantly work with the coaches here instead of AAA which would help them immensely.

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