Day 2: Winter Meetings



Thumbnail image for AA2.jpgFor the Blue Jays, there was a lot of talking and idea floating on the first day of these Winter Meetings in Indianapolis. Toronto is keying in on possible trades right now and that will likely remain the focus as we head into Day 2 today.

Obviously, when the words “trades” and “Blue Jays” are in the same sentence today, the first thing that comes to mind is this whole Roy Halladay situation. It’s not going away and the rumors will continue to pop up this week.

The one interesting rumor from Day 1 was the possible emergence of the Rays as a suitor for Halladay — perhaps as part of a three-team trade, but not necessarily. Names involved in the rumor from the Rays’ end were pitcher Wade Davis and outfielder B.J. Upton. In reality, if there is any merit to this, Toronto would have more interest in Davis than Upton, and another Rays prospect would likely be involved.

Looking closer at a potential Rays-Jays matchup, it seems like it could be a fit. Think about it. As a general philosophy, Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos is willing to consider offering a window for teams to discuss a contract extension with his players, but he has said on the record that he would prefer to avoid over-complicating any deals.

The Yankees, Red Sox and Angels will likely want to have a contract extension involved in any potential Halladay swap, especially if the Jays’ asking price remains steep. The same can’t be said for the Rays. A) Tampa Bay doesn’t have that kind of cash and B) Halladay might not want to talk about a long-term deal with a team coming off a third-place finish.

Halladay wants to pitch for a perennial contender for the World Series and he reportedly has a preference to be with a club that trains near his Florida home. Tampa Bay — two years removed from a World Series berth — would represent a one-year solution before Halladay hits the open market.

If the Jays do trade Doc, Anthopoulos also has to explain to the fanbase why he pulled the trigger. A trade to the rival Yankees and Red Sox — while still a realistic conclusion to all of this — would be a harder sell to Jays fans than a swap with Tampa Bay. It would also take the heat off the Jays if Halladay decides to sign with New York or Boston next winter.

Just a thought…

Here are some links from Day 1:

In Halladay talks, secrecy is critical

With ace in the hole, Jays target long-term gains

Barajas declines Blue Jays’ offer

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter (@MLBastian) for all the latest Jays updates and check back here later for more on the day’s happenings.

–JB

UPDATE: 7:55 pm

The Yankees stole the stage on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings, agreeing in principle to a three-team trade with the Tigers and Diamondbacks that will send center fielder Curtis Granderson to the Bronx.

That move does not necessarily mean that New York is about to pull itself out of the running for Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay — the hottest commodity on the open market. Speaking to Toronto, Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos acknowledged that no teams have ended any trade discussions on any of his players.

“I haven’t been told by any team, from discussions and conversations we’ve had, that they are not involved and don’t want to continue dialogue,” Anthopoulos said. “I have not had a club approach me yet and say, ‘That trade scenario we talked about, we’re no longer involved. We don’t want to be involved.'”

As part of the Yankees’ latest blockbuster deal, New York outfield prospect Austin Jackson would head to the Tigers. The Jays had reportedly expressed interest in Jackson in talks about a potential Halladay deal. Anthopoulos indicated that the trade was not likely to impact the Jays’ offseason plans.

“I don’t think it will really change a whole lot,” Anthopoulos said. “We’re very specific in what our wants are and what our needs are, and New York’s needs and ours aren’t necessarily the same — the positions we want to fill, the long-term players that we want to put in certain spots.”

The Yankees might not have informed the Blue Jays that they can no longer pursue Halladay, but the trade will likely lessen the chances of the star right-hander winding up in pinstripes. Halladay also has suitors in the Red Sox and Angels, perhaps the Phillies, and the Rays emerged on Monday as a possible darkhorse to land the pitcher.

ALSO OF NOTE: The Jays have called on Pirates catcher Ryan Doumit. Not huge news, since they’ve been linked to Doumit in rumors for a while. … Pitcher Brian Wolfe has elected for free agency. … Anthopoulos still has numerous talks going on the trade front, looking for young controllable players to help rebuild the Jays’ core. Anthopoulos noted that he is also floating some three-team trades to help the process. … Anthopoulos met with Doc’s reps at dinner on Monday night. … He has some trade offers currently on the table and has had a few free agents turn down offers.   

–JB

6 Comments

The more I check out Wade Davis, the more I’m hoping this TB rumor is true and we do this deal. Davis could really be something special.
Too bad we can’t deal Wells and put Upton in CF. I think Upton wants out of TB, the fall off in his offense numbers in the last year of so doesn’t make a lot of sense compared to 2007.
Just smells like a personality conflict or it could be because they’ve kept him at mlb minimum, in spite of his mlb experience. After the year he had in 2007, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for him to be upset. Maybe a change of scenery gets him back to 2007 levels and if that happens, he’d be a great solution for lead off-of course that assumes we trade Wells

It would be a much harder sell to us as fans to send him to the sox or yanks for sure and the talent coming back would have to be off the charts to make sense at all. TB provides a 3rd option (though not as convenient as the Angels -different division) that would sit nice with the fan base and would make sense with the names involved. Alex would def abstain from flack if the Rays are unable to convince Halladay to stay past next year.

Either way…post-halladay baseball needs to begin asap for the Jays and us, the fans.

I’ve liked Upton since I first watched him play. A great piece to a Halladay trade, the man has plenty of talent. While I don’t know anything about Wade, I trust that he is a potential ace in the making, or at worst a number 2 stater.

Granderson is a nice pickup for the Yankees. If I were them, I would go hard after Lackey. That should give them enough to repeat, without requiring Roy. As for the Sox, I think that they will go hard after Bay or Holliday. If they were willing to pay the price to get Roy, they would have offered the two pitchers the Jays want and taken Roy off the market by now. I think that our best hope for receiving a decent package lies with a peripheral team, like the Rays or Texas. I don’t think that the Angels are a good fit with respect to prospects. No doubt Antho will have a lot to think about. I just hope that something happens sooner than later.

I agree on Granderson being a good deal for the Yanks, that guy could hit 40 hr’s per year in that stadium. It also means the Yanks take on a contract costing $5.5 mill. and having the luxury of not bringing back either Damon or Matsui who cost them $13 mill. last year. So better performance, better speed, younger player and save cash at the same time. Looks like a winner to me.

It looks to me that Alex, if doing nothing else at these meetings, is at least getting Jays credibility back after JP blew it all to hell last June with his circus mentality. I suspect a number of GM’s tested him, just to see if he was JP’s prodigy or his own man. They now have the answer and it will help in the future.

I do have the feeling, however, that the best offer we got for Halladay was last June, just not that sure if we will get those same offers again. It will not be as easy of a trade to do as one would think, that is for sure, since all teams now value prospects more than in the past.

From the Angels on the Halladay front, here’s the recap from DrunkJaysFans.com:

“Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times tells us that “Angels General Manager Tony Reagins did not rule out the possibility of trading highly touted young shortstop Erick Aybar, an apparent philosophical shift that could put the Angels in the driver’s seat for Toronto Blue Jays ace Roy Halladay.”

“I never said Aybar was the sticking point in that deal,” Reagins said today at the winter meetings. “He has tremendous value for us, but Brandon Wood can play shortstop and third base, and Maicer Izturis can play shortstop, third base and second base, so there’s some flexibility if we wanted to include any of those three guys in a trade.””

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