Day 3: Winter Meetings

CitoDoc.jpgHello from Day 3 of the Winter Meetings in Indianapolis. Day 2 saw a big three-team, seven-player trade between the Yankees, Tigers and D-backs, with the centerpiece of the deal being Curtis Granderson donning pinstripes.

All was quiet on the Roy Halladay front for the most part, with the exception of knowing that the Yanks’ move does not necessarily mean they are out of the running to acquire the ace. The Angels, Red Sox and Dodgers are all still involved as well.

Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston arrived yesterday as well and general manager Alex Anthopoulos noted that the skipper will be consulted on some player moves that impact the 2010 season. We’re scheduled to sit down with Gaston today to get his thoughts on all the offseason happenings and about his final season on the bench.

Behind the scenes, Anthopoulos is busy beyond just the ongoing Halladay talks, which are still in the early stages. It would be very surprising if the Jays dealt Doc here in Indianapolis. If Toronto does make a move, it’s more likely to be one that addressed one of the many other needs for the club.

Anthopoulos has noted that he has told rival GMs that every player on the Jays is available, just to initiate some creative conversations and to gauge what type of offers are out there — not to necessarily move the players. The Jays rookie GM is also working on three- and perhaps four-team scenarios to help the process.

“We have so many needs and we do want to add a lot of quality players,” Anthopoulos said on Tuesday. “I’m actively working on as many things as I can, to be honest with you. Most deals, in my mind … you may get five pieces back and four of the five really fit for you, and the fifth one might be a better fit for somebody else.

“If you can maximize your return moving that fifth piece to get something else, those are the type of things you try to do. The other scenarios are obviously if you like a player on a certain team and your roster doesn’t have a fit with that team. Well, maybe with your trade talks with other teams you can get something.”

In Halladay, Anthopoulos has a player who could help speed the process of stengthening the core of Toronto’s roster. The Jays want Major League-ready talent and young, controllable players to build around in order to improve the team’s long-term chances of contending. Free agency does not factor into that part of Anthopoulos’ plan.

“Free agency is something that’s going to fill the big league team for 2010,” Anthopoulos said. “We have some immediate needs — the first being behind the plate more than anything. It’s definitely there. Right now, the market just isn’t there for us — the values don’t line up with us and agents. But, there’s a lot of players out there that we like. I’ve certainly contacted a lot of the agents to try to get a sense of what their asking prices might be. Right now, I don’t see a fit.

“I’ve also contacted some agents for players that I felt we might go after should we trade a player and open up a spot. I’ve wanted to just touch base and know that, should we trade Player X, if we wanted to get a replacement, what might that expense be? So, when I’m looking at what the net return on the trade is and what the cost might be in signing a player, I can evaluate it before making that trade.”

On the catching front, the Blue Jays continue to be linked to Ryan Doumit of the Pirates. Toronto has inquired about the catcher with Pittsburgh and the teams are rumored to be discussing a potential deal — one that could include a third team. Anthopoulos reiterated on Tuesday that nothing was imminent or close in any of his trade talks.

Beyond finding a new starting catcher, the Blue Jays are also in the market for a corner outfielder and perhaps some help in the rotation and bullpen. As Toronto looks to address those needs, the club is interested to see which arbitration-eligible players might join the free-agent pool if they are not tendered contracts before Saturday’s deadline.

“Our conversations are moving along at the right pace,” Anthopoulos said. “We know that there are some dates that are going to fast approach and impact things — like the tender deadline — and that may impact things a little bit with respect to players becoming available and players we might go after. That may change things for us a little bit.”

Check back here later for more and don’t forget to follow me on twitter (@MLBastian).




Bob Elliot reports that the Sox will not part with Buchholz or Kelly for Halladay. If this is true, both the Yanks and Sox expect Roy to reach free agency, and then let the bidding begin. Hopefully, some other team will enter the mix, but it does not look like the “Big 2” are going to mortgage their future when all they have to do is be patient and wait until Roy reaches free agency. A good strategy on their part, but it sucks for us 😦

Burt-That is obvious posturing by the Sox, trying to convince NY they’re not interested in order to keep the price down. NY will bid aggressively for Halladay at some point because they know he almost guarantees them another ws and the Yanks are about winning now, since a big chunk of their core is aging.

However, I hope the TB offer is the one that gets done. I think Davis could be the next King Felix, and I think he could get there sooner than later. I also think if Upton was handled properly, he’d return to 2007 performance levels almost immediately.
But the key is Davis; I’d be prepared to trade Halladay for him on a one to one basis, he really is a stud.

I’d say that the Yanks are out of the race now that Jackson has been dealt. Even if they offered Montero, Joba and Hughs, AA should decline. Hughs and Joba have proven that they are destined to be relief pitchers at best. They are no longer the stud prospects that they once were. The deal that the Jays are looking for is something better than 2 1st round picks. If they aren’t offered that then they need to walk away.
With the Yanks out, I’d say the Sox will walk away as well. They would be happy to just go into a dollar for dollar bidding war against the Yanks next off-season.
So, if the Jays are looking for a deal, it’s probably down to T-Bay, the Angels and Dodgers. The Phillies haven’t made a reasonable offer to date.

This is not a case of “I told you so,” but I remember a couple of years ago gs and myself were talking openly about the need to re-build, and that included trading Halladay to get something. Clearly, Halladay with two years on his contract would be worth a king’s ransom. However, the continual pandering to fans who could not see the writing on the wall, by Godfrey and JP, has put us in a real position of weakness. This is why I admire a lot of the small market teams, like Minnesota, Kansas City, etc. who have the guts to move their assets while they can still get a lot for them. They are not always successful, but their strategy is reasonable. It is hard to know how Antho will work out, but at least he seems to be of a similar mind set, understanding that success for the Jays means building from within with top-notch talent at every position. I just hope that it is not too late to get a good return on Halladay. However, as I mentioned in my previous post, I feel that both NY and the Sox would be happy if neither acquired Roy. If any other team acquires Roy, save for the Phils, both the Yanks and perhaps the Sox would likely have enough on their own to beat them. In other words, NY and Boston just have to make sure that someone else gets Doc and they will both be fine. However, maybe gs is right, and this is just posturing. I hope so!

As much as I admire the Twins , they got little to nothing for Santana and Hunter went to free agency so not sure how you think they move their assets .

I recently read the Angels have offered Aybar, Saunders and Bourjos for Halladay . I can’t say I am impressed so I wouldn’t be upset if we kept Halladay and took the 2 draft picks . Ultimately Doc has control of where he goes

Both Aybar and Saunders are free agents in 2012 thus they will be gone before the Jays go anywhere . Saunders is a decent pitcher , Aybar is slightly better than average shortstop and I admit to not knowing much about Bourjos but he is just that a prospect so no guarantee.

Naked, not sure what you don’t like about the LA offer. Aybar is a future gold glove all-star short stop and potential lead off switch hitter, Saunders is a quality starter giving us left hand starter depth which is deep enough to provide trade chips, Bourjos is a 22 year old speedster CF who hits .300 and stole 32 bases in 110 games last year and about to go into AAA. In addition, it gives us a trade chip with Gonzalez.

That is one hell of a lot better than two draft picks and although I still like Davis better as a pure pitching prospect, this LA offer is a much better offer than I ever expected us to get.

Andrew-“The deal that the Jays are looking for is something better than 2- 1st round picks. Actually almost any deal offered which includes a current above average mlb player is better than 2 first round draft picks, since less than 1 of 8 or 10 first rounders ever make it and have impact.
That being said, the LA offer is much better than that as is the TB offer. The Phillies, Yanks and Boston are all still in the mix, don’t misunderstand the lack of information on what they offered.
Alex is playing his cards close to the vest, in fact Toronto sports writers don’t even know what floor his hotel room is on, so any offers he’s gotten are confidential at this point. Even CBS sports had a nice complimentary blog post on how Alex is handling this trade.

Quite a bit different that JP’s circus, but looking at the LA offer, a lot more effective. Now let’s see if NY, the Phillies, Boston or TB beat it.

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