Odds and ends: Arbitration, payroll, etc;

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos was fully prepared to head to an arbitration hearing, if necessary. That’s something Toronto has not done with a player since 1997. If any eligible players didn’t sign by Tuesday, negotiations would be cut off and a hearing it would be.

It never came to that.

On Tuesday, the Blue Jays settled the 2010 contracts for arbitration-eligible pitchers Jeremy Accardo, Shawn Camp, Jason Frasor, Casey Janssen and Brian Tallet. Shaun Marcum signed on Monday, while Dustin McGowan and Jose Bautista avoided the process earlier this winter.

So, the streak lives on and the biggest winner of the bunch on Tuesday was Frasor. After a career year, Frasor received a $1.2 million raise and will make $2.65 million in the upcoming season. Tallet signed for $2 million, Camp for $1.15 million, Accardo for $1.08 million and Janssen for $700,000.

That brings us to the payroll…

Before the Halladay trade, I wrote more than once that the team’s payroll would likely remain around $80 million. Well, turns out that’s almost $20 million too high. After the Doc deal, and with Rios off the books, the player payroll will probably be in the $60-63 million range for the 2010 season. That’s NOT including the $10 million owed to B.J. Ryan or the $6 million sent to Philly as part of the Halladay trade.

As Anthopoulos says, though:

“We don’t have any needs or financial restrictions or limitations with respect to payroll. It’s really a fluid number and it’s going to be predicated on what we deem — the baseball operations staff, obviously with the approval of ownership — the right baseball moves for this club. There really isn’t a finite number to the payroll. Certainly, everything that we do, every free agent that we look at, trades and so on, we’re just trying to evaluate it with respect to the direction that we are going in and the value of the player.”

Here is a monetary breakdown: CF Vernon Wells ($21 million, including $8.5 million), 1B Lyle Overbay ($7 million), 3B Edwin Encarnacion ($4.75 million), 2B Aaron Hill (4 million), LHP Scott Downs ($4 million), SS Alex Gonzalez ($2.75 million), RHP Jason Frasor ($2.65 million), OF Jose Bautista ($2.4 million), LHP Brian Tallet ($2 million), C John Buck ($2 million), SS John McDonald ($1.5 million), RHP Shawn Camp ($1.15 million), RHP Jeremy Accardo ($1.08 million), RHP Shaun Marcum ($850K), RHP Casey Janssen ($700K), RHP Dustin McGowan ($500K).

Total: $58.33 million

Other contracts: OF Joey Gathright will earn $550K is he makes the Major League roster. C Raul Chavez is also signed to a Minors deal and will likely have a similar salary when/if he is placed on the Major League squad as well. McGowan and Jesse Litsch will count against the payroll even if they aren’t on the OD roster. Litsch, at least, will be on the DL. That leaves roughly eight spots for players who make the Major League minimum.

FALSE: A rumor quickly spread online today that the Blue Jays had signed veteran slugger Carlos Delgado. I wrote last week that Toronto was not pursuing Delgado and Anthopoulos went on the record to shoot down the latest rumor on Tuesday. Delgado’s agent was also quick to shoot down the rumor.

“There’s no truth to it,” Anthopoulos said. “Normally, I don’t comment on rumors, but I have come out and said that we have gone to see him play and so on. This is the exact reason why I don’t comment on rumors. I’ve spent the past 30 minutes getting hammered with this.”

MINOR SIGNINGS: The Jays also signed OF Jeremy Reed and RHP Steven Register to Minor League contracts with invites to spring training on Tuesday. Anthopoulos said Reed, like Gathright, will be given a chance to compete for a backup job or a full-time job in the Jays’ outfield.

The main reason for Reed and Gathright? They play center. With Rios gone, the only backup to Wells in center right now is Bautista. Reed and Gathright could provide depth at the position and one will probably be on the roster come Opening Day. Snider and Bautista are also in the mix for starting roles in the outfield.

ROLES: Anthopoulos said that manager Cito Gaston will determine who will be the club’s closer during Spring Training. Last year, the duties were split between Frasor and Downs. Frasor seems to be the top choice right now, but that could change in the preseason. Anthopoulos also noted that Tallet’s status as either a starter or reliever has not been decided yet. If the club doesn’t feel some of the young arms are ready, Tallet could open the year in the rotation.

~JB

 

15 Comments

They are getting Hill for a song. They have to be talking extension beyond 2011.
They should lean toward Frasor/Accardo for closer this year. The bullpen is a bit short of reliable Southpaws right now, and Downs/Carlson would be more useful in situations.

Just for clarification, the Jays have options on Hill that extend through the 2014 season.

Well, that’s reassuring. He’s still a bargain, though.

Here’s his deal for 2010/2011 and options: 10:$4M, 11:$5M, 12:$8M club option, 13:$8M club option, 14:$10M club option

If Hill puts up the same kind of numbers in the next couple of years as he did last year, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Jays re-did his deal. I’d also expect to see a deal like this with Lind sooner than later, since AA is the one who designed Hill’s contract.

Blue Jays Acquire Merkin Valdez
By Tim Dierkes [January 20 at 3:05pm CST]

The Blue Jays acquired pitcher Merkin Valdez from the Giants for cash considerations, tweets CSNBayArea.com’s Mychael Urban. Valdez was designated for assignment on January 14th to make room for Aubrey Huff.

Valdez, 28, posted a 5.66 ERA, 6.9 K/9, and 5.1 BB/9 in 49.3 innings for the Giants last year. He throws in the mid-90s and was ranked among the top 60 prospects in baseball before October ’06 Tommy John surgery.

So lets hear everyones opening day lineup Assuming no other moves are made heres mine:

ROTATION- Marcum, Romero, Morrow, Zepcynski, Hopefully Mcgowan if not Cecil.
………
BULL PEN- closer Frasor, Setup Downs, Carlson, The rest, Accardo, Camp, Janssen, Tallet.

……………………………………………………………………………………Line UP- Gonzalez SS
, HIll 2B, Lind LF, Wells CF, Ruiz DH, Dopirak 1B, EE 3B, Snider RF, Buck C.
This line up is with out a lead off hitter but in order to include bautista or Gathright (niether of whom are true lead off men) It would men That either Snider or Ruiz would have to sit.
Also I am hoping that Overbay is traded for anything maybe a mid level prospect. I Cant Imagine why Dopirak wouldnt be given a chance to prove him self before the imergence of Brett Wallace.
LETS HEAR YOUR LINEUPS.

WHY DONT THE JAYS GO AFTER REEED JOHNSON??? I READ THAT HE’S A FREE AGENT. HE’S GOING TO COME CHEAP, HAS EXPERIENCE AS A LEADOFF HITTER, CAN PLAY ALL THREE OUTFIELD POSITIONS AND WAS A FAN FAVOURITE IN TORONTO. IT MAKES TOO MUCH SENSE. HE IS A WAY BETTER OPTION THAN JOEY GATHRIGHT OR JEREMY REED FOR CRYING OUT LOUD??? JOEY GATHRIGHT IS BETTER OFF SITTING ON THE BENCH AND COMING IN AS A PINCH RUNNER. AND REED…NO COMMENT. NOTE TO AA: GET ON THE PHONE WITH JOHNSON’S AGENT, HE IS THE PERFECT FIT!

WHY DONT THE JAYS GO AFTER REEED JOHNSON??? I READ THAT HE’S A FREE AGENT. HE’S GOING TO COME CHEAP, HAS EXPERIENCE AS A LEADOFF HITTER, CAN PLAY ALL THREE OUTFIELD POSITIONS AND WAS A FAN FAVOURITE IN TORONTO. IT MAKES TOO MUCH SENSE. HE IS A WAY BETTER OPTION THAN JOEY GATHRIGHT OR JEREMY REED FOR CRYING OUT LOUD??? JOEY GATHRIGHT IS BETTER OFF SITTING ON THE BENCH AND COMING IN AS A PINCH RUNNER. AND REED…NO COMMENT. NOTE TO AA: GET ON THE PHONE WITH JOHNSON’S AGENT, HE IS THE PERFECT FIT!

WHY DONT THE JAYS GO AFTER REEED JOHNSON??? I READ THAT HE’S A FREE AGENT. HE’S GOING TO COME CHEAP, HAS EXPERIENCE AS A LEADOFF HITTER, CAN PLAY ALL THREE OUTFIELD POSITIONS AND WAS A FAN FAVOURITE IN TORONTO. IT MAKES TOO MUCH SENSE. HE IS A WAY BETTER OPTION THAN JOEY GATHRIGHT OR JEREMY REED FOR CRYING OUT LOUD??? JOEY GATHRIGHT IS BETTER OFF SITTING ON THE BENCH AND COMING IN AS A PINCH RUNNER. AND REED…NO COMMENT. NOTE TO AA: GET ON THE PHONE WITH JOHNSON’S AGENT, HE IS THE PERFECT FIT!

Johnson’s not a fit. Can’t hit righties. They should have signed him before Bautista. He could have been the platoon-mate against lefties. Plus he’d have been cheaper. Too late now. Oh well, they’re probably better off trying an OF of Snider, Lind, Wells with Ruiz DH anyway.
Ruiz is hitting ridiculous in Winter ball. His OBP is around .450

I agree with Rene, I’d like to see Lind, Wells and Snider in the outfield with Ruiz as DH. I’d also like to see Overbay traded and give Dopirak a chance to see what he’s got before Wallace is ready.
Ya-Ruiz is killing it in winter ball with power as well, his ops is an amazing 1.017 and he’s playing some outfield and apparently in better physical condition. Cito are you watching? lol

I don’t want to see us add any old players, play the kids, give them experience and let them grow. Then in a year or two, we know what we have and what other pieces we need to win. If we lose 100 games, I could care less, I just want to see the kids fighting each game till the last pitch is thrown. Besides we’d have a lovely draft position in 2011 and one way or the other we’re not going to win this year anyway…

Um… you say play the kids and then you say to play Ruiz. Ruiz is 32. Bautista, Gathright and Reed are 29. They are younger. Not that I am saying that they are ideal solutions. None are. The Jays have some big holes to fill and not many MLB ready players in the minors. They need an OF, ****, a C and one of which needs to be a leadoff man.

Exactly.

I’d play Ruiz because if he is close to the same performance he did last year, at some point, he becomes a trade chip and a power hitter getting paid mlb minimum like he is, could be of value and get us a nice prospect in return.
I wouldn’t have signed either Bautista, Gartwright or Reed and don’t see any value they bring us and consider them fillers only till we have someone else. Then again I only see Bautista making the team and only because of his contract.
I still would play Snider, Wells and Lind in the outfield, I’d hate too see Lind be a DH all his career.

Now here’s a very unique way to play the national anthem. Make sure he can play “Oh Canada” and bring him in.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9LXHrzOVYA

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