Tag:Blue Jays
Posted on: December 3, 2011 4:15 pm
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Homegrown Team: Toronto Blue Jays



By C. Trent Rosecrans


What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The American League East is the biggest, baddest division in baseball -- in large part because of the deep pockets of the Yankees and Red Sox, but also because of the drafting and development from the Rays. Somewhere in the middle is the Blue Jays, a team that could be a giant in maybe any other division in baseball. In our exercise, the Blue Jays have an argument as one of the best teams in baseball, largely because of a stout rotation.

Lineup

1. Reed Johnson, CF
2. Aaron Hill, 2B
3. Michael Young, 1B
4. Adam Lind, DH
5. Vernon Wells, LF
6. Alex Rios, RF
7. Ryan Roberts 3B
8. J.P. Arencibia, C
9. Cesar Izturis, SS

Starting Rotation

1. Roy Halladay
2. Chris Carpenter
3. Ricky Romero
4. Shaun Marcum
5. Alfredo Aceves

Bullpen

Closer - Brandon League
Set up - Marc Rzepczynski, Tim Collins, Brandon Lyon, Dustin McGowan, Casey Janssen
Long - Jesse Litsch

Notable Bench Players

Orlando Hudson, Felipe Lopez, Casey Blake, Travis Snider, Eric Thames.

What's Good?

That rotation, are you kidding?

What's Not?

There's Rios and Wells -- two of the most overpaid players in the game. Those two are not just overpaid, they're also not very good. Eric Thames could step in for either one. There are some decent players on the bench, but not a lot of pop.

Comparison to real 2011

The 81-81 season was seen as a step forward for the Blue Jays in 2011, but with this lineup the expectations would be much, much higher. The rotation alone makes this team the favorite in the AL East in our hypothetical. The offense lacks the impact of Jose Bautista, but there's enough to support the pitching staff. Not only is this team better than the real Blue Jays, they have a shot at winning it all.

Next: Colorado Rockies

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 3, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 6:56 pm
 

Conflicting reports on Darvish's posting

Yu Darvish
By C. Trent Rosecrans

After some doubt, it appears Japanese right-hander Yu Darvish will likely be posted sometime after the winter meetings, FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets. Rosenthal notes it's not "100 percent" sure Darvish will be posted, but still expects it to happen. However, Darvish's father tells Sponichi in Japan that he doesn't expect his son to make a decision about his status until January.

"His table time does not say anything about making a decision in December," Farsad Darvish said (via YakyuBaka.com).  "He is talking to the team and will most likely make a decision by some time in mid to late January."

Darvish's father also said his son is currently "50-50" about whether or not to come to the United States and is worried about what could happen if negotiations don't go well, like last season when the A's failed to reach an agreement with Hisashi Iwakuma after placing the winning bid. 

Darvish, 25, is considered to be one of the top two starting pitchers on the market along with C.J. Wilson.

Last season for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters, Darvish went 18-6 with a 1.44 ERA, struking out 276 batters in 232 innings. In his seven-year career, he's 93-38 with a 1.99 ERA, striking out at least 200 batters in the shorter Japanese season  and walking more than 50 just once. He hasn't posted an ERA more than 2.00 since his second year in the top level of Japanese baseball -- and he was 19 for most of that season.

Many teams will be interested in the right-hander, including the Yankees, Blue Jays, Nationals and Rangers expected to be the front-runners. The Red Sox could also be interested, especially with new manager Bobby Valentine's experience in Japan where he managed against Darvish. Rosenthal tweets that Valentine "loves" Darvish. Rangers general manager Jon Daniels and Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos traveled to Japan this season to scout Darvish in person.

The posting is just the first part of a possible move stateside. After he's posted, teams will have a period to submit blind bids for the opportunity to sign Darvish. The team with the highest bid will win the right to negotiate with Darvish and after signing him will not only have to pay Darvish, but also the posting fee, which goes to the Fighters.

Follow the CBSSports.com Free Agent Tracker. 

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Posted on: December 3, 2011 12:11 pm
Edited on: December 3, 2011 5:03 pm
 

Angels send C Mathis to Jays for LHP Mills

Jeff MathisBy C. Trent Rosecrans

After acquiring Chris Iannetta earlier this week, the Angels have traded catcher Jeff Mathis to the Blue Jays in return for left-hander Brad Mills.

Brad MillsMills, 26, started four games for the Blue Jays last season and appeared in relief in one more game, going 1-2 with a 9.82 ERA with 18 strikeouts and 12 walks in 18 1/3 innings. In 14 career games and nine starts, he's 2-3 with an 8.57 ERA. He was 11-9 with a 4.00 ERA in 24 starts at Triple-A, striking out 136 batters in 157 1/3 innings. 

Mathis, 28, hit .174/.225/.259 with three homers in 93 games for the Angels last season and is a career .194/.225/.259. He was expendable after the acquisition of Iannetta, who will team with Hank Conger as the Angels' catching tandem.

Mathis was a favorite of manager Mike Scioscia, who kept him in the lineup despite his horrendous numbers at the plate. The move could show a weakening of Scioscia's influence over roster moves under new general manager Jerry DiPoto. The Angels chose Mathis over Mike Napoli last offseason and we all saw how that worked out for the Angels and (ultimately) the Rangers.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: December 1, 2011 8:12 pm
Edited on: December 1, 2011 9:01 pm
 

Thursday rumors: White Sox, Prado, Kuroda, more

By Matt Snyder

The Hot Stove
Just a few days to what should prove to be a very busy Winter Meetings, so let's hit a bunch of the smaller rumors from Thursday, the first day of December.

• The White Sox are in a situation where they're most certain to be sellers on the trade market in an attempt to rebuild their barren farm system. CBSSports.com's Danny Knobler reports that other teams are so sure the White Sox are selling that they're inquiring about shortstop Alexei Ramirez and young pitcher Chris Sale. But, Knobler adds, the price for either would be "sky high." Talks on a contract extension with starting pitcher John Danks are in a "stalemate" and it's possible he's traded (ESPN Chicago). Remember, earlier this week we passed along the report that the White Sox were trying to deal reliever Matt Thornton and we've heard rumors involving starting pitcher Gavin Floyd and right fielder Carlos Quentin for weeks. Long-time left-handed starting pitcher Mark Buehrle is a free agent and expected to be gone. Jon Heyman reports there are 14 teams after Buehrle, so he may be the most popular player on the free agent market.

• The Rockies are still interested in Martin Prado, Knobler reports, and the Braves like outfielder Seth Smith as a piece coming back -- but the Braves also want Rockies third base prospect Nolan Arenado and, as Knobler said, that's not happening.

• It's looking less likely the Dodgers can retain starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda, reports Knobler. Kuroda made $12.5 million last season and the Dodgers won't come close to paying him that much to stick around. The interesting factor here is Kuroda has said he won't pitch for any other team in America. So if he doesn't want to sign for what the Dodgers offer, he may well be headed back to Japan.

Angels infielder Maicer Izturis was discussed in trade talk between the Angels and Rockies before the Chris Iannetta trade was completed -- CBSSports.com's Scott Miller reports -- so Izturis is available. The Tigers have been connected with Izturis in rumors this week.

• The Brewers, Cardinals and Giants are all looking at free agent shortstop Alex Gonzalez (Jon Heyman).

• The Rangers are hopeful of getting a long-term contract extension done with catcher Mike Napoli (Jon Paul Morosi). If he doesn't sign an extension, Napoli would be a free agent after the 2012 season.

• The Diamondbacks have made a contract offer to first baseman Lyle Overbay (Fox Sports Arizona).

Earlier Thursday we noted that the Marlins were wooing closer Heath Bell, and you can now add the Blue Jays to the mix. They are after his services, reports Ken Rosenthal.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 30, 2011 1:18 pm
 

Hellickson, Kimbrel lead All-Rookie team

Craig KimbrelBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Just when you thought award season was over -- move over Justin Verlander, you're not going to be on this list -- the Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team was announced on Wednesday. This is actually the 53rd, or so they tell us, All-Rookie team the baseball card company has put out (and did include Verlander back in 2006).

So, here it is:

1B Mark Trumbo, Angels

2B Danny Espinosa, Nationals

SS Dee Gordon, Dodgers

3B Brett Lawrie, Blue Jays

OF Desmond Jennings, Rays

OF Josh Reddick, Red Sox

OF Ben Revere, Twins

C J.P. Arencibia, Blue Jays

SP Jeremy Hellickson, Rays

RP Craig Kimbrel, Braves

In all, it looks fine. I'm a bigger fan of Eric Hosmer than Trumbo, but I can see why some would pick Trumbo. I'd also take Dustin Ackley over Espinosa, but otherwise, it seems difficult to nitpick all that much. And in the end, if you're nitpicking the Topps Major League Rookie All-Star Team, you may need to get out of the house a little more.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 28, 2011 7:15 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 11:06 am
 

Trade rumor du jour: Matt Garza available



By Matt Snyder


Earlier Monday, Buster Olney of ESPN tweeted that the Cubs were willing to trade starting pitcher Matt Garza and there's been much discussion all day about where he might be headed, if he's traded. This isn't really news, though, because it's widely known the Cubs will listen to trade offers on just about everyone (21-year-old shortstop Starlin Castro probably isn't headed anywhere, but everyone else could surely be had at a reasonable price).

Still, we might as well just take the opportunity to talk about where Garza would fit. It's that time of the year, after all, with the Winter Meetings starting in just one week.

Rumor Mill
We know the Yankees and Red Sox want starting pitching. They always do. The Blue Jays, Rockies and Reds are also looking and a trade would fit better than spending big on a free agent. The Marlins and Nationals have been heavily involved in courting free agent starting pitchers, and in doing so they wouldn't have to cough up a good package of prospects, but don't count them out, either. And the list could be even bigger, this was just picking out a few obvious teams.

Expect the new Cubs administration -- led by Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer -- to actively seek out ways to restock the farm system as they look to build a strong foundation. That means if you see a name in trade rumors, it's probably true the Cubs are listening to offers. To reiterate, they're listening on virtually everyone. They're looking for any opportunity to start planning for the future, even if it's at the expense of the present.

Garza, 28, was 10-10 with a 3.32 ERA, 1.26 WHIP and 197 strikeouts in 198 innings last season, his first in Chicago. Sabermetric stats such as FIP, xFIP and WAR loved Garza last season, too, so front offices with analytical leanings will certainly be contacting Epstein, Hoyer and company.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnBaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:42 pm
 

Blue Jays acquire Luis Valbuena from Indians

Luis ValbuenaBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The Thanksgiving weekend is traditionally a slow time in the hot stove action, and this year is no different, but Saturday did see one minor (and I do mean minor) deal, as the Blue Jays acquired infielder Luis Valbuena from the Indians in return for cash considerations, according to one of Cleveland's official Twitter accounts.

The Indians had designated Valbuena for assignment on Nov. 18. The 25-year-old infielder hit .209/.227/.279 in just 17 games for the Indians in 2011. He played in 194 games in 2009 and 2010 combined, but hit just .226/.287/.348 in those two seasons combined. He did hit 10 homers in 2009.

This is hardly the Blue Jays' answer at second base where the team lost Kelly Johnson, but he is at least a backup plan in case the team can't find anyone better or just need some depth at Triple-A.

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @eyeonbaseball on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.
Posted on: November 25, 2011 1:28 pm
 

Jays asked for Buchholz in exchange for Farrell



By C. Trent Rosecrans

How much is a manager worth?

If you're the Marlins, it's worth two minor-leaguers in exchange for Ozzie Guillen, a manager with a .524 winning percentage over eight years and a World Series title.

If you're the Blue Jays, you seem to think your manager with one year of experience and a .500 record is worth a 27-year old starter with an All-Star appearance under his belt. The Boston Red Sox, apparently, don't agree.

According to several reports, including one from the New York Times, the Red Sox passed when the Blue Jays asked for Clay Buchholz in return for John Farrell. And wisely so.

While some may get up in arms about this trade possibility (or, really, non-possibility when you think about it), it makes sense from both sides. It's part of doing business -- the Red Sox needed a new manager after getting rid of Terry Francona, and in Farrell, there was a known commodity inside the organization (Farrell had been the Red Sox pitching coach) with major-league managing experience. He was a perfect fit. Except, you know, for that part about him already having a job and being under contract for the next two years.

That's where the Blue Jays had leverage -- if the Red Sox wanted Farrell, they could have him for a price. Asking for Buchholz is probably as close to saying "no" as you can without saying that word -- the Blue Jays didn't want to give up their manager that they like just fine, so the price was high. If they had to get a new manager, that manager would love to have Buchholz in the rotation, that's for sure. 

While the Blue Jays seem to think their manager is worth quite a bit, the market tells us differently. So far this offseason, there's been a run this off-season on first-year managers. The Cubs, White Sox and Cardinals -- three marquee openings -- went to first-time managers, the White Sox hiring a guy who has never managed at any level. The market, it seems is saying experienced managers are not worth the money they command. If you have a Tony La Russa, it's fine to pay him a lot. But if you don't, go out and storm the Wal-Mart for your next manager and get him at a discount.

Trades for a manager are rare -- as the Guillen trade was the first since the Rays sent Randy Winn and a minor-leaguer to Seattle for Lou Piniella in 2002. That one didn't pay immediate dividends, but there are at least two trades for managers that did seem to be worth the price. The Mets sent right-hander Bill Denehy to the Senators for manager Gil Hodges after the 1967 season and the Mets went on to win the 1969 World Series. The Pirates got their own World Series-winning manager in a trade, sending veteran catcher Manny Sanguillen to the A's for Chuck Tanner following the 1976 season. Tanner led the Pirates to the 1979 World Series title (with Sanguillen, who was traded back to the Pirates after the 1977 season).

It's hardly out of the question for Guillen -- or Farrell -- to lead their team to the World Series, but it's more likely Buchholz will contribute more value than any manager, so the Blue Jays were right to ask for Buchholz and the Red Sox were right to say no.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com