Tag:Blue Jays
Posted on: December 23, 2009 3:32 pm
Edited on: December 23, 2009 3:33 pm

Trading 'the guy who's not Lincecum'

Brandon Morrow is a talented 25-year-old pitcher.

He's also "the guy the Mariners drafted when they should have taken Tim Lincecum."

Some labels you just can't shake. Maybe now that the Mariners have sent Morrow to Toronto for Brandon League and Johermyn Chavez (great name, huh?), Morrow will get out from under this one. And maybe, after two years in which the Mariners couldn't seem to figure out if he's a starter or a closer, Morrow will develop into one (with Toronto, he'll start out as a starter).

But for one final time, let's think back to what the Mariners did in June 2006, because it symbolizes how much things went wrong in the Bill Bavasi regime, almost as much as the Erik Bedard trade does.
Lincecum was pitching across town at the University of Washington. If any team should have realized what he was and what he might become, it was the Mariners. Seattle had the sixth pick in that June's draft.

The Mariners weren't the only team to pass on Lincecum, who went to the Giants with the 10th pick. But the Mariners were the team that should have been most familiar with him.

It only made matters worse that the M's used their pick on another college right-hander, another Pac-10 right-hander -- Morrow, from the University of California. He was in the big leagues the following year, but in parts of three seasons he's just 8-12 with 16 saves.

Morrow has shown some promise. Lincecum has back-to-back Cy Youngs.

And, we promise, that's the last time we'll bring it up -- at least until Morrow wins a Cy Young, or League helps the Mariners to the World Series, or Johermyn Chavez (whose first name is sometimes spelled Yohermyn) becomes an MVP.

Category: MLB
Posted on: December 14, 2009 4:09 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2009 10:54 am

Halladay to Phils, Lee to M's close

A three-team blockbuster that would send Roy Halladay to the Phillies and Cliff Lee to the Mariners is nearly complete, CBSSports.com has confirmed.

A few final details are still to be finalized, but Halladay is expected to sign a contract extension that will pay him about $60 million for three years, with vesting options beyond that. The Phillies will send three prospects to the Blue Jays in exchange for Halladay, including pitcher Kyle Drabek and outfielder Michael Taylor. They will receive three prospects from the Mariners in exchange for Lee, including pitcher Phillippe Aumont.

The Phillies have aggressively pursued Halladay since July, when they couldn't come to an agreement with the Blue Jays and instead acquired Lee from the Indians. The Blue Jays have changed general managers since then, and the new regime went to last week's winter meetings eager to deal Halladay and get younger players in return.

The Jays' desire for young talent made a trade with Philadelphia complicated, and the Phillies' payroll constraints made it even more difficult. It's believed that the Phillies couldn't fit both Halladay and Lee into their 2010 payroll, so to acquire Halladay they also needed to make the deal to trade Lee.

Halladay and Lee are both Cy Young winners, and between them they have three 20-win seasons (two by Halladay).

The Mariners had hoped to add a top-level starter to a rotation that already includes Cy Young runner-up Felix Hernandez. They had been talking to free agent John Lackey, but with Lackey headed to the Red Sox, they were able to shift their focus and agree to the deal for Lee.

Posted on: October 20, 2009 4:07 pm

'The stadium was shaking'

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies won the World Series at Citizens Bank Park last October.

People who work here say it was louder Monday night.

"The stadium was shaking" after Jimmy Rollins' game-winning double, one stadium worker told me on my way into the park for today's workout day. "It was so loud I couldn't hear the guy next to me."

The Phillies had some big moments last October, and they won the World Series at home. But no single moment from 2008 compares to Rollins' double off Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton in the ninth inning Monday. The Matt Stairs home run off Broxton would come close, but that silenced the crowd at Dodger Stadium.

Besides, Stairs' home run came in the top of the eighth inning. Rollins' double came with two out in the bottom of the ninth, and with one swing it changed the game from a Phillies loss (and a 2-2 series) to a Phillies win (and a 3-1 series).

It wasn't exactly Kirk Gibson in the 1988 World Series, or Joe Carter in the 1993 World Series, but it was close.

"I thought in '93 we were going to tie the score, and I thought last night we might tie it," said Pat Gillick, who was the Blue Jays general manager when Carter homered off Mitch Williams, and is a Phillies consultant now. "In '93, I thought if Rickey Henderson got on base, we had a pretty good chance to tie it, and then when Joe hit it, I still thought the ball might hit the top of the fence."

It cleared the fence, and Carter's one-out, three-run home run turned a 6-5 Phillies win (which would have forced Game 7) into an 8-6 Blue Jays win (which clinched the World Series).
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 10, 2009 6:51 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2009 7:35 pm

White Sox get OF Rios from Blue Jays

NEW YORK -- Ken Williams got the guy he wanted.


Less than two weeks after trading for Jake Peavy, the pitcher he had long coveted, the White Sox general manager has acquired Alex Rios, an outfielder he has long been interested in. Rios went to the White Sox Monday in a straight waiver claim, with the Blue Jays simply allowing Chicago to take his contract, without getting a player in return.

Rios is expected play center field for the White Sox, who are three games behind the Tigers in the American League Central. There's a chance he could move to right field in the future, since Jermaine Dye is in the final year of his contract and is unlikely to return in 2010.

In Rios and Peavy, the Sox have added more than $110 million in payroll obligations. Rios and Peavy alone are owed nearly $25 million next year, $28 million in 2011 and $29 million in 2012.

Rios is having just a so-so season with Toronto, hitting .264 with 14 home runs, 62 RBIs and 19 stolen bases. Some scouts view him as a potential 30-30 player (30 homers, 30 steals).

"I think he's a good player not having a good year," Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said. "I'd be surprised if he's not playing on an All-Star team again someday."

So why did Ricciardi let the 28-year-old Rios go, without even getting a player back?

Simple. With the Blue Jays' reduced payroll, and with baseball's new economic realities, Rios' contract no longer made sense for Toronto. Rios signed a seven-year, $69.835 million contract in April 2008, and he's due nearly $60 million over the next five years. Meanwhile, the Jays have cut their payroll to the $80 million range, and already have one untradeable contract with Vernon Wells, whose salary goes up to $23 million in 2011.

"In a lot of ways, cash is king going forward," Ricciardi said. "This allows us to address some needs we have."

Ricciardi originally hoped to get a player in return for Rios, but the White Sox told him they wouldn't give anyone up unless Toronto paid some of Rios' contract. In the end, the Jays decided that more financial flexibility was better than anyone they could get from Chicago.

"We have other needs," he said. "We need a catcher, and we need a shortstop. Can we fill extra holes, as opposed to holding onto one player?"

When the White Sox claimed Rios last week, the Jays had three choices. They could pull Rios back off waivers, in which case he couldn't be traded for the rest of the season. They could work out a trade with Chicago. Or they could simply let the claim go through, with the White Sox assuming the entire contract.

Eventually, the Jays decided on the third option.

And with that, Ken Williams had his man.

Category: MLB
Posted on: August 10, 2009 5:59 pm
Edited on: August 10, 2009 6:44 pm

Rios traded

NEW YORK -- Alex Rios was in the original Blue Jays tonight against the Yankees, but has been taken out after the team allowed his waiver claim to go through.

The Jays were facing a 1:30 EDT Tuesday deadline to trade Rios or let him be claimed him on waivers (sources said it was the White Sox), or to pull him back off waivers. The move gives the White Sox a player that general manager Ken Williams has long wanted, and gives the Blue Jays more payroll flexibility.

By dropping Rios, the Jays will get some return for him, and will also be able to spend the money he's due (nearly $60 million over the next five years) on addressing multiple other needs.

Rios, a 28-year-old outfielder, has hit .264 with 14 home runs and 62 RBI in 108 games this season. Scouts view him as potentially a 30-30 player (30 home runs, 30 steals), but also as a player who has underachieved the last two years.

Rios is capable of playing center field, and it's possible he would play there for the White Sox if they acquire him. Rios could then slot into right field next season, as Jermaine Dye is in the last year of his contract.
Category: MLB
Posted on: August 9, 2009 4:29 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2009 4:31 pm

Rios gets claimed, Tejada gets blocked

The early word on trade waivers is that quite a few players are getting claimed, even some with large salaries.

Blue Jays outfielder Alex Rios, who is guaranteed nearly $60 million over the next five years, was claimed last week, two baseball sources confirmed to CBSSports.com. One source said that the claiming team is the White Sox. While the Blue Jays could simply let the claim go through and offload Rios' contract, it's believed that they keep Rios if the White Sox don't offer them enough in return. The teams had 48 hours to make a deal, a time period that is believed to run through Monday.

Also claimed, according to sources, was Astros shortstop Miguel Tejada. The claiming team isn't known, but also isn't important, because the Astros have already pulled Tejada back and now can't trade him. Tejada is making $13 million this year, on the final year of his contract.

The Rays aren't believed to be the team that blocked Tejada, but sources said that Tampa Bay has been active in claiming any low-salary players, effectively blocking them from being traded to the Yankees or Red Sox.

Teams put most of their players through waivers at some point in August. If the player goes through unclaimed, he is eligible to be traded to any team. If a player is claimed by one or more teams, that player can only be dealt in the 48 hours after the claim is awarded (to the claiming team that is lowest in the standings).

When a player is claimed, the team that put him through waivers has three choices: pull back the claim (at which point the player can no longer be traded), trade him to the team making the claim, or simply allow him to go to the claiming team without getting a player in return.

According to baseball rules, the waiver process is secret, and teams and officials are not allowed to comment or even confirm claims.
Posted on: July 31, 2009 3:55 pm

Rolen traded to Reds, pending approval

The Blue Jays have agreed to trade Scott Rolen to the Reds, pending Rolen's approval.

The teams had been discussing a trade that would send Edwin Encarnacion to Toronto as part of a package. The Reds have wanted Rolen to add a veteran presence to their lineup. Reds general manager Walt Jocketty had Rolen in St. Louis.

Posted on: July 31, 2009 2:49 pm
Edited on: July 31, 2009 3:16 pm

1 hour to go, and nothing hot on Halladay

We've all seen last-minute deadline-beating deals, but as of 2:30 EDT, Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi says he has nothing going on with Roy Halladay.

That fits, because executives around the game have become more and more convinced that Halladay won't be dealt before the 4 p.m. non-waiver deadline. And maybe that shouldn't be a surprise, because it fits with what we wrote back on July 12, and also with what Ricciardi has told people all week.

When Ricciardi first said he'd listen to offers for Halladay, he said that the price would be steep. He has held to that steep price all along.

The Rangers showed interest in Halladay on Thursday, but as colleague Scott Miller reported, they wanted the Blue Jays to pay some of Halladay's salary, something that Ricciardi has told teams he won't do. The Rangers also showed little interest in dealing their best prospects, so a deal couldn't get done.

Now, assuming no last-minute change, we can all focus on whether Halladay gets traded this winter.

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