Hello, everyone. It's been a while.
A couple of items in the news:
Lyle Overbay signed an extension with the Blue Jays this week. The contract is worth $24 million and spans four years, two of which he would have been eligible for free agency. My views are on this signing are rather mixed. At first glance, it appears to be a thrifty signing, as the Blue Jays lock up a somewhat gifted hitter at a relatively cheap price. On the other hand, however, couldn't the Blue Jays have waited another season, thus hedging their bets? I can't imagine that Overbay's value will skyrocket at this point of his career, especially considering he's a likely candidate to "age quickly" -- at least based on the career trends of statistically similar players from the past. In the end, I don't think this contract will come back to bite them, if only because of its low cost to the organization. And Overbay appears to be a safe bet for at least the next 2-3 years.
Also, much-maligned prospect Elijah Dukes was recently arrested for the possession of marijuana. And as Mike Pindelski of Beyond the Box Score points out, Dukes has been rumoured to be on the move, with Toronto mentioned as a specific destination:
A few days later I encountered something similar over at DRays Bay, SB Nation's Tampa Bay Devil Rays blog. This time it was speculated that the Rays and Blue Jays were discussing a deal that could send Dukes to Toronto in exchange for pitchers Josh Sowers and Shaun Marcum.
Though these are just rumors and nothing is apparently close, the fact remains that Elijah Dukes might very well be available.
I wouldn't bet the family fortune on this deal taking place, especially with Dukes' stock so low. However, the Devil Rays absolutely have to trade one of their outfielders while they still have any value, be it real or perceived. Otherwise, they'll run the risk of repeating the same mistake the prospect-rich Angels of Anaheim (it still sounds weird, even after all this time) have made with a few of their once-touted prospects like Dallas McPherson and Casey Kotchman.
As a final note, I'd like to extend an invitation to anyone who's interested in writing about the Blue Jays for Bluebird Banter. As has unfortunately been made obvious by my low post-rate these past few months, I don't have time (or perhaps the time management skills) to update this website as often as I did when I first took up the task many moons ago.
As for me, I'll continue participating in the comments section and will steadily chip away at the top 40 list. I'll be more active once spring comes around, much like I was throughout my brief holiday break in December.
If this interests you, please send me an email.