Last night, I chatted with a few other Bluebird Banter writers about the upcoming Winter Meetings. You can read what we had to say in the transcript below. By the way, the 30 SB Nation baseball blogs have hired a pretend general manager to represent their respective team in virtual "Winter Meetings" this week. But--and here's the twist--this exercise assumes that no moves have happened since the end of the season. Bluebird Banter chose Damaso's Burnt Shirt to try to turn the Blue Jays into a playoff team. Perhaps he should go and speak with the GM from Fish Stripes? Unfortunately, no leaks from me--DBS has sworn all of us to a cone of silence.
Minor Leaguer: First question to you all: what do you think the Jays need the most? Someone to platoon with Adam Lind? Starting pitching?
Tom Dakers: I think we'll might see some depth pickups for starting pitching but not a big name. Someone that could challenge J.A. Happ for the 5th spot or come in if there is an injury.
Leaflover4ever: What I would LIKE is another top-ish starter (Derek Holland!), but I don't really see that happening at this point. I could see a minor move for pitching depth, though
Tom Dakers: Jair Jurrjens, if he could be gotten with a minor league deal
Minor Leaguer: Brandon McCarthy anyone? How much do you think he'll cost?
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: I like Brandon. I think a one year deal with incentives + a team option sounds like a good idea. Not the expectation of 3-4 years before he got hit in the head with a ball.
Minor Leaguer: Right I'm sure he'd like to re-build his value before exploring free agency
Leaflover4ever: I would LOVE Brandon McCarthy, but I expect he'd cost too much for the risk that comes along with him
Tom Dakers: It would be tough, as he's have to make the team. I doubt he's going to be a Jay.
Minor Leaguer: Now Tom and LL4E mentioned that you wanted depth move. Names beside Jurrjens? Any interesting pitchers on the non-tendered list?
Leaflover4ever: I'd give Jeff Karstens or Jurrjens a try
Tom Dakers: If they will take a minor league contract....
Tom Dakers: Not Reyes.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: Scot Atchinson, but I was reading his arm suffered and elbow strain and the Sox aren't sure if he's going to be ready for Spring Training. Laffey sounds possible, but I really hope not to see him in Toronto.
Tom Dakers: I can see us picking up 4 or 5 guys that would take a minor league contract, just so that we have someone if we lose starters to injury this year.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: I like Jurrjens as minors depth only because he's lost quite a bit of zip off his fastball that he'd be getting lit up in the AL East
Minor Leaguer: How far will Chad Jenkins find himself down the depth chart come April?
Tom Dakers: 8th or 9th
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: If he makes the team it will be in the Carlos Villaneuva role as the swingman/longman, I think
Leaflover4ever: 7th or 8th, I think
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: I guess I'll say 8th
Tom Dakers: Thing is, you won't get Jurrjens or anyone on a minor league contract now, those guys will be hoping for a real contract until Feb.
Minor Leaguer: Speaking of Carlos Villanueva, do you see him signed with another club before these meetings end? What do you think his contract will look like? Will he get a guarantee that he'll get 30 starts?
Leaflover4ever: I don't think he'll sign before the meetings end, but that's because I don't see any team being desperate enough to offer him a starting role just yet. I think he'll end up with a 1 year + option contract closer to the start of spring training.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: Actually teams are grasping for starting pitchers that I can see someone signing him for 2/$12 as a starter. I don't know about a time frame though
Tom Dakers: Yeah, wait until the ones above him sign and see who is still looking.
Minor Leaguer: What do y'all think of all this talk about the Blue Jays trading for R.A. Dickey? Just stuff for journalists to get noticed and gain pageviews?
Tom Dakers: They need a catcher, we have catchers...it won't happen.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: I would like RA Dickey, but I don't see a trade happening. Based on what I've been reading on various Mets websites, they want Travis d'Arnaud + or JPA + Gose and that isn't going to happen. I think the Mets are doing this more to drive the price down for an extension.
Minor Leaguer: I know that JPA and Gose sounds a lot (and it is) but if the Jays find that they need a starter to get themselves over the top into the playoffs, it'll cost much more in July.
Minor Leaguer: What should the Jays do with John Buck?
Tom Dakers: Better backup than Mathis was.
Leaflover4ever: Keep him as the backup, at least til d'Arnaud is ready
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: I guess for now he's the backup until TDA forces his way on the team.
Minor Leaguer: Who are the Jays' two catchers in the playoffs?
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: In the ideal world, JPA and TDA. More likely JPA and Buck.
Leaflover4ever: I'll say d'Arnaud and Buck, since it wouldn't shock me to see JPA traded during the season
Minor Leaguer: I really wonder how JPA will hit this year.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: To be honest, I hope .250/.310/.460
Minor Leaguer: But I'd like to think that if the Jays need to make a deadline move, the wealth of catchers will do them well.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: Depth at catcher is good, too.
Minor Leaguer: OK back to our topic: the Winter Meetings. We talked about what we'd like to see. What do you think we are likely to see happen by the end of the week?
Tom Dakers: I doubt the Jays will do much.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: A couple of big name Free Agents will get signed. A couple of trades done.
Leaflover4ever: I think Greinke will sign
Minor Leaguer: Sign with who, LL4E?
Tom Dakers: How much will Alex give him?
Leaflover4ever: a couple hundred boxes of cheese doodles, I think
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: Dodgers at 6/165? They've got so much money to spend.
Leaflover4ever: I think he'll sign with the Dodgers
Minor Leaguer: Last year someone fell into a fountain. What will be the blooper reel highlight of these Winter Meetings?
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: Someone fainting at the high cost of starting pitching.
Tom Dakers: Hank Steinbenner putting his foot in his mouth
Leaflover4ever: drunk country music karaoke?
Minor Leaguer: Hahaha. So do you think the Jays will pick anyone in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft? Do you think anyone will pick up an unprotected prospect from the Jays?
Tom Dakers: No chance the Jays pick someone up
Leaflover4ever: I don't think the Jays will take anyone
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: Nope. It's possible that someone from the Jays farm could be lost in the Rule 5, but AA's managed to clear roster space to protect the ones they want to protect.
Leaflover4ever: I would have said Mike McDade, but he's already gone anyway
Minor Leaguer: Adam Lind shouldn't start against any lefties in 2013. Who do you think will platoon with him? I don't mind if Rajai Davis is used in that role.
Leaflover4ever: yeah, I'm fine with Davis there.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: EE probably will fill in at 1B. I don't mind Davis
Tom Dakers: Rajai at least to start the season.
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: From what I recall, Gibby liked to rotate the DH position around (like Maddon does.)
Minor Leaguer: So all in all you all think it'll be a boring Winter Meetings for the Jays?
Damaso’s Burnt Shirt: I would like to say yes, but I'm hedging based on AA's surprises
Tom Dakers: I think it will, but then if I say that out loud Alex will make a 5 team, 34 man trade
Leaflover4ever: but I would not be opposed to a surprise (Sanchez!)
Minor Leaguer: Let's see that! It'll take until Spring Training to clear the Commissioner's office OK thanks everyone... I don't have any further questions. Good night!
Who Will Change Partners At The Tennessee Waltz?
Feel free to use this as an open thread to chat about any moves and signings that are made today at the Winter Meetings. Also, be sure to also go vote in our Hall of Fame polls here and the "Backwards Hall of Fame Balloting" experiment in the FanPosts section.