Yay, it's February. 14 more days and the pitchers and catchers report to spring training. Here's a look back at what the Jays did (not much) in January:
- The month started out with a trade. Alex traded with the White Sox to get Jason Frasor back. Going to South Side of Chicago (well, to a team in the South Sider's farm system) are Myles Jaye and Daniel Webb. The Jays also outrighted Jim Hoey to Vegas to make room on the 40-man.
- A few days into the month the details of Darren Oliver's contract came out. He's making $4 million for 2012 and the team has a $3 million option on 2013, with a $500,000 buyout.
- With the signing, the Jay released Mark Teahen and will eat the $5.5 million left on his contract.
- All our arbitration eligible players got contracts, expect for Casey Janssen, who will be in front of the arbitrator, unless he and Alex agree to a contract pretty quick. Carlos Villanueva signed for $2,277,500. Kelly Johnson $6,375,00. Ben Francisco $1,537,500.
- Brandon Morrow got the biggest deal. He will be making $21 million over the next three years. The team has a $10 million option for a 4th year.
- We signed Omar Vizquel to a minor league contract.
- We added yet another arm to the bullpen, by signing Francisco Cordero to a 1-year, $4.5 million contract. Like last off-season, we seem to be collecting as many relievers as we can.
- We made a bunch of minor signings: RHP Nelson Figueroa, RHP Tim Redding, LHP Bill Murphy, C Kyle Phillips, SS Chris Woodward and OF Danny Perales. The one that kind of interests me is Bill Murphy. He pitched in Japan for the last couple of years, making 48 appearances, 30 starts, had a 14-11 record with a 3.81 ERA. But then he walked too many, 104 in 196 innings. Still a he's nice lefty to have in Vegas.
- The Jays announced their giveaways for the 2012 season. Minor Leaguer listed them here.
We learned a few things at the State of the Franchise evening, among them:
- The Jays have a policy against signing players for more than 5 years. I'm thinking that Brett Lawrie will be testing that policy.
- Paul Beeston owns socks.
- Some free agents are willing to take less money not to play on the turf at Rogers Centre.
- Buck Martinez can take a minute and a half to ask a very simple question.
- Paul Beeston has considered grass. No not smoking it. Replacing the turf with it.
- Blue Jay fans can ask dumber questions than even Richard Griffin.
- There was more stuff, Minor Leaguer had a complete review of the night here.
Beyond that? Well, we had all the usual stuff around here to keep us occupied while waiting for baseball. My favorite part was my interview with Bruce Walton. If you missed it, it is here: part one, part two, part three, part four and part five.
January's done. We are that much closer to baseball.