Aside from a few minor league free agent signings and picking up options, nothing of note has happened in Blue Jays land so far this offseason, and we being fans--and bloggers who have to come up with content--are getting impatient. Now, we're not asking for a move to be made just for the sake of making one, but please could we have a move to analyze?
The lack of news means that we need to dig into the history books to find something to write about. So here is a list of the dates of the first trade of every offseason in club history.
|1976-11-05||Cleveland||Alan Ashby, Doug Howard||Al Fitzmorris|
|1977-12-06||St. Louis||Tom Underwood, Victor Cruz||Pete Vuckovich, John Scott|
|1978-11-27||Houston||Mark Lemongello, Joe Cannon, Pedro Hernandez||Alan Ashby|
|1979-11-01||New York (AL)||Chris Chambliss, Paul Mirabella , Damaso Garcia||Tom Underwood, Rick Cerone, Ted Wilborn|
|1980-12-12||New York (NL)||Roy Lee Jackson||Bob Bailor|
|1981-11-18||New York (AL)||Aurelio Rodriguez||Mike Lebo|
|1982-10-27||New York (AL)||Tucker Ashford||Conditional|
|1983-12-09||Seattle||Bryan Clark||Barry Bonnell|
|1984-12-08||Oakland||Bill Caudill||Dave Collins, Alfredo Griffin|
|1987-02-02||Atlanta||Craig McMurtry||Damaso Garcia, Luis Leal|
|1989-12-17||Atlanta||Ricky Trlicek||Ernie Whitt, Kevin Batiste|
|1990-11-06||Atlanta||Nate Cromwell||Earl Sanders|
|1992-12-08||California||Luis Sojo||Kelly Gruber|
|1994-03-29||Chicago (AL)||Mike Huff||Domingo Martinez|
|1994-11-18||Florida||Scott Pace||Eddie Zosky|
|1995-12-07||Philadelphia||Paul Quantrill||Howard Battle, Ricardo Jordan|
|1996-11-14||Pittsburgh||Carlos Garcia, Orlando Merced, Dan Plesac||Jose Silva, Jose Pett, Mike Halperin, Abraham Nunez, Craig Wilsom, Brandon Cromer|
|1998-12-13||San Diego||Joey Hamilton||Woody Williams, Carlos Almanzar, Peter Tucci|
|1999-11-08||Los Angeles||Pedro Borbon, Raul Mondesi||Shawn Green, Jorge Nunez|
|2000-11-07||Chicago (AL)||Scott Eyre||Gary Glover|
|2001-12-07||Oakland||Eric Hinske, Justin Miller||Billy Koch|
|2002-11-16||Oakland||Cory Lidle||Mike Rouse, Chris Mowday|
|2003-11-18||Oakland||Ted Lilly||Bobby Kielty|
|2004-12-02||Cleveland||John McDonald||Thomas Mastny|
|2007-11-18||Oakland||Marco Scutaro||Graham Godfrey, Kristian Bell|
|2009-02-10||San Diego||Matt Bush||Cash|
|2009-12-16||Philadelphia||Kyle Drabek, Michael Taylor, Travis d'Arnaud||Roy Halladay|
|2012-10-21||Boston||Mike Aviles||David Carpenter, John Farrell|
Looking at that list, we can see why Pat Gillick earned his "Stand Pat" nickname in the 1980s, having made no offseason trades in 1985, 1987, 1988, and 1991. Since Gillick, the Blue Jays have only had two no-trade offseasons: 1997 (of course that year, Gord Ash signed Roger Clemens on December 13), and 2006 (in that offseason, J.P. Riccardi focused on signing free agents Royce Clayton, Gregg Zaun, and Frank Thomas in November, and signing the seven-year extension with Vernon Wells).
shere are some upcoming events where there may be some happenings. Monday, December 2 is the deadline for the Blue Jays to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players--I don't see the Blue Jays non-tendering anyone (despite Esmil Rogers being listed as a candidate on MLB Trade Rumors) but perhaps they could pick someone up. December 5 is the last day to designate players for assignment before the Rule 5, which will occur on December 12, the last day of the Winter Meetings which start on the 9th. The Winter Meetings is as good of a time as any to complete trades and sign free agents. But don't hold your breath on Jeff Samardzija--the Cubs are reportedly willing to wait for other clubs to fight over him, and Peter Gammons thinks that it might be February before he is moved.
Get us a cool Christmas present, Mr. Anthopoulos.