Happy new year, Bluebird Banterers! Hopefully the winter holidays have been treating you well. I know that Tom Dakers has been enjoying his time in the Dominican Republic. There hasn't been a lot of news to write about, but here are three anyway.
Breaking (Not Really) News: John Gibbons has not been fired
This morning, Sportsnet's Ben Nicholson-Smith reminded us of the "rolling contract' manager John Gibbons received when he returned to the Blue Jays in October 2013. Since the Blue Jays didn't fire him by December 31, his 2014 option was automatically picked up and he automatically gets an option for 2015. Really nothing new here--the same thing will happen on January 2015 if he doesn't get canned this year--but it's good to remember that he will never become a "lame duck" manager and he'll enjoy at least one full year's salary if he gets fired. For a reason that I do not fully understand (it isn't really explored in the linked piece), Jays Journal tweeted out that that the "funky option" is hurting the Blue Jays:
I am a John Gibbons fan so I am naturally biased here, but I think that the "rolling contract" he received should be a model for manager and general manger contracts (I wrote that back when Gibbons was first hired). Alex Anthopoulos announced in August that he had no plans to fire Gibbons, so I am surprised at the surprise some Blue Jays fans have displayed over this "news". Anyway, back to why it was a good deal. Since there will never be a "contract year", neither the manager or the club would have to deal with the distraction of a contract negotiations. The club would be comfortable knowing its financial risks, as the manager is always guaranteed between one and two full seasons (the latter in the unlikely situation where a manager is fired between January 1 and Opening Day), and there will be no need to lock someone up for multiple years to keep him from walking.
Roy Halladay Appreciation Day
Take out your calendars and block off all appointments on Saturday, January 11 because Bluebird Banter and the Jays Days Beer Club will be holding a Roy Halladay Appreciation Day in Toronto. More details to come....
No, it's not the Monday Morning Media Mashup (which is on indefinite hiatus) but here are three Jays-related links:
At 17-20 Million, Is Ubaldo Jimenez Outside of Blue Jays Price Range? - Jays Journal
Kyle Franzoni noted a Cleveland Plain Dealer report that Ubaldo Jimenez is asking for $17 to $20 million per year over four years. So is that out of the Blue Jays' price range? It damn better be--he really isn't worth that much and I would very much be surprised if a team goes past $15 million for the 29-year-old righty. But of course, anyone familiar with negotiations would know that the ask is generally higher than what one would settle with. Jimenez was my "pick" and back in November where I wrote that $13.5 or $14 million would be an acceptable annual price for a four-year deal; I still think he's not worth more than that.
Blue Jays mum on Masahiro Tanaka - Toronto Star
Alex Anthopoulos spoke with Brendan Kennedy and very vaguely hinted that he has made inquiries on Masahiro Tanaka (who is a Cleveland Indian, according to his SB Nation player profile), which is good, because it would be stupid if he hadn't. The deadline for Tanaka to sign is 5 pm on January 24, and with the market holding off on Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Matt Garza until the Tanaka situation clarifies, we may be seeing a quiet first-half of January. Anthopoulos had previously stated that he believes that the prices for starting pitchers will be going down in January, and he right now he thinks that, if he acquires a starting pitcher, there is an even chance that the pitcher would come via free agency.
More Talk Of Football At BMO Field - Drunk Jays Fans
Andrew Stoeten writes about the (still remote) possibility that the Toronto Argonauts could be moving out of the Rogers Centre to BMO Field. But it would take a lot of work to fit the monstrously-sized CFL field into tiny BMO--maybe they could build moving stands at one end or something.