So, Joel Sherman says that the Jays are working with a payroll of $83 million for this coming season. Since the Jays already have about $70 million committed to 11 players, this essentially means they cannot sign anyone who will cost anything significant unless they cut payroll somewhere else. Where he got $83 million, who knows? The Jays had a $97 million payroll last season.
What, you've never heard of Joel Sherman? He only writes for the New York Post, which is quite possibly the worst newspaper in the history of the planet (I suppose some elementary schools maybe had worse ones back in the glory days of Print Shop for the Apple IIe.) The paper that makes Alexander Hamilton (he founded it by raising $10,000 from investors in 1801) turn in his grave on a daily basis. Now, the patheticness of the Post doesn't mean this isn't true, but do we really have any reason to believe it is? Sherman certainly doesn't provide any beyond his conclusory statement.
My guess is that $83 million is the minimum and JP needs permission to sign anyone that will put the team over that number. That doesn't mean that such purchases won't be cleared. It's a cost control mechanism.
Let me recommend Richard Griffin, who is actually doing a nice job of reporting from the winter meetings. As I have noted before, Griffin is a good writer and it's unfortunate that he doesn't know, and doesn't want to know, anything about baseball.
Oh yeah, Tom Cheek was robbed, but that deserves its own post.
Today's title comes from a great song by Superchunk, one of the finer 90s bands. But an even better, beautiful version of the song was done by the Magnetic Fields. The Magnetic Fields get on my nerves sometimes, but when they're (he's) good, they're freaking good.
[Note by hugo, 12/09/08 8:20 PM EST ] Update: According to Ken Rosenthal, who usually knows what he's talking about, the Jays are one of four teams still in on Rafael Furcal. The quote confirms precisely the interpretation of the $83 million figure I advanced above, though of course the Jays could still shed salary elsewhere. The other teams were the Dodgers, the Royals (interesting, as they got a very nice season from Aviles), and the A's.