So your head is still swimming from the possibilities created by the Jays' acquisitions of lefties Brian Burres and Ken Takahashi, right? Well, the Jays just continue to dole out the
big dollar contracts minor league deals like they're candy and JP Ricciardi is Willy Wonka (not the creepy Michael Jackson-esque Johnny Depp version though).
According to Joel Sherman, who only writes for the
Washington New York Post, Kevin Millar, about whom we've had some words on this cite, is "almost certain" to sign a minor-league deal with the Jays. According to Sherman:
The Nationals and Rangers (here the NYP hilariously linked to the New York Rangers hockey team web site) also were discussing a contract with Millar. The Mets have said they are looking for a spare righty bat, but were not aggressive on Millar. Johnny Damon , who played with Millar in Boston, and Alex Rodriguez have both recommended Millar to Yankee upper management.
I mean, if Alex Rodriguez vouches for your character, what does that say about you? What do you think the Yankees would look like if they signed every player Johnny Damon recommended them to? My guess is that it would be pretty much the most hilarious team ever. Anyway, the Jays snatching Millar out of the grasp of the Yankees and Mets pretty much makes up for the whole Burnett situation, no?
In other Jays' news, the team avoided arbitration with Brian Tallet by signing the Wolverine look-alike to a 1-year, $1.015 million dollar deal. There was no way Tallet's case was going to arbitration, given the short distance between the exchanged figures. Even in a depressed market, Tallet is a bargain at that price, either for the Jays or someone else.
Finally, and this is actually bordering on news, except it's not really new, Adam Loewen is really earning some high praise for his hitting ability. Stealing Loewen from the O's makes up for all the scrap-heap acquisitions we've made from them (though not for being schooled by Steve Trachsel over and over again, nothing can really make up for that). Loewen has been working out in Arizona this winter with fellow Canadians Russel Martin and Justin Morneau, as well as Texas' Josh Hamilton.
"He's a Morneau," Martin said. "He's got that potential. I can't wait to see what's going to happen."
"I told him Adam, 'You're a better hitter than I am,'" Martin said. "So I'm really not worried about it at all. It's going to take him a little time to adjust and to get used to the velocity and stuff like that, but the guy is just a natural hitter. It's not hard for him to hit. "I was taking hacks with him in the cage in Arizona, and his first round was line drive after line drive after line drive. He's talking to me like, 'Hey, what should I do?'" And I'm like, 'How about you tell me what to do? You look better than I do.'"
That made me feel all tingly inside. Seriously, though, the odds are against the kind of move Loewen is attempting, but what a move by them to get this kind of upside into the system, and Loewen is only 24 and appears to be loaded with talent and drive. If Loewen is progressing this season, the Jays should consider extending him beyond the two-year deal they signed this offseason.
So if you reached the end of this article and are wondering where the promised "big news" is, you haven't been paying attention this offseason. Compared to what we've seen so far, this is big news. Still no major-league deals for free agents, though...
[Note by hugo, 02/05/09 6:17 PM EST ] Update: Hot off the presses, though Torgen beat us to it in the FanShots. The Jays claimed reliever former Yankee TJ Beam off waivers from the Pirates and designated Russ Adams to make room. If there's anything we don't need, it's more organizational-type arms in the bullpen who don't strike guys out and walk too many. I can't imagine Beam will ever throw a pitch for Toronto, but I wouldn't mind seeing someone else take a chance on Adams to see if he has anything to offer. A change of scenery can't hurt the former 1st-round pick.