If you look back at the history of our site you'd see that November is traditionally the month that we have the least Blue Jay news and, not coincidently, the month we get the fewest visits around here. This year, the news and rumors are flying and we are getting roughly the same number of visits we were getting mid-season (helped along by a number of really good fanposts and fanshots). With so much going on, I thought it would be worth a look back at the last week.
If we cheat a little on the definition of a week, 8 days ago:
The Jays Declined Kevin Gregg's Contract Options
Which surprised me some, I figured, with Scott Downs and Jason Frasor both being free agents, the team would want to keep Gregg, at least for the one year option, to have a veteran at the back of the bullpen.He wasn't great last year, but he was a lot better than the year before, and the option wasn't for a lot of money. Never try to out guess AA.
We Traded for Miguel Olivo and, an hour or so later, Declined His Option
An amazing little move that will likely buy us a supplemental round draft pick. A trade that worked well for everyone. The Rockies didn't feel they could offer Olivo arbitration, figuring he would take it. So instead of them giving him the $500,000 for declining his option, we take him safe in the assumption that he will decline arbitration with us. Everyone is happy.
Baseball America releases it's Top Ten Jay's Prospect List
Yeah it happens every November, but this year what is really interesting is the guys left off the list. We have more than 10 really good prospects. Our own list is about ready but I'm thinking we should wait until after the General Manager's Meetings at the end of next week. Never know, AA could trade half our list and add new names for it.
Free Agent Rumors
There are a few of them. Manny Ramirez is sighted in Toronto, he must be talking to the Jays. Or maybe he's in town to watch the Raptors? MLB Trade Rumors thinks we'll sign Magglio Ordonez. Victor Martinez comes up a lot too. Lots of us think we might sign a closer. Or first baseman or DH.
The Southpaw thinks we ought to look at Japanese League batting champ Tsuyoshi Nishioka (likely figuring it will drive me crazy trying to learn to spell his name). I don't know how much scouting the Jays are doing Japan but I'm sure they know more about the guy than I do.
It is also possible that we could sign a starting pitcher.
We keep getting suggestions that we go after Carl Crawford. I don't think there is a chance on that. He says he isn't interest in playing on turf and he is going to be looking for more than $100 million. How often do those huge contracts pay off?
We Name a New Coaching Staff
Joining holdovers Brian Butterfield, Bruce Walton and Wayne Murphy are Don Wakamatsu (bench coach), Torey Lovullo (first base coach) and Pat Hentgen (bullpen coach). We have a tremendous amount of baseball knowledge in that group. Wakamatsu is still up for the manager job with the Mets so there may be some changing roles. Yeah, he didn't have a great time in Seattle but then you find someone that could make a team out of that group. He is very highly thought of throughout baseball. We interviewed Pat Hentgen and I couldn't be happier that the team hired him. I still think we ought to get some of the credit.
Luis Rivera was added to the coaching staff a couple of days later, in an undefined role (at least undefined to us, perhaps the club knows exactly what he will be doing).
Award Season Starts
Jose Bautista picks up a Silver Slugger award. J.P. Arencibia is named the Triple-A All-Star team. Also, to prove awards mean nothing, Derek Jeter is given a Gold Glove. I'm sure carrying around all those Gold Gloves is what is effecting his range so much.
As always there are trade rumors aplenty. Bob Elliot said the team inquited about Zack Greinke and Alex Gordon of the Royals. Gordon would be good pickup in the 'buy low' mode. Greinke? I think if we did go after him it would be a sign that we think we can win this season. If we got him, I'd think we'd have to go after someone like Manny Ramirez and a top closer as well.
MLB Trade Rumors suggested that we could go after Gordon Beckham of the White Sox. I'd love that, a 24 year old that already has 2 seasons in the majors? He could grow into a great player.