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Bluebird Links - Arbitration Thoughts, More Free Agent Rumours & Gil Meche

And for your Wednesday morning Links...

My side note of the day - I've recently been introduced to 'How I Met Your Mother' and am now borderline obsessed with that show.  We just finished season 4 - it took us two weeks to blast through seasons 2 to 4.  Any other fans?

Here's a few notable links from today.

Jays Notes: Leading Off, Rajai Davis, Jose Bautista
Here, Mat discusses Ken Rosenthal's rumour that the Jays are looking at Johnny Damon (37 years old) and Scott Podsednik (35 years old). He doesn't like Damon (I agree), but does make the case for Podsednik. He hits righties better than lefties (platoon with Davis), can steal a base, play good defense and he put up a decent slash line last year. What do you think - is Podsednik a good fit for the Jays? Certainly it would be better than going into the season with Patterson as a 4th outfielder, right?

Arbitration Musings
I think every blogger and journalist has an article up regarding arbitration musings so I'm just posting this one. Travis Reitsma at Baseball Canadiana summarizes yesterdays signings and what not, but at the end of the blog, he leaves us with this thought:

Here’s a thought before I let you go back to whatever it was you were doing:  What if the Jays are looking to trade Frasor before the arbitration hearing?  I mean, they did just sign both Octavio Dotel and Jon Rauch to one-year deals;  that strangely high amount of right-handed depth in the ‘pen could be used to grab a prospect or two from another organization and there could be quite a bit of interest for a guy like Frasor given that he’ll earn similar cash as other pitchers of his ilk.

So Banterer's, what say you? Do you think Frasor will be dealt before the start of the season?

Joe Posnanski " Posts The Retirement of Meche "
Excellent article on Gil Meche. This part, people aren't talking about enough.

On Tuesday, Gil Meche finished off his contract in the most unbelievable way — perhaps the most unbelievable finish in major league baseball history: He walked away from the money. He retired, at age 32. He left behind $12.4 million guaranteed that was legally and rightfully his, because he had determined that he could not help the Kansas City Royals anymore.

Many think the Royals never should have signed Meche to that deal in the first place, but he was worth what they were paying him in the first 2 years before injuries hit.  Besides, we can't fault the players for signing the deal, right?  I think it says a lot about the guy that he walked away from that money though. 

More links after the jump.

Jays Links

Jon Rauch: Highest Paid Toronto Pitcher?
FanGraphs profiles Rauch, but two other very interesting points in the following quote.

...Rauch could actually end up being the highest paid Jays pitcher in 2011. All told, the Jays could wind up with a quality pitching staff for under $25 million, or less than the combined 2011 salaries of Rafael Soriano, Joaquin Benoit, Downs and Jesse Crain.

The Manny Dance
The Blue Jay Hunter makes another case for Manny. We've been over this 100 times around here, but this is linked just for the Manny picture at the top of the blog. Good stuff.

Top 50 Jays Prospects, #26
Mat Germain at Jays Journal profiles 18 year old Venezuela-ean, Deivy Estrada as their number 26 prospect. Not sure where Tom and Hugo put him, put probably not in their top 30. Interesting numbers for a 16 and 17 year old in the DSL and GCL.

Around the League

Who Is the Most Valuable Player in Baseball? (Part 1)
Jonah Keri at FanGraphs is putting together a part series regarding which current MLB player you would build a team around in a basic fantasy draft situation. He already eliminates a bunch of notables (including Heyward, Tulo, Zimmerman and every pitcher in baseball). The three missing are probably Pujols, Hanley Ramirez and Longoria but I like the first three I listed more. Well, I like Pujols but age is a factor. What do you think?

Josh Hamilton asking Texas Rangers for $12 million in arbitration
We know about the gap between Bautista and the Jays, but how about this - the Rangers and Hamilton are $3.3M apart. I'm a little surprised that the Rangers, who have seemingly been throwing money around this offseason, are trying to low ball Hamilton. Maybe they're concerned about his health?

Bill James on relievers in the Hall
This is a Hardball Times piece summarizing a Bill James article. Found this interesting (emphasis mine). James, like many doesn't like the idea of too many closers in the Hall (or any?) What do you think? Of the closers currently in, or currently heading to the Hall, who would you elect?

Since 1992 the BBWAA has elected two catchers to the Hall of Fame, two first basemen, two second basemen, two left fielders, two center fielders, one DH—and four Closers.

Today In Poorly Formed Thoughts
Parkes rips apart some writer in Florida for an article over the 'disappointing' Rays off-season.

Even more dynasty rankings
The Hardball Times ranks the top 35 players under the age of 25. No Jays make the list, however Snider is on the 'just missed' list.

Milton Bradley Arrested in L.A. After Allegedly Making Threats
This guy just can't stay out of trouble.